Climate Commitment

Climate Commitment  LogoAlong with colleges and Universities across the United States, Shippensburg University is taking action on climate change and preparing students through research and education. Through the development of the Climate Leadership Network, Second Nature strives to “accelerate climate action in, and through, higher education.” Shippensburg University signed the Climate Commitment in May 2020, agreeing to develop a Climate Action Plan by 2023 that integrates carbon neutrality and community resilience planning. Of the 720 current signatories, 114 schools have committed to this inclusive planning effort. 

We are currently finalizing a Greenhouse Gas Inventory on campus which will set a baseline for carbon neutrality planning efforts. Campus and community members are meeting regularly to discuss ideas and opportunities for collaboration and implementation. The community focused Climate Action Plan will integrate carbon neutrality planning efforts with capacity-building to promote regional planning efforts. The plan will include: setting a target date for achieving carbon neutrality on campus, opportunities to reduce greenhouse gases, and a resilience assessment to identify initial indicators and current areas of vulnerability in the community. 

Watch our virtual signing event and Q&A held on April 22, 2020.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has committed to supporting this effort. SU alumna and Pennsylvania Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources Cindy Dunn joined President Carter in signing the commitment on behalf of DCNR, the South Mountain Partnership, and Michaux State Forest

The Center for Land Use and Sustainability is a strong supporter of this initiative, and CLUS Director Dr. Claire Jantz will be leading the Campus-Community Task Force.

The internal implementation team is led by the Climate Action Plan Committee. Members include: 

  • Dr. Russ Hedberg- SU Sustainability Coordinator/Assistant Professor of Geography-Earth Science (Co-chair)
  • Dr. Scott Barton- Senior Vice President of Administration and Finance (Co-chair)
  • Chris Clarke- Executive Director of Operations (Implementation Liaison)
  • Michael Duignan - Executive Director for Campus Life & University Union
  • Dr. Kim Garris-  Vice President of External Relations & Communications 
  • SGA Appointed Student- Ian Thompson (2020-2021)
  • Antonia Price- CLUS Project Manager/Climate Commitment Coordinator (Facilitator) 

The Applied Sustainability and Climate Advisory Team is responsible for integrating sustainability and climate themes into pedagogy across campus through curriculum development and faculty support, student success and workforce development, internships, research, and other student opportunities. This group is responsible for identifying opportunities, developing initiatives and resources, and communicating with staff, faculty, students, and community partners. 

  • Dr. Lynn Baynum (Teacher Education)
  • Dominique Buterbaugh (First Year Experience)
  • Dr. Jerry Carbo (Management / Marketing / Entrepreneurship Department)
  • Joseph Catanio (Director, Campus Support for Teaching and Learning)
  • Dr. Viet Dao (Accounting / Management Information Systems Department)
  • Dr. Pablo Delis (Biology)-Lead 
  • Holly Garner (Grace B. Luhrs University Elementary School)
  • Dr. Tim Hawkins (Geography-Earth Science)
  • Dianne Jefferson (Multicultural Student Affairs)
  • Lorelee Isbell (Career, Mentoring, and Professional Development Center) 
  • Alexandria Karlheim (First Year Experience and Community Engagement)
  • Dr. Tim Maret (Biology) 
  • Natalie Toma (Professional, Continuing, and Distance Education)
  • Dr. Hong Wang (Human Communication Studies)
  • Dr. Allison Watts (Management, College of Business) 
  • Christopher Wonders (Institute for Public Service and Sponsored Programs)

The purpose of the Built Environment Resilience Advisory Team is to identify opportunities to implement infrastructure improvements on campus. Infrastructure may be related to waste management and recycling, technology, energy, commuter services, and green infrastructure (green roofs, bioswales, and naturalized areas). This team is responsible for identifying opportunities, advocating for improvements, and implementing projects and initiatives. 

  • Greg Day (Director of Network, Telecommunications and Infrastructure)- Lead
  • Matt Dominick (Environmental Health and Safety Manager)
  • Kurt Dunkle ( Connection Alcohol and Other Drugs & Commuter Support Services)
  • Jeryl George (Grounds Manager) 
  • Dr. Steven Haas (Psychology)
  • Dr. Heather Sahli (Biology; Campus Farm)
  • Dr.  Alan Vandrew (Educational Leadership)

The focus of the Social Change and Green Initiatives Team is to incorporate sustainability into daily life on campus. This team is responsible for identifying opportunities to integrate carbon neutrality efforts across campus, communicating initiatives, and creating buy-in. This team supports social change by incorporating social justice, health, and food access. 

  • Richard Coburn (Aramark)
  • Madeleine Davis (Green League) 
  • Michael Duignan (Campus Life & University Union)- Lead
  • Madeline Hadfield (Public Relations Student Society of America)
  • Tyler Hill (2020-2021)
  • Logan Kane (Student Government Association)
  • EmilyJavitt (Engagement and Leadership) 
  • Jenna Mandes (American Marketing Association)
  • Jeff Michaels (Shippensburg University Raiders)
  • Jen Milburne (Housing and Residence Life)
  • Dr. Dorlisa Minnick (Social Work and Gerontology)
  • Dr. Kathryn Newton (Counseling & College Student Personnel Department)
  • Megan Talley (SU TV)
  • Ian Thomas (2020-2021)
  • Ian Thompson (SGA)
  • AlithiaZamantakis (LGBTQ+ Programs & Services) 

The Campus-Community Task Force is under development. The purpose of this group is to support the resilience planning component of the Climate Commitment. This task force connects the Shippensburg University Campus with the broader community of the South Mountain Region (Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York Counties). 

Learn more about The Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitments, an initiative through Second Nature. Millersville University, our sister school in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, updated their Climate Action Plan in 2019 through this program. West Chester and Slippery Rock Universities are also members of the Climate Leadership Network

Contact climateaction@ship.edu to contact the Climate Action Plan Committee.