Sustainable Practices primarily draws our faculty from the Colorado Front Range. Many of our faculty are nationally known within their areas of expertise.
Jeffrey G. Yorzyk
Kai Abelkis has been Boulder Community Hospital's Sustainability Coordinator since 1999, where he is responsible for minimizing the hospital's environmental footprint. The Foothills hospital was the first LEED certified medical facility in the world. Albekis sits on Colorado's Pollution Advisory Committee, the City of Boulder's Climate Advisory Group, and is a board member of the Boulder East Transportation Management Organization. Hospitals and other organizations around the country have consulted with Albekis on their sustainability efforts. Read about Abelkis in The Denver Post: "Boulder hospital reduces waste, also saves money."
Sally Blair is the Senior Manager of Architectural Energy Corporation's Sustainable Management Services. She has spent the past seven years in the building industry helping design and construction teams work together to incorporate sustainable design features into their building delivery process. Over the years, Sally has educated thousands of industry professionals on the LEED(r) rating system in preparation for becoming a LEED AP.
Ghita Carroll, Ph.D is the Sustainability Coordinator for the Boulder Valley School District. BVSD was one of the first school districts in the nation to create such a position in 2008, when Carroll was hired. Prior to her position with BVSD, Carroll worked as the Energy Program Manager for the Environmental Center and taught an undergraduate course called "Renewable Energy Policy" at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Carroll received a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, focusing on renewable energy policy. She has presented her work at many regional and national forums, including the first National Green Schools Conference.
Dan Chiras is the author of numerous books on residential renewable energy and green building, including The New Ecological Home, The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy, The Solar House, The Natural House, and The Natural Plaster Book. Learn more about Chiras's work at http://www.evergreeninstitute.org.
Jack DeBell has directed the University of Colorado's recycling program, a nationally award winning recycling program, since 1985. His accomplishments include teaching a certification and internship program for students interested in recycling careers, publishing a Decision Makers Guide to Recycling, and drafting C.U.'s zero waste plan. He was recognized with the University's highest staff honor, the Robert Sterns Award, in 1997. Jack was elected to the National Recycling Coalition's Board of Directors in 1991 and helped co-found the College and University Recycling Council. Jack built his house in the mountains outside of Boulder where he raises trees with his daughter and friends.
Monica Emerich, PhD, is the author of The Gospel of Sustainability: Media, Market and LOHAS (University of Illinois Press, 2011), an analysis of the discourses about sustainability that are generated within the media and the marketplace. She’s been actively involved in sustainability communications since 1991 in her roles as a trade and consumer journalist, a communications consultant, the director of research for two publishing firms, and a scholar. She holds a doctorate in Communication from the University of Colorado (CU). As an affiliate researcher there at the Center for Media, Religion and Culture, she recently co-edited the book Media, Spiritualities and Social Change (Continuum Publishing, 2010).
Jay Garcia Jay Garcia’s background is in real estate development and project management with expertise in Urban and Regional Planning. He owns a sustainable planning and real estate development consulting firm called G3 Planning LLC. Sustainability is Jay’s passion and he believes that it is our collective responsibility to serve the public interest – both current and future – and achieve high standards of integrity and proficiency. His credentials include: Certified Planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP) through the United States Green Building Council. In addition to running his own business and working on projects all along the Front Range, Mr. Garcia also teaches at the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Colorado Boulder. Mr. Garcia holds a Master’s Degree in Urban & Regional Planning and a Master’s Degree in Urban Design both from the University of Colorado at Denver as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and Environmental Design from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His ongoing training, education and experience include all aspects of sustainable development, planning, and urban design.
Tasha Halevi is a Project Manager with AEC's Sustainable Building Services and Sustainable Building Programs groups. Halevi guides teams using the LEED rating, providing project teams with analysis of LEED certification feasibility, facilitation and coordination of documentation, and recommended sustainable design strategies to achieve an energy efficient, sustainable design solution. Halevi also manages, designs and facilitates the Integrated Design Charrette curriculum taught at both professional and university levels for Southern California Edison. Through these charrettes, Halevi explores a detailed process to achieve optimized energy efficiency for the building and comprehensive sustainability for the built environment. Halevi has taught numerous courses on LEED, Integrated Design, and Sustainability since 2007. More informally, Halevi educates through BGBG Footprint Radio, a green building radio show. Her background in design and biology allows her to integrate a whole system approach to energy and environmentally responsive design solutions.
Paul Lander is a 28-year veteran of water, energy, and land conservation work. Lander is an instructor at the University of Colorado and for the American Water Works Association, is a LEED Accredited Professional, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Eric Lombardi is the Executive Director of Eco-Cycle, Inc. (www.ecocycle.org), and has had a long career in resource conservation, social enterprise development and non-profit (NGO) organizational management since 1980. Eco-Cycle, founded in 1976, is considered a nationwide pioneer in the recycling industry and has grown under Eric’s tenure (since 1989) to become the largest community-based recycling organization in the U.S. with a staff of 66 and processing of over 50,000 tons of diverse recycled materials per year. Eric is recognized as an authority on developing comprehensive community-based resource recovery programs and is often a keynote speaker and consultant on the social and technical aspects of creating a “Zero Waste - Or Darn Near” society. Eric has experience both nationally and internationally as a project consultant, keynote speaker and workshop leader for government and private sector clients across the U.S., and in New Zealand, England, France, Italy, Scotland, Romania, American Samoa, Wales and Saipan. Lombardi was invited to the Clinton White House in 1998 as one of the Top 100 USA Recyclers, and he co-founded the U.S. GrassRoots Recycling Network (www.GRRN.org), and the Zero Waste International Alliance, based in Wales (www.ZWIA.org).
Mike Marsh directs Marsh Associates Design and Build Services, which specializes in solar design, particularly passive solar. His 22 years of experience include positions at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the City of Boulder Environmental Affairs Office, Norcal Solid Waste & Recycling Systems and the Trust for Public Land.
K.J. McCorry is the CEO of eco‐officiency, a company which offers sustainability consulting services to small and medium businesses. She specializes in sustainability planning, assessments and employee training. She is a contributing author to Simple Path to Sustainability; Green Business Strategies for Small and Medium Sized Businesses released in 2011. K.J. also serves on the University of Colorado Denver Managing for Sustainability Advisory Council. She currently serves as co-President of CORE (Connected Organizations for a Responsible Economy) and on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals. She has been an avid environmentalist for over 25 years cultivating sustainability within her personal and professional lives.
Dave Newport is a veteran environmental and sustainability professional with over 35 years experience in this arena. He is currently the Director of the Environmental Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The Environmental Center operates the nation's oldest and largest sustainability operations program that partners with campus stakeholders in recycling, zero-waste, alternative transportation, energy outreach and climate action, and a myriad of other sustainability initiatives. Mr. Newport also chairs the campus carbon neutrality working group that is researching and designing pathways for the campus to achieve carbon neutrality as it has pledged under the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).
Thomas Ochtera has a background in small business, construction management, energy management, and international sustainable development. He holds a Masters degree from Prescott College in Sustainable Development, and has served on the board of the USGBC in North Carolina chairing the State Advocacy and Green Schools Committees. In addition, he has lived and worked as a sustainability consultant in Guayaquil, Ecuador for INTERVIDA, an international NGO based in Spain. Thomas has extensive knowledge of the design/construction process, LEED standards, and educational outreach within large organizations. He has authored the book Sustitution: A Sustainable Strategy for Higher Education. Currently, Thomas is the Energy and Capital Projects Coordinator for the City of Westminster, CO.
Kelly Simmons holds a certificate in Permaculture Design and Permaculture Design Teaching as well as a degree in Environmental Studies and a Master's in Education. She is the founder and former Director of the Boulder Sustainability Education Center, and has taught permaculture design and sustainable living skills both nationally and overseas in places like Swarthmore College, Denver Botanic Gardens, Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Association, Naropa University, Green School, and Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute. She served on the Boulder Valley School District's Sustainability Education Task Force and currently serves on the City of Boulder Solar Grants Committee. Kelly is a published author on permaculture topics and manages the Sustainable Practices program for the Environmental Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Seana Lowe Steffen, Ph.D is the founder and executive director of the Restorative Leadership Institute that serves purpose-driven organizations and planet-minded leaders by building capacity and invigorating potential. She formerly served on the faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder as the founding director of INVST Community Studies where she delivered award winning educational programs. Seana brings over 20 years of experience in leadership education and coaching, strategic consulting, and organizational development. Seana's clients range from grassroots to start-ups to Fortune 100 companies from all three sectors, including Hewlett Packard, Engineers without Borders, and The Sustainability Consortium. Her training and consulting work has spanned the globe and her awards include ETown National Public Radio's "E-chievement Award" for making a lasting difference, and Mortar Board's Outstanding Professor award. She is a participatory action researcher and published scholar in the fields of education, leadership, sustainability, community development and social change.
Will Toor, Ph.D is currently the Transportation Policy Director for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, and has served for many years in a variety of political roles, including County Commissioner, City Councilor and Mayor of Boulder where he has played a leadership role in advancing sustainability initiatives at both the local and statewide level. Mr. Toor was an adjunct professor in the University of Colorado School of Architecture and Planning and served as the Director of the University of Colorado Environmental Center for over 20 years. Toor holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Chicago, and has served in leadership roles on a wide variety of boards and commissions including the Colorado Governor’s Climate Action Panel, Colorado Environmental Coalition, Xcel Energy SmartGrid Advisory Committee and the Boulder County Consortium of Cities Energy Strategy Taskforce.
Sarah Wise, Ph.D is a science educator who has taught biology at the high school level and earned a PhD in evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado in 2007. As a Geoscience Education Fellow with CIRES, she co-developed the popular workshop Making Climate Hot: Effectively Communicating Climate Change, which forms the basis for this course. Dr. Wise is currently a Science Teaching Fellow with the department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. More information on CIRES Outreach may be found at http://cires.colorado.edu/education
Jeffrey G. Yorzyk, P.E., C.E.M. has over 18 years of experience in strategic environmental projects across a number of industries, with a focus on life cycle assessment, organizational management system development and data management tools. His career originated in the “nuts and bolts” of environmental compliance, waste management, and site characterization/ remediation, evolving quickly into strategic planning, waste stream assessment/ reduction, and environmental management systems. Jeff’s expertise in Life Cycle Assessment developed alongside the emergence of the field over the last decade, and he has both managed and conducted Life Cycle Assessment projects for numerous clients in mining, consumer products, and manufacturing. Mr. Yorzyk is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Colorado and a Certified Energy Manager by the AEE; he holds an MBA from the University of Colorado at Boulder, an MS in Environmental Science & Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Lafayette College.
Marie Zanowick is a Certified Biomimicry Professional. She is the Biomimicry and Engineering Instructor for the Biomimicry Institute and serves on the EPA Pollution Prevention Team with the US Environmental Protection Agency. The role of the EPA Pollution Prevention Team is to develop, identify and implement preventative strategies designed to eliminate environmental pollution. Since 1990 she has served as the pollution prevention expert for technical assistance and policy development projects for EPA’s Office of International Activity’s work in nine developing countries. Marie holds degrees in biology, public health (BS) and engineering (MS).