The UMass Dartmouth Sustainability Initiative encompasses more than robust academics and research. It also hosts far-reaching projects designed to deepen the discourse about sustainability challenges and solutions. All of our current projects are focused on the sharing of information and ideas across communities.
Funded by a 2-year, $1 million grant from the Department of Energy, we've created an indoor work space with a mock building that will be used to train underemployed and unemployed local workers to provide energy efficiency services. We plan to use other areas in this work space for community meetings on sustainability learning and planning. We also envision a lending library for green building equipment, sustainaiblity literature, software and videos. Another initiatiative of ours would establish a public marketplace for fishermen, farmers, sustainability service and craft vendors.
Southeastern Massachusetts boasts a Regional Sustainability Council with representatives from 27 cities and towns. This Council meets quarterly to explore challenges and opportunities for sustainable advancement. The Council provides real-life challenges for UMass student interns, and benefits from access to University resource. The UMass Dartmouth Director of the Office of Campus and Community Sustainability co-chairs this council.
As one of the world's top educational institutions as noted in 2010 by the London Times, UMass Dartmouth is becoming a hub for International Partnerships for sustainability ventures. From India to the United Kingdom, we're in discussion around the globe to collaborate on projects that will make a difference in the complex systemic dilemmas that we're confronting with climate change, peak oil, population growth, and other looming global challenges.