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05/04/2017

Caltech Annual Bike to Work Day 2017

On Thursday May 18, 2017 Caltech Security/Commuter Services invite you to celebrate bicycling as a clean, fun, and healthy way to get to work. Ride your bike to campus on Bike to Work Day for a free breakfast while supplies last.

Thursday May 18, 2017

9:00 am-11:00 am

Sustainability Park located on Wilson Ave.

Free breakfast while supplies last

May is Bike Month, and your Southern California's transportation agencies are rolling out special events all month long. Upcoming activities include free fares on transit for bicyclists, group rides, prizes, rallies and dozens of "pit stops" where cyclists can stop along the commute for refreshments and more.

For additional events going on around Caltech see links below:

Los Angeles

Metrolink http://www.metrolinktrains.com

Metro:https://www.metro.net/riding/bikes/

Orange

http://www.octa.net/Bike/Overview/

Riverside/San Bernardino

http://gohumansocal.org

http://www.omnitrans.org/

https://www.ie511.org/iecommuter/

Ventura

https://www.goventura.org/

For additional information contact Kristina Valenzuela, Alternative Transportation Administrator,  Kristina.Valenzuela@caltech.edu.

02/06/2017

400 Year Old Engelmann Oak Tree Notification

Since last summer Caltech Facilities has received numerous inquiries asking whether or not Caltech's landmark 400 year old Engelmann oak tree has finally died. Anyone who grew up here in Southern California or who has been on campus long enough will already guess the correct answer to that question is 'It's hard to know.' During long periods of drought it is common for native oaks to suddenly turn completely brown, drop all their leaves, and go dormant; appearing completely dead until without warning green shoots reappear in the treetops once the rains begin again. Just like the slow, measured, metabolism which results in an oak's ironlike hardwood, testing for mortality in oaks is a slow process measuring different parts of the multiple trunks, canopy, and what are known as 'buttress roots.'

During the January meeting of the Trustee's Council on Institute Sustainability [CIS] their Oak Tree Task Force reported conclusive findings that the tree no longer supports enough viable tissue to recover, and so the council has formally declared the tree to be dead. As a venerable local landmark centuries before Caltech first built on this acreage in 1910 it will be sadly missed by many of us here on campus and our alumni, by our Pasadena and San Marino neighbors, and by all those campus visitors over its most recent century who have had their pictures taken under those massive branches outside Parsons-Gates.

Readers of the Caltech Ion's October 15, 2016 announcement will already know that 'the old oak by the chemistry building,' as it was referred to by students in Caltech first 1919-20 yearbook, was badly damaged by the big windstorm a few years ago, further weakened by sustained drought, and had recently been under treatment for a fungal infection.

In the case of an oak estimated to be more than 400 years old, it will not be a simple matter of chopping the tree down and replacing it with a fresh sapling from the local nursery. Arthur Fleming, who donated the land in 1908, was a lumberman and tree expert so the original campus master plan was designed around this tree as a central feature of the site. It will take both planning and consideration of the many variables involved to adjust the landscape to this loss while making proper use of as much of the remaining tree debris as we reasonably can. Samples for scientific study have already been requested from the Division of Geology and Planetary Sciences, as well as local and regional government agencies.

CIS, tasked with long term issues of resource use and campus infrastructure, formed the Oak Tree Task Force at the beginning of Fall Term with the expectation that the process of tree removal and regeneration of the site will take roughly a year. Already they are planning to use historical, scientific, and cultural data from the tree as the basis of a series of programs for Caltech's annual Earth Week and Arbor Day events; are working with the Office of the President to plan a ceremonial 'first cut' potentially during Alumni Weekend in May; while facilities staff are negotiating with a specialty arborist to fully dissect the tree starting after commencement.

It is anticipated that many of you will want to learn more about these plans and to make comments on the future use of both the tree remains and the location, so CIS will hold a campus wide Town Hall meeting as its first program on Wednesday, February 15 at noon in the Avery Dining Hall. The Oak Tree Task Force will post updated content as it become available on the www.sustainability.caltech.edu website and will accept all comments by email at sustainability@caltech.edu.

 

John Onderdonk
on behalf of the Council on Institute Sustainability

02/03/2016

Parking Lot #7 Closed until May 31

Beginning February 1, parking lot #7 (behind the Center for Student Services) will be closed to commuter and carpool parking through May 31.  

This closure is necessary to accommodate the installation of a large chilled water line under the parking lot. The Holliston parking garage will not be affected.

During the closure, additional parking will be available at the following locations:

  • Parking structure #1 (341 Wilson Ave)
  • Parking structure #3 (1248 California)

For questions regarding the closure, please contact Todd Swart at x5989, or Ben Smith at x 4190

10/27/2015

Mandatory Transportation Survey

In accordance with the South Coast Air Quality Management District's regional clean air quality requirements, Caltech conducts an annual mandatory survey of employee commute modes for a one-wek period. This year's survey asks questions about the week of October 19, 2015 through October 23, 2015.

This simple online survey takes only about two minutes of your time.

Complete the survey here: https://ridelinks.com/es254_800387.htm

Choose "Off" if you were not scheduled to work. If you select vacation, sick or a compressed work schedule, you must still enter the time you would have come to work.

Those who complete their surveys by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 6, 2015 will be entered in a drawing to win a $150 gift card!

If you have any questions or experience difficulty completing your survey, please contact Kristina Valenzuela.

04/14/2014

Caltech Earth Week Events

Join Caltech Sustainability for a week of informative and inspiring events in celebration of Earth Day (April 21 - April 25). We have lots of events planned during the week including lunchtime speaker seminars (lunch included), an informative presentation about proposed changes to the Sacramento San-Joaquin River Delta – the epicenter of California's water challenge, updates on climate change effects in California, and much more! Click here for the schedule of events for the week.

We hope to see you there! Contact sustainability@caltech.edu with any questions!

04/08/2014

Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta: The Epicenter of California's Water Challenge

Caltech Earth Week Speaker Series: Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta: The Epicenter of California's Water Challenge

Join us for a riveting discussion on the complexity of the proposed changes to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the hub of California's water system. The Delta presents what is arguably California's most important test of successfully managing change in order to address the needs of the environment, economy and local communities simultaneously.

Curt Schmutte, civil engineer, consultant to the Metropolitan Water District and senior authority on California's water supply, will take us through the region's unique ecosystem and diverse recreational and agricultural economy. The challenges of the region range from declining health of fish species, island subsidence, potential levee failure, predicted sea level rise, water quality degradation and urbanization.

All members of the community are welcome to attend.

When: Monday, April 21, 2014 4:30pm-6:00pm
Where: Ramo Auditorium

For more information on the event, click here.

Sponsored by Sustainability Programs
sustainability@caltech.edu
www.sustainability.caltech.edu

04/08/2014

California's Drought: why, when and how long?

Caltech Earth Week Speaker Series: California's Drought - why, when and how long?

After three consecutive years of below-normal rainfall, California faces its most severe drought emergency in decades. Dr. William (Bill) Patzert, a JPL scientist and often called the "Prophet of California climate", will discuss just what's behind our current drought -- the why, when and how long.

The current reality: Governor Jerry Brown has called for Californians to voluntarily reduce water use by 20 percent. Mandatory rationing could be ordered soon so that homes, businesses and farms don't run dry over the summer. Wildfire danger is unusually high. How did we get into this drought? In part, blame it on the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, or "PDO", a slowly oscillating pattern of sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. At the moment, the PDO is in its negative phase—a condition historically linked to extreme high-pressure ridges that block West Coast storms and give the Midwest and East Coast punishing winters. "California's history is written in great droughts," Patzert says. To find out how long this drought will last, attend his talk!

All members of the community are welcome to attend. Lunch provided.

When: Monday, April 22, 2014 12:00pm-1:00pm
Where: Noyes 153

For more information on the event, click here.

Sponsored by Sustainability Programs
sustainability@caltech.edu
www.sustainability.caltech.edu

04/03/2014

Caltech Earth Week Speaker Series: The Epicenter of California's Water Challenge

Join us for a riveting discussion on the complexity of the proposed changes to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the hub of California's water system. The Delta presents what is arguably California's most important test of successfully managing change in order to address the needs of the environment, economy and local communities simultaneously.

Curt Schmutte, civil engineer, consultant to the Metropolitan Water District and senior authority on California's water supply, will take us through the region's unique ecosystem and diverse recreational and agricultural economy. The challenges of the region range from declining health of fish species, island subsidence, potential levee failure, predicted sea level rise, water quality degradation and urbanization.

All members of the community are welcome to attend.

When: Monday, April 21, 2014 4:30pm-6:00pm

Where: Ramo Auditorium

For more information on the event, click here.

Sponsored by Sustainability Programs
sustainability@caltech.edu
www.sustainability.caltech.edu

04/12/2013

Free Public Discussion with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Join us for an inspiring look into the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Doulaye Kone, Senior Program Officer for Sanitation Technologies and Tools, will discuss the Foundation's focus area and types of projects, with details on the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programs he oversees. This discussion will address the interconnection between public health and environmental quality challenges the developing world faces as a direct result of poor sanitation facilities. Question and answer session following the presentation.

Monday, April 22nd, 5:30pm-8:00pm (parking free after 5pm)
Hameetman Auditorium, Cahill Center
Keynote Speaker: Doulaye Kone, Senior Program Officer for Sanitation Technologies and Tools at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Refreshments, 5:30pm
Keynote Speaker, 6:10pm
Discussion, Q & A, 7:10 pm

Click here for the event flyer.

RSVP to kvanabel@caltech.edu or sustainability@caltech.edu for planning purposes.

04/12/2013

The Inside Story of Climate Science: Thin Ice - Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Join us on 4/24/13 for a film screening of Thin Ice, a film that explores the mulitdisciplinary fields of climate change study through the eyes of the scientists seeking to better understand our planet's changing climate. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with:

  • Erik Conway, author of Merchants of Doubt
  • Jess Adkins, Caltech Professor in Paleoclimate & Oceanography
  • Annmarie Eldering, JPL scientist, Deputy Project Scientist for Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2)
  • Eric Rignot, JPL & UCIrvine Professor in Glaciology

The screening and panel discussion will be held at the Cahill Hameetman Auditorium starting at 6:45pm 4/24/13. Free food and drinks!

Click here for the event flyer.

RSVP to kvanabel@caltech.edu or sustainability@caltech.edu for planning purposes.

Event sponsored by ESE and the Graduate Student Council

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