History of Sustainability at NMSU


1. 2011 Jared Dial, a work-study student, at the Office of Sustainability, suggests the ‘Green Leaf’ as a way students could easily identify courses in NMSU schedule and catalogue that are focused on sustainability.

2. 2012-2013, David Boje, Chair of Sustainability Council, champions Green Leaf idea in meetings and agendas.

3. September 16th 2013, Rani Alexander convened a Teaching Academy session on Sustainability Across the Curriculum of NMSU. I got nominated at that meeting to put together a funding application to the President’s Performance Fund from the Sustainability Council. The proposal was due in two weeks. At the Teaching Academy meeting: Mark Andersen; Rani Alexander; Candace Gilfillan; M. Stanford; Christopher Brown; Steven Loring; Abbas Ghassemi; William Lindemann; Constance Falk; Mark Uchanski; Jean Conway; Joni Newcomer. David Boje obtained valuable support and assistance into developing the funding proposal from this group that would get the ‘Green Leaf’ into the catalogue and course schedule.

4. On September 18, 2013, Candace Gilfillan (also a member of Sustainability Council) and I met with the Registrar, Michael Zimmerman about an innovative idea, putting a Green Leaf next to courses in the NMSU Schedule that are Sustainability-focused or related. Mr. Zimmerman said this is very feasible and would not require additional money to implement.

5. After consultation with the attendees of the Teaching Academy Session, and input especially from Rani Alexander of the Education and Research Committee, Candace Gilfillan and I then presented an earlier version of our proposal, including Appendices A, B, C, D, E and F to the ADAC group (Sep. 23 2013) and have incorporated their suggestions, all of which were quite helpful.  The grant was submitted including the basic Matrix of Tracks for the Minor (Appendix F), developed with input of Rain Alexander.

6. On Tuesday, October 15, 2013 David Boje was asked to do a presentation to the University Budget Committee which made final selection from 44 proposals for the President’s Performance Fund.

7. Aug 14 2013 Provost Howard presents his vision and ideas for sustainability to the Sustainability Council at NMSU.

8. And on December 17th 2013, David Boje, on his birthday, received a contract to sign as Project Manager of the President’s Performance Fund at New Mexico State University. The main parts of the contract are included below in the Milestones and the Measures/Targets sections. The press release: FY2014 President’s Performance Funding – Approved Proposals

David Boje chairing a meeting

David Boje Chairing a meeting in November 2013

9. January 8 2014 – Several motions passed at Sustainability Council, and David Boje was made Coordinator to the Greening the Curriculum with a university-wide Sustainability Minor.

10. Jan 9 2014- Sustainability Minor coordinator met with Management Department to upgrade their course listings in the databases. Several courses were added, and the Management Department asked to be considered for becoming home for Track III of the Sustainability Minor.

11. Jan 10 2014 – Sustainability Minor coordinator present at Convocation of College of Business, a process for all departments of the College to upgrade the Sustainability Course listings in the databases. Convocation attendees were supportive of the Sustainability Minor, and agreed to schedule the Coordinator to meet with departments to discuss details. It was suggested that ASU’s School of Sustainability be considered a role model, so the Sustainability Minor @ NMSU can grow into an Interdisciplinary School of Sustainability @ NMSU. ASU has excellent marketing to students and employers and has a university-wide Minor in Sustainability.
Their marketing features students at ASU and how they work sustainability into their major. See ASU’s Sustainability Connect. Example of students in courses in the Minor in Sustainability working with Operations: “Undergraduate and Graduate students worked together with ASU staff and local experts to research and propose strategies for transforming ASU’s food waste system.” In ASU’s Sustainability School, faculty members in documentary film studies tell the story of carbon footprint. The School of Sustainability has its own administration, graduate students, and faculty. The coordinator is initiating an interview with the Dean of the School of Sustainability.

12. Jan 13 2014: On Tuesday morning David Boje (Management Department signed the contract with the President’s Fund for Excellence. The contract was prepared by Natalie Kellner, University Planning. David Boje is coordinator for President’s fund grant on Greening the NMSU Curriculum.

13. Jan 13 2014: David along with Lois Stanford and Rani Alexander from Anthropology Department, Steve Loring Associate Director of Agricultural Experiment Station System, and Mark Anderson from department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology spoke on the proposal to ADAC. Sustainability Minor milestones and the implementation schedule was reviewed. The university committee ADAC on January 13 2014 approved the Sustainability minor for the university to commence.

14. Jan 13 2014: A meeting took place the same day with Judith Bosland at Office of Institutional Analysis, on developing the course databases for sustainability courses focused- or related to sustainability @ NMSU. See http://peaceaware.com/sustainability for current listings. David Boje (Management), Rani Alexander (Anthropology), Mark Uchanski (Plant & Environmental Science), and Nate Whitten (data analyst Business College) met to strategize the database management issues of the ‘Greening the Curriculum project.’ Judith will meet with the Register Michael Zimmerman to work on coding the leaf small_leaf_sustainability_related_coursesinto the online NMSU course schedule. By doing this, ‘sustainability in the institutional databases becomes sustainable.’ The next step is to send the ‘Green leaf’ graphics to Registrar’s Office so the two kinds of leaves (Focused-course and Related-course) go into the course catalogue. See Matrix at http://greening.nmsu.edu/about-the-project/ Please contact David Boje to schedule a time with your department to review courses listed in the Sustainability Minor @ NMSU.

15. Jan 15 2014- Hank Strevel and I met with the Anthropology Department. They are submitting the definitions to the catalog changes. The definitions and objectives of the university-wide minor in sustainability would appear in the front of the NMSU Undergraduate Catalogue. They are also vetting 31 sustainability courses so they can get their green leaves on them in the Registrar’s online course schedule. We discussed where to focus efforts next, to get tracks 2 and 3 online.

16. On Jan 15, Hank Strevel and I met with Associate Dean Liz Ellis and submitted this for the catalogue revisions. It may not make it into this cycle, however, it lets us move forward to develop it into the STARS Audit students use in declaring minors:

A minor in sustainable development is available for students who want to include sustainable development in their academic training. The minor includes a minimum of 18 credit hours from the following: MGT 375V, MGT 388V, MGT 448 or BA 448, MGT 449, MGT 458, MGT 465, MGT 490.

AACSB is stressing sustainability http://www.aacsb.edu/sustainability/: “Sustainability, corporate responsibility, and ethics are an integral part of management education. They shape our values and help us understand our impact on the world around us. In order to provide students with these critical skills, programs must integrate these elements and initiatives into their curricula.”
AACSB Overview of Business Schools and Sustainability: “Recent years have seen exponential growth in the use of terms such as corporate social responsibility, sustainability, going green, sustainable development, social entrepreneurship, corporate ethics, the triple bottom line, as well as a variety of other terms that imply that businesses have obligations beyond the maximization of profit.”

“While “service” has long been a key mission component and source of pride for higher education institutions, the opportunities for business students and faculty alike to be involved in fostering environmental protection, social development, and economic growth have never been as numerous, nor as visible, as they are today. Business schools increasingly are embracing these themes within their courses, degree programs, operations, and infrastructure. It is important for management students to understand the symbiotic relationship between business and society, especially in terms of the moral and ethical dimensions placed in the hands of owners and managers.” http://www.aacsb.edu/resources/ethics-sustainability/about.asp

17. On January 22nd 2014, Coordinator gave a presentation to SMAC (Strategic Management Advisory Committee) on (1) Graduate Certificate in Sustainability, proposing it be housed in College of Business, in Management Department, and (2) long-range strategy of building a ‘Green MBA Program @ NMSU.’ This would be a change in the strategy of graduate programs for the College. SMAC recommended for item #1 that ‘Greening the Curriculum Project’ seek approval of Graduate Committee of the College, then go to ADAC, and finally to the Graduate Council of NMSU. For item #2 the SMAC members are going to their College Departments to get input on ideas such as #2, along with Entrepreneurship, and Global, in order to put some sizzle into the College of Business Strategic Plan.

18. Jan 24 2014 – Dominic Filosa (MBA) and Trumen Bob (College of Business undergraduate) went with me to meet Jeffrey Beasley, Tom Jenkins and Kenny Stevens in the Engineering College. We went to find the first home department for Track Two of the Matrix. We worked out a Track Two with two required courses (ET 381 & ET 386), plus choices among: WERC 300, WERC 350, WERC 330, ET 360V, and a Special Projects course, either ET 300 or ET 400. The good news is that these courses are already in the books as a “Renewable Energy Technologies” minor in the Department of Engineering Technology and Surveying in the College of Engineering. That should make ADAC approval easier. The difference is Jeff Beasley and Tom Jenkins selected courses for the university-wide minor that would attract students from other colleges, with a minimum of prerequisites, while keeping their minor that includes some more rigorous engineering work, in tact. There was a great discovery, embedded in that minor were two College of Business courses: ECON 337V (Natural Resource Economics), and ECON 384V (Water Resource Economics). Good news for extending Track Three, currently housed in the Management Department of College of Business.

President Carruthers at the council in Novemeber 2013

President Carruthers sharing his vision for sustainability with the council November 2013

19. 27 Jan 2014 – Received very good news, our permission from ADAC Chair to proceed with Track Two (housed in Engineering): “Hi David— I talked to Greg Fant and we both feel this is an information item only for ADAC (we do not need to approve), so please proceed with your plans to work directly with the colleges, departments, etc. We do appreciate being kept in the information loop, however, and would like to continue receiving updates as you feel necessary/appropriate. Best wishes for program success” Norice Lee (ADAC Chair).

20. 3 Feb 2014 – Met with Dr. Richard Pratt, Department Head of Plant and Environmental Sciences Department (College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences) and Steering Committee member Dr. Mark Uchanski. Agreement was reached on recommended courses for the university-wide sustainability minor, Track 3, that advising would happen in Management Department and in Plant & Environmental Sciences Dept. Got list of several students doing successful careers after their NMSU course work in sustainability courses. Worked on courses to add from Horticulture and Agronomy to the Graduate Certificate in Sustainability. Collected press material on careers from Mark.

21. 4 and 5 Feb – Three Management Consulting class students and Four Marketing Ph.D. Students have ordered a Banner, business cards, etc. and we are printing some press releases on jobs Sustainability students have gotten from their work at NMSU. Our plan is to interview the employers and educate the Career Services staff in order to organize events on sustainability jobs. If anyone has names and contact info or press on students from NMSU who got jobs in sustainability fields, let me know and I will follow it up. We are also working on putting up photos and testimonials of current students about their career goals. Feb 5th, most of the 60 booths had a sustainability focus, because the engineering firms were there. There were more students on Feb 5, and more conversation and energy in the Corbett Ballroom. Students are learning to understand how employers and students network with one another, and what the systemics are of a successful career path formation.

22. On 19 Feb 2014 – Brian Taillon and I met with Graduate Committee of College of Business. We presented about two objectives: first, commitment from College of Business to support the Graduate Certificate. We needed a home base, and we got one. Secondly, we got an agreement on how this can be a part of Greening of the MBA program. We are now in a position to move ahead to the Graduate College to meet with Graduate Council for Masters programs.

23. On 24 Feb 2014, had a meeting with a faculty member of industrial engineering about adding a cross listed course to the sustainability minor. IE 490- M71/AGE 420-M70/AEEC-590-M71. Some also fit Grad certificate. We are following up with the department heads and two other faculty, as it is a team taught course. Have a lead on the first course in Education College to list in the minor.

24. On 25 Feb 2014 – got department head agreement to list two HSS courses in sustainability minor; HLS 305V – Global Environmental Health Issues (3 Hrs) – Online; ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH (MPH 550) – Spring 2014 Online Course (Writing Intensive; permission of instructor of non-health majors).

25. On Tuesday Feb 25th, Career Services will meet with graduate students in 548 and Ph.D. Students in 661, who are working on two projects: (1) to develop the kind of relationship between Career Service and Engineering that is netting jobs for students in Fortune 500 companies, to do a similar relationship between College of Business and one of the Career Fair days coming up in the next year; (2) a Career Fair day devoted to sustainability. These events came about from students and myself doing a Business and Greening the Curriculum booth at the Career Fair on Feb 4th and 5th, and from a presentation to Graduate Committee of College of Business on February 19th, which approved a Graduate Certificate in Sustainability, housed in College of Business to be approved by Graduate Council and finally by ADAC.

26. On February 25th, I met with Career Services, and got their agreement to have a SUSTAINABILITY FOCUS twice a year. We can send them information on which firms to invite, put up banners, celebrate Sustainability, etc. Ask your students to Dress for Success and go to Sustainability-Focused CAREER FAIRS (first day of Career Connections each February, and first day of Career Expo each September); Please ask your students to register with AGGIE CAREER MANAGER, and Sign up for “CareerBeam Login (NMSU Students)” Why? Most Juniors and Seniors are not even registered with Career Services. Registered students get referral of sustainability companies that come to NMSU anytime during the year.

27. We can make a difference by recruiting Sustainability Companies. Faculty – please email names of sustainability firms to invite to February Career Connections & September Career Expo events at NMSU. SCHOLAR DOLLARS for SUSTAINABLITY STUDENTS – In your online essay, please put key words ‘greening,’ ‘sustainable,’ ‘green,’ and ‘environment,’ to get Aggie Scholar Dollars, & declare your minor in Sustainability now click dboje@nmsu.edu

Students Register with Career Services’ AGGIE CAREER MANAGER, and Sign up for “CareerBeam Login (NMSU Students)” or “CareerBeam Login (NMSU Alumni)“self-assessment tool to find your career path.

28. On Feb 27th met with leaders of Foundation Accounting, University Planning, and Financial Aid, etc. Got agreement to have six Foundation FUND RAISING accounts: one for each College for Scholarships, one for general Financial Aid for Sustainability students, and one for Operating Funds for Greening the Curriculum (copies, faculty incentives for course updating, etc.). Faculty, Staff, & Parents: Please DONATE to Foundation Accounts that GREEN THE CURRICULUM with Student Scholarships in all six Colleges: ACES (Connie Falk Scholarship); ENGINEERING (Civil Environmental Engineering Scholarship; Environmental Science Endowed Scholarship, Bobbie J. Creel Endowed Scholarship in Water Sciences & Education), ARTS & SCIENCES, COLLEGE OF BUSINESS, EDUCTION COLLEGE, HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES scholarship. You can donate to FINANCIAL AID for Sustainability Scholarships For operations donate to NMSU Sustainability Fund for the ‘Office of Sustainability’; Operating Fund for GREENING THE CURRICULUM. NOTE the 6 scholarships fund accounts are now implemented.

29. April 21 2014 – Met with Tony Marin, Director of Career Services and worked out plans for the two sustainability theme days, one in Feb for Career Connections, and second in Sep for Career Expo. Tony’s office is working on sending out invite to sustainability-related employers so they know to bring their Green banners and get to talk about Green jobs. Four Marketing Ph.D. students have an IRB approved that allows them to do focus groups with students and to talk to employers (that they find by their own devices) about how companies are or are not looking for green recruits.

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30. April 23 2014 – Met with Hector Sanchez the Assistant Registrar and Jacobo Varel who has responsibility for the online course list and the catalogues. We got agreement to have the 3 minors in STAR-DEGREE AUDIT. This will allow students to search for minors in the four colleges participating in the minors (ACES, A&S, Business, and Engineering). If we can convince the HSS department head to house advising there as well, that would open that option to a fifth college, leaving only Education. Adela Galindo Castro is point of contact for the testing of the STAR-DEGREE AUDIT final implementation. We also got agreement to have a special section in the front of the Undergraduate Catalogue listing the particulars for the 3 undergraduate minors in sustainability, and the definitions of sustainability-focused and sustainability-related courses. Print Flyer for MINOR 1 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENTPrint Flyer for MINOR 2 SUSTAINABLE SCIENCE, ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGYPrint Flyer for MINOR 3 –ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS & BUSINESS. Finally there will be a focused and a related leaf. See the samples of leaf designs. Leaves will be black and white instead of Green.

31. Apr 23 2014 Adela Castro attended training 1 to 5PM for using WordPress software to manage the ‘Greening The Curriculum’ new web page that will be on NMSU server and conform to branding guidelines of the university. The Coordinator will also be taking this training so Adela and Coordinator can sustain the web page.

32. Apr 30 2014 Meeting with Terra V. Winter, MPH, CHES, CFRE
Director of Development at College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences of New Mexico State University in Gerald Thomas 299. Topic is working on raising money for the scholarships in the six colleges (see Foundation account entry above). We have the Foundation accounts, now we must raise money.

33. 1 May 2014 – Meeting with the Graduate School, Curriculum Committee for Graduate Certificates is scheduled 1 May in Colfax Room of Corbett at 11:30 AM. Steering Committee Members are welcome to attend and present the case for GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN SUSTAINABILITY (see Flyer). Then we need ADAC approval, and a meeting with Registrar and Catalogue, and STAR-AUDIT to finalize implementation.


View PREZI presentation about history of Sustainability Research at NMSU up to 2011

Milestones in Sustainability education and research

Figure 1: Key Historical Milestones of Sustainability Research and Education at NMSU

Earth in a shape of a heart sustainability logo

Heart of Care for Sustainability @ NMSU

Faculty, Staff, Students, and the Community of NMSU Care about Sustainability.

Career Services Presentation

Click here for A few slides in PDF format on implementation plan for a University-wide Sustainability Minor.

See Interactive chart of Milestones in Sustainability at NMSU These are datable moments necessary to create Sustainability @ NMSU. Sustainability is interdisciplinary and it involves all the campuses and our community. This is our symbol of everyone @ NMSU being involved in Caring for Sustainability.

Areas of Sustainability NMSU logo See brief history this Care and of Sustainability @ NMSU by D. Boje and longer research article the has interviews with sustainability leaders at NMSU:

Aguirre, Grant; Boje, David M.; Cast, Melissa L.; Conner, Suzanne L.; Helmuth, Catherine; Mittal, Rakesh; Saylors, Rohny; Tourani, Nazanin; Vendette, Sebastien; Yan, Tony Qiang (2012). “UNIVERSITY SUSTAINABILITY AND SYSTEM ONTOLOGY.” International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior, Vol. 15(4): 577-618. Click here for pre-press pdf.

Details of these histories are in a summary form in this web page as follows:

Figure 1: Time line of Sustainability Emergence at the University from 1977 to 2011 – adapted from Aguirre et al. (2013)

1963- 1977 NMSU 1963 WRRI, extending to SWTDI, LTER. E.G. 1977 New Mexico Solar Energy Institute was founded with Dr. Harry Zweibel as Director. Establishment of Southwest Technology Development Institute (SWTDI), a non-profit, University-based organization that provides applied research and development services to private and public sector clients with active research programs in energy and related systems. Note: in 2006 SWTDI became part of the Institute for Energy and the Environment.
1981 NMSU Southwest Region Solar Experiment Station was founded as part of NMSEI with Dr. Vern Risser as Director.
1990 WERC established – WERC: A Consortium for Environmental Education and Technology Development.
1991 First International Environmental Design Contest  – University Institute for Energy & the Environment.
1992 SWTDI joins the NMSU College of Engineering with Dr. Schoenmackers as Director
1994 -State of New Mexico mandates all institutions of higher education to divert 25% of their waste, meaning NMSU had to develop recycling program to comply with the diversion criteria.
-Office of Facilities and Services (OFS) establishes integrated solid waste management program focused on recycling, reduction, and improved handling of campus-generated solid wastes.
2001 -Student Green Pledge is created with University professor appointed as faculty contact.
-OASIS class begins with an emphasis on organic farming led by a faculty advisor
2002 For five years (2002-2006) OASIS (Organic Agriculture Students Inspiring Sustainability) organic Community Supported Agriculture class and project operated on NMSU main campus, initiated by Professor Connie Falk
2004 NMSU President Michael V. Martin establishes “The Sustainability and Climate Change Task Force” headed by Robert Moulton to deal with rising energy prices and climate commitment.
2005 Art Lucero is appointed Solid Waste & Recycling Manager in September and implements new equipment and procedures to expand the Aggie Recycling Center.  Mr. Lucero opens the door for students to do community service projects with the recycling center and to propose new recycling programs.  The Aggie Recycling Center installs containers in buildings for the collection of recyclables and implements a collection schedule
2007 -NMSU President Michael V. Martin signs the American College of University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), making NMSU a charter signatory.
-College of Engineering beings offering a renewable energy technologies minor.
-NMSU moves to utilizing greener transportation.
– An alliance to develop wind research facility is established.
2008 -Office of Facilities and Services (OFS) began taking part in RecycleMania.
– NMSU sends a staff member to Washington, D.C. to meet with the State’s congressional delegation to advocate for sustainability issues.
– A baseline inventory of greenhouse gas emissions completed.
2009 – The Institute for Energy and the Environment hosted the Re-Energize America Conference examining energy policy and alternative energy sources including sun, wind, and algal biofuels.
-Interim University President Waded Cruzado-Salas committed to developing an institutional action plan to achieve carbon neutrality by becoming a signatory to the Presidents’ Climate Commitment.  The first iteration was completed and submitted to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
-Updated inventory of greenhouse gas emissions completed.
-Sustainability Learning and Curriculum Team established to develop advising and curriculum strategies.
– The University Teaching Academy creates a new class to assist faculty in infusing sustainability into curricula.
-Sustainability Task Force Created.
-Staff  member went to D.C. to meet with the State’s congressional delegation to advocate for sustainability issues.
-University department publishes 30 pieces related to sustainability.
– Interim President Waded Cruzado-Salas declares 2009, the “Year of Sustainability” and signed Talloires Declaration of the Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future.
-Sustainability council formed.
-Inventory of courses that have emphasis on sustainability and the environment completed.
-Web portal developed to promote sustainability activities and activities, gather ideas.
-NMSU ranks 3rd place nationwide in RecyleMania.
-OASIS group hosts World Café networking event on sustainability.
2010 -A series of 3 Green papers prepared by University professors and presented to the Sustainability Council.
Green Paper 1- Sustainability at the University. (full paper).
Green Paper 2 – Ecological Landscaping at the University for personal, environmental, and fiscal health.
Green Paper 3- Greening the University Campus: Modified Landscape Plan .
-2nd place nationwide in RecycleMania.
-The University joins the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels.
-The University creates an Office of Sustainability under the Office of Facilities and Services.
-Sustainability Manager hired (Joni Newcomber).
2011 -Faculty Senate unanimously passed a memorial to recognize the new Office of Sustainability to support the plans and goals of the Sustainability Council.
-The University administration recognizes and approves an Office of Sustainability and agrees to support the plans and goals of the Sustainability Council.
-Two University Professors work to organize a conference to spur economic development of sustainable energy resources and activities within the Southwest.


BRIEF HISTORY MOMENTS: Sustainability has a long and deep history at NMSU, beginning with 1963 WRRI, extending to SWTDI, LTER, WERC.

President Roger Corbett’s administration (1955-1970) when the WRRI was founded.

President Gerald Thomas’s administration (1970-1984) when the SWTDI & LTER were implemented

President James Halligan (1984-1994) administration when the WERC program was initiated.

The groundwork was in place by 2007 for operations staff, students, and faculty to champion two major sustainability agreements: Climate & Talloires.

Martin signs climate agreement

These university agreements were signed by university presidents (Martin in April 2007 & interim-president Czuado in 2009), and the 2011 Faculty Senate Memorial, which was accepted by President Couture and the Regents, as basis for Office of Sustainability, and the approval of the strategic plan of the Sustainability Council.


See Report on NMSU progress on the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment: A Climate Action Plan.

For example, President Martin was persuaded by Art Lucero (recycling manager in operations) to sign in Apr. 2007, American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.

9 Apr. 2008. Ben Woods briefed the ‘task force on Sustainability & Climate Change @ NMSU,’ on the university’s calculating process of carbon emissions. Mr. Woods said the task of completing a comprehensive inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, which include emissions from electricity, heating, commuting, and air travel, and to develop an institutional action plan for becoming climate neutral was well underway with a due date of September 15, 2008. Data used is for FY 2006/2007.  Attendees: Donna Alden (Student Success & Retention), Tom Bagwell (NMDA), Bob Czerniak (VP, Research Admin), Steve Loring (AES), Art Lucero (for Pat Montoya-OFS), Robert Moulton (ED-Chair), Larry Olsen (H&SS), Greg Parham (OFS), Darrell Pehr (U-Comm), Kathy Reddington (DACC), Michael Rickenbaker (Facil Plng & Const), Jennifer Villa (ED), Corey Asbill (for John Wiles-Eng/SWTDI), Jason Wyatt (ED), Ben Woods (SVP Plng., Phys Rcs), (Ida Quinones-ED)

Clubs at NMSU such as OASIS (Organization of Aggie Students Inspiring Sustainability) got the administration to sign agreements. See OASIS PPT on Talloires Agreement and the blog for OASIS, student club that got grass roots initiatives in sustainability to materialize results. On January 31,2009: The NMSU OASIS club persuaded Dr. Cruzado to sign the Talloires Agreement at a World Café event led by Professor Connie Falk. OASIS is not the only green student organization at NMSU.

Environmental Science Student Organization (ESSO) is based out of the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences in the NMSU College of Agriculture Consumer and Environmental Sciences. ESSO participates in Keep State Great, Relay for Life, the City of Las Cruces E-Recycle day, Earth Day, Toss No Mass, and the RecycleMania competition. The club also facilitates Crush Rush (a Sorority recycle competition), and volunteers with MESA (Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement).

Interim President of NMSU, Manuel T Pacheco signed Climate Control Action Plan.

Interim President Waded Cruzado named 2009 as the Year of Sustainability at NMSU. Despite the enthusiasm, our first outcomes assessments were not great. Oct 2009 NMSU receives C- on Sustainability Report Card.

NMSU Climate Task ForceSteve Loring, chair of the Sustainability Council, said the council is serious about the goals, and is on task to complete them by the end of the year to turn this around. ““[A new president should] make a visible, public commitment by saying ‘I think this is important,” Loring said. “Even after the calendar year, [the new president would] need to show that [the theme of sustainability] is not just a flash in the pan. One person in that position can make a difference.”

Steve Loring was chair of the ‘Sustainability and Climate Change Task Force,’ renamed the ‘Sustainability Council’ in early 2009, from July 2008 until August 2010. Jon Newcomber took over in 2010 when the Sustainability Council became officially recognized. David Boje elected its third chair (2012-2013). Currently Stephen Self is Chair (2014-2016).

Another datable moment: Jun. 30 2010 – A student team from Mgt 448 Small Business Consulting class help create a business plan for Sustainability Council, and Office of Sustainability.

The Faculty Senate (Mark Anderson, Chair) did on Feb. 19th 2011 pass, with unanimous vote the Sustainability Memorial. David Boje (Business College) who authored the memorial, Margaret Loring (of Sustainability Council) who did research on the bill, and coauthoring senators Alexander, Amato, Walker (A&S); Dormody (Ag & Extn Ed); Miller (Library), as well as then Faculty Senate President Mark Anderson, and numerous senators who helped refashion the wording of the Sustainability Memorial to recommend NMSU authorize Sustainability Council to care for sustainability, and report it to the STARS® (Sustainability Tracking And Reporting System). See AASHE STARS 2011 Report for New Mexico State University which requires us to develop the research and sustainability research projects database.

In May 2011, Joni Newcomer, professor Connie Falk, David Boje’s entire systems theory doctoral seminar (Mgt 655), made a presentation to President Couture, Provost Wilkins, and VP of Research, Vimal Chaitanya about the history interviews we had conducted with sustainability leaders (the little people) at NMSU, and the ways that sustainability fit into all seven goals of the university.

Another Datable moment: In 2011, NMSU earned a prestigious Bronze Star rating for its sustainability from AASHE.

Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 35.62

STARS 2011 NMSU Report

We skipped the Silver Star: On Nov. 30 2012, NMSU earned a very awesome Gold Star rating for its sustainability.  For Gold Star rating, NMSU’s President Dr. Pacheco actually wrote the “letter of approval” for the STARS® report submitted to AASHE.

Stars sustainability rating program logo

What are the STARS rating levels?
STARS Bronze – minimum score required: 25
STARS Silver – minimum score required: 45
STARS Gold – minimum score required: 65
STARS Platinum – minimum score required: 85 (as of 2012 no university has achieved this)

In 2012, we increased our score to Gold Star, by developing and maintaining several databases (sustainability courses, sustainability researchers, sustainability research projects, and sustainability innovations). Your help in keeping these up-to-date is greatly appreciated.

November 2012, we received good news:
“The rapid movement from STARS Bronze to STARS Gold is a clear demonstration of NMSU’s commitment to becoming a leader of campus sustainability, ” said AASHE Executive Director Paul Rowland NMSU ’88. “I am personally pleased to have supported the NMSU Sustainability Fund so that this kind of progress continues. It would great to see my alma mater become the first STARS Platinum institution. Go Aggies. Go Green.”

In the years ahead we will deepen our approach to sustainability at NMSU.

Three goals of the Sustainability Council 2012-2013:

  • To establish a Bicycle Friendly University
  • Bring about a Sustainability Technology and Model Residence Center
  • Expand our Recycling Programs at NMSU

2013 NMSU receives $5 Million grant for biofuel algae research

Feb. 13 2013 Climate Action Task Force slides e.g. Facilitators of task force are Business College students Dixie Richards and Victoria Matus (it is their service learning project for MGT 448 Small Business Consulting).

Take online survey of what your department (unit, division, etc.) can do to reduce Carbon Footprint @ NMSU.

Reducing NMSU students' climate footprint

Reducing carbon footprint at NMSU

Dixie and Victoria propose to Sustainability Council:

1. Competition between dorms on top 10 ways to reduce carbon footprint.

2. Competition among academic and service departments to reduce carbon footprint.

3. Give prizes for this competition

a. Tuition decrease

b. Gift certificate to eco-friendly store and/or organic restaurant in town

c. Eco friendly “basket” prize (includes power strip, water bottle, green cleaning supplies, recycled material bags, t-shirt etc.

Wish List

  • More water filling stations
  • Parking permits – Sensor lights – Remodel using more windows

Bicycle Friendly University logo


Student Project Spring 2013 to bring awareness to Bicycle Friendly University with some marketing focused on bicycle theft, and safe riding at NMSU (Mgt 488 student project)

April 16 2013 NMSU receives Bicycle Friendly University designation
“A great big thank you and much appreciation to the members of the task force who have doggedly pursued this designation and award.  It’s a very good thing for NMSU!” — Greg Walke, University Architect and Campus Planning Officer

Stolen bicycle NMSU police flyerMay 2013 – Constance L. Falk Sustainable Agriculture Endowed Scholarship in the College of ACES at NMSU is established. If you are interested in contributing to the Constance L. Falk Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship, please contact Terra V. Winter with the ACES Development Office: tvwinter@nmsu.edu or 575-646-5787.


If you want to participate in making history, contact the Sustainability Minor Coordinator, David Boje dboje@nmsu.edu