Office of Energy and Environment Faculty/Staff News

Dec. 11, 2018

Sustainability Highlights Community Engagement Conference in January
Register now for Ohio State’s 2nd Annual Community Engagement Conference, Partnering for a Resilient and Sustainable Future.
Faculty, staff, students and community partners are invited to the conference for two days of insights and new connections that will expand your professional horizons in sustainability. The keynote speakers are Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, environmental policy expert, and Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland.
Register and learn more at
Contact: Ben Lewis, or Jared Morrison,

President Drake Signs on to Support for the Kigali Amendment
Ohio State, a founding member of the University Climate Change Coalition, has signed on to a statement to the Trump Administration in support of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Negotiated in October 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda, the Kigali Amendment is an international treaty guiding the phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) worldwide. The statement, addressed both to the Administration and to Congress, is a broad message of support for ratification of the Kigali Amendment and the development of policy to phase down HFCs. The U.S. has not yet ratified the treaty, which goes into effect in 2019.

Rattan Lal Receives Highest Honor in Soil Science
Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science, received the Glinka World Soil Prize in a ceremony at the Rome headquarters of the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization on Dec. 5, World Soil Day. Named for a prominent Russian soil scientist, the award is considered the highest honor in the soil science profession.

Office of Research Seed Grants Announced
As part of Ohio State’s academic collaboration with the Comprehensive Energy Management Project, the Office of Research is pleased to offer seed grants to promote collaborative research in sustainable energy. We encourage faculty and graduate students to explore new and innovative research and scholarship that addresses sustainable energy challenges and lead to solutions in energy sustainability. OR desires to promote interdisciplinary research with a potential for marketable and scalable innovations. Applicants may request up to a maximum of $50,000 (direct costs only). The deadline is 5 p.m. Jan. 11.

Funding priority areas include but are not limited to:

  • Innovations in renewable energy technologies and resources
  • Energy systems and management (e.g., decentralizing energy systems, power grid resiliency and energy storage)
  • Smart mobility
  • Carbon management

Proposals now open for 2019 Ohio State Energy Partners Awards
Ohio State Energy Partners contributes $810,000 annually to the university or affiliated philanthropic causes as part of its academic collaboration with Ohio State. Working with OSEP, the Energy Academic Collaboration Council is engaging the Ohio State community in a request for proposals for FY 2019 funding that help advance important priorities across the university while also promoting inter-college and community collaboration. Priority will be given to proposals that align with one or more of the following focus areas:

  • Sustainability
  • Leadership
  • Income Equality
  • Nine Dimensions of Wellness
  • Addiction
  • Arts & Humanities

Proposals are due at 5 p.m. Jan. 14 and must be submitted by a current Ohio State student, faculty member or staff member; cannot focus on coal or political advocacy; and must align with the University's Strategic Plan. Preference will be given to projects that engage the campus or broader community to promote internal and external collaboration. Funding levels range from $10,000 to $100,000 and will be awarded on a one-time basis. The online Award Application Form and details for funding levels, proposal deadlines, requirements and submittal information are at

MORPC Regional Sustainability Report Card Available
Under the guidance of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s Sustainability Advisory Committee, Central Ohio has created a framework for local governments and regional partners to work toward common goals.The 2017-2020 Sustainability Agenda lays out the actions that could be taken to become a more sustainable region, and the new report card provides an update on the region’s efforts to achieve the goals and objectives. Kate Bartter, director of the Office of Energy and Environment, serves on the MORPC Sustainability Advisory Committee.

#BuckeyeClothesOut for Faculty and Staff
It's the perfect time of year to clean out those closets and storage spaces and donate your gently used clothing and shoes. On Tuesday (12/18) 8:30 a.m. to noon, Student Life's Energy Management and Sustainability — in collaboration with Goodwill Columbus — will have drop-off bins in the turn-off lane at the Drake Performance Hall and Event Center.

DOE to Fund Research that Advances Coal Plants of the Future
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy announced its intent to fund competitive R&D efforts in FY2019 that will advance first-of-a-kind coal generation technologies. This effort — the Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, Transformative) initiative — will develop the coal plant of the future needed to provide secure, stable and reliable power. Read more.

Making Headlines

Ohio State’s energy, environment and sustainability experts are in the news. The following articles have been published by media recently. Read more news coverage on our website.

Climate change is making soils saltier, forcing many farmers to find new livelihoods
The Conversation, Nov. 29, 2018
Featured expert: column co-author Joyce Chen, associate professor of development economics

Lake Erie Working Group to Meet
The Press, Nov. 27, 2018
Featured expert: Cathan Kress, Dean, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Upcoming Events

EPN Breakfast: Climate Action, Jan. 15
Join the conversation as we explore local, aspirational goals that organizations in our region have set towards climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Partnering for a Resilient and Sustainable Future: 2019 Community Engagement Conference, Jan. 23
Faculty, staff, students and community partners are invited to the Jan. 23-24 conference for insights and new connections that will expand your professional horizons in sustainability.

Forum on Water Research, Feb. 8
Ohio State forum will gather faculty input on the purpose and direction for a research community focused on water protection.

Science Sundays: Mobility Matters — Why Sustainable Transportation is Essential for our Future, Feb. 17
Harvey J. Miller discusses how resolving these costs is crucial if civilization is to survive the 21st century — a world that will see 10 billion people, most of whom will crowd into cities.

The Byrd Center Climate Change Symposium, March 22
Join the discussion of geologic history of earth's climate, physical drivers of climate, how water and energy cycles are reacting to change, how climate change impacts ecosystems, how society is adapting, how we think about and talk about climate, and everything else in between. Conference will be held at the Byrd Polar & Climate Change Research Center on Friday, March 22.