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The 5 Things You Should Do To Jump Start Your Environmental Career

Our Online Career Tips blog team recently interviewed Dr. Carol Pollio, Program Director for Environmental Sciences at APUS, about how to effectively break into the environmental industry.  Dr. Pollio has spent 35 years in the environmental industry.  She has been teaching at APUS for the last 6 years and is also the Chief of Natural Resources for the National Park Service, National Capital Region.  In addition to her teaching and Park Service career, Dr. Pollio has been an active U.S.… Read the rest

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APUS Talks to Sarah McNair About Her “Tiny House, Big Adventure”

As a follow up to Sarah’s article last week about her “tiny house, big adventure,” here is a podcast in which Sarah discusses the project.  Kudos to Sarah for her efforts to live sustainably!

How Sustainability Can Come in a Tiny Package by APUS

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Celebrate Earth Day by Reducing Your Environmental Impact

With Earth Day right around the corner, many of us are thinking of ways that we can lead more sustainable lifestyles.  If you’re looking for a way to reduce your carbon footprint, check out the podcast below.  We interviewed Tatiana Sehring, Strategic Manager Environmental Leadership and Sustainability at American Public University System (APUS) about how we can live more environmentally-friendly lifestyles.  This is Part 1 of a two-part Earth Day special focused on tangible actions we can each take to reduce our environmental impact.… Read the rest

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Life in the Academic Center, 7 months later.

By: Wesley Holmes

APU employees moved into the Academic Center in December of 2010. The new 45,000 sqft high efficiency building offers substantial changes from most employees’ previous accommodations, many of whom were relocated from one of APU’s many historic properties across Charles Town. When APU began operations in Charles Town, these preserved and restored historic properties offered unique and sustainable alternatives to new construction. Initially designed as homes and commercial properties they also offered a distinctly different work environment than modern office facilities.… Read the rest

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Now that the building is up, what happens next?

By: Wesley Holmes

With shiny new office facilities, new views and even a gym facility, this 2011 must seem like an especially fresh start for those APUS employees settling in at the Academic Center. After a whirlwind year of development, staff moved in to 330 North George St in mid December. Though the building is up, there is still work to be done before the site can be certified by the USGBC. Of particular importance is the remaining task of installing the solar panels, which has been unfortunately held up due to weather conditions.… Read the rest

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Water Efficiency

WE Prerequisite 1: Water Use Reduction- 20% less than standard.

WE Credit 1: Water Efficient Landscaping 2–4 Points

WE Credit 3: Water Use Reduction (30-40% reduction)  2-4 Points

Intent- To increase water efficiency within buildings to reduce the burden on municipal water supply and wastewater systems.

By: Wesley Holmes

Energy Efficient Bathrooms in the LEED Certified APUS Academic Center from Kudda on Vimeo.

Between 1950 and 2000, the U.S. population nearly doubled. In that same period water consumption more than tripled to 410 billion gallons per day (Bgal/d) in 2005, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).… Read the rest

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Energy Performance

By: Wesley Holmes

The National Institute on Building Sciences reports that buildings in the United States annually consume 39% of America’s energy and 68% of its electricity. Is it any wonder then that the highest number of available points in the LEED rating system can be found in the Energy & Atmosphere section? Some critics of the LEED system note that energy efficiency considerations carry far more point potential than other important issues such as Indoor Environmental Quality. However, if we take the time to consider the ripple effects, it seems that the point value accurately reflects the role of the built environment as an energy consumer and the level of impact that energy production has on environmental and economic sustainability.… Read the rest

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Materials & Resources Credit 5: Regional Materials- Supporting the environment by supporting local industry.

Value  1–2 Points

By: Wesley Holmes

The essence of the Materials and Resources (MR) section of the LEED rating system is to encourage building owners and developers to consider the environmental and economic impact of the materials utilized in their projects. “Impact” is a very loaded term. It can refer to the environmental consequences of harvesting a certain material in its raw form or the hazardous emissions and chemicals involved in a products processing. Considering an items impact also means considering the embodied energy used to harvest, process and ship the product to its end user.… Read the rest

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Recycling at APUS- Thinking locally, impacting globally.

MR Prerequisite 1: Storage and Collection of Recyclables – Required

MR Credit 4: Recycled Content – 1–2 Points

MR Credit 2: Construction Waste Management – 1–2 Points

By: Wesley Holmes

In 2008, Americans generated about 250 million tons of trash and recycled and composted 83 million tons of this material, equivalent to a 33.2% recycling rate. The remaining 135 million tons of waste was discarded in landfills. Recycling is the most commonly utilized effort to address the issues surrounding waste management.… Read the rest

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Sustainable Sites Credit 8: Light Pollution Reduction

By: Wesley Holmes

Value: 1 Point

Intent: To minimize light trespass from the building and site, reduce sky-glow to increase night sky access, improve nighttime visibility through glare reduction and reduce development impact from lighting on nocturnal environments.

earth_lights_strip

The term light pollution describes any adverse effect of artificial light, including sky glow, glare, light trespass, light clutter, decreased visibility at night, and energy waste. Light pollution is one of the more underrated consequences of urban and suburban development, but many environmentalists, naturalists, and medical researchers consider light pollution to be one of the fastest growing and most pervasive forms of environmental pollution.… Read the rest

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