Wednesday April 25, 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Early: $145 Advance: $160 Onsite: $185
W4 - Sustainability in Higher Education: The Institution and Beyond

Sustainability in higher education rests on the assumption that colleges and universities play essential roles both within their communities and in preparing students to meet the significant challenges inherent in ensuring social equity and ecological diversity. In this interactive workshop, participants will explore how accreditation processes and goals - especially, although not exclusively embedded in the four WSCUC Standards - can be vehicles for supporting sustainability initiatives linked to an institution’s physical plant, student learning, or community interactions. Participants in this workshop will help construct models for integrating accreditation with broader sustainability goals, and develop strategies for using accreditation to help extend the capacity for colleges and universities to better prepare students, as Mary Catherine Bateson has noted, “to live on a planet we have never seen.”

Geoff Chase
California State University Channel Islands

Dr. Geoffrey Chase, was appointed Provost at CSU Channel Islands in March 2017. Previously, he was the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and the Director of the Center for Regional Sustainability at San Diego State University from 2002 -2016, and most recently was Vice President of the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Dr. Chase attended Ohio Wesleyan University, where he received the BA in English in 1971. He also holds an MAT from Miami University (Ohio) and the AM in English from Boston College. After receiving his PhD in American literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981, he taught for 11 years in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University of Ohio. While at Miami, he served as a Fulbright Scholar in Turku, Finland (1990-1991). At San Diego State University, Dr. Chase played key roles in establishing the Weber University Honors College, the Center for Regional Sustainability, and developed and oversaw programs-undergraduate research, assessment of student learning, academic scholarships, community-based service learning, and faculty development aimed at increasing student completion, success, and achievement. During his tenure at San Diego State, the university posted the largest gains in graduation rates of any research institution in the United States, increased its diversity and erased the achievement gap for six-year graduation rates. In 2013 he co-edited, with Peggy Barlett, Sustainability in Higher Education: Stories and Strategies for Transformation, and in 2004, Sustainability on Campus: Stories and Strategies for Change both of which were published by MIT Press.  He was a founding Board member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and he served as Board Chair for that organization from 2008 - 2011. Dr. Chase lectures widely on improving graduation rates, sustainability in higher education and he offers workshops on institutional change, leadership, and sustainability.



Matthew St. Clair
Director of Sustainability
Office of the President, University of California

Matthew St.Clair is the first Director of Sustainability for the University of California's Office of the President, leading sustainability efforts across the 10-campus UC system since 2004. Mr. St.Clair was a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Strategic Energy Innovations, a non-profit organization implementing energy conservation and sustainability education programs in California. Mr. St.Clair has delivered lectures at numerous universities, been an invited keynote speaker at several regional and national conferences, and has advised the U.S. House of Representatives on the formation of an Office of Sustainability for the U.S. Capitol. Mr. St.Clair has a Masters degree in environmental policy from the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley and a Bachelors degree in economics from Swarthmore College. He is a LEED Accredited Professional.


Meghan Fay Zahniser
Executive Director
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

Meghan Fay Zahniser has been with AASHE for eight years and previously held the positions of Director of Programs and STARS Program Manager. Prior to AASHE, Meghan worked as Sustainability Specialist at NELSON, where she provided sustainability expertise and consulting services to various clients. She also spent over five years working at the U.S. Green Building Council where, as Manager of Community, she developed and managed a local chapter network for building industry professionals and helped create the Emerging Green Builders program that integrates students and young professionals into the green building movement. Meghan also worked as Environmental Educator for the University at Buffalo Green Office, organizing campus and community education focused on energy conservation, green building, and sustainable living. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences, with concentrations in environmental studies and health & human services, from the University at Buffalo, a master’s degree in Organization Management and Development from Fielding Graduate Institute and a certificate in massage therapy from the Potomac Massage Training Institute.