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Going Green at California Universities

Students at California universities are shattering the image of college kids who are too self-involved to care about the world around them. These ultra-motivated, environmentally minded students are doing their part to solve the national energy crisis and change the world, one green college at a time. Are you ready to make your mark on history at a California university?

Searching for alternative energy at California universities
Driven by the call to end U.S. dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil supplies, graduate students at California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo, CA) are working closely with their professors to find alternative sources of energy. One major research project involves using sewage and wastewater from the university's dairy operations to produce biodiesel fuel; the other involves producing inexpensive solar electricity and researching batteries for electric vehicles.

These California university students and professors believe that energy conservation as well as planning for energy-smart communities are important steps we can take to reduce air pollution, resource consumption, and the release of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Researching alternative energy technologies can pave the way to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future. And it all starts at California universities, which are leading the way among green colleges!

California universities harnessing solar power
Students at Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, CA) have been hard at work raising awareness about alternative energy. Their project: creating an 800-square-foot solar home as part of the third biennial Solar Decathlon, sponsored by the Department of Energy. These California university students designed, constructed, transported, and rebuilt an energy-efficient home for the competition. Amazingly, the house is its own electrical conductor--the floors, walls, windows, and roof were designed to absorb and produce the energy needed to run the house.

These future engineers and architects spent two years working on their house, which was then brought to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and judged according to its engineering, market viability, livability, and more. Even though their team and their school were the smallest of the 20 universities in the global competition, they placed third. Never underestimate a California university!

Building sustainable energy systems at California universities
Students in the environmental resources engineering program at Humboldt State University (Arcata, CA) are also doing their part to help find a solution to the energy crisis. Through this California university's Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC), undergraduate and graduate students have the incredible opportunity to work alongside experts to design, build, operate, and demonstrate clean and sustainable energy systems.

As a matter of fact, SERC created the first fuel cell-powered car licensed to drive in the U.S., and SERC is also actively involved in helping developing countries and other American universities create their own sustainable energy programs.

If you have a passion for protecting the world in which we live, imagine what you could accomplish as a student at one of these California green colleges!

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