Colorado State University unveiled plans last month for the School of Global Environmental Sustainability to streamline the University's internationally recognized environmental research and to prepare students for the growing "green" workforce.
The School of Global Environmental Sustainability is an umbrella organization that encompasses all environmental education and research at the University. World-leading environmental researcher Diana Wall will serve as founding director of the school. During the next year, Dr. Wall will form advisory committees to help create curriculum and programs for the school, which could start offering new courses as early as 2010.
The school will act as a clearinghouse for the hundreds of university faculty in all eight colleges already studying the environment in areas such as atmospheric science, environmental politics, wind engineering, agricultural economics, green building, wildlife biology, ecotourism, forestry, ecology, sustainable entrepreneurship and public policy. Students will have the opportunity to complement their majors with environmental courses, which will help prepare them to solve increasingly complex global environmental challenges.
Demand is building for such well-rounded workers: Studies suggest the renewable energy job market nationwide could create 40 million new jobs by the year 2030. At the state level, Gov. Bill Ritter's Colorado Climate Action Plan calls for integrating sustainability material into classes beginning at the K-12 level so students have the academic and technical skills needed by employers.
"CSU is currently producing some of the most groundbreaking environmental and energy research in the world," Gov. Ritter said. "And as a partner in the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory, CSU is a crucial part of our New Energy Economy. This new School of Global Environmental Sustainability comes at a perfect time and will ensure that Colorado is able to provide New Energy Economy companies with the best green-collar workforce on the globe."
Colorado State University is one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review, a New York-based education services company.
The University also ranked high for its green efforts as part of Princeton Review's listing of Colorado State - one of the best 368 colleges in the new 2009 edition of its annual guide. The book, on sale this week, features two-page profiles on each college with information on academics, admission, financial aid, student body and campus life.
A complete list of the schools is posted on the Princeton Review Web site at www.PrincetonReview.com.
Dr. Ronald Marler, board member of CSU Ventures, will assume executive responsibilities for CSU Ventures - the University's non-profit corporation that houses the Supercluster business enterprises and accelerates university research discoveries in infectious disease, cancer and clean energy to the global marketplace.
CSU Ventures was created in 2007 as a business development engine to better connect businesses interested in university research associated with CSU's Superclusters: MicroRx, NeoTREXand Cenergy. CSU Ventures is a subsidiary corporation of the Colorado State University Research Foundation, a private, non-profit foundation that aids the University in overall research and educational efforts.
Dr. Marler will continue as a member of the CSU Ventures Board of Directors and will work closely with Mark Wdowik, who has served as the inaugural CEO of the corporation since February 2007. Wdowik will now be responsible for launching a critical new CSU initiative - building a for-profit seed investment fund, which will invest in CSU start-ups and key research partners, providing what is typically called "first money in." Additionally, he will serve in various CSURF and Ventures leadership roles pertaining to proprietary research, technology transfer, commercialization and start-ups.
Dr. Marler will be responsible for reviewing new commercialization opportunities for the University in the Supercluster focus areas - infectious disease, cancer and clean energy - establishing connections with the private sector and building an entrepreneurial culture among scientists within the academic Superclusters, among other duties.
Colorado State University is among the three Colorado research universities that will have a seat on the board of directors of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's management team as part of a new contract announced in July.
The U.S. Department of Energy has selected the Alliance for Sustainable Energy LLC as the management and operating contractor for NREL, which is based in Golden, Colo. The contract, which amounts to $1.1 billion during the next five years, will be managed by the Alliance. The Alliance, which is owned by Midwest Research Institute and Battelle, has named five research universities to its board of directors: Colorado State University, Colorado School of Mines, the University of Colorado at Boulder, Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Bill Farland, Vice President for Research at CSU, will serve as the University's representative on the NREL board.