‘March Madness’ for Environmental Studies: Colorado State University Named One of 16 Sustainable U.S. Universities

Enviance Inc., an environmental data management company, and Environmental Leader, an energy and environment trade publication, on Monday named Colorado State University one of the “Sustainable 16” as part of their inaugural March Madness Tournament for Environmental Studies.

Colorado State is the only Colorado university listed. Other universities listed include Baylor, Cornell, Duke, Ohio State, Purdue, the University of California-Davis, the University of Florida and UNC-Asheville.

“This recognition is an honor for Colorado State and a sign that our programming – to ensure every student has an environmental course, program or experience – is making a difference,” said Kathleen Galvin, Associate Director of Educational Programs for the university’s unique School of Global Environmental Sustainability or SoGES. SoGES is an umbrella organization that champions interdisciplinary environmental education across all eight colleges at CSU.

“CSU is doing its part to prepare students to address the multiple economic, environmental and societal challenges of global sustainability through broad-based research, curricular and outreach initiatives,” Galvin said.

Judges for this year’s March Madness Tournament were Peter Fox, principal and chairman of The Brattle Group; Velislava Ivanova, director of global sustainability at CH2M HILL; Larry Goldenhersh, CEO and president of Enviance; Nick Johnson, managing consultant at Trinity Consultants; and Don Cuffel, manager of environmental engineering at Valero/California.

“The Sustainable 16 has been selected from a highly competitive field of colleges and universities who responded to our survey looking for the top environmental studies programs in the country,” Lawrence Goldenhersh, CEO and president of Enviance and a tournament judge, said in a news release. “These are the institutions that will prepare the next generation of environmental professionals to lead environmental compliance, sustainability and social responsibility programs for some of the world’s largest companies. We’re excited about the quality of the schools involved in the contest and can’t wait to evaluate the programs further to identify a national champion.”

Universities that made the top 16 can advance to the “Environmental Eight,” “Final Four” and beyond. Faculty and students from those schools are being asked to support their entries with short essays, social media or video submissions on why they should be named National Champion. The submissions will be evaluated by the judges through March 19. The Environmental Eight will be announced on Monday, March 26.

The environmental and sustainability department of one National Champion will receive $5,000 to send the department chair or member of the faculty on an all-expenses-paid trip to San Diego to attend the Enviance User Conference April 16-20. The winner will lead a panel at the conference titled, “What Tomorrow’s Environmental Leaders Need to Know.”

The first-ever March Madness Tournament for Environmental Studies was created in a format similar to the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament to recognize universities for their sustainability and academic efforts, according to the Enviance news release. Enviance is a leading provider of Environmental ERP software, with more than 17,000 users in 49 countries.