IU is a resource for environmental health on our campuses and statewide
Throughout April, we’ve been celebrating Earth Day on our Indiana University campuses and engaging in important work related to sustainability, energy and climate change.
IU recently established a Climate Action Planning Committee to identify opportunities to reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions across its campuses and units. We’ve already reduced our carbon footprint on the Bloomington campus by 38 percent over the past decade through improvements in our energy use and other sources, and we are seeing similar progress on all IU campuses. This committed group of students, faculty and staff will take us even further.
Our IU students are also focusing on environmental health beyond our campuses, working with local communities, businesses and nonprofits to help them remain resilient in the face of a changing climate. This month, 39 new students join the ranks of the McKinney Climate Fellows, which expanded last year under a generous donation from the McKinney Family Foundation, whose founder is also the namesake of IU’s law school at IUPUI.
Many of these fellows will be placed within communities throughout Indiana, including:
- Gabbie Orlando of IU Kokomo and Grace Olsen of IUPUI, working with the city of Fishers.
- Andrew Russell of IU Bloomington, working with the city of Fort Wayne.
- Rae Handy and Qidi Zhu of IU Bloomington, working with the city of Huntington.
- Liam Bules of IU Bloomington, working with the city of La Porte.
- Joey Mendolia of IU Bloomington, working with the city of Lafayette.
- Jonathan Thomas of IU Bloomington, working with the town of Merrillville.
- David Clifford of IU Bloomington, working with the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission.
- Barbara Dale of IU Bloomington, working with the city of South Bend.
- Ava Hartman of IU Bloomington, working with the city of Terre Haute.
- Matthias Benko of IU Bloomington, working with the town of Zionsville.
The McKinney Climate Fellows program, administered by IU’s Environmental Resilience Institute, gives IU students unique, real-world experience that will prepare them for future careers and also strengthens communities statewide. Some fellows will support creation of climate action plans — conducting analyses and implementing policies that reduce energy costs and cut local greenhouse gas emissions. Others will assess the health of Indiana’s urban trees, which play an important role in our environment’s health, reducing air pollution and helping Hoosiers cope with hot days.
Our students’ leadership and commitment to the health of their state, communities and our shared environment provide critical momentum as we work together to reduce carbon emissions.