a tropical forest with the cees logo

Scholarship and cross-cutting collaboration are the Wake Forest way. In support of these activities, the Center for Energy, Environment & Sustainability (CEES) has been awarding small grants to groups of faculty and student groups working on sustainability-related projects since 2010. We have funded pilot research projects by faculty, laying the foundation for them to secure external funding; brought high-profile speakers to campus to educate our community on timely environmental issues; and facilitated interdisciplinary professional meetings between Wake Forest scholars, academics from peer institutions, and policy-makers.

“Interdisciplinary scholarship is the lifeblood of sustainability. For the last 12 years our grants have been a catalyst for people to explore new ways of thinking and new ways of thinking about sustainability, and making it live in the world,” explains CEES Director Miles Silman.

We are proud to announce that during the 2021-2022 academic year CEES has awarded an additional $51,000 to members of the campus community, adding 10 projects to our seed grant portfolio. These comprise funding in support of:

  • The SME Sustainability Symposium, a one-day conference on sustainability in small and medium business enterprises hosted by the Wake Forest Law School’s Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law (awardees: Hunter Revord & Mona Ibadi, Law School)
  • US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s visit to campus, which included a three-day student writing workshop and a public performance by Harjo of her renowned poetry (awardee: Luke Johnston, Religion)
  • The Andrew Hoffman lecture series: “How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate”, “The Engaged Scholar”, and “Management as a Calling,” co-sponsored by CEES, the Sustainability Graduate Programs, and the Program for Leadership & Character (awardee: Stan Meiburg, Sustainability Graduate Programs)
  • The translation and illustration of Soy Sontone, a first-person autobiographical narrative of a Harakbut (Peruvian Indigenous group) elder of life before and during first contact in the Peruvian Amazon, in collaboration with artist and owner of AWA Galería & Productions, Patsy Craig (awardees: Luis Fernandez & Cesar Ascorra, Centro de Innovación Científica Amazónica/CINCIA)
  • Equipment costs for the Summer 2022 course ENV306: Writing about Wilderness, the Anthropocene, and Sustainability, to be taught in Alaska in conjunction with Outdoor Pursuits (awardee: Eric Stottlemyer, Environmental Program & the Dean’s Office)
  • Creating facilities for international researchers at CINCIA in Puerto Maldonado, Peru.
  • The scaling of a patented biofuels catalyst to production scale (awardees: Abdou Lachgar & Marcus Wright, Chemistry)
  • Research to quantify carbon and water exchange between leaves and the atmosphere and incorporate these findings into models of ecosystem exchange (awardees: Carter Berry, Biology & Lauren Lowman, Engineering)
  • Research into human migration and conflict over deforestation due to illegal activities in the Upper Amazon (awardees: Becky Dickson & David Weiss, Sustainability Graduate Programs)
  • Research on the fish diversity of Peru’s Kosnipata Valley at 22 sites stretching from the Andes to the Amazon, a repeat of fish surveys from 2012 (awardee: Julio Araujo, CINCIA)

“These projects are so exciting because they operate along all axes of what the center does–research and scholarship, engagement, and education–and in the areas of energy, environment, and sustainability,” says Silman. “They connect Wake Forest to the world and tap into the power of a university in doing sustainability.”

Congratulations to this year’s awardees!

CEES seed grant funding is open to Wake Forest faculty affiliates, external fellows, and WFU students. The call for applications can be found here; funding is awarded on a rolling basis throughout the academic year. The call will be renewed at the beginning of the 2022 academic year..