September 2016 Meeting of Sustainability Task Force

Sustainability Task Force
Flash Report for September 29, 2016

Task Force attendees:  Andy Friedland (co-chair), Lisa Hogarty (co-chair), Gabe Lewis, April Salas, Anne Kapuscinski, Merritt Patridge, Fabian Stocek, Rosi Kerr, Jenna Musco, Mary Flanagan, Denise Anthony, Meg Rauner, Julianne Perry, Alex Durenchuk, Maanav Jalan, Catherine Rocci

Invited Guests: Abbe Bjorkland, Molly L. Smith, Frank Roberts

Welcome: Andy Friedland started the meeting and welcomed the Task Force.

Quick introductions: Task Force members and guests briefly introduced themselves
Announcements: Lisa Hogarty shared that she is leaving Dartmouth and therefore stepping down at the co-chair. She shared her enthusiasm for sustainability at Dartmouth and announced that Rosi Kerr has been asked by President Hanlon to step in as co-chair with Andy Friedland.

Discussion of the Irving Institute for Energy and Society Impact on the Sustainability Task Force and Sustainability Planning at Dartmouth:

Andy Friedland: Andy’s suggest that theThe Institute might lead encourage Dartmouth to “walk the talk” and invest even more in sustainability here on our campus. So it might result in our task force being even more likely to have an impact.

Several people asked: What is focus of the institute? Research and teaching?

Fabian Stocek: How will the source of funding impact the direction of research? Will a conflict of interest and funding statement at the bottom of an article stating support from the Irving Institute, for example, change how Dartmouth research is viewed?

Denise Anthony: She doesn’t think so. All research funding on campus comes from Dartmouth the institution– Dartmouth receiieves money from a variety of funding sources, but individual research funds do not come from the original source. This means:
- There is a separation between individuals doing research and the many sources research funding comes from.
- This is true across Dartmouth – e.g. Department of Defense grants. 

A number of people replied: The source of funding does not influence findings or conclusions, at Dartmouth and most research universities. Dartmouth won’t accept funds in which granter wants to influence/pre- approve outcomes.


Anne Kapuscinski: Agrees that establishing the institute pushes Dartmouth to walk the talk. Feels the full name of Institute for Energy and Society should be used  always as it is critical that the institute addresses energy questions fully and in a well-rounded way.  On academic freedom: Faculty would refuse to participate without complete academic freedom. Concern about perception of conflict of interest creates an opportunity for task force to show that this isn’t the case – work of sustainability task force can stand out.

Gabe Lewis: Will there be hard hard-science labs in institute?
Lisa Hogarty: No because, we don’t want to duplicate those expensive resources, but there could be scientists with wet labs who are co-appointed.

Mary Flanagan: It wWould be great to have a quote from the Irving’s about their motive for giving, especially if it’s forward looking.

Anne Kapuscinski: Academic institutions are one of the only places where we can take funding, apply intellectual direction freely and do something good with it. Our task force is part of this.

Process Description: Timeline, Subcommittees and Groups
Rosi Kerr: Our work will be completed by March, with a report delivered to President Hanlon in time for announcement on Earth Day 2017. This means a tight timeline to cover Energy, Waste, Water and Food, Transportation and Landscape. Process is as follows:
Subcommittees will review a draft of proposed recommendations for each topic, prepared by co-chairs, prior to the meetings and provide feedback. Feedback will be incorporated and integrated into draft. Draft will be presented and reviewed at next Task Force meeting. Following meeting, new draft with proposed changes will be circulated for review in a comment period. Final draft of the section will be submitted to Task Force via email and approved formally in the following meeting.

Anyone who wishes to bring up a specific issue (e.g. Divestment) for deeper study, or to provide a recommendation for inclusion or consideration in our report should propose a “Group”. Person who proposes group is responsible for organizing it and communicating with Task Force co-chairs about the group’s existence and subsequent recommendations.

Proposed Public Process: We propose 2-3 “Open Houses” to share the progress of the task force with students, faculty, staff and community. The Sustainability Office will arrange these. We anticipate one in the fall and two in the winter. We aim to have one or both co-chairs and one or more other members of the task force present, followed by Q and A and idea gathering.
We propose an Alumni Webinar to loop in alums who are passionate about climate change, sustainability etc. Particularly Dartmouth Alumni for Climate Action.

Mary Flanagan: Can we have an explicit way to gather Hanover/upper valley community feedback? Via explicit invite and inclusion in an open house.

Rosi Kerr: Yes, noted. We will invite them to at least one open house.

Energy Section Presentation and Review:

Rosi Kerr presented the current draft of the “energy section” of recommendations. Task Force members asked questions about specific points to clarify.

Task Force members circulated the room and submitted ideas via sticky notes on the “Principles” and “Goals” currently under review in the draft recommendations.

Recommendations were gathered by the Sustainability Office staff for inclusion into the document.

Conclusion of meeting:

Rosi Kerr: Next meeting will be November 17, 2016. The topic is waste. Task Force Members will hear from co-chairs requesting them to serve on a subcommittee.