FIU has appointed an 18-member Sustainability Committee to lead the university’s green initiatives.
Environmental activism has been a long-standing focus at FIU, but the new committee is developing a unified focus. The committee includes six students, six faculty members and six staff members.
“The FIU Sustainability Committee is important because it brings together a diverse group of experts in their fields to assess the sustainability of our university and advise the president on ways in which FIU can become more environmentally responsible,” said Cara Cooper, a student member of the committee and president of Students for Environmental Action at FIU. “It is our goal to explore ways that the FIU community can reduce our carbon emissions and lead the way to a clean energy future.”
FIU has a long history of research, education and stewardship of the environment. Current research projects focus on energy conservation, climate change, sustainable building solutions and urban ecology. The newly formed School of Environment and Society combines science with humanities to explore the many levels of human interactions with the natural environment.
FIU is a member of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and American Council on Renewable Energy. In 2009, FIU adopted the Climate Action Plan.
Today, FIU recycles an average of 140 tons of materials every month. The shuttle bus fleet is powered by bio-diesel. Thanks to a student-run initiative, low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators have been placed in campus dormitories, significantly reducing water consumption. The university’s carpool program, GreenRide, has helped to reduce fossil fuel emissions by more than 44,000 pounds of CO2. All new buildings on campus are being designed for LEED certification. And in February, FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus was designated as an Arbor Day Foundation “Tree Campus USA.” It’s the first campus in Florida to receive the designation.
Student members of the newly appointed Sustainability Committee are:
Cara Cooper, a graduate student studying environmental science and president of Students for Environmental Action at FIU; Jessica Okaty, a 2009 graduate with a Bachelor of Music, a current environmental science student and vice president of the Students for Environmental Action; Tara Jafarmadar, a junior studying civil engineering, and director of Environmental Affairs for the Student Government Council at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus; Ian Wogan, a senior studying Environmental Studies and president of FIU’s Garden Club; and Ryan Vogel a senior majoring in Environmental Science and Parks Management.
Faculty members of the Sustainability Committee are:
John Stuart, a professor of Architecture and chairman of the Faculty Senate Building and Environment Committee; Hector R. Fuentes, a professor of Environmental and Water Resources Engineering as well as Civil and Environmental Engineering; Jack Parker, professor emeritus of Environmental Studies and Chemistry; Mahadev Bhat, associate professor of Environmental Studies; Peter Craumer, professor of International Relations; and Jennifer Grimm, Biscayne Bay Campus environmental coordinator.
Staff members of the Sustainability Committee are:
Nick Diciacco, senior director of Facilities; Joe Nuninga, assistant director of Custodial Services; Marco Benitez, director of Strategic Development in the Office of Financial Planning; Ivan Heredia, assistant director of Housing Facilities; William Youngblut, director of Environmental Health and Safety; and Jeff Krablin, assistant vice president of Business Services.
For more information of FIU’s sustainability initiatives, please visit http://gogreen.fiu.edu.