Chill Out 2009

Eight colleges and universities from across the United States won national recognition in the National Wildlife Federation's annual competition, Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming. This award program is the nation's only campus competition to promote sustainability and honor U.S. schools that are advancing creative solutions to global warming on their campuses.

Environmental visionaries and advocates from higher education and the entertainment industry came together to celebrate the leadership of these campuses in a 30-minute webcast. The colleges also received a monetary award from the National Wildlife Federation.

"The scientific consensus points overwhelmingly to the need to dramatically curb our global warming pollution in the U.S. by 80 percent or more by 2050 or sooner," said Julian Keniry, Director of Campus and Community Leadership for the National Wildlife Federation. "We applaud these campuses for innovating the technical, design and behavioral shifts necessary to meet this daunting goal. Policy solutions alone are not enough; they must be informed by the unique melding of applied research, student energy, and willingness to experiment, all characteristic of our nation's best colleges and universities."

Chill Out participants have demonstrated effective solutions to global warming. Some treat the campus as a student laboratory for green education and training; others reach out to form supportive relationships with the surrounding community, green their transportation systems, and offer incentives to students to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"This competition and the creativity it represents will be a key part of how we can create a better world: a world with a vibrant, sustainable economy and a healthy earth for all future generations," said former Vice President and Nobel Laureate, Al Gore.

2009 Webcast

The 2009 Chill Out webcast was shot by world-renowned cinematographer Eric Adkins ("Sky Captain & The World Of Tomorrow"), directed by Melissa Balin ("Green Means Go"), and produced by Melinda Esquibel of Mundo Maravilla, Carey Stanton of National Wildlife Federation, and Balin and was nominated by The Imagen Foundation for its positive portrayals of Latinos and Latino culture in entertainment.

The webcast features an all-star cast of students, faculty and staff from the winning campuses and a broad range of advocates and activists in today's environmental movement, including:

  • Academy Award-Winning producer Lawrence Bender

  • Actor Courtney Gains ("Sibling Rivalry")

  • Musician and composer Ethan Gold

  • Comedian and host of Planet Green's "Wa$ted" Annabelle Gurwitch

  • Musician Nick Jago

  • Actor Efren Ramirez ("Napoleon Dynamite")

  • Actor Alisa Reyes (Nick's "All That")

  • Founder and CEO of Greg Selkoe

  • Director, screenwriter and actress Angela Shelton

  • Actor and stuntman Isaac Singleton, Jr.

  • Producer, first president of eBay and founder of Participant Media Jeff Skoll

  • Tony-Award-winning poet "Poetri" Smith

  • Actor Douglas Spain (HBO's "Walkabout")

  • Actor Michael Welch ("Twilight")

  • Actor Jose Yenque ("Traffic")

  • Actor Shawn-Caulin Young ("Dreams and Shadows")

  • Austin band The Steps

The webcast is a low carbon footprint production, going well beyond the industry's sustainable filmmaking guidelines, and has been recognized by the Environmental Media Association's Green Seal Program for using the film industry's best environmental practices. The production used the Red Camera--a 4K camera system that is filmless and tapeless, cabling directly into a hard drive, eliminating wasted film, tape, and chemicals. The lighting was Lite Panels' LED system, and the lights and production were powered by solar energy thanks to a solar generator provided by Pure Power Distribution and a portable solar-capturing tent from FTL Solar. Even the teleprompters were made from recycled materials!

National Wildlife Federation was thrilled to be nominated by The Imagen Foundation, which strives to bridge the gap between the Latino community and the entertainment industry. The Campus Ecology Program acknowledges the importance of diverse campus communities coming together in the fight for climate action and considers the Chill Out competition a valuable tool in cultivating a diverse group of youth leaders.

The program was part of Earth Day-related events scheduled at more than 275 college campuses, high schools, and organizations nationwide and abroad.

2009 Winners

Grand Prize Winner

Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Buzzards Bay, MA
The prestigious award was given to Massachusetts Maritime Academy for its efforts to recognize the necessity to introduce sustainability issues into the college curriculum. The Academy emphasizes practical, hands-on education that reinforces the use of emerging technologies on the campus and outside the classroom. Current Academy initiatives include expanded coursework that implements new sustainable energy modules, production of 20 percent of campus electricity with wind energy, and the phasing in of campus hybrid vehicles.

Chill Out Winners

California State University, Long Beach, CA
The state of California has partnered with energy provider SunEdison to bring affordable solar power to the California State University system. These installations will create a zero-emission, 8 MW solar photovoltaic power system, estimated to cut 9,485 metric tons of carbon dioxide. This amount is equivalent to removing 48,937 cars from the road over the life of the energy contract. The California State University system also purchases up to 20 percent of its electricity from green sources.

California State University-Northridge Northridge, CA
CSU-Northridge has a 1 MW fuel cell power plant that is the largest installation at any university in the world. The ultra-clean plant produces 18 percent of the campus's electricity, and simultaneously eliminates costs associated heating, cooling, and maintenance. Fuel cells produce electricity with nearly zero particulate emissions since no combustion takes place. The energy performance gains made possible by the fuel cell installation will save operational expenses and reduce the campus's environment impact for the next quarter decade.

Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
Humboldt State has made alternative transportation a viable option. One of the university's most helpful and innovative projects is the "Jack Pass", an unlimited ride bus pass for all Humboldt students. The proposal was first drafted by the Green Wheels student group to devise and implement an innovative transportation initiative. Since implementing Jack Pass, the Redwood Transit Service announced a 30 percent increase in ridership, which translates to huge reductions in the county's carbon footprint. After the introduction of the Jack Pass, 526 fewer parking permits were sold on the campus which eliminates the need to construct a new multilevel parking structure.

Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT
As a result of student activism, the Board of Trustees set an ambitious goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2016. Middlebury chose to reduce its carbon footprint by building a biomass gasification plant fueled by local woodchips, and projections show that the new plant will pay for itself about halfway through its 25 year life expectancy. The biomass plant is a giant, complex version of a household woodstove that will help the campus cut its carbon dioxide output by 40 percent, and reduce fuel oil use by 50 percent.

Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH
Oberlin, Ohio has used its climate neutral mandate to forge novel alliances between students, college activists and local citizens. The campus has worked to offset 13 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions and save community members $715,000 in utility bills. Oberlin spearheaded a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) exchange called the Light Bulb Brigade. With the help of a donation of 10,000 CFLs, and project preparation in an environmental studies course, the campus worked with local organizations and churches to exchange bulbs with 650 homes. The Light Bulb Brigade achieved an estimated total reduction of 6,400 tons of carbon dioxide over the life of the bulbs.

Video Award Winners

The video winners were selected by the online community through a voting process on

Longwood University, Farmville, VA
This public institution uses a steam plant that burns sawdust from local saw mills, providing 80 percent of its heat and hot water. The trayless dining hall reduces food waste by 2 tons per month, and the school's health and fitness center is LEED gold certified. Among Longwood's most innovative solution to reduce waste includes the athletic field press boxes that are made from recycled shipping containers.

University of California-San Diego, San Diego, CA
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The video details how the campus saves $12 million dollars a year on energy efficiency and savings. The campus presents many innovative solutions like how it houses computers and servers in climate controlled boxes instead of buildings, collects data with student-built weather stations to increase climate control efficiency, and the school is currently researching pond scum as a biofuel source.

2009 Hosts

The following campuses, high schools and businesses hosted events to watch the 2009 Chill Out webcast.

  • Agnus Dei Academy
  • Allegheny College
  • Allston Development Group - Harvard University
  • Alvernia University
  • ARAMARK/University of Pennsylvania
  • Arnkansas State University
  • Associated Students of Michigan State University
  • Auburn University
  • Augsburg College
  • Azusa Pacific University
  • Ball State University
  • Bayard Rustin Education Complex
  • Baylor University
  • Benedictine University
  • Benjamin Banneker Senior Academic High School
  • Bloomsburg University
  • Brandeis University
  • Brevard College
  • Brookdale Community College
  • Burlington County College
  • Caldwell Community Collge & Technical Institute
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
  • California State University Dominguez Hills
  • California State University Fullterton
  • California State University Monterey Bay
  • California State University Northridge
  • Capital University
  • Cascades Academy of Central Oregon
  • CDW-G
  • Chaffey College
  • Charles University Prague
  • Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology
  • Clinton School of Public Service
  • Colgate University
  • College of Southern Nevada
  • Colorado State University
  • Community College of Allegheny County
  • Concordia University
  • Consigli Construction Co, Inc.
  • Cornell University
  • Creighton University
  • Daytona State College
  • De Anza College
  • De La Salle North Catholic HS
  • Delta College
  • Dent Middle School
  • Doane College
  • East Stroudsburg University
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Eastern Mennonite University
  • Eastern Oregon University
  • Elon University
  • EnergyClimate Solutions
  • Everest University
  • Evergreen State College
  • Fairfield University
  • Fanning Howey
  • Fleming College
  • Florida International University
  • Foothill Community college
  • Fresno City College
  • Fullerton College
  • Galen University
  • George Mason University
  • Georgetown University
  • Good Counsel High School
  • Goucher College
  • Grand Rapids Community College
  • Hawaii Community College
  • Hendrix College
  • Henry Ford Comm. College
  • Hesston College
  • Hollins University
  • Howard Community College
  • Humboldt State University
  • Huntington University
  • Illinois State University
  • Indian River State College
  • Indiana State University
  • Indiana University
  • Indiana University Bloomington
  • Indiana University South Bent
  • Itasca Community College
  • Johnson IB World School
  • Kentucky Community and Technical College Phi Theta Kappa
  • LaGrange College
  • Lancaster Bible College
  • Lane Community College
  • Lansing Community College
  • Largo High School
  • Lawrence Technological University
  • Lewis and Clark College
  • Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School
  • Living Earth
  • Longwood University
  • Loophole Entertainment
  • Lorain County Community College
  • Luna Community College
  • Madison Area Technical College
  • Madonna University
  • Marist College
  • Mars Hill College
  • Massachusetts Maritime Academy
  • Massasoit Community College
  • McGill University
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • Memphis Light, Gas and Water
  • Mercer University
  • Mesa Community College
  • Metropolitan Community College
  • Miami International University of Art & Design
  • Miami Uinversity
  • Michigan State University
  • Middlebury College
  • Mississippi State University
  • Missouri State University
  • Monroe Community College
  • Montgomery College
  • Montgomery County Community College
  • Mt. Juliet High School
  • National Association of College and University Business Officers
  • Nash Community College
  • Nashville State Community College
  • Neumann College
  • North Dakota State Uniuversity
  • North Seattle Community College
  • Northeastern University
  • Northern Virginia Community College
  • Northwood University
  • NW Sust. Energy for Econ. Devel.
  • Oak Grove high school
  • Oakland Community College
  • Oakland Community College-Royal Oak & Southfield
  • Oakland Schools Tech. Campus SW
  • Oberlin College
  • Ohio University
  • Ohio University Southern
  • Ohlone College
  • Oklahoma State
  • Olive Havey College
  • Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Pace University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Phoenix College
  • Pine Technical College
  • Plymouth State University
  • Prescott College
  • Prince William Sound Community College
  • Project Adventure, Inc.
  • Prospect Mt. High School
  • Providence College
  • Purdue North Central
  • Pure Power Distribution
  • Rice University
  • Rider University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Rockbridge County High School
  • Rowland Hall
  • Sacred Heart University
  • Saint Peter's College
  • Sam Houston State University
  • Seattle Pacific University
  • Seattle University
  • Southwest Minnesota State University
  • Southwestern University
  • Spartanburg Community College
  • Spelman College
  • St. Edward's University
  • Stanford University
  • Stanly Community College
  • State University of New York Oneonta
  • State University of New York Upstate Medical University
  • Stephen F. Austin State University
  • Stonehill College
  • Suffolk County Community College
  • Synapse Strategies
  • Tarrant County College Northeast Campus
  • Temple University
  • Temple University HSC
  • Texas A&M International University
  • Texas A&M University
  • Texas Christian University
  • The Art Institute of Vancouver
  • Towson University
  • Trinity Washington University
  • Tufts University
  • University at Buffalo
  • University of Akron
  • University of Bologna
  • University of California Irvine
  • University of California Irvine
  • University of California Los Angeles
  • University of California San Diego
  • University of California, Irvien
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of Central Oklahoma
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Dayton
  • University of Denver
  • University of Florida
  • University of Florida
  • University of Illinois - Champaign Urbana
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  • University of North Carolina Charlotte
  • University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • University of North Florida
  • University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Tennessee Knoxville
  • University of Texas
  • University of Texas at Arlington
  • University of Utah
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Upper Iowa University
  • VelvetIllusion Literary Magazine
  • Vincennes University Jasper Campus
  • Walla Walla Community College
  • Warren Wilson College
  • Washington & Jefferson College
  • Wayne County Community College District
  • Wayne Stae University
  • Waynesburg University
  • Wenatchee Valley College
  • West Shore Community College
  • Westchester Community College
  • Westwood High School
  • Whitworth University
  • Youngstown State University

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Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. The National Wildlife Federation is on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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