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New Project Manager for Living Lab and Sustainability

June 15, 2016 -- Molly Blumhoefer, a Geography faculty member, has been named CNM’s new Campus as a Living Lab and Sustainability Project Manager.
New Project Manager for Living Lab and Sustainability

Jun 15, 2016

Blumhoefer has been a member of CNM’s Sustainability Curriculum Committee for the past two years. Last year, with co-chair Asa Stone and other faculty members, she helped organize the Water in the Desert Project and Recyclemania, both eight-week education series hosted by the CNM Sustainability Curriculum Committee to raise awareness about issues involving waste, water resources and more eco-friendly behaviors.

“I see sustainability as a way to connect the environment to the economy and society in a way that makes sense for the local population,” she said. “Sustainability projects give students, faculty and staff real-life experiences to help make the Earth a better, greener place to live.”

She also believes that a college that practices sustainability will attract more students, partnerships and programmatic funding.  

Blumhoefer will be arranging different Sustainability and Campus as a Living Lab projects to help sustainability become more embedded in the college’s culture. One of her first projects involved collaborating with faculty members and CNM Facilities Project Manager Marvin Martinez to put together classroom tours of the Smith Brasher Hall renovation that is currently under way. CNM Architectural Drafting students will be on site June 20 to learn about some of the unique sustainable features that will be part of the renovated building, including ground-source heat pumps.

Tours will be scheduled throughout the Fall Term for faculty and students to learn about the various aspects of the Smith Brasher Hall renovation and other buildings undergoing renovation.  Some other efforts include:  

  • Working on behavioral modification policies to curb energy consumption.
  • Studying technical ways the college can reduce gas and electrical bills.
  • Implementing resource and material waste reduction through programs like Recyclemania and Water in the Desert.
  • Educating CNM community about the environmental and economic risk of consuming bottled water.
  • Surveying faculty to find out ways they think CNM can be more energy efficient.
  • Collaborating with the larger community to support economic development and transportation initiatives.
  • Working with faculty and students to develop healthy, campus-wide food programs.
  • Working with the Compost Garden Committee, interested faculty and community members to get more gardening and composting on campus and into the curriculum.  
  • Making sure that cleaning supplies used at CNM are “green.”
  • Developing online learning modules based on CNM’s LEED Certification Building aspects.
  • Updating sustainability websites to ensure they reflect CNM’s policies on sustainability.
  • Collecting and reporting data for CNM’s Presidential Climate Commitment.
  • Seeking grants to fund sustainability efforts.

The Campus as a Living Lab and Sustainability Project Manager position is full-time, however Blumhoefer plans to continue teaching one Geography course a term to remain involved with faculty and students.  

Blumhoefer has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Planning and Design and a master’s degree in water resources, both from the University of New Mexico. She has taught Geography for three years at CNM. At UNM, she was a research assistant to Geography Department faculty members and taught Environmental Planning.