Boone appointed dean of School of Sustainability


October 14, 2013

Christopher Boone, professor at Arizona State University’s Schools of Sustainability and Human Evolution and Social Change, has been named dean of the School of Sustainability (SOS).

Boone is a noted scholar of urban environments, sustainable urbanism, environmental health and environmental justice. He has served as interim dean of the school since July 2013, succeeding former dean Sander van der Leeuw, a renowned archaeologist whose expertise lies in the role of invention, sustainability and innovation in societies around the world. Download Full Image

“Professor Boone’s extensive work in sustainable urban infrastructure, public health and environmental justice gives him a unique insight into assembling the environmental, economic, social and cultural pieces of the global sustainability puzzle,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “His holistic approach to finding answers to pressing challenges and passion for transforming sustainability education into use-inspired research and practice will train a new generation of students and practitioners to do the same.”

“Chris has done a terrific job as interim dean, developing good relations and plans with the other deans and me, crucial for an interdisciplinary school,” said Elizabeth D. Phillips, ASU executive vice president and provost. “He has also earned enthusiastic support from the faculty in the school and I am delighted he has agreed to serve as dean.”

Boone joined ASU in January 2006 as an associate professor and gained full professorship in April 2010. He is a co-principal investigator for the urban Long Term Ecological Research projects based in Baltimore and Phoenix, supported by the National Science Foundation.

“ASU established the first School of Sustainability in the nation and my mission is to ensure that it remains a leader in its field and continues to be the vanguard of sustainability research, education and practice,” Boone said. “At SOS, not only do we educate future leaders in sustainability through our degree programs, we also translate that education into action by partnering with other colleges at ASU and with key organizations to enable significant changes on the ground.”

In addition to his academic pursuits, Boone is a member of the executive committee of the Global Institute of Sustainability. He also serves on the Mayo Clinic Green Committee and was recently elected to the Executive Committee of the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors for the National Council on Science and the Environment. 

Gary Dirks, director of the Global Institute of Sustainability, said that he is pleased with Boone’s appointment.

“Chris is a dedicated professional and exceptional colleague,” Dirks said. “His leadership in the directorate will be of great service to both the institute and school.”

Rob Melnick, executive director and chief operating officer of the institute, added, "Chris Boone is an exemplary sustainability scientist and a modern scholar who has embraced a transdiciplinary approach in his teaching and for developing solutions to local, national and global challenges of sustainability. As a founding faculty member in the School of Sustainability and as one of the primary architects of ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability, Chris will be an outstanding educator-leader for extending the school's already excellent reputation."

Boone, who in 2009 headed a provost’s committee to develop a minor in sustainability, is a member of the scientific steering committee of the Urbanization and Global Environment Change program and has participated in the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s National Climate Assessment for Cities. He also actively contributes to Future Earth, an international research initiative that aims to transform the risks and opportunities of global environment change into sustainable outcomes.

Boone has co-authored two books on urban sustainability, “City and Environment” and “Urbanization and Sustainability.” He currently serves on the editorial boards of journals such as International Journal of Sustainable Urban Development and Environmental Justice. He is also the associate editor of the journal Current Research on Cities and co-editor of a new book series, called "New Directions in Sustainability and Society."

Boone received his graduate and doctoral degrees in geography at the University of Toronto before pursuing a post-doctoral fellowship at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

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Career in forensic science starts at ASU for New Yorker


October 14, 2013

Editor's Note: This story is part of an ongoing series about student excellence at the university. To read more about some of ASU's outstanding students, click here.

It has been approximately two months since she left Long Island for Arizona State University’s West campus to begin work on a bachelor’s degree in forensics. What does Arielle Herguth miss about her hometown? Arielle Herguth Download Full Image

“I really miss the Chinese food from New York, believe it or not,” she confessed. “And I miss my family, of course. However, I’m so glad I was able to come here, go to these awesome classes and this wonderful school, and meet all of the spectacular people who have become my friends and have taught me so many cool things since I came here.”

Herguth is contemplating a career path that leads to a position as a medical examiner. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in forensics through ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, she also is taking advantage of the opportunities offered by Barrett, the Honors College, which recruits academically outstanding undergraduates from across the state and nation, and is active on all four ASU campuses.

When it came time to choose a college, Herguth considered Yale University, Duquesne University and the University of New Haven. But after an ASU campus visit, she decided to make the move to Arizona. “I felt like everything was designed specifically to make sure students are prepared for the world outside school, and that the professors and staff were more than happy to help make that happen,” Herguth said about her perceptions of her ASU visit.

Now that she is partway through her first semester, Herguth reports that things are going well both in the classroom and with her experiences on campus.

“I’m in professor (Bonnie) Wentzel's public speaking class. I really wanted to get more experience in this area and this class is really helping me to improve myself,” she said. “My biology and chemistry classes are really interesting. I love the labs and I just love science in general.”

Herguth also has praise for her Barrett classes. “The Human Event is probably one of the best and most thought-provoking classes I’ve ever taken,” she said. “The honors freshman seminar, Becoming a Community of Scholars, is a very engaging experience. I’ve learned to think about things in a philosophical way (that) I would not have before.” Herguth’s freshman seminar is being taught by Ramsey Eric Ramsey, associate dean for Barrett on the West campus.

Herguth also has wasted no time getting involved with campus organizations. “There are so many clubs here that I wish I could join everything,” she said. “I joined Barrett Artists and Musicians, the chess club my friend Carissa is organizing, the Otaku club and the Cosplay club, which is setting up a convention that I’m really excited about. I also want to join the Conservation Chemistry club. I'm so happy I could find activities that reflect my interests and find others who have those interests, too.”

The West campus has proven to be an ideal setting, Herguth said. “The campus is so beautiful. I love the fact that it’s just the way it is, not huge enough to get lost, but not so small that you never meet anyone new.”

Herguth started meeting people at the West campus during her visit in her senior year of high school. Among them was Todd Sandrin, associate director of New College’s School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences and associate vice provost at the campus. Sandrin says Herguth will be entering a growing field when she graduates.

“A recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report predicted that jobs for forensic scientists will grow significantly faster than average in the coming years,” Sandrin said. “Forensics graduates are prepared for careers in forensics laboratories and in the research and development of new technologies in the field. Graduates of the program also will be well-prepared to pursue advanced degrees in the sciences or law.”

In addition to its emphasis on biology, chemistry and the analysis of evidence, the forensics curriculum focuses on oral communication skills, which are important in preparing graduates for the multifaceted and multidisciplinary aspects of careers in forensics, such as providing articulate and compelling expert testimony in criminal trials. The public speaking course Herguth is now taking is part of the degree curriculum.

The opportunity to develop and use multiple talents may be part of what attracted Herguth to forensics a few years ago when she happened upon the video game called Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. “I soon came across a character named Ema Skye, who was so enthusiastic about and in love with forensics. She made me interested in the science behind solving crimes and I’ve been reading everything I can about it since then,” she said.

Herguth’s natural curiosity and desire to learn and explore make her a perfect fit for ASU, said Joe Swingle, director of New College and West campus admissions for the university’s Undergraduate Admissions office, who also met with Herguth during her campus visit.

“The value ASU places on entrepreneurship encourages our faculty and students to pursue innovative and creative ideas, which is the reason we are on the cutting edge in so many disciplines,” Swingle said. “This benefits students across all majors by giving them unique research opportunities in areas that are confronting some of the major challenges facing our world today.”

Added Sandrin, “Arielle is a talented, hard-working individual, and her talents and work ethic will take her far. We’re extremely pleased that she has chosen ASU, New College and Barrett to assist in her next phase of personal and professional development.”