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GREENING THE BERKELEY SCIENC REVIEW FINAL REPORT

Project Team: Sebastien Lounis, Ally Berke, Anna Schneider, Mary Grace Lin, Christopher Smallwood, Anna Goldstein Project Title: Greening the Berkeley Science Review Project Sponsor: Berkeley Science Review Project Summary: a) Project goals: For the last 12 years the Berkeley Science Review (BSR, sciencereview.berkeley.edu) has brought UC Berkeley’s most compelling, controversial, and quirky scientific innovations to the campus community and beyond. Written and produced on a volunteer basis entirely by students, the BSR has won numerous awards for content and design including being named the 2008 Best Publication and 2012 Best Magazine by the UC Berkeley Publication Awards. In an effort to reduce the environmental impact of our magazine and demonstrate leadership in sustainability among student publications, the proposed project set out to: 1) Shift the printing of our issues to 55% recycled paper. 2) Purchase carbon offsets to displace the greenhouse gas emissions generated by production and shipping of the magazine. 3) Organize a sustainability workshop for campus publications to share the results of our project. 4) Update the BSR website to allow articles to be displayed in HTML format.

b) Accomplishments and successes: Aided by the TGIF grant, we were able to shift the paper source for all of our issues to greater than 55% post-consumer waste (PCW) paper, which is the highest standard for recycled paper. We printed the spring 2012 issue of the BSR on 55% recycled paper (30% PCW), and the fall 2012 and spring 2013 issues of the BSR on 60% PCW paper. Using a Wordpress plugin called IssueM (issuem.com), we released the Spring 2013 issue in an HTML format, with an easily-to-browse table of contents. We hired an


undergraduate intern to import the past four issues from the archives. The new format for the online magazine articles was unveiled with great success on April 29, 2013. On April 29th, we held a workshop at the Graduate Assembly to share our experiences with the wider publishing community. The workshop served as a springboard for future plans and discussions regarding sustainable publishing at UC Berkeley.

c) Challenges and obstacles: In switching from standard paper to the new 60% PCW paper, we decided to change to a smaller paper supplier, and our printing costs accordingly went up by 35-50%. Because of this, there was not enough money in the TGIF grant to purchase carbon offsets. Because of the limited number of hours available for the intern from the mini-grant, we were only able to import the archives since fall 2010. The 18 previous issues remain in PDF format until a future time when resources are available to complete this project. Although the workshop served as a starting point for discussing sustainable publishing in the campus community, attendance was limited to BSR members and official representatives from the Graduate Assembly and LEED center. In the future such efforts will be more effective if we are able to increase participation.

d) Feedback to TGIF: We really appreciated our interactions with TGIF, particularly with Katherine Walsh, Chris Wong, and Kelly Morr, who were very helpful in helping us see the project through to completion.

e) Actual timeline of the project from start to completion: Fall 2012: BSR Issue Release – copies printed on 60% PCW recycled paper January 2013: Posted job opening for Web Publishing Intern February 2013: Hired Dennis Zhao for intern position and began work on IssueM articles April 29th, 2013: BSR Sustainability Workshop April 29th, 2013: BSR new online article format unveiled May 1st, 2013 BSR Issue Release – copies printed on 60% PCW recycled paper


5. Sustainability Impact: a) Metrics: For the Fall 2012 issue of the BSR we printed 1375 pounds of 60% PCW paper, which saved 1 ton of wood (or 7 trees), 3,535 gallons of water, 4 million BTUs, 276 pounds of solid waste, and 791 pounds of greenhouse gasses. For the most recent issue of the BSR we printed 1,285 pounds of 60% PCW paper, which saved 1 ton of wood (or 7 trees), 3,304 gallons of water, 3 million BTUs, 258 pounds of solid waste, and 739 pounds of greenhouse gasses. Values were calculated using the Environmental Paper Network Paper Calculator, Version 3.2. b) On-going benefits: Comparing the Spring 2013 issue release to the previous semester, the use of IssueM seems to have made a marked difference in the amount of web traffic to the BSR site. In the first week after the release, there were 4299 total page views, compared to 2521 page views during the first week of the Fall 2012 issue. We expect the web traffic to continue to grow over time as we develop a loyal readership of both the online magazine and the blog, thanks to the consistent format delivered by IssueM.

6. Visibility/Outreach The benefits of switching to recycled paper are featured on the back cover of the Fall 2012 issue of the Berkeley Science Review, and on page 1 of the Spring 2013 issue of the Berkeley Science Review. We also presented a poster on the project for the Sustainability Summit hosted by TGIF in the spring of 2013.

6. Conclusions and Next Steps: Overall, we believe the project has been very successful, and have been particularly satisfied with the new BSR website. The IssueM plugin was an effective, low cost solution, given limited volunteer hours for hand-coding each issue. Additionally, the opportunity to work with Dennis Zhao was invaluable. His prior Wordpress experience made the transition between formats significantly more efficient.


There are many ways in which we hope to continue building upon these successes. Web development is a rapidly changing field, and during the workshop, one of the attendees had mentioned that Wired Magazine has made their online publishing platform available for purchase. With additional sponsorship, and increased funding available from printing smaller runs of the physical magazine, we may be able to invest in a more professional web publishing system in the future. Another outcome of the workshop was laying the groundwork for increased centralization of leadership and resources within the campus publications community. At the workshop and in a follow-up meeting, we have discussed our priorities, ideas, and goals for sustainable publishing with incoming ASUC Publications Coordinator Kelly Morr, and we anticipate that she will be instrumental in the future success of coordinated publications projects.

8. Budget Summary: Line item

amount

TGIF grant, spring 2012

$1152

TGIF mini-grant, fall 2012

$2000

60% PCW paper, fall 2012

-$1280

60% PCW paper, spring 2013

-$1280

Stipend for web intern

-$480

Refreshments for workshop

-$57

IssueM plugin

-$55

Net balance

$0

Greening the Berkeley Science Review- Final Report  

http://www.tgifberkeley.com/index.php/funded-projects/grant-cycle/2012-projects/82-greening-the-bsr

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