Northeast Sustainable Energy Association Conference 2010
"On March 9, 2011 I attended the Opening Keynote Speaker presentation and Educator Summit of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association's (NESEA) 2011 Building Energy Conference at the Seaport World Trade Center. I have to admit the most impressive part of the conference to me was the Keynote Address by David Orr of Oberlin College. Apparently Mr. Orr is well known and highly respected in the area of advocating for sustainability and as an orator. He was very impressive and learning about what Oberlin College is doing, including working with the community and businesses to create new commerce activity and job opportunities all with the goal of sustainability at the forefront is impressive to say the least.
The first breakout session I attended for the Educators Summit was titled Green School Solutions presented by Susy Jones and Carolyn Sarno of Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership. The focus of the presentation was on the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) standard for building new or adapting old schools to meet or exceed requirements for Green Schools. The presentation was very informative with regard to what several schools across the New England region have done. Further the presentation talked about the impact the changes had on student attitudes towards the buildings (for example, less graffiti) and how they begin adopting sustainability into the curriculum and into clubs at the school. I was impressed with the content, the questions asked by attendees, and the knowledge the presenters possessed. I believe some of these ideas could be incorporated into what Bunker Hill Community College does in terms of engaging students to modify behavior and in terms of modifying our buildings to decrease our negative environmental impact.
The second breakout session I attend was called Building as a Teaching Tool. I should preface my statements here by saying that this isn't the session I wanted to attend. I had registered for Energy Intelligence which would have been perfect given my mini grant focused on energy consumptions by computers and other electronic devices. However, the session was booked by the time the registration reach NESEA. So, Building as a Teaching Tool was presented by Indigo Raffel of Conservation Consultants, Inc.
Ms. Raffel works in a zero net energy building in Pittsburgh. The presentation showed promise initially. She asked us to complete a survey to determine how many earths we would need to sustain us if everyone behaved like you do. The survey was great, it is available online, and as such I think I might use this with students. However, after the survey, the session held little else of value for me. The rest of the session focused on what she was doing in her building and how to apply it to other buildings. I failed to see how she was using building as a teaching tool.
Overall, I felt the conference was a positive experience and overall well done. Unfortunately, I didn't get as much out of the conference as I would have liked in terms of energy conservation as it relates to my mini grant because of being locked out of the Energy Intelligence session."