A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
September 18, 2008 Volume 39 / Number 1

Mark Stemen, Named Sustainability Champion at the Seventh Annual UC/CSU/CCC Sustainability Conference in August
Mark Stemen, Named Sustainability Champion at the Seventh Annual UC/CSU/CCC Sustainability Conference in August.

He's the Sustainability Champion!

Mark Stemen and 17 students from CSU, Chico on the "Wheeled Migration"

Mark Stemen, professor of Geography and Planning, was named Sustainability Champion at the Seventh Annual UC/CSU/CCC Sustainability Conference held at the beginning of August. Stemen is well known on campus for his inspiring and tireless work with students and with the community on issues of sustainability.

His dedication is such that he joined 17 students from CSU, Chico on the "Wheeled Migration,”" a nine-day bicycle ride from Chico to the conference in San Luis Obispo. Although the honor was kept a secret, when Stemen heard in remarks at the awards presentation that the winner had biked all of the way from Chico, he knew he must be the recipient.

Elvyra San Juan, assistant vice chancellor for the CSU, said in her introductory remarks, "This CSU faculty member has more energy than seems humanly possible. He is a tireless advocate for sustainability, incorporating the concept into every fabric of his campus as he champions sustainability with his students, fellow faculty, campus staff, and the local community."

"Stemen has been an inspiring and effective champion, not only on his own campus," said San Juan, "but also for the CSU system, where he serves on the systemwide sustainability committee. He has reached across California's three higher education systems and advised community colleges and UC campuses as well as the CSU.”"

Stemen teaches environmental courses in sustainability and civic engagement. Under his direction, his students recently completed greenhouse gas inventories for CSU, Chico, Butte Community College, and the City of Chico. He is advisor to eight student groups at CSU, Chico and faculty mentor to the new "Sustainability House" in the residence halls. Additionally, he is the executive director of Each One, Teach One of Northern California, a new community nonprofit focused on leadership development around issues of sustainability.

"Receiving recognition by one's peers is always the best," said Stemen. "It is an honor that recognizes Chico State and its leadership in the area of sustainability as much as me as an individual."

CSU, Chico was well represented at the Sustainability Conference. Chico State representatives gave nine presentations, received two awards (Stemen's award and an award for the Green Campus Energy Efficiency Program), and had more students at the conference than any other institution except the host university. The sizable contingent, including Stemen, that arrived by bicycle from Chico was a strong demonstration of Chico’s enthusiasm and dedication, said Stemen.

—Kathleen McPartland, Public Affairs and Publications