Georgia Southern University

Fee Proposal Grants

Student Sustainability Fee Project Grants

Student Sustainability Fee Project Grants were established in Spring 2014 to improve environmental sustainability across campus with Sustainability Fee funds.  Project proposals, ranging from $1,000 – $100,000 may address any aspect of sustainability in the areas of Water, Energy, Waste, Biodiversity, Food, Transportation, Sustainability Promotion etc. and may range from increasing biodiversity, to improving energy efficiency, implementing renewable energy solutions to encouraging sustainability behaviors, to improved waste reduction, to increasing campus sustainability awareness with interpretive signage, etc. Sustainability Fee projects may be proposed and conducted by any student, faculty, or staff member at Georgia Southern.

Starting in Spring 2015, an annual call for proposals will be due in April for funding in the next fiscal year.

The Spring 2015 request  for proposals was released February 24, 2015, and is due at 5pm, April 1, 2015.


In 2014, $438,000 was allocated to 23 Student Sustainability Fee Project Grants. Proposal submissions were received from 7 academic departments in 4 colleges, as well as the Georgia Southern Museum, Garden of the Coastal Plain, Campus Recreation and Intramurals, Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development and the Division of Facilities Services.

May 2014 Press release including funded projects

Project  Summaries of Fall 2014 Grants


Bigbelly Solar Powered Compacting Trash Cans And Recycling Cans

James Grigg, Director of Facilities Operations ($18,300)

 Deploy 3 double bin Big Belly compacting recycling contains on campus. To target high demand areas of the campus (bus stops, pedestrium, etc). The BigBelly’s have built in solar powered compactors and a wireless alert system for notification when the bins are getting full. The container will hold 150 gallons of waste vs. the standard cans of about 30 gallons. The compactor and built in alert system allows more material to be picked up as needed, not on a set schedule whether they need emptying or not.

Design of High Speed Computer Networks Aimed at Reducing Energy Consumption and Carbon Emission at Georgia Southern University

Danda B. Rawat, PhD ($31,065.40)

 With the exponential growth of the Internet use, many organizations (including Georgia Southern University) use vast amount of energy/power to operate and cool their network infrastructures and thus produce significant amount of carbon waste. The main focus of this research is to design OpenFlow based networks that will result in high-speed computer networks and dramatic reductions of energy consumption and carbon emission. An experimental OpenFlow based network will be established and tested in the CWiNs lab of Georgia Southern University with the specific purpose of demonstrating the significant energy savings and reduction in carbon waste that can be achieved while providing reliable and fast networking services at GSU.

Georgia Southern University Gold Course Operation Pollinator

Patrick Reinhardt, Golf Course Superintendent ($2,378.80)

 Operation Pollinator is an international effort designed to increase the population of pollinating insects by creating diverse habitat tailored to local conditions and insect populations. Pollinating insects are crucial for the success of many natural habitats and the production of many food crops.   The program will be introduced to the golf course by converting out of play areas from bahia grass and Bermuda grass to a blend of native wildflowers.

High Capacity Lithium Ion Battery for Self-powered and Sustainable Street Light Unit on GSU Campus

Ji Wu (PI) and Shaowen Xu (Co-PI) ($13,344)

In this project, a high capacity Lithium ion batteries (LIBs) are proposed for Self-power Sustainable Light Unit on the streets or parking lots of campus. First, the high capacity lithium ion batteries (LIBs) will be fabricated using silicon as the active material for higher energy capacity. The reason for adopting Silicon-

based LIB is that its theoretical energy capacity (4200 mAh/g) is much higher than that of commercial available graphite-based LIBs (370 mAh/g). Secondly, these high capacity silicon-based LIBs will be utilized to store the energy harvested from solar panels for street/parting lots lighting. A prototype device will be built and installed on campus for testing.

Led Lighting Upgrade Parking Lot: Hanner Fieldhouse

David Faircloth, Director of Facilities Planning, Design, and Construction, Division Facilities Services ($32,800)

Retrofit existing pole lighting in parking lot –Hanner Fieldhouse – front lot and side lot along Fair Road. The lot’s outdoor lighting system consists of 7 – 45’ poles and 16 – 400 watt fixtures. The retrofit would increase existing light levels and reuse existing poles and provide state of-the-art Light Emitting Diode (LED) “high efficiency” outdoor lighting system. The project would consist of removing exiting light fixtures and replacing light fixtures and upgrading outdoor lighting controls. The current 400 watt fixture lighting would be replaced with lower watt LED fixtures reducing energy consumption by approximately 30% with equivalent light outputs on the parking lot. Daylight to dusk lighting controls would be installed (upgraded). Students using this parking facility access the Hanner Fieldhouse classes and associated athletic venues on campus. You will be able to measure the results by installing power metering on the lighting circuits.

Living Wall Downtown

Dr. Dominique Halaby, with Student Leaders Katie Reams and Abbie Pelech ($19,650)

 Georgia Southern students will work with university architects and contractors to design, build, and maintain a vertical garden as a signature component to the Georgia Southern City Campus. The Living Wall Downtown will foster the spirit of innovation and serve as a university-wide and community-wide model of sustainable practices.

Safe and Spectacular Smart Energy Lighting for Georgia Southern’s Green Jewel: Sustainable LED Lighting at the Garden of the Coastal Plain

Carolyn Altman, Garden Director ($17,900)

 This project will engage a sustainable lighting design expert to design an overall lighting and power master plan for the Garden. A critical part of this master plan, the lighting of the Concert Lawn, Arboretum, and Native Plant Landscape Garden, will then be implemented as Phase One. This proposal includes costs for design services, materials, and installation.

Stormwater Improvements: Bioswales at Akins Blvd

Chuck Taylor, Campus Landscape Architect. Division Facilities Services ($16,600)

This stormwater bioswale would be located in the existing drainage ditches along Akins Blvd. The site currently contains an eroded drainage swale along the west side of Akins Blvd and grassed swales in the center boulevard. The area is subject to heavy stormwater runoff from the RAC, adjacent streets & parking lots. All runoff in the area goes directly into the adjacent wetlands via the swales. The proposed bioswale conversions would aid in slowing the runoff and filter water contaminants in an effort to mitigate flooding, soil erosion and storm water pollutants. (This project is identified as part of the campus sustainable landscape maintenance master plan.)

Stormwater Improvements; Bioswales and Fair Road

Chuck Taylor, Campus Landscape Architect. Division Facilities Services ($33,400)

 The stormwater bioswale would be located in the open space along Fair Road between Herty Dr. & Chandler Rd. The site currently contains an eroded drainage swale within the wooded site. Heavy rains and runoff from adjacent university owned streets & parking lots frequently overwhelm the site and contribute to flooding downstream. The proposed bioswale would aid in slowing the runoff and filter water contaminants in an effort to mitigate current flooding and erosion.

Sustainable Wind Energy Harvesting from Campus AC Cooling Towers/Chillers

Drs. Frank Gross/Rami Haddad/Youakim Kalaani ($11,014.88)

Our energy sustainability project is to attach wind turbines to one or two chillers/cooling towers located on campus (Bioscience Bldg, CEIT Bldg). We will use an anemometer to measure cooling tower wind speeds and use this data to purchase the most appropriate wind turbines (400W, 800W, 1200W, etc.) for mounting. In addition, we will take the substantial harvested energy and put it back into the Georgia Power grid thus lowering the overall GSU utility bill and/or use the energy output to charge campus golf carts out on duty. Small wind turbines can possibly harvest up to 2 kilowatts of power per cooling tower. The harvested energy can subsequently lower utility costs for the whole campus.

Water Bottle Filler Installation: RAC and CRIBB

Jason Schmidt, Facility Coordinator for Physical Operations, CRI ($2,543.70)

 Retrofit six existing drinking fountains with water bottle filling stations within M.C. Anderson Park. This effort will promote the reuse of personal bottles/containers by our patrons. The water bottle fillers will be installed in the following locations: natatorium (2), outside of the aquatics locker rooms, between the bathrooms off the cardio deck, hallway between MAC gym and 2 court and at the CRIBB (building located at the front entrance to the multiplex).



Project  Summaries of Spring 2014 Grants


Assessment of Water Quality and Soil Sequestration to Ensure Environmental Quality at GSU Campus
Dr. Arpita Saha (PI), Dr. Subhrajit Saha (Co-PI), and Matthew Pfister (Co-PI)

The proposed project has two parts, first part involves analysis of campus surface water quality and the second part involves measurement of Untitledcampus soil carbon storage. The storm water runoff from off-campus and on-campus sources has the potential to pollute the campus water bodies and the findings of our study will recommend remedial strategies, which may help authorities to take necessary actions. The campus soil carbon distribution will be inventoried and the factors (land use, management) supporting soil C stocking will be identified and recommended to help authorities promote climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies on campus.

Assessment of Water Quality and Soil Carbon Storage to Ensure Environmental Quality at GSU Campus


Bicycle Repair Station: Student Union
Chuck Taylor, Campus Landscape Architect

The bike repair station includes all the tools necessary to perform basic repairs and maintenance, from changing a flat to adjusting brakes and derailleurs. The tools and air pump are securely attached to the stand with stainless steel cables and tamper-proof fasteners. Hanging the bike from the hanger arms allows the pedals and wheels to spin freely while making adjustments.


Bicycle Parking Facility: Stadium Bus Stop
Chuck Taylor, Campus Landscape Architect

bus transitThe bicycle parking facility would be located adjacent to the existing bus shelter at Paulson Stadium. The facility would consist of a concrete plaza with four permanent campus standard bike racks for a combined parking capacity of 50 bicycles. Also included is a bike repair station. A landscape rain garden around the bike facility will be used to mitigate additional rainwater runoff from the increased pervious area.

Bicycle Parking Facility Stadium and FOY Area




Campus Sustainability Interpretive Signage
Chuck Taylor, Campus Landscape Architect

GSU has implemented several sustainable projects on campus, (ex. bioswales, greenway trail, reuse water, native plantings, etc.) but there is little to no signage at the project site to identify and/or explain the importance and significance to the public and campus community.

Interpretative Signage


Forest Drive: Bicycle Lane/ Sharrow Markings
Chuck Taylor, Campus Landscape Architect

Forest Drive between Old Register Road & Sweetheart Circle is not wide enough to install dedicated bicycle lanes. The master plan envisions street modifications to incorporate dedicated bike lanes and tree lined sidewalks. The “sharrow” lane markers would be the first phase in identifying Forest Drive as a campus road that is to be equally shared by cars and bicyclists until the “master vision” can be implemented.sharrow symbol

Forest Drive Bicycle “Sharrow” Symbols


LED Lighting Upgrade Parking Lot: IT Building Parking Lot
David Faircloth, Director of Facilities Planning, Design, and Construction, Division Facilities Services

Retrofit existing pole lighting in parking lot -IT Parking Lot – behing IT building across from Arts Building Complex. The lot’s outdoor lighting system consists of 6 – 40’ poles and 11-400 watt fixtures. The retrofit would maintain existing light levels and reuse existing poles and provide state of-the-art Light Emitting Diode (LED) “high efficiency” outdoor lighting system.


Nanofiber Based Carbon Capture Technology to Reduce the CO2 Emissions in GSU Campus
PI: Dr. Mujibur Rahman Khan Co-PI: Spencer Harp

In this project we propose a transformative idea of nano fibers based on CO2 capturing filter technology to reduce the CO2 emission from the Machine Shops, Dining Commons, and GSU Vehicles.

Nanofiber Based Carbon Capture Technology to Reduce the CO2 Emissions at GSU Campus


The Moth Project
moth projectAssistant Prof. Jeff Schmuki (Georgia Southern) and Associate Professor Wendy DesChene (Auburn University)

The ArtLab is an off-grid, solar powered 10-foot trailer that houses a mobile art space/laboratory or ArtLab. The ArtLab provides the stage for native plant gardens and solar powered light tents that attract moths and other insects for a non-destructive survey. The Moth Project shares the importance of pollinators in the environment through a hands-on community/citizen science and art experience. Research will be compiled into a free downloadable field guide of the local moths found on the Georgia Southern campus that will interest in sustainability while promote simple actions that assist our declining pollinators and encourage backyard naturalism.

The Moth Project


Portable Sustainability Exhibit
Dr. Brent W. Tharp

The Georgia Southern University Museum in cooperating with the center for Sustainability will create a traveling, interactive exhibit based on their successful Sustainable Solutions exhibit to introduce the concept of sustainability and highlight the efforts of Georgia Southern University.  The exhibit will be highly mobile and adaptable to a large variety of spaces to maximize its use and would be manned by trained students recruited by the Museum, CfS, and the Office of Student Leadership.  It will be used at campus events, such as ArtsFest, No Impact Week, Earth Day and throughout the year at any opportunities highlighting or dedicating other sustainability projects/activities.  It would also be available to schools throughout southeast Georgia who frequently request activities/exhibits for science nights and special events and other community events.

Portable Sustainability Exhibit- Georgia Southern Museum


Solar Energy Potential at Georgia Southern University
Dr. David Calamas

The proposed project intends to assess the solar energy potential at Georgia Southern University. Equipment to measure the magnitude, direction, and duration of incident thermal radiation from  the sun will be installed. A monitoring station connected to the equipment will allow the solar energy potential at Georgia Southern University to be monitored throughout the year. The data will be analyzed to determine the viability and cost effectiveness of using solar energy as an energy course on campus and recommendations will be made as to which, if any, technology would be appropriate to use on campus.

Solar Energy Potential at Georgia Southern University

golf course

Solar Powered Service Golf Carts
Dr. Rami Haddad, Dr. Youakim Kalaani, Dr. Frank Gross

In this project, we propose to equip twenty five electric golf carts at Georgia Southern University with solar photovoltaic charging systems.  These goals are set to reduce the conventional electric charging by at least 45%, increase the operational range by at least 50%, increase the life of the batteries by 100%, promote sustainability and contribute to our world in an environmental friendly way by reducing emission/chemical pollution.

Solar Powered Service Golf Carts


StormWater Park: Plant and Forest Drive
Chuck Taylor, Campus Landscape Architect

The stormwater management park would be located at the corner of Forest & Plant Drive. The storm water park would restore the existing wetlands and create new bioretention gardens to mitigate the effects of polluted stormwater/soil erosion that impact the campus wetlands.

Stormwater Park- Plant & Forest Drive


Sustainability Incentive Grants – 2008-2010
During 2008-2010, the Sustainability Incentive Grant was established to encourage COSM faculty, staff and students to incorporate sustainability into teaching, scholarship and service; and to encourage partnerships with the community to improve sustainability. $15,000 available; up to $3,000 per grant.

Past Sustainability Incentive Grant Winners Include:

Bob Lake, PhD (COE) and Michelle Cawthorn, PhD (Biology)
College of Education/Biology Department Faculty and Staff Bicycle
Lending Stations ($2,469.91)

Jeffrey Lewis and Valentin Soloiu, PhD (METEET)
Economic Feasibility of Biodiesel from Excess Peanut Production in Bulloch County ($2,945.38)

William Nichols and Youakim Kalaani, PhD (MEETET)
Proposal for Researching the Viability of Solar Energy in Statesboro, GA ($2,787.77)

Bret Rabeneck and Laura Regassa, PhD (Biology)
Transformation of a Portal School Construction Site into and Active-Learning Outdoor Classroom ($2,910)

Gwendolyn Rhodes, PhD (Geology and Geography)
Upward Bound Informal Education Project ($1,000)


Nigel Davies, PhD (University Wellness Program) and Bruce Shulte, PhD (Biology)
Campus Cycle, Pilot Program ($2,732)

Anoop Desai, PhD (METEET)
Enhancement of Course Content and Instructional Methods in TCGT 1530; Science, Technology and the Environment ($2,338)

Clarence Eldridge III (College of Public Health) and Lorne Wolfe, PhD (Biology)
Georgia Southern University Pilot Composting Initiative ($3,000)

Michael Roundtree and Valentin Soloiu, PhD (METEET)
Research on Sustainable and Renewable Biofuels to Power Local Farm Equipment($1,493)

Michelle Tremblay and Ed Mondor, PhD (Biology)
Conservation of Bats at Georgia Southern University ($2,891)

Brian Vlcek, PhD (METEET)
BioFuels-From Non-food Sources of Biomass to Energy: A Series of Complementary Discovery, Instructional and Informational Activities in Sustainable Energy Science ($2,545)

CENTER FOR SUSTAINABILITY (CfS) • P.O. Box 8042 • Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-5895