Serving most recently as Director of Sustainability - Education and Partnerships at Central College in Pella, Brian worked for more than six years to integrate sustainability throughout the institution, including courses across all departments; student research and internships; the college’s energy and waste management; local food partnerships with area farmers; community environmental education programs; and public advocacy for environmental and climate justice.
Brian holds a BA from Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina; a Masters from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California; and a PhD from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
His academic training, teaching, and research have focused on the history and culture of American environmentalism, especially the values and stories that motivate grassroots engagement. Brian is co-producer of Mid-Americana: Stories from a Changing Midwest, a podcast highlighting the region’s diverse people and places.
Brian has served on a number of local, regional, and national boards, including the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, the Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability, and the RE-AMP Network. He has been an active member of the City of Des Moines Sustainability Task Force and is the outgoing Board President of Iowa Interfaith Power & Light.
Brian grew up on the Alabama Gulf Coast and in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Since 2014, he and his wife Gina and two sons, Ian and Elliot, have called Des Moines home. Brian enjoys baking bread, playing soccer, and exploring the lakes, rivers, and trails of Iowa and the Midwest.
Cold temperatures ravaged the Southern United States this winter, highlighting flaws in the electrical grid and how energy is managed. To reduce inequities and increase resiliency in the system, energy efficiency offers an attractive solution.
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