East Campus Hillside

"Universities educate most of the people who develop and manage society's institutions. For this reason, universities bear profound responsibilities to increase the awareness, knowledge, technologies, and tools to create an environmentally sustainable future. Universities have all the expertise necessary to develop the intellectual and conceptual framework to achieve this goal. Universities must play a strong role in the education, research, policy development, information exchange, and community outreach to help create an equitable and sustainable future." 

Report and Declaration of the Presidents Conference, Talloires, France, 1990

ISNW Faculty and Staff

Amanda Bodle

Program Manager


Christy Bradburn

Student Program Coordinator


Essa Paterson

Program Coordinator

Victoria Walker

Victoria Walker

Administrative Assistant/Office Specialist

ISNW Student Staff

Student employee profile picture

Chess Duckwall

Peer Educator

Student profile picture

Maddie Shanholtz

Peer Educator

Student profile picture

Stephi Shraga

Peer Educator


JMU has a long history of contributions across units and by individuals. Many of JMU’s environmental sustainability achievements to date can be attributed to voluntary past and current efforts of staff, faculty, and students in many areas, commonly in collaboration. In 2008, following the recommendations 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. The Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World (ISNW) was created to coordinate and advance sustainability efforts as consistent with universities' education, research, and service missions. Today, the ISNW maintains its focus on building an environmentally literate community whose members think critically and act, individually and collectively, as model stewards of the natural world. 


Enhancing environmental stewardship and sustainability by advocating for priorities; coordinating the collaborative efforts of the university to promote cultural change and a broader sense of citizenship; and challenging all members of the JMU community to participate in educational opportunities and think critically about their role in achieving the long-term stewardship of Earth. 


The Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World:

  • tracks environmental and sustainability education and engagement opportunities, including creating inventories of courses, programs, and research. 
  • assesses achievement of student environmental stewardship learning outcomes and the culture of sustainability.
  • measures university sustainability progress across the three dimensions of sustainability.
  • provides information and tools to encourage our community members to be environmentally literate, ecologically responsible citizens.
  • supports faculty and student sustainability research and scholarship as well as faculty professional development.
  • advocates for environmental stewardship priorities, including recommending actions that demonstrate environmental stewardship in operations.
  • showcases best practices and accomplishments.
  • builds internal and external partnerships that enhance environmental stewardship capacity. 
  • facilitates access to campus information and resources related to environmental stewardship.
  • coordinates the East Campus Hillside and Science On a Sphere.
  • coordinates ISNW stakeholder committees.

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, and students serve on the committees. The committees make policy and practice recommendations, conduct projects related to their expertise, and serve as peer educators.

The Education and Scholarship Committee promotes, celebrates, and advances 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 area.

The Liaison Group 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, and also models and champions best practices for environmental stewardship and pilot tests potential environmental stewardship initiatives.

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

  • Dirron Allen, Ed.D., Associate Vice President for Student Life and Involvement
  • Jini Cook, Director of Real Property and Space Management
  • Linda Plitt Donaldson, Ph.D., Associate Dean, College of Health and Behavioral Studies
    Director, Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services
  • Rick Larson, Assistant Vice President, Human Resources, Training and Performance
  • Towana Moore, Associate Vice President, Business Services
  • Gary Shears, Executive Director of Facilities and Construction
  • Jeffrey Tang, Ph.D., Associate Dean, College of Integrated Science and Engineering

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