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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Down To Earth

Generation-E: Washington state rocks!

"The Pacific Northwest - greenwashing on campuses since 2009."
OK - that was harsh.  But a recent article in The Seattle Times spent a good amount of time hyping up local universities and their efforts to "woo" students by touting their "green cred".  But upon deeper reading, it became pretty evident that universities in Washington state are making it happen.  At the University of Washington, for instance, one of the few departments expanding during a time of budget cuts is the fledgling College of the Environment.  And then there are recent headlines like these: "Western Washington University Students Sweep Awards at Environmental Competition". "Princeton Review Chooses The Evergreen State College for Its 'Green Rating Honor Roll'", and "Seattle University is the greenest green campus in Washington state."
If we've learned anything over the last 20 months or so, it's that the youth voice and youth perspective is growing in both volume and effectiveness.  For local universities to be able to lure impressionable minds in with greenwashing-like goodies, then give them the tools and opportunity to craft an eco conscious, they are in the position and have the responsiblity to create the change we wall want to see in this world.  Learn more about what local universities are doing HERE. 

So you might have got to this point and said to yourself, "but what about this side of the state?"  Good news!  Washington State University was just recently named as one of the top ten clean-tech universities in the United States.  In a post on WattHead last week, the importance of clean tech was explained; "Universities and colleges have a critical role to play in accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy and reclaiming U.S. competitiveness in the global clean-tech race. Universities perform 54 percent of the nation’s basic research, a fundamental building block of the technological innovation we need to spark the clean energy revolution. Universities and colleges are the training ground for the next generation of scientists, engineers, teachers, and leaders in government and industry. And universities are the launching ground for numerous entrepreneurial ventures to bring those innovations to the marketplace."

Here's what helped land WSU at #10: With legacy expertise in agriculture, power and applied engineering, WSU’s Clean Technology program is rapidly growing in the cleantech-centric Pacific Northwest. Plant science is the engine behind the opening last year of the Bioproducts Science and Engineering Laboratory, Battelle’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratories and the recently funded Washington State Algae Alliance. One of the main objectives is the commercialization of aviation biofuels with partner Boeing Commercial Airlines. Notable cleantech spinouts: GoNano, Ajuga Biosciences, BioGasol, Schweitzer Engineering Labs, and Integrated Engineering Solutions.
See the rest of the rankings HERE. 


Down To Earth

The DTE blog is committed to reporting and sharing environmental news and sustainability information from across the Inland Northwest.