The Sustainability Faculty Fellows program is proud to announce that Dr. Etsuko Kinefuchi (Communication Studies), Dr. Wenliang “Will” Li, and Dr. Sarah Praskievicz (both Geography, Environment, and Sustainability) will be UNCG’s Sustainability Faculty Fellows for the 2020-2021 academic year.
The program, now in its fifth year, promotes collaboration among scholarly disciplines to encourage the integration of sustainability in research and teaching across the campus. The Fellows work on clearly specified projects that may include, but are not limited to, co- or extra-curricular campus programs, curriculum activities (including team-taught and individual courses), and innovative research projects or collaborations. Fellows also serve on the UNCG Sustainability Council.
Serving a second term as the program’s Academic Sustainability Coordinator (ASC), Dr. Kinefuchi leads the development of sustainability in the academic trust at UNCG and serves on the Sustainability Council’s Executive Committee. Her research interests include critical inter/cultural communication, ecology and culture, ecofeminism, critical discourse analysis, social movements, cultural identities, multiculturalism and pedagogy, transnationalism and diaspora, and building intercultural alliances.
“The last six months,” says Dr. Kinefuchi, “have shown us in no uncertain terms that UNCG’s four leaves of sustainability (the environment, social equity, economy, and aesthetics) are inextricably interconnected. You cannot have racial justice without climate justice and vice versa. You cannot have a sustainable economy without caring for the environment and creating an equitable society. And we absolutely need to cultivate aesthetics that inspires us and grounds us to honor all the gifts of Earth, including each other.”
Dr. Li’s research focuses on improving our understanding of building energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions within the complex and dynamic urban system, and exploring the impact of the natural environment and human activity on building energy use. As a Fellow, he will focus on improving and understanding building energy use on the UNCG campus and identify strategies for improving energy use efficiency.
“Sustainability is so important to all of us,” says Dr. Li, “and is something we must address from all aspects and at all scales from the smallest to the largest. We are running out of resources, seeing animal species extinctions, and facing social inequity. We must change, and the only solution is sustainability.”
Dr. Sarah Praskievicz studies the environmental aspects of river systems, including impacts of climate change on water resources. She and her students will conduct field-based research to characterize the status of and threats to Greensboro’s urban streams and how the condition of those streams can be improved. This year their research will support stream enhancement projects at sections of the North Buffalo Creek at Revolution Mill and in East Greensboro.
“Every aspect of human society is integrated with the natural world that we live in and streams are a ubiquitous feature of our cities,” says Dr. Praskievicz. “These urban streams are often degraded and neglected, but if we take a more sustainable approach, they can become ecological and social assets for our communities.
The Sustainability Faculty Fellows positions are one-year terms and are renewable through re-application. Each Fellow is remunerated on an ad hoc basis in consultation with the faculty member’s department head and dean; remuneration may include a course release, funding for research or travel, graduate assistant support, or other mutually agreed upon non-financial resources. A call for FY22 applications will be announced at a later date.
For more info visit: https://sustainability.uncg.edu/people/#fellows
Story by Sean MacInnes, UNCG Sustainability