Although an institution's nitrogen footprint attracts less press than its carbon footprint, the former is nonetheless vitally important to achieving comprehensive sustainability goals. While colleges and universities have recognized the impact of their operations on global climate, few, as yet, have given consideration to their contributions to amplification of the nitrogen cycle. The Nitrogen Footprint tool, developed and first applied by scientists at the University of Virginia, is now being tested and applied in collaboration with UVA at Brown, Colorado State, Dickinson College, Eastern Mennonite, the Marine Biological Lab, and the University of New Hampshire. This is the first multi-institution comparison of N-footprints and implementation of strategies for reducing footprints.
IBES Fellow Meredith Hastings will present Brown University's Nitrogen Footprint at the 2015 Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) conference in Minneapolis this week. In the presentation, Hastings and other representatives of the the Nitrogen Footprint Project's first cohort will describe the calculation tool, research methods, and roles of students in the research, present results for their respective institutions, discuss the implications, and invite the audience to share ideas for reducing nitrogen footprints.