CSE expands environmental mission

One of the Office of Sustainability’s closest collaborators will be the newly enhanced Center for Sustainable Environments.

The center, known as CSE, is adding to its mission and absorbing the courses, programs and duties of the existing Center for Environmental Sciences and Education, which will reinforce CSE’s focus on research, education and outreach.

CSE will continue as the academic umbrella for undergraduate and graduate degree programs in environmental sciences, studies and policy. It will be home for most environmental curricula and coursework, including the recently developed Environmental Studies program and the Grand Canyon Semester. However, sustainability courses in other units, including biology and forestry, will still be offered through those departments.

CSE will be led by interim director Rod Parnell, professor of geology and environmental sciences. He is replacing Gary Nabhan, who has accepted a position at the University of Arizona.

“We are committed to moving forward with CSE’s critical efforts,” Parnell said. “The creation of the new Office of Sustainability and CSE’s expanded mission will be good for our students, our campus and our community. Strengthening partnerships between NAU faculty, staff and students and local and regional groups will provide terrific opportunities for our students as well as valuable outreach to the community and region.”

CSE already has developed strong partnerships with Grand Canyon Trust, Diablo Trust, several federal agencies and the Little Colorado National Heritage Area, and those partnerships will continue, Parnell said. He also said the center will continue to work with other community outreach activities such as land and resource management and sustainable/local foods systems.