press release - Climate Summit

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Release Date 03-12-14

 

KVCC President to speak at Climate Solutions Expo & Summit March 12 in Augusta

 

Fairfield, ME – Dr. Richard Hopper, President of Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) will be among featured speakers at a climate change solutions summit In Augusta today, March 12.

Dr. Hopper and KVCC have joined 11 businesses and organizations in Maine to organize the Climate Solutions Expo and Summit, a day of work sessions and events showcasing responses to climate change, slated for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Augusta Civic Center, 76 Community Drive.

The full schedule of events and registration information is available online at www.climatesolutionsme.org.

“KVCC is embracing sustainability in its academic programming, in its operations, and in its ethos, and this this sustainability is linked largely to our sense of place, our responsibility to mid-Maine,” Dr. Hopper said. “Our academic programs linked to sustainability prepare our students for jobs in the energy and construction industries, but they also prepare farmers, food entrepreneurs, and early childhood development specialists who seek to connect children and families with the nature in our back yards. We are greening our operations by undergoing weatherization and making wiser energy choices. By embracing where we live, KVCC further reduces the carbon footprint of the region.”  

Moderated by President Stephen Mulkey of Unity College, the Presidents’ Summit will also include Presidents Darron Collins of the College of the Atlantic, Paul Ferguson of the University of Maine, Kathryn Foster of the University of Maine at Farmington, and Laurie Lachance of Thomas College.

Kennebec Valley Community College has a strong commitment to mitigating the effects of climate change and has increasingly factored this into decisions made in its buildings, programs, and business practices.

Energy efficiency efforts in campus buildings will reach a peak this year as KVCC opens a new 16,500 square-foot classroom and laboratory building at its Harold Alfond Campus in Hinckley that will take advantage of renewable energy technologies and efficiency strategies to become a “net zero” building.

Elsewhere, existing college buildings have been upgraded and weatherized to lower energy demands resulting in significant savings and a lower carbon footprint for the College.

KVCC’s newest programs including Maine’s first two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree in Sustainable Agriculture have been developed with the latest sustainability practices in mind to reduce or eliminate any contribution to climate change while passing these practices on to students who can apply them in their careers and lives.

KVCC also pioneered renewable energy education in Maine at the two-year college level by introducing photovoltaic system installation in its Electrical Technology program in the mid-1990s, long before such instruction had entered the mainstream.

Today, KVCC offers a wide range of credit and non-credit courses in renewable energy technology through its Energy Services and Technology Center. These include courses in small wind, solar electric, solar heating and cooling, geothermal, and biomass technologies. The College has also taken the lead role in two major U.S. Department of Energy “train the trainers” projects to educate instructors across Northeast in the latest solar electric and solar heating and cooling technologies.

KVCC is a two-campus commuter college located in Fairfield and Hinckley, Maine. It is one of seven community colleges in Maine which operate under the authority of the Maine Community College System Board of Trustees. KVCC is a public, non-profit, post-secondary institution supported in part by State legislative appropriations and federal funds.

The College offers more than 35 programs of study ranging from two-year associate degrees to certificates, as well as a comprehensive schedule of continuing education courses and business and industry outreach programs.

KVCC is now in the process of expanding operations at its Harold Alfond Campus in Hinckley where the acquisition of 600 acres of land and a number of buildings on the former central campus of the Good Will-Hinckley School in 2012 opened the door to new opportunities and programs in sustainable agriculture, culinary arts, and forestry, while alleviating space issues on its Fairfield campus.

Over the next five years, KVCC is positioning itself to become a significant part of the regional food system. In addition to a 120-acre farm on the campus, the College is planning for the development of a food processing facility that will serve as a center for innovation – a place for farmers and entrepreneurs to test and develop new products for market.

KVCC’s new Sustainable Agriculture program will also help local farmers learn innovative and sustainable techniques to expand the growing season to 365 days per year. The College will be crucial to strengthening Maine’s food-based economy and reasserting Maine’s Kennebec Valley as a major food producer. The programs in Sustainable Agriculture and other farm-to-table disciplines will energize and support these efforts and serve as a showplace and working laboratory for Maine farmers, educators, and students of all ages, from all regions of the state.

The College intends to offer programs and services not only for enrolled students, but also for Maine farmers, farm-related business owners, primary and secondary school students, and home gardeners.

KVCC will also continue to offer a wide array of degree programs in liberal arts, trades and technology, business and health professions.

For more information on KVCC go to www.kvcc.me.edu.

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