Newsletter Archive

HARC Newsletter | December 2018 | HARC 2018 Year In Review

HARC’s 2018 Year-In-Review
HARC is a nonprofit organization focused on sustainability, and our mission of independent research on issues relating to air, energy and water is more relevant and needed in 2018 than at any other time in our history. With a dedicated team and along with numerous partners, we continue to develop applied research and build a future in which people thrive and nature flourishes.

As HARC recognizes its 36-year span of leadership in independent analysis, research, and study, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and invite you to reflect upon a year of great accomplishment.
Reflecting upon a year of great accomplishment
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Featured Projects
Double Bayou Watershed Protection Plan
HARC is working with the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board to engage stakeholders in developing a Watershed Protection Plan (WPP). A WPP is a locally developed, voluntary watershed management plan that helps to restore and protect water quality. The WPP process engages stakeholders in a collaborative and participatory approach in watershed planning.
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DOE Southcentral and Upper West Combined Heat and Power TAP
The Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) in The Woodlands, Texas has been awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to assist public and private entities considering Combined Heat and Power (CHP). The DOE Technical Assistance Partnerships (TAP) program promotes CHP technology solutions for the industrial and manufacturing sector, critical infrastructure, institutions, commercial facilities, and utilities seeking to reap the many benefits of CHP. Building upon previous TAP program successes, HARC will manage program activities in eleven states over the next five years. The Southcentral TAP Region includes Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, with DOE funding of about $2.7 million. Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota comprise the Upper West TAP Region, funded with $1.48 million from DOE.
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Texas Property Assessed Clean Energy
The TX-PACE Energy and Emissions Tracker was created in partnership with the Texas PACE Authority, the state-wide administrator of TX-PACE. This interactive tool allows viewers to see how TX-PACE projects are reducing energy and water consumption, lowering emissions, and providing significant economic benefits. The status of TX-PACE can be reviewed for each region or at the state-wide level.
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Galveston Bay Report Card
The 2018 Galveston Bay Report Card was released on August 15, 2018. For the fourth consecutive year, the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) and the Galveston Bay Foundation gathered scientific data related to each of the 22 indicators across six categories.

The Galveston Bay Report Card is a prime example of how scientific information can be used to provide information to the public about the health of this important resource. The Report Card delivers information about the Bay and surrounding watershed’s ability to provide ongoing benefits to the people who use it, including recreation, food, and protection from storms. Additionally, this information can be used to inform decisions and our everyday activities so that we can build a sustainable future for our Bay.
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Featured Applications
Houston-Galveston & Southeast Texas Land Cover Change
Over the past two decades Texas has seen extraordinary economic growth and development to all major metropolitan areas. The Houston-Galveston region is no exception to this growth trend. In this time many natural areas have been developed and replaced by impervious surfaces like concrete, thereby removing green infrastructure such as forests, prairies, and wetlands.
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Wetland Friendly Drilling Tool
The Wetland Friendly Drilling Tool is designed to support decision making about the most responsible practices or “Wetland Impact Minimization Measures” that reduce negative impacts on coastal wetland functions in each of four phases of the drilling/production process: exploration, planning/construction, production, and site restoration. Wetlands provide many positive benefits to surrounding coastal ecosystems, both terrestrial and aquatic.
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Featured Blog Posts
Internship at HARC: Insights for Careers in Research
This summer HARC was fortunate to host four talented local high school student interns interested in learning about the science and business of research. Amy Le, Beatrice Portela, Hudson Nash, and Mia Vassilakis joined the researchers and staff for a glimpse of what a career in the sciences might be like. These rising-seniors worked on projects involving energy, air quality, water quality, and non-profit community outreach and communications.
Left to right: Hudson Nash, Bea Portela, Amy Le, Mia Vassilakis
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Not the Geography You Remember
If you took a Geography course over 20 years ago, you might recall the subject involving little more than memorizing the locations of continents, countries, cities, as well as climate and cultural facts. In that time, many universities have expanded their geography programs by entering the world of Geographic Information Systems, or GIS for short. In the beginning GIS was an obscure field of specialized hardware, software, and cryptic keyboard commands that allowed a skilled professional to query data to get answers to geographic-based inquiries. Queries, such as the quantity of forested acres within an area, were the beginning of the geographic-based analysis revolution that has since unfolded. But today’s leading geography programs are teaching students more than just the where, what, who, and why of our world, but also bring to the table an interdisciplinary approach to solving today’s local, regional, national, and global problems.
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Beyond Platinum
In 2014, HARC's Board and leadership made the decision to move forward with the design and construction of a headquarters building that strongly exemplifies HARC’s sustainability mission. In partnership with the design team led by Gensler, HARC set out to create a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified green building with the potential of achieving HARC’s goal of a net-zero energy (NZE) building.

It has been almost a year since we moved into our new home. Last September the building achieved LEED Platinum certification by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), becoming the first Platinum new Building Design and Construction project in The Woodlands and Montgomery County, Texas. Our formal plaque ceremony took place on February 6, 2018 in the presence of our Board of Directors, the USGBC, staff, and guests.
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Featured Researcher
Meredith Jennings, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Dr. Meredith Jennings is an expert in climate resilience and Earth system science. She brings over 8 years of experience in the field of academic and applied research. Most recently, Dr. Jennings worked for Harris County Public Health as a National Academy of Sciences’ Gulf Research Program Science Policy Fellow and Community Resilience Specialist, supporting community resilience activities by coordinating approaches to improve the ability of communities to withstand and recover from emergencies and disasters.

Dr. Dillingham has worked in the clean energy industry for the last twenty years in both the private and public sector. Much of this work focused on climate action planning, greenhouse gas mitigation strategies and strategic energy management for large institutions and cities.
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Announcements & Events
HARC Researcher discusses renewables and energy efficiency financing at TREIA meeting
HARC research scientist, Marina Badoian-Kriticos, served as a panelist at the November 14, Houston TREIA meeting.
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HARC in the news
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Redefining Net Zero
HARC successfully implements a whole-building life-cycle assessment to reduce embedded emissions and push towards a "zero-carbon" building.
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8801 Gosling Road, TX 77381, USA
HARC is a research hub providing independent analysis on energy, air, and water issues to people seeking scientific answers. We are focused on building a sustainable future that helps people thrive and nature flourish.
You can help HARC continue to fulfill its mission through your support.