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Eco Hawks GOLD

What is Eco Hawk GOLD?

Eco Hawk GOLD is a program designed to immerse and involve students in sustainability at a level that any student, no matter their background or schedule may participate.

This project was created by the Office of Sustainability to allow students from all realms of academia to work within the University of Iowa community to improve it based on their own interests and passions.

GOLD is a three tiered program to engage and teach students about sustainability initiatives. All Eco Hawks take the Bronze Pledge, and commit to three aspects of sustainability that they can devote themselves to during their time at the University.

The next level is Silver Service. To complete this level, one must complete five hours of appropriate educational experiences. Guest lectures, class credits, and Eco Hawk workshops all count toward this stipulation. The student must also amass 15 hours of sustainability based volunteer experience to gain hands on knowledge and engage with the community. These hours can be completed at the same time that one is doing the final GOLD level.

To become Eco Hawk GOLD Certified, the final step is to create and complete the Eco Hawk GOLD Project. You must design and organize your own project to better the University of Iowa or Iowa City community in regards to sustainability. The best part is, what you decide to do it totally up to you. But don’t worry, you won’t be all on your own. Advisors at the Office will point you towards resources and people to allow you to complete a successful project!

Why Pursue Eco Hawk GOLD?

Make yourself more competitive! An Eco Hawk GOLD Certification is something you can proudly display on your resume. It is concrete evidence to an employer or academic that you can pursue your passions in a constructive way. When working on your project, you’ll become close to staff or faculty and be able to demonstrate your capabilities. This is a great way to get letters of recommendation.

More incentives are in the works, so keep checking in!

Start Eco Hawk GOLD now!

Stop by the Office of Sustainability to get an Eco Hawk GOLD card. The card can be used help you keep track of your process in the program.

You can download a temporary copy here: 

ECO HAWK GOLD Card Final Page 2



See how to use your GOLD card: 

Level 1: Sign Up and Bronze Pledge

Sign up and pledge to take at least three sustainable actions at:

Level 2: Silver Service 

090616 FoodPantry VL008 copy 692x360A student pursuing the Eco Hawk GOLD certification will complete the following:

5 hours of Educational Experience-

Learn more about the many facets of sustainability by attending lectures, student org meetings, or Eco Hawk trainings.

15 hours of Volunteer Experience-

Immerse yourself in the realm of sustainability and gain valuable hands on experience! Since sustainability is so all encompassing, there are so many areas and opportunities for to volunteer. You can help pull an invasive species, or stock some shelves at a food pantry. Use this time as an opportunity to make connections within the Iowa City community, and learn more about sustainability from those who practice it every day.

Need Ideas? Don’t know where to start?

There’s always something going on around campus, check the Office of Sustainability Facebook page, ListServe, and Newsletter for upcoming events!

Level 3: GOLD Project

It’s all up to you now—in terms of both responsibility and creativity!

To attain an Eco Hawks GOLD certification, you must design and organize your own project to better the University of Iowa or Iowa City community in regards to sustainability.

Students will:

1. Compose a brief outline detailing their project and plan for implementing it

2. Meet with and Eco Hawks Intern (Eden DeWald, Emma Miller- Shindelar) or Office staff (Liz Christiansen, George McCrory, Beth Mackenzie) to get their project approved

3. Complete or present their project

4. Write a brief summary detailing the consensus, and or the degree of success of their project

 Example Project

 A student is wants raise awareness about, and encourage the university to implement composting on campus. For their project, the student finds and organizes student volunteers to set up a tabling event. During the tabling event there is information provided on the basics of composting, and signatures are collected to support this endeavor.

Project Proposal: 

For My Eco Hawks GOLD Project, I will be raising awareness and providing basic education on composting. I will set up a tabling event twice throughout the month of November on the Pentacrest where myself, and volunteers I recruit will attend to the table. We will create a poster board presentation detailing the basics of composting. We will craft an online petition on with a goal of collecting 500 signatures in support to implement  a campus wide composting program at the University of Iowa. The signatures will then be presented to UISG.

Prospective Materials and Resources:

2 Tables



I will start to recruit volunteers, research composting, and finish my poster board presentation by mid October. After I have all my resources in place, I will reserve the Pentacrest and decide officially on my tabling event dates. I will table twice throughout the month of November. Before we leave for winter break, I will present the results of the event and the number of signatures to UISG.

Project Reflection:

    Overall, I am pleased with the result of my Eco Hawk GOLD Project. I met my goal, and collected 550 signatures. UISG responded positively to the the amount of support, but I do not yet know if my efforts will result in any action.

    Though I knew the basics about composting, through my research I was able to learn even more about the process. I gained valuable administration and project coordination experience by collaborating with volunteers.

    There is still a lot of work do to in raising support and implementing composting onto the University of Iowa campus. I hope that my work can be sustained, and that others will create complementary projects to further advance mine.

Not sure where to start? Here are some links and possible project ideas to get you started:

Try to Collaborate with an Eco Hawk-affiliated organization!

Project Ideas:

- Use thrifted clothes to design fashionable outfits, and throw a mini fashion show

- Create a map of your favorite bike routes on campus

-  Make a recipe book for college students focused on seasonable produce, and easy meals

- Compile research that supports a certain type of renewable energy and present it to superiors

- Teach students how to make eco -friendly household cleaners

- Design a program to encourage freshman to buy fewer new items when they come to campus

- Perform a waste audit for your apartment/house/dorm/ living space

How to: Eco Hawk GOLD Card

For all levels:After each level is complete, make sure to come into the Office of Sustainability and have office staff l...

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Sustainability at Iowa

1650 University Capitol Centre
200 South Clinton St.
Iowa City, IA 52242
(319) 335-5516