Alamo Colleges is dedicated to becoming a sustainable institution in several aspects, incorporating programs such as greenhouse gas emission reduction, energy conservation, water conservation, and indoor air quality monitoring. The college is in the process of licensing an AMS Climate Studies course. Outside of the classroom, Alamo Colleges is working with a local electrical utility company and has successfully curtailed electric load at peak times during summer months. The community sustainability center, the EcoCentro, also offers a workshop for both students and the public on various aspects of sustainability. As stated in the EcoCentro’s mission, they are aiming to “provide the information needed to foster the adoption of more environmentally sustainable practices.”
In connection with Alamo College’s work to create educational opportunities in the classroom, the college is working toward obtaining licensing to offer the AMS Climate Studies course in at least one of their colleges, San Antonio College. This course is an introductory climate science course that will introduce students to the various elements of the Earth’s climate system and was prepared by meteorologists and climatologists who have been nationally recognized in atmospheric education. This new course offering will allow Alamo Colleges to offer another option in STEM related courses for students, resulting in expanding their interests in education and career goals in geoscience.
Alamo Colleges also continues in its efforts outside of the classroom with regular sustainability workshops offered by their EcoCentro center at San Antonio College. These workshops are free and open to students as well as to the public and include such topics as conserving energy in the home; indoor plants including herbs and flowers suitable for apartment living in a big city; achieving affordable energy efficiency; cooling a home with landscaping; and landscaping for water management. All workshops offer practical, realistic and local approaches to sustainability.
This summer will be the third year that Alamo Colleges has entered an agreement with the local electrical utility company, CPS Energy, to participate in its Commercial & Industrial Demand Response program. This is a voluntary program that pays incentives to commercial and industrial customers for curtailing electric load at peak times during the summer months. At its sole discretion, CPS Energy calls for load curtailments to achieve operating, reliability, and/or economic purposes. Alamo Colleges has designated a total curtailment load of 1200 kW for all five of its college sites from June 1 to September 30, 2015.