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College receives grant for regional sustainability center
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Community College’s Grants Office announced that the college has been awarded a one-year, $69,858 Advanced Technology Education Center Planning Grant from the National Science Foundation.
This grant will support the planning of a regional center for sustainable development education and training in the Portland area. The center will be a partnership between PCC, Lane Community College and Portland State University. The grant will spur government and industry to adopt sustainable practices in building design, construction and maintenance, energy technology, landscape technology and development-related natural resource management in urban areas of Oregon and southwest Washington.
“I’m pretty excited that PCC has been granted this opportunity to help shift the region toward smarter development and build strong partnerships with business, government agencies, and other educational institutions,” said Noelle Studer, PCC’s sustainable practices coordinator.
PCC and its partners plan to conduct a comprehensive assessment of workforce needs and research curricula. The project will also analyze and improve educational pathways from high school to two-year to four-year institutions for students, and identify professional development opportunities to support faculty in teaching sustainable development. Finally, the project will develop relevant internships for students and retention strategies for under-represented students.
“This grant is a wonderful opportunity for PCC and partners to help supplement the region’s already fine efforts in the area of sustainability,” said Tom Robertson, biology instructor and principal investigator on the grant.
When the research is complete, the project will develop a strategic business plan for the future regional center. The planning team will apply for a $3 million, four-year National Science Foundation grant to implement the regional center.
For more information about this effort, contact Tom Robertson, principle investigator, at 503-614-7033.