Jeffery Bousson joins CWU as new sustainability officer


Jeff Bousson is CWU’s new sustainability officer. Photo Courtesy of Jeff Bousson

Megan Rogers, Assistant News Editor

Jeffery (Jeff) Bousson joined CWU in December as the university’s new sustainability officer. As the sustainability officer, Bousson said he is developing projects, programs and initiatives related to sustainability. 

Bousson studied political science with a minor in public administration at Eastern Illinois University then got his master’s in climate science and solutions at Northern Arizona University. After working in the sustainability field for a few, years Bousson came to CWU.

“I’ve been hired to lead the development and implementation of our first ever adopted campus-wide Climate Action Plan,” Bousson said. “Also identifying funding opportunities for landscape-scale or large-scale commercial renewable energy projects, as well as transportation electrification and building decarbonization [opportunities].”

According to Bousson, the Climate Action Plan will serve as a blueprint for CWU to help the university achieve its greenhouse gas reduction goal. Bousson said this plan will also help increase engagement within the CWU community. 

“We’re going to be reviewing what we’ve already done in terms of our energy, our buildings, our transportation, our food and dining, as well as how we incorporate sustainability within [the] curriculum and academia,” Bousson said. 

According to Bousson, CWU wants to identify opportunities for decarbonization within every facet of campus. 

“Potential electrification, potential green energy, waste reduction efforts, waste diversion, also, fully utilizing the Wildcat Neighborhood Farm which is a great resource for us,” Bousson said. 

Bousson said that while these projects are not yet concrete, he also hopes to set up a sustainability newsletter and secure funding for potential geothermal and solar projects. 

“We’re exploring opportunities to maximize our roofscapes in our property to see what we can do to decarbonize [and] how we power our electricity, but also decarbonize how we heat and cool our building,” Bousson said. 

Bousson said he thinks sustainability is important on college campuses because it provides unique opportunities for collaboration.

“I think the kind of intellectual capital and the kind of enthusiasm that you can tap into on campus is really unique,” Bousson said. “Higher education is in a unique situation where we can be the leaders, and we’re already seeing that [with] other universities that are aiming to center equity within sustainability and climate change, and also equip and prepare our students for successful and meaningful careers.”

Bousson is originally from the North Shore suburbs of Chicago and what drives his passion for sustainability is the family camping trips he would take growing up. 

“Having that exposure at a very early age, my sister and I were able to have a greater appreciation for the outdoors,” Bousson said. 

Bousson said professors recognized his interest in the environment and nature, which helped him enter this field.

“We have a beautiful planet and I know that sounds kind of romantic, but when you go to national parks or national forests … it’s really easy to feel connected and that helps you press the proverbial refresh button in terms of whatever is going on in your daily life,” Bousson said.