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University of Maine at Presque Isle Honored with National Climate Leadership Award

Friday, 22 October 2010

The University of Maine at Presque Isle has received the inaugural 2010 Second Nature Leadership Award for Institutional Excellence in Climate Leadership in the public baccalaureate category. The award was presented at the 4th Annual Climate Leadership Summit of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) held in Denver, Colorado.

"We are highly honored to have Second Nature recognize our commitment to environmentally responsible activities from among the 674 ACUPCC signatories," said University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) President Donald N. Zillman. "It is especially exciting to be recognized for institutional excellence and share the 2010 awards platform with other category winners including Cornell, Penn, the University of California-San Diego, Dickinson College, Warren Wilson College, The Alamo Community College District, and Pasadena City College."

"I commend the University of Maine Presque Isle for the steps they have taken to address climate change, and congratulate them on receiving recognition outside of the State for their pursuit of renewable, sustainable energy," said Governor Baldacci. "Maine is proud to lead the way toward a new energy future that is more stable and secure and that has the promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, grow our economy and create good paying jobs."

The Second Nature Leadership Awards recognize the best examples of climate leadership activity among the ACUPCC membership. In recognizing UMPI, Second Nature highlighted the University's installation of its mid-size wind turbine on campus, the first university in the state to install one, in 2009. The installation has produced over 800,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity since its installation, creating energy savings, as well as a significant reduction in the campus' carbon footprint. The educational mission of UMPI has also been enhanced as the turbine installation is integrated into curriculum at both the university and local community college, plus it serves as a community resource.

"We are proud of UMPI's commitment to sustainability and the education of students and the community about it," noted University of Maine System Chancellor Richard L. Pattenaude. "In addition, this project helps the environment, provides a meaningful reduction in the campus' annual electric expense, and collaborates with Northern Maine Community College. What more can you ask for in one project?"

Pattenaude also offered his thanks and congratulations to President Zillman, as well as to UMPI's faculty and staff, for their leadership on this issue.

"The State of Maine is well-represented in the ACUPCC," noted Zillman, " with all campuses of the University of Maine System, Bowdoin, Bates, and Colby, and such environmentally conscious schools as College of the Atlantic and Unity College, participating. In the crucial areas of sustainability, promotion of renewable energy, and control of carbon fuel consumption, our actions reflect our State motto – Dirigo."

Second Nature is a supporting organization of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which was launched in 2007 in an effort to engage college and university leadership in addressing climate issues. ACUPCC is currently a network of 674 educational institutions, representing all fifty states and the District of Columbia. The organization includes a broad range of American universities and colleges such as Duke, George Washington, North Carolina, Brandeis, Ohio State, California, Bryn Mawr, Colgate, Middlebury, Rice, and Smith.

For more information, contact the University's Community and Media Relations Office at 768-9452.