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Make an Impact

Center for Energy, Environment & Sustainability

An Institute

The (Named) Institute of Sustainability. Funding an institute would give an enduring presence to collaborative work in energy, environment, and sustainability on the campus and be the cornerstone of a new and distinct initiative at the university. Funding needs include an academic director and operational manager, physical space, and on-going operational funds.

Places

The (Named) Center. Multidisciplinary scholarship requires physical interaction and integration. CEES does not currently have a physical home and relies on availability of a small conference table in the Office of Sustainability for key meetings. The (Named) Center will provide a collaborative space for interaction and a place to continue to build a community of scholars at Wake Forest. The physical space will embody the state of the art in green technology, from architecture to construction and adaptive use. More than just a home for the center, it will provide a focal point for engaging and educating students.

The (Named) Renewable Energy and Sustainable Innovations Laboratory (The S-Lab). Wake Forest scholars are already generating leading-edge technologies for renewable energy production and a more sustainable future. These efforts are underway in spaces donated by existing individual research labs, and even unused corners of buildings. Leading-edge research needs a leading-edge home. The Sustainable Innovations Lab will have research and demonstration facilities for generation-scale renewable energy technologies (solar, wind, and biofuels), and sustainability research (biochar and coupled plasma incineration and generation). The Sustainable Innovations Lab will be a research and teaching space, where students and faculty get hands-on experience.

The (Named) Sustainability Clinic (The S-Clinic]. A core strength of a collegiate university is the ability to draw broadly on expertise across disciplines to solve problems. CEES and the School of Law seek to activate a first-of-its-kind clinic that works with clients on local to international levels to tackle environmental, energy-related, and broad-based sustainability problems important to society. The clinic would offer students from the College, as well as the professional schools, the opportunity for hands-on learning and career training.

Lighthouse Reef Atoll Marine Station – aka the Diving Deacons. Wake Forest has the unique opportunity to set up a world-class, integrated sustainability laboratory on one of the most pristine and isolated coral atolls in the western hemisphere.   Activities on the atoll range from hands-on innovation in development, payment-for-ecosystem services enterprises, sustainable management of fragile marine and terrestrial environments, and leading-edge and globally important biodiversity monitoring.

People

Department of Biological and Earth Sciences. Wake Forest is unique among its peer group, and indeed among most universities, in not offering courses in Earth Sciences—basic disciplines such as geology, geography, oceanography, or atmospheric sciences. Earth Science is central to the study of environment and sustainability; the Biology Department at Wake Forest and the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BES) group of CEES provides a natural home for Earth Sciences. Coupling Earth Sciences with existing programs at Wake Forest would not just be filling a void in the curriculum at a top-25 university, but rather would be energizing a whole area of study at the university—a change much greater than the sum of its parts.

(Named) Chaired Professor in Sustainability and Environment. Chaired positions in disciplinary fields signal the importance of these disciplines to the university community and enable the university to attract and retain the best talent.

Faculty Fellows in Sustainability. Funding is needed for one-semester and one-year release of faculty from departmental teaching and administrative commitments in order to concentrate on sustainability-related clinical and research programs.

Programs

The (Named) Speaker Series. Similar to the business school’s Broyhill Series, the (Named) Speakers Series would afford the center the opportunity to bring the highest caliber, internationally relevant speakers to campus each year.

The (Named) Lecture in (Discipline). We envision named lectures in CEES disciplines as a vehicle to build an annual tradition of bringing established thought leaders to campus.

Investment

Venture Capital for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies. A major goal of CEES is to take technological innovations from lab to marketplace. Private enterprise is fundamental in taking technology from the laboratory to places where it can make a difference. Our researchers are generating alternative means of generating energy and conserving Earth’s wild places that can be commercialized. A Wake Forest venture capital fund for sustainability would allow Deacons to invest in Deacon knowledge and know-how.

Sustainability Research Fund. Daring new technological exploration requires seed funding. This fund would support high-risk/high-reward activities in all areas of sustainability, allowing Wake Forest to enlarge its presence in the field and encourage entrepreneurial endeavors.