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Sustainability

URI Green Thinker


Todd McLeish

Position:  Public Information Officer
Department: Communications & Marketing
Hometown: Burrillville, RI

 
 
What does sustainability mean to you?
Since most of my personal interests relate to wildlife, when I think about sustainability I’m usually focused on how to limit the environmental impact of human activities to protect habitat so wildlife has a better chance to thrive.
 

Which URI project or program related to sustainability should we be the most proud of?
I’m especially pleased by the success so far of our energy conservation and efficiency initiative with NORESCO, which has saved millions of kilowatt hours of electricity, reduced water usage, and saved lots of natural gas.  And the fact that our behavior change campaign in the residence halls was one of the first in the nation and it reduced our carbon footprint even more is particularly noteworthy.

 
How are you involved with campus sustainability at URI?
I serve on the President’s Council for Sustainability, but my greater role is in writing stories and news releases about the wide range of programs and research on campus that relates to sustainability.  It’s my job to get the word out locally and nationally about these programs, and I’ve had considerable success lately in doing just that.
 
 
What can URI do to be greener?
I think our greatest challenge relates to transportation — increasing carpooling, biking, and public transportation.  But perhaps even more important is to build a greater ethic of sustainability among the campus community so everyone is involved in reducing our impact on the planet.
 

What do you do in your personal life to be green?
I’m an obsessive recycler and I’ve been driving a hybrid car for seven years, and I started the land trust in my hometown.  But my greatest contribution is in educating the public about biodiversity through the books I write about endangered species and other rare wildlife.
 
 
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A center at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) that helps coastal communities, both locally and worldwide, plan for the wise use of sea-based resources, such as fish stocks and offshore wind power, has secured $659,238 in grant funds for its programs. 

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