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James Boulter named UW-Eau Claire's second Campus Sustainability Fellow

RELEASED: July 7, 2011

Dr. James Boulter
Dr. James Boulter

EAU CLAIRE — Dr. James Boulter, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, has been appointed by Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich as the university's second Campus Sustainability Fellow, effective July 1. The half-time position was created in 2008 as part of the implementation of the Centennial Plan, the university's strategic plan, which calls for identifying and prioritizing campus improvements focusing on sustainability.

Dr. Kate Hale Wilson, adjunct assistant professor of English, has completed her term as the first Campus Sustainability Fellow.

"Dr. Boulter will continue the important work of meeting the university's strategic goals of stewardship and sustainability — goals that take on added significance as we proceed with major building and facilities projects on campus," Levin-Stankevich said.

As the Campus Sustainability Fellow, Boulter will be responsible for tracking UW-Eau Claire's efforts to reduce the campus carbon footprint. Since 2007, when Levin-Stankevich signed the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, UW-Eau Claire has been participating in the national effort to provide leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Boulter also will provide guidance to the Campus Sustainability Network, which comprises work groups focusing on specific areas, including energy, transportation and waste/recycling. In addition, he will serve as liaison for the Chancellor's Office, lending support and guidance to sustainability efforts across campus.

Boulter worked closely with Hale Wilson on campus sustainability issues over the past two years, which resulted in substantial contributions to the Honors Colloquium that measured the carbon footprint of the campus. He has served as faculty adviser to the Environmental Endeavors Commission, the Student Senate group that oversees the student "green fee" fund, and will continue in that role for its organizational successor, the Student Office of Sustainability. He also has been appointed interim coordinator of the Watershed Institute for Collaborative Environmental Studies, a new interdisciplinary academic program at UW-Eau Claire with a goal of increasing students' environmental awareness and understanding by bringing together diverse disciplines to develop new collaborative curricular and research experiences.

"Dr. Boulter's familiarity with our accomplishments to date, the strong working relationships he already has with students and others, and his well-informed commitment to these issues make me extremely pleased that he will serve as the next Sustainability Fellow," Hale Wilson said.

Boulter said his interest in sustainability flowed directly out of his training and expertise in atmospheric chemistry and climate science.

"When the chancellor signed the Presidents' Climate Commitment, which set us on a course toward climate neutrality, I immediately knew I wanted to honor that bold and definitive action with my support," Boulter said. "As I've become more involved in sustainability at UW-Eau Claire, I've repeatedly found that the inclusion of students in this process is very rewarding. I really appreciate the students' ideas, efforts and dedication to the goal of making the university more sustainable."

Boulter said his interest in the Sustainability Fellow position was spurred by the exciting progress in this area currently developing across campus.

"In addition to the many efforts of students and faculty, units such as Facilities Planning and Facilities Management, Housing and Residence Life, and University Centers are all actively engaged in increasing the efficiency and sustainability of university operations," he said. "But despite all the work over the past two years, it's still difficult to keep up with all of the disparate efforts on campus. So coordination of these efforts to prevent redundancy and conflicts — and also to capture potential synergies — is a real priority of mine."

Boulter joined the UW-Eau Claire chemistry faculty in 2004. He received a bachelor's degree in chemistry and biochemistry from Pacific Lutheran University and a doctorate in analytical chemistry from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also held a National Science Foundation aeronomy and atmospheric chemistry postdoctoral fellowship at SRI International's Molecular Physics Laboratory.

Boulter teaches courses in general, analytical/physical and environmental chemistry and will continue to teach lower-division general chemistry lab courses and upper-division lecture and lab courses half time during the term of his fellowship.

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AH/DW

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