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In 2008, following the recommendation of the President’s Commission for Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability, JMU adopted a strategic emphasis to promote cultural change for environmental stewardship and sustainability and a broader sense of citizenship. Building upon a long history of contributions across units, a strategic, university-wide initiative was developed to support environmental stewardship. The Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World (ISNW) was created and coordinates, facilitates, tracks and promotes environmental stewardship. 


The Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World (ISNW) is a department in the Division of Access and Enrollment Management at James Madison University. The mission of the ISNW is to facilitate sustainability by advocating for environmental stewardship priorities, coordinating reporting and recognition of the sustainability-related efforts of the JMU community and encouraging engagement of all members of the JMU community in sustainability education and environmental stewardship.

The responsibility for sustainability (including environmental stewardship) is not housed in one university unit, but is shared across all divisions. JMU’s achievements can be attributed to the efforts of staff, faculty and students in many areas, commonly in collaboration. 


The Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World:

  • coordinates tracking and reporting of environmental and sustainability activities.
  • measures environmental and sustainability performance.
  • communicates information about JMU's sustainability practices and performance.
  • showcases best practices and accomplishments.
  • facilitates strategic planning related to environmental stewardship.
  • assesses student achievement of environmental stewardship learning outcomes.
  • strengthens and connects new and ongoing initiatives across campus.
  • engages individuals and units in environmental stewardship.
  • assists other units, such as those striving to demonstrate environmental stewardship in operations or enhance student learning about sustainability.
  • obtains resources and builds internal and external partnerships that enhance environmental stewardship capacity. 
  • assists with project funding searches and applications related to environmental stewardship and sustainability.
  • facilitates access to campus information and resources related to environmental stewardship.
  • funds professional development for faculty and undergraduate student research.
  • coordinates the East Campus Hillside and Sphere Theater.
  • coordinates ISNW stakeholder committees.


  • Christie-Joy B. Hartman, Ph.D., Executive Director e-mailprofile
  • Christy Bradburn, Student Program Coordinator e-mail
  • Amanda Bodle, Sustainability Specialist e-mail
  • Essa Paterson, Program Coordinator e-mail


The ISNW organizes stakeholder committees, which were also formed in 2008 following the recommendation of the President's Commission for Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability.  Faculty, staff, students and local government staff representatives serve on the committees. The committees make policy and practice recommendations, conduct projects related to their expertise and serve as peer educators.

The Awareness Committee increases awareness of issues of sustainability and environmental stewardship through planning, marketing and supporting programs that share information which challenges all members of the JMU community to think critically about their role in achieving the long-term stewardship of the Earth.

The Campus Accessibility Committee supports the transportation demand coordination efforts on campus by assisting with analyzing progress and identifying transportation opportunities.

The Conservation Committee models and champions best practices for environmental stewardship, and pilot tests potential environmental stewardship initiatives.

The Education and Scholarship Committee promotes and celebrates teaching and learning across disciplines and general education, as well as scholarly and creative activities that engage faculty, staff, students and other members of the community in improving our environment.

The East Campus Hillside Committee provides recommendations, conducts scholarly studies and conducts outreach about the naturalized area.

The ISNW is advised by an Executive Council, and council members chair the committees. Council members include:

  • Jini Cook, Director of Real Property and Space Management
  • Rick Larson, Assistant Vice President, Human Resources, Training and Performance
  • Marsha Mays-Bernard, Associate Vice President, Wellness, Orientation, and Multicultural Engagement
  • Dietrich Maune, Association Dean, College of Arts and Letters
  • Mack Moore, Risk Management Coordinator
  • Towana Moore, Associate Vice President, Business Services
  • Jeffrey Tang, Ph.D., Associate Dean, College of Integrated Science and Engineering

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