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Professor recognized for sustainability efforts

USF’s green initiatives recently got gold recognition.

Christian Wells, director of the Office of Sustainability and associate professor in the department of anthropology, was awarded the 2011 Black Bear Award by the Tampa Bay Sierra Club.

“That person is recognized for their outstanding commitment to the goals of the Sierra Club,” said Marcia Biggs, chair of the Tampa Bay Sierra Club. “One of those (goals) is to protect the planet, and we feel Dr. Wells has demonstrated time and again his commitment to this concept through his work at USF’s Office of Sustainability.”

Wells is the founding director of the USF Office of Sustainability, created in July 2009, as well as the Deputy Director of the Patel School of Global Sustainability. The Patel School offers a graduate degree in global sustainability, as well as studies in interdisciplinary issues such as water management and green entrepreneurship.

Wells said he intends on accepting the award at the Sierra Club’s Holiday Gala on Dec. 8 on behalf of USF.

“USF has come a long way to be a more sustainable university and this is due to the energy and enthusiasm of students, staff and faculty,” Wells said.

Along with founding the Office of Sustainability, Wells has created the Student Green Energy Fund and helped establish the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Building, an accreditation given to buildings that follow green guidelines, on campus: the Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions.