Sustainability Education Made Easy

Live and Online Training Opportunities Abound in 2016

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Posted: Wednesday, February 3, 2016 3:05 pm

Programming plans for the 9th annual Growing Sustainable Communities Conference are under way, and a variety of online training opportunities are available now to anyone interested in learning more about sustainability and networking with colleagues in the field.

Organizers recently issued a Call for Presentations seeking presentation proposals for the conference, which will be held this year on Oct. 4 and 5 at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa.

The conference, hosted by the City of Dubuque and Sustainable City Network, attracts about 500 attendees each year with 30 workshop sessions, two keynote luncheons, a networking reception, a vendor exhibition and optional mobile tours. The event is supported by Crescent Electric Supply Company and other corporate sponsors.

Attendees typically include municipal government staff and elected officials, nonprofit groups, urban planners, state and federal agencies, building and grounds managers, students and industry consultants.

Presentations at the conference typically include case studies that focus on topics such as:

  • Saving money by conserving energy and/or water in public or commercial buildings.
  • Reducing fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions in automotive fleets or public transit systems.
  • Making communities more resilient to storms, floods, droughts and other natural disasters.
  • Implementing green infrastructure that improves the effectiveness and reduces the cost of stormwater management.
  • Enhancing social equity and vibrancy through development of affordable housing, public transit systems, complete streets, local food programs and creative placemaking.
  • Plans, projects and/or policies that aim to reduce reliance on fossil fuels; conserve energy; generate clean energy; reduce, reuse or recycle solid waste; abate air and water pollution; reduce vehicle miles traveled; preserve natural, native habitats; or engage and educate citizens on sustainability issues.
  • Organizational development, employee/resident engagement strategies, or innovative use of technology to advance sustainability goals of a community or organization.

Online registration begins June 1. Costs range from $100 to $200 and students may attend for $15 per day.

Online Training

For those on a strict travel budget, Sustainable City Network has a variety of online training events scheduled in the coming months, along with a large catalog of on-demand video downloads on an array of sustainability topics. Upcoming events include:

Green Roofs: Biological-Engineered Stormwater Mitigation Systems

Beginning Feb. 23, this 10-hour online course will be presented in five 2-hour webinars. The course will educate attendees on the functionality of green roofs and the determining factors that impact their performance. The biological and hydrological interfaces will be discussed to further explain the dynamics of green roof systems.

Millions of square feet of Green Roofs have been installed throughout the United States and Canada. They have been proven to be effective mitigators of stormwater when their infrastructure components have been designed to meet performance parameters. Failures of green roof installations have been associated with the failure of one or more of the components.

Instructor Steven M. Cohan, Ph.D., has been a professor of plant science and landscape architecture at the University of Maryland since 2000. He coordinates the university's Green Roof Research Team, which studies green roof systems - enhancing stormwater mitigation performance through the development of low-carbon footprint substrates and wireless monitoring. The UMD program has gained national recognition for its research, which has included analyses of substrate compositions on water retention, impacts of organic material sources, stormwater modeling, wireless monitoring and the adaptability of native plants.

Register or get more information at:

Miami-Dade County: Sea Level Rise and the Southeast Florida Climate Change Compact

This free one-hour webinar, sponsored by Crescent Electric Supply Co., will be held on March 2. Jim Murley, chief resilience officer for Miami-Dade County in southeast Florida, will explain how the county has worked with regional partners, federal and state agencies and experts from around the world to develop a plan for addressing sea level rise in one of the most vulnerable locations in the U.S. Murley and his team will explain how sea level rise is threatening the county's water supply and putting trillions of dollars of development and infrastructure at risk. More importantly, he'll describe how the county plans to address this threat in the years to come.

Register or get more information at:

Leading Successful Projects

Beginning March 15, this 12-hour online course will be held in six 2-hour sessions.

Organizations want team members at all levels to share a common language and process for defining, planning and executing projects and to deliver improved project results faster and more cost-effectively. Leading Successful Projects has been designed for project managers, project sponsors, project team leaders and project team members whether in title or function. The course goal is to provide participants with the skills to define, plan and execute projects for internal and external customers.

Register or get more information at:

All online sessions will be recorded, so registrants can attend live or via on-demand streaming video. All attendees receive certificates of participation for professional development hours and continuing education credits.

On-Demand Training

The following online courses and free 1-hour webinars are available for download in the Sustainable City Network content store:

Managing Remote Teams

Wayfinding Technology: Maximize Your ROI

Facilitating Remote and Online Meetings

Sustainability in Portland, Ore.

Hot-in-Place Asphalt Recycling

Converting Biogas to Renewable Natural Gas

Microsoft Excel Up to Speed

Habitat Site Restoration and Mitigation

Planning & Conducting Ecological Risk Assessments

Using Smart Tech to Improve Water System Performance

Introduction to Lean & Six Sigma

Lean & Six Sigma Tools

Sustainability in the City of Dubuque

The Benefits of Biomass Combined Heat & Power

Sustainability in Denver, Colo.

Sustainability in the City of Baltimore

Behavior Change and Community Engagment

Recycling Water for Supply Reliability

Sustainability in the City of Seattle

Sustainability in Austin, Texas

Extend the Life of Asphalt Roads with BIORESTOR

Monetizing Water Assets

Design Guidelines for Transit Supportive Communities

Sustainability in the City of Madison, Wis.

Maximizing Reuse and Recycling Through Deconstruction

Energy-Efficient Lighting Upgrades

Community Gardens

Sustainability in the City of Las Vegas

Cutting Energy Costs in Wastewater Treatment

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