Dr. Alex Maxwell talks Sustainability On Campus

Gonzaga’s Sustainability Office asked Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Alex Maxwell a few questions for their inBalance community newsletter.

What does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability is a guiding influence in all my work. I subscribe to the American Society of Civil Engineer’s definition that sustainability is “[a] set of environmental, economic and social conditions in which all of society has the capacity and opportunity to maintain and improve its quality of life indefinitely without degrading the quantity, quality, or availability of natural, economic, and social resources.”

How have you been involved in promoting sustainability on campus?

I am an alumni of the Cataldo Project. I teach a course in Sustainable Systems and Design to civil engineering students. I advise a senior design team working to address the issue of campus food loss and waste. And, I am active in the work to update the University’s Climate Action Plan.

What are some things you do in your personal life to live sustainably?

I strive to “live sustainably” by continuing to challenge myself to live with less. Bearing in mind embodied resources in all that I consume, this idea may take several forms — e.g., traveling less by car, eating less meat, or just generally owning less stuff.

How could Gonzaga continue to improve its sustainability efforts?

Gonzaga could improve its sustainability efforts by continuing the work of updating the University’s Climate Action Plan and considering actions that integrate its current goal of carbon neutrality with goals focused specifically on climate adaptation and community resilience.

More about campus sustainability on medium.com/@ZagsGoGreen


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