Graduation Year: Class of 2012
Major: Environmental Science and Management
Hometown: Trumbull, CT
What does sustainability mean to you?
I love the definition of “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” I also believe it’s important to consider the three circles of sustainability- the environment, economy, and society. We have to work towards making all three aspects sustainable to create a truly healthy, happy, sustainability future.
Which URI project or program related to sustainability should we be the most proud of?
We’re doing a lot to make our new buildings LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified and I think that’s a great first step in sustainable development. It’ll save us money in the long run to have these energy efficient buildings, it will save the environment some unneeded stress, and the best part is that building these buildings helps to bring sustainable development into the dialog at URI. I think when URI promotes that it’s proud of its sustainable achievements it prompts the campus community to be proud of it too.
How are you involved with campus sustainability at URI?
I am currently the President of Student Action for Sustainability. We try to promote sustainability on campus by encouraging recycling, raising awareness of sustainable issues, attending conferences on clean energy, and promoting important environmental issues ranging from climate change to fracking to the BP oil. We're also dedicated to the preservation of our local 100 year old forest- the North Woods.
What can URI do to be greener?
I know it’s not an easy task by any means but I think because commuting creates such a large impact for URI’s carbon footprint it would be great to see some programs that encourage carpooling or taking the bus. I also think URI can do a lot by just promoting that it is committed to sustainability, many students don’t know about half the things the university does to be sustainable, if more students knew I think a ‘Green URI’ could become a point to be proud of.
What do you do in your personal life to be green?
As a senior I wanted to move of campus this year but I made sure we chose a house within walking distance to the school. All my roommates walk or bike to school almost every day. And I try to get around by foot, bike, scooter, or bus whenever possible. It helps that I hate driving and love walking, but I really do think it’s important to cut down on how much we drive in the US. I also have started to love using old jars and mason jars to carry my food around in. They never spill like plastic-ware and they are easier to clean so I can have soup in it for lunch, rinse it out and then get coffee in it or take my leftovers from dinner home in one. The mason jars seal nicely but old pasta and salsa jars rinsed through the dishwasher work great too!
Rainer Lohmann, a professor at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, is collaborating with a researcher at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in California to learn about the health and ecology of fur seals