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About Sustainability 

Over the years, interdisciplinary teams have collaborated together at Fresno State to lead multiple sustainability-related initiatives that have benefited students and the University as a whole. In 2013, Fresno State’s faculty and administration initiated a discussion to coordinate campus sustainability initiatives under a single, interdisciplinary sustainability program. In April 2018, Fresno State’s President appointed Thomas Esqueda to serve as Fresno State’s first-ever Associate Vice President for Water and Sustainability. The function of this new position is to accelerate and coordinate water-related and sustainability-related innovation and research across the university’s eight colleges, work with Facilities Management to identify best practices for sustainability that can be applied on campus, coordinate student and faculty research projects conducted in collaboration with community partners, develop a sustainability minor, and to educate and engage with the greater community regarding water and sustainability issues and challenges in the San Joaquin Valley.

The broad vision for Fresno State’s Water and Sustainability initiative is to establish Fresno State as a model for the practice, education, and research of water and sustainability. In 2013, three geologists and two behavior analysts worked together and educated each other in an effort to promote research, education, and practice. With the support from the Dean of the College of Science and Math, a student-led Sustainability Club was formed, a relationship with AVP for Facilities was developed, and outreach was conducted with the administration, faculty, and students.

By 2015, the university determined that the ultimate success of the initiative depended on an independent office to track, coordinate and promote sustainability activities on campus and across the greater community. Working with the administration, in 2018 the newly established position of Associate Vice President for Water and Sustainability was filled. With the new leadership, Fresno State seeks to become a regional-wide facilitator and coordinator of projects that could change the practice of students, staff, administrators, faculty, community partners and citizens at large.

“We will expand Fresno State’s sustainability research beyond water to include innovations in computational sustainability, reconciliation ecology, clean energy, efficient waste management, and other practices.” Said AVP Esqueda

Our Internal Water and Sustainability Committee Members:

  • Jeff Cummins, Interim Dean
  • Jim Marshall, Dean
  • Chris Meyer, Dean
  • Dennis Nef, Dean
  • Ram Nunna, Dean
  • Sharon Benes, J.G. Boswell Endowed Chair in Plant Science
  • Maria Briggs, Assistant Professor
  • David Drexler, Scholarly Communications Librarian
  • Brad Hart, Academic Senate
  • Charles Hillyer, Director CIT
  • Tom Holyoke, Academic Senate
  • Andres Jauregui, Associate Professor
  • Andrew Jones, Professor
  • Robert Lull, Assistant Professor
  • Kalyani Maitra, Assistant Professor
  • Susan Mirlohi, Professor
  • Cordie Qualle, Interim Director CWI
  • Laura Ramos, Programs Manager CWI
  • Jake Ward, Plant Operations
  • Beth Weinman, Associate Professor
  • Bill Wright, Professor, Civil Grad Program Coordinator 
  • ASI JCAST Senator
  • ASI Sustainability Senator