My View: How Our Campus Contributes To Sustainability and Climate Initiatives

College President Sheila Ortego Shares What Santa Fe Community College Is Doing To Make A Difference

03-22-2010 // Sheila Ortego, Ph.D., President of Santa Fe Community College
Sheila Ortego - Guest Author

I was recently privileged to join a group of distinguished leaders at a meeting in Washington, D.C., coordinated by the National Wildlife Federation. The purpose of the meeting was to encourage Congress to pass comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation that caps global warming pollution and funds education and training for the state’s emerging clean energy economy.

The leaders invited came from the higher education, labor, and conservation leaders sector. All converged to urge the Senate to support America’s competitiveness in a global economy by way of curricula, training and programming that incorporates clean energy and sustainability.

As president of Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) and as a signer of the Presidents’ Climate Commitment, I am actively engaged in a wide range of programs to decrease the carbon footprint of the campus. At SFCC, we have begun the process of constructing a new Trades and Advanced Technology Center, which will house a Sustainable Technologies Center, a regional resource for green jobs training and renewable energy education.

Other leaders in the group indicated that they are engaged in similar projects – or in complementary initiatives that support renewable energy and conservation. All participants were committed to providing active support to each other and to NWF’s efforts to make a real difference through education and training initiatives.

Here at SFCC, we serve more than 14,500 students per year in our credit, noncredit, and adult basic education programs. Key goals are to incorporate sustainability principles through our entire curriculum, to train for the ‘green jobs’ sector, and to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability, for the benefit of students and employees, as well as the community.

We believe we are making significant contributions to the economic stability of Santa Fe as the campus engages in these efforts, and we encourage all other higher education institutions to focus on similar initiatives, and to use their resources and influence to move our country forward in the clean energy and sustainability realm. National Wildlife Federation is to be commended for bringing together a wide variety of sectors to collaborate on our common goals.

For further information on SFCC and our sustainability initiatives, visit:

To learn more about NWF’s Campus Ecology program, visit: