Campus Advisor

Campus Advisor: 2012

Benjamin Newton Innovator

Sustainability Coordinator

My research at Southern Illinois University focuses on alternatives to coal fired power plants at universities across the United States. At The Evergreen State College my research helped lead to further restrictions on pesticide use in orchards in Washington state, that were effecting farm workers overall health. As a sustainability professional I collaborate with the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN), a partnership of all 48 community colleges working with businesses and local communities to grow the Illinois Green Economy to provide new sustainable opportunities for communities. I am the facilitator for the Illinois Green Health Care working group, and I also am involved in the Greening Your Curriculum, Local Foods and Hubs, and Environmental Policy working groups in Illinois. Recently I began teachig Physical Geography at Richland Community College. I incorporate renewable energy and many ecological challenges into my course. I am also the President of Ecoshed Trading and I specialize in reducing greenhouse gases, water use, and waste for universities, businesses, and non-profits. Prior to my current position as Sustainability Director at Richland Community College, I was an environmental scientist testing groundwater and soil for contamination in California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. I also was a cartographer for Space Imaging, now Geoeye, analyzing satellite imagery. I use a strong multidisciplinary collaborative approach in implementing science, environmental law, and policy to manage complex environmental problems. I am a change agent for climate change, biodiversity loss, overconsumption, and overall ecological health of the planet. Most environmental problems are quite overwhelming to one individual and typically focus on harmful effects to life on earth. Through small collective actions we can make our planet more resilient and conserve our precious natural resources.