The Auraria Higher Education Complex, the tri-institutional campus that houses the Downtown Campus of the University of Colorado Denver, is ranked first in the state first and 14th in the country as a higher education purchaser of renewable energy according to Environmental Protection Agency ratings. Approximately 45 percent of the electricity used by Auraria comes from renewable energy sources.
Campus sustainability is something that is gaining "cred" at schools nationwide. The American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, for example, is a public effort on the part of college and university presidents to promote the cause and at the same time get other institutions to commit to "climate neutrality." UC Denver Chancellor M. Roy Wilson is among the 154 higher education leaders to have signed the commitment thus far.
Andrew Pattison PhD, advocating for change
Andrew Pattison, PhD student at the School of Public Affairs, played a key role in advocating for the greening of Auraria. A Sustainable Campus Fair on the campus last year helped raise awareness and activity on campus regarding issues such as global climate change and sustainability, which helped with the successful implementation of a student-initiated 'Sustainable Campus Program.'"
With a master's degree in public administration from UC Denver, Pattison has helped rebuild homes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, enabled high school students and teachers to go to the tropics to learn about tropical ecology, and worked tirelessly for the Wirth Chair for Environmental and Community Development Policy.
His involvement stems naturally from his undergraduate degree in biology and work as a conservation biologist. "My thesis work was an entomological survey of a 51 acres plot outside Saratoga Springs, N.Y.," he explains. "The documentation of numerous threatened and endangered species of butterflies and moths helped protect this ecologically important site form a development plan. I'm proud of that."
Pattison has found a colleague and mentor in fellow doctoral student Jo Arney. "She was my professor for one class and in addition to being a great instructor she has been an invaluable source of support and inspiration in relation to pursuing this graduate program and field of study," he says.
Andrew Pattison is living out his favorite quote by Ghandi: "Be the change you want to see in the world."