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"Sustainability, in a broad sense, touches upon virtually all aspects of the research enterprise at Penn State and is a principal driver behind our most noteworthy and important research pursuits. "
Interim Vice President, Research


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These Penn State programs are designed to deliver transformative educational experiences that prepare participants to become leaders of positive change—in their studies, their workplaces, and their personal lives.

AIHI logoAmerican Indian Housing Initiative: AIHI was established in 2001 and is the flagship service learning program of the Sustainability Institute at Penn State. This collaborative research and education program focuses on the application of sustainable building technologies such as strawbale construction solar energy systems and residential energy assessments on American Indian Reservations.

Community GardenCommunity Gardens at Penn State: The community garden site provides students and community members the chance to attend workshops and put in practice local and organic food production methods. Currently, more than 100 gardeners practice sustainable and organic gardening techniques on this site.

Dow logoDow SISCA: The Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA) recognizes and rewards students and universities for their innovation and research of sustainable solutions to the world's most pressing social, economic and environmental problems.

Careers ImageEducation Abroad: Programs with an emphasis on sustainability and environmental issues offered through the University Office of Global Programs.

GridStarGridSTAR Center: The Grid Smart Training and Application Resource (GridSTAR ) Center’s mission is to provide continuing education and train-the-trainer programs in advanced power systems design, energy economics, cyber security, distributed energy systems and building-vehicle-grid systems. The Center also complements the new Clean Energy Application Center and Solar Education and Training Centers initiated by Penn State in 2009.

HyRES LabHyRES Lab: The Hybrid and Renewable Energy Systems (HyRES) lab is a new facility on the Penn State University campus and the Penn State Sustainability Institute. The HyRES lab is utilized to study energy related technologies and strategies on the residential scale.

Minor in Sustainability Leadership: The Intercollegiate Minor in Sustainability Leadership, administered by a committee of faculty from across the colleges and campuses of the university, is offered for students in any major who wish to integrate social, economic, and environmental concepts of sustainability into their degree program.

MorningStar Solar HomeMorningStar Solar Home: The MorningStar Solar Home is a net-zero home: it produces as much (and even more) energy as it consumes. It is currently used in sustainable housing education efforts through research and outreach activities. The MorningStar Solar Home is about to be integrated in the Penn State HyRES Lab and will serve as a residence for a graduate student to test the house systems in real life conditions.

National Energy Leadership Corps: This is a consortium of universities and industries whose purpose is to train and mobilize a cadre of energy savvy student leaders. The NELC student assessors provide effective leadership education and energy assessments to furnish implementation plans for U.S. homeowners interested in saving energy and money.

Northern Mid-Atlantic Solar Education and Resource Center: By engaging a broad spectrum of stakeholders, the Pennsylvania State University’s Mid-Atlantic Solar Resource and Training Center supports a comprehensive training infrastructure for design, installation, commissioning, service and sales of both solar PV and solar heating and cooling technologies.

Renewable Energy for Central America: "RECA" is a Student Chapter of the National Electrical Contractor Association. This international service program was created to foster clean energy solutions in communities of Central America.