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Garden of Ideas: UAB and Sustainability

  • July 24, 2014
Julie Price, inaugural sustainability coordinator and UAB alumna, is out to prove that sustainability is more than recycling or switching off lights when you leave a room, and that the benefits go far beyond the bottom line and good public relations.
Julie PriceJulie Price admits that her mind has been in the gutter lately. That's because she’s figuring out how to funnel the abundant rain that falls upon UAB and repurpose it for watering campus green spaces. “It doesn’t make sense to spend time and money to clean water for drinking and then throw it out on the lawn,” says Price, appointed UAB’s inaugural sustainability coordinator in 2013. “We’re taking a different stance and treating stormwater like a resource.”

She also intends to maximize UAB’s other natural resources — namely, the bright ideas of its students and employees and the power of its research — to make UAB a greener, more efficient university. The results could ripple out into Birmingham as well, inspiring changes that lead to a more livable community for everyone to enjoy.

Price, a Kentucky native and UAB alumna, originally came to Birmingham to study how vegetation on campus roofs affects energy and water use. She earned her PhD from UAB's celebrated Department of Biology. Today, she’s out to prove that sustainability is more than recycling or switching off lights when you leave a room, and that the benefits go far beyond the bottom line and good public relations.