As a Land-Grant University, the University of Maryland is committed to championing ideas that drive the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge in order to solve today’s most pressing challenges. The United States Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is living proof that bright minds can change our world for the better. reACT(Resilient Adapted Climate Technology) has garnered a campus-wide multidisciplinary response to a call for outreach and education that will accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient design and products to combat the effects of the built environment on nature and ecosystem.  Our Solar Decathlon team is currently comprised of nearly 400 UMD community members.

With the delivery of 100% Construction Documents to the Solar Decathlon 2017 competition organizers on February 23, reACT has moved into its construction phase.  At this time, a Core-30 student leadership team has been identified for intensive work on the house, the competition and reACT’s messaging.  This core student leadership team are the dedicated students with leadership positions which include a Project Manager, Construction Managers Project Architects, Project Engineer, Health and Safety Officers, Electrical Engineer, Sponsorship Officer, Outreach Coordinator, Videographer, R&D group Leaders, the construction management team, the graphic design team and the sponsorship corps.

We are approaching the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin in Danbury, Wisconsin. Many Native American communities live on lands vulnerable to climate change. We consider sustainable construction, energy efficiency, and accessible nutrition as obtainable solutions. Many tribal leaders are exploring sustainable housing, renewable technologies, and safe food production to provide to their communities through cultural renewable, self-sufficiency, economic opportunity, and sustainable returns-on-investment that respect their cultural values.  

The reACT team is working within the Solar Decathlon framework (sustainability expo, educational events, professional development and consumer workshops) to find opportunities to mindfully facilitate the tribal embrace of and desire for sustainability and self-determination. In light of the long history of collaboration between the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian, reACT is building coalitions with the National Museum of the American Indian in order to develop stronger understanding of indigenous North American culture.  Our team is also influencing manufacturing companies to build production plants near tribal lands in order to expand training and economic opportunities for members of the tribal community.

No contribution is too large or too small.  All contributions are appreciated and go towards helping us achieve our goal!