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ICAST (International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology)

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Background[edit]

iCAST is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in Lakewood, Colorado. iCAST started as an initiative at the Engineering College at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In 2002, iCAST registered as an independent organization.

Abstract[edit]

iCAST works with local partners to develop sustainable solutions to the infrastructure and economic development needs of underserved communities. iCAST's mission is to promote sustainable development using a triple bottom-line approach that promotes environmental stewardship, economic viability and social responsibility.

iCAST projects are designed to encourage self-sufficiency based on the development, application and commercialization of appropriate and sustainable technologies.

iCAST also provides opportunities for university students to learn how academic studies and concepts such as sustainable development can be practically applied to the real-life problems facing disadvantaged communities. Through participation in service learning projects, students enhance technical and business skills while learning valuable lessons in teamwork, communications and ethics that will help create more valuable professionals.

iCAST projects bring together a variety of partners representing industry, government agencies, research facilities and educational institutions to serve the needs of local communities. By leveraging available technical, financial and intellectual resources, iCAST helps meet the challenges of the future by building stronger communities and a well-prepared workforce.


Keywords:[edit]

Development needs[edit]

iCAST requires on funding from individual donors, government and foundation grants for projects that empower communities by improving self-sufficiency through sustainable practices that provide new opportunities.

Sustainable Mining[edit]

Vision To develop the “Sustainable Development in Mining” Awards - a set of prestigious awards providing incentives to the mining industry to adopt best practices in environmental and community stewardship and productivity (“Triple Bottom Line”). Purpose This project aims to encourage mining companies to take steps of their own towards sustainable development and reward those that show leadership through a highly recognized “Sustainable Development in Mining” award. This project encourages all the stakeholders in mining operations to take actions that support sustainable development. This implies practices that provide economic, environmental, and social benefits to the mining companies, their miners/employees, the communities, and the ecosystems in which the mining operations are undertaken.

Service Learning[edit]

Our community projects are built in a way to involve interns and teams of students. We strongly encourage faculty to consider a class team in these projects. Interns are supported in their learning experiences by iCAST staff, faculty, industry mentors, subject matter experts, community representatives and others.

We currently have service learning opportunities open for students of Engineering, Business, and Communications. We also offer a few Interdisciplinary options.


Engineering[edit]

NEEP Energy Efficiency Auditing Tackle climate change one light bulb at a time. iCAST works with homeless shelters, low income housing, and other non-profits to help them tackle their energy bills.

Biodiesel Sustainability Study Work with a team to evaluate the specific "Energy Ratio" of biodiesel for a specific farm-scale facility. Weigh the inputs and outputs to answer the question everyone is asking: can biodiesel be sustainable?



Business[edit]

Marketing Strategy for Colorado lamb and goat Colorado lamb and goat producers have been in decline since the early 90s. Facing stiff international competition and large factory farms, small producers of a sustainable product need your help in marketing and growing their business.



Communications[edit]

Virtual Space Intern - Web-Site Development Sharing the lessons of a community project is a top priority at iCAST. Help us use the most powerful tool at our disposal and code our web-site into a searchable string of success stories and useful resources.



Interdisciplinary[edit]

Sustainability Assessment - Tool Development "Sustainable", "Green", these buz-words are making their way to the front page of every newspaper but what does it really mean? Help us make sure "green" projects actually make a difference in the world by developing tools to calculate specific sustainability indicators.

Sustainability Assessment - Stakeholder Consultation Creating a sustainability toolkit for the iCAST community is imperative to the further establishment of this organization. Consult our stakeholders to find out what is best for us and our community.

Morgan County Irrigation Social Analysis Identify and communicate with key stakeholders in Morgan County to analyze the feasibility of the irrigation grid in Morgan County.



Green Collar Job Development[edit]

"Green Collar" Job Descriptions and Skill Assessment Many positions have transferrable skills that can be utilized in "greening" existing jobs. The purpose of this initiative is to rewrite job descriptions for the construction industry incorporating tasks and functions to include opportunities to make the jobs "Green Collar". There are several committees that iCAST is involved with that focus on the green jobs initiative.

  • Work Force "Green Collar" Jobs Training Initiative
  • Develop A Training Curriculum for Work Force Centers
  • Produce educational materials
  • Create an outreach program
  • Research various training initiatives that are already in place
  • Data collection for salary levels of various green collar jobs
  • Reports on market analysis of green collar jobs

Workforce Development[edit]

In September and November of 2008 iCAST and its partners, Jefferson County Workforce Center, Colorado Department of Labor & Employment, the Metro Denver WIRED Initiative, and 19 industry partners delivered the first of a series of trainings as part of a Workforce Innovation & Regional Economic Development grant. The curriculum for these trainings were developed and instructed by industry experts with decades of professional experience. The format for these courses is to provide an intense 5 day introduction to the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries that prepare the unemployed or underemployed, skilled or unskilled, with knowledge of the technologies, terminology, and processes essential to compete for jobs in these growing markets.


The first course, ‘Residential Energy Efficiency Audit Training’, prepared 30 people with backgrounds in construction, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, as well as IT, marketing, sales, administration, and operations how to perform a residential energy audit. Imparted knowledge includes building science and the home as an integrated system, HVAC systems, utility bill analysis, auditing appliances, lighting, and water. The course prepares participants for technical careers but is also valuable for people interested in non-technical support positions.

The second course, ‘Solar power Systems Installation Training’, trained 50 people from all skill levels and backgrounds on how solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems work and the process for installing them. Participants learned the how to perform site assessments using a solar pathfinder, how to align solar panels for optimal efficiency, how to choose the appropriate PV or thermal system for the customers need, the fundamentals of panel installation and battery storage, as well as best practices for contracting and subcontracting

Solar Technology[edit]

Solar energy technology can bring clean, cost-effective power to all. Only 1% of the United States needs to be equipped with 10% efficient solar systems to answer the whole countries needs. The abundance of solar resources, especially in Colorado and other western states makes solar technology an ideal solution to our energy and heating needs.

Activities[edit]

In 2003, iCAST conducted the first feasibility for solar farms in Colorado. Results were given to Xcel Energy. iCAST later helped the San Luis Valley RC&D in the process of getting solar photovoltaic systems installed on unused corners of pivot irrigation systems. We continue to help communities access this abundant source of energy through various solar thermal collectors, passive design, and solar electric projects.

Wind Energy[edit]

Farmers, ranchers and other rural families have for generations used wind power to pump water. Now small-scale wind technologies offer opportunities to use wind for other electricity-generating purposes. Use of wind as a non-centralized, distributed source of electricity can help rural electric associations and municipal utilities meet their customers’ needs internally without building expensive and environmentally damaging power plants.

Activities[edit]

Through its work with agricultural organizations, rural electric associations and other energy stakeholders, iCAST is helping communities and energy consumers evaluate local wind resources and identify opportunities for small-scale wind technologies.

Staff[edit]

Brian Carlin, Sustainability Project Manager

Brian Carlin is driven performer with a passion for helping students and communities realize their efficiency goals. After spending the past five years in Boston, MA working towards his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University, he moved to the Denver area to pursue a career in the green industry. His past experiences volunteering for the Fenway Green Team and participating in clean-up efforts around city parks lead him to a number of renewable internships during college. Cooperative education allowed him the opportunity to apply and interview for paid internships which lead him to the Consulting Engineering firm Arup. The incredible enthusiasm and energy in his co-workers fueled his passion for work on Leed certified projects such as the University of Vermont Commons and the Virginia Art Building. Throughout his internships he maintained a focus on renewables and worked with water analysis instruments and fuel cell technology. As a member of the Order of the Engineer, Brian prides himself on upholding the diginity of his profession and being ever conscious that his skills carry the, "obligation to serve humanity by making the best of Earth's precious wealth". When Brian is done with his work for the day he likes to relax by playing music at local venues.

Francisco Flores, Sustainability Project Manager

Francisco believes we all – business, corporations, individuals, institutions and the government – have to move in the green direction as fast as possible, with all of us cooperating in as many ways as we can think of. Creativity, respect for the environment and one another, and immediate action is what we need to bring us closer to a sustainable world. The future is green and bright, we just need to work hard.

After seven years in the telecommunication industry, he realized something very important was missing in the picture: a purpose. Various experiences showed him that what he wanted to do the most is to contribute to make this a better world, both socially and environmentally. So he quit engineering to start volunteering in the most diverse occupations, from yoga teacher to domestic violence victim’s advocate. But then again, something was missing. He was using neither his strongest skills nor his experience as an engineer. Was it possible to have the best of both worlds? At iCAST this is what he found, a place to work for social empowerment and environmental conservation while having fun as an engineer. He has a B.S. in Telecommunications Engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. He practices meditation very seriously, and enjoys yoga, photography and reading.

Luke Ilderton, Sustainability Project Manager

Luke has achieved a B.A. in History and Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.S. in Engineering-Environmental Specialty from Colorado School of Mines. He has particular interest in sustainable technology as it pertains to the economic and environmental impacts of energy. After graduating from Mines, Luke performed several residential energy audits through the REAP (Residential Energy Audit Program) in Boulder and managed a residential remodeling project out in Gunbarrel. He is an LEED accredited professional in new construction and hopes to be accredited in the LEED homes program by the end of September. In his spare time, Luke enjoys building furniture, reading, and a multitude of outdoor activities.

Phil Jones, Director of Administration and Finance

Phil Jones has spent his entire career helping communities thrive and proactively engage resources to meet the challenges brought by change. Working in underserved rural, inner city urban and multicultural environments, Mr. Jones has assisted individuals, organizations and communities in negotiating political, economic and environmental change for more than 20 years. His community development work has resulted in the creation of many jobs and viable organizations, as well as effective community programs. Mr. Jones is adept at facilitating group processes utilizing Nominal Group Techniques, Open Space Technology and other creative problem-solving methodologies. Throughout his work experience, Phil has participated in and lead various task forces and committees managing physical and programmatic accessibility, deploying adaptive technologies, addressing cultural sensitivity in program development, and implementing outcomes-based performance measures and evaluation methods. At iCAST, Phil has the opportunity to bring his experiences and knowledge to bear on the global problems affecting everyday lives. His focus is on education, training and community participation in employing local resources to meet local needs. Mr. Jones received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Washburn University of Topeka and continued his graduate education at the University of Kansas in Public Administration. Phil spends his off time working in his home studio producing fiber art and spending time with his family.

Ravi Malhotra, Executive Director

Ravi Malhotra believes - passionately - that local resources should be used for local benefit. As Executive Director of iCAST, he and his staff partner with communities and entrepreneurs to make that passion a reality. With these partnerships, iCAST applies their extensive business-building experience and in-depth knowledge of technology to projects that promote local sustainability.

Ravi started working on community development shortly after receiving a B. Tech in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India. Ravi later received an MS in Engineering and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. In the past 20 years, he accumulated experience helping small entrepreneurial firms manage their growth. He has also developed and disseminated numerous sustainable technologies internationally and created financially viable enterprises, including two of his own.


Ravi's interest in promoting sustainable business extends to his volunteer activities, which include the Community Assessment Program for the Governor's Office of Economic Development and The Conservation Coalition, which works globally. Additionally, he sits on the advisory boards of the Sustainability Center at Denver University's Daniel School of Business and the Energy Solutions Grant for Energy Outreach Colorado. Ravi's ingenuity and vision can also be seen in his work for the Western Governor's Association Solar & Bio-Energy Task Force where he participated in planning the roadmap for 30,000MW of clean energy in the western states.

Mark Palmer, Administrative Project Manager

Mark has a BA in English from the University of Rhode Island. He has five years of technology public relations, commercial business development, and direct marketing experience. Mark came to iCAST from the U.S. Department of Education as a subcontractor handling administration and several productivity projects. Mark was a State Finalist in a Rhode Island BAR Association Mock Trial Competition and a ski racer for the United States Ski Association for 10 years in the North East. He enjoys books on philosophy and psychology and also has an extensive collection of documentary films.

Ashley Pryor, Business Development Manager

Ashley studied Environmental Science as an undergraduate at Oregon State University. Realizing that many environmental issues also negatively affect communities and are often impacted by political climates and public policies, Ashley continued her academic studies and received a Masters degree in Political Science and Public Policy from the University of Colorado at Denver. Believing that the sustainability of rural communities is of indicative import to how American society is faring generally, Ashley works towards assuring that such communities have the resources they need to continue to thrive. Ashley is an avid outdoorswoman and revels often in the backcountry of her beloved home state of Colorado. When she is not working or reveling in the out of doors, she also loves going to museums, shows, and street fairs, as well reading, cooking, gardening, and travelling.

Stephanie Fry, Marketing & PR Coordinator

Stephanie Fry continues reaching out to the people of Colorado and beyond. Her most recent experience includes her work with D-Rev: Design for the other 90%, increasing accessibility of technologies to communities in developing countries. Her previous jobs include activist roles regarding local issues of homelessness, victimization, environment and culture. Stephanie received a Bachelor's degree in Business Marketing from the University of Denver in 2004. She has served on board committees and has dedicated countless volunteer hours to her community of Colorado. She looks forward to doing the same with iCAST.

Raphael Shay, Sustainability Project Manager

Raphael Shay is a change agent. As Sustainability Project Manager, he bridges iCAST's projects with the people who need them most. Raph came to Colorado after working on appropriate and sustainable technology at the Canadian Falls Brook Centre and the Danish Folkecenter for Renewable Energy. During this time, he worked on wind turbines ranging from 40W to 525kW, biological waste water treatment systems, converted diesel engines to run on Straight Vegetable Oil, installed and repaired solar panels, and learned about policies to reduce society's ecological footprint. He combines this experiential knowledge with his academic background at Renaissance College in interdisciplinary leadership studies and environmental studies. While there, Raph studied community development, stakeholders consultation and policy. He also had the opportunity to take the responsibilities of Environmental Commissioner for the University of New Brunswick's Student Union, where he worked on many initiatives, including the Campus Sustainability Assessment Framework. Raph has also completed training in various mediation methodologies, including Dialogue for Peaceful Change. With this toolkit, Raph tackles various volunteer activities such as writing for renewable energy news-sites and co-author of the International Youth Declaration on Climate Change for the 2005 International Panel on Climate Change Montreal Meeting. Combined with iCAST activities, he hopes to empower people to power themselves. Raph's motivation comes from the little free time he gets to spend in the Colorado Rockies climbing, skiing and camping or throwing pot lucks with friends.

Chris Stoneman, Vice President of Operations

Chris comes to iCAST with extensive experience in coaching and leading large technology teams in program management, engineering, and construction management. She received her Executive MBA degree from Denver University and her Bachelors in Business Administration from Regis University.

Chris previously worked for several media and communication companies who provided green technology solutions. Her previous business experience includes overseeing numerous nationwide project teams who were responsible for designing and implementing commercial and residential technology and construction management projects. Her broad background in end-to-end process development and improvement comes from executing three different successful start-up companies where she was responsible for providing business intelligence and overseeing the engineering, field operations, customer care, business development and financial service departments.

Her primary function at iCAST is to work with her team and partner with various communities and universities to plan and deploy projects that promote local sustainability with a triple bottom line approach. In addition, she is also responsible for providing strategic and tactical leadership for the company and working with her team to provide excellent customer service and quality work within the non-profit sector.

References[edit]

http://www.icastusa.org

Contact Information[edit]

iCAST (International Center for Appropriate & Sustainable Technology)

8745 West 14th Avenue, Suite 220 Lakewood, CO USA 80215 866.590.4377 www.icastusa.org