UNITY and AUGUSTA, Maine — Stephen Mulkey, president of Unity College, has been elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
The election of Mulkey to the NRCM board combines the success and expertise of two widely respected environmental institutions. Unity College is the first college in the U.S. to adopt sustainability science as its unifying focus. With 16,000 members and supporters and 50 years of successes protecting Maine’s land, air, water, and wildlife, the Natural Resources Council of Maine is the state’s leading environmental organization.
“At every turn during his presidency, Dr. Mulkey has demonstrated concern not only for the larger picture of global climate change and the sustainability of this planet, but for the state of Maine, a place that produced the vision in 1965 that led to the founding of Unity College,” said Melik Peter Khoury, Senior Vice President for External Affairs. “His brand of leadership is hands-on and community oriented. Service on the NRCM Board of Directors is emblematic of his approach, lending his time and expertise to assist partners in the quest to solve the significant environmental problems of the 21st century. This is service borne of an affinity and respect for the mission of the NRCM.”
Mulkey, who earned his doctorate in ecology from the University of Pennsylvania and also holds a master’s degree as well as a bachelor’s degree in fisheries and wildlife, is an expert in climate change science. He has studied extensively its impact on the world’s forests.
Climate change is widely considered the most serious environmental issue of our time and is a major focus of the Natural Resources Council of Maine. NRCM has led efforts that have helped Maine make strides against climate change. NRCM was instrumental in Maine and other northeastern states leading the nation by reducing power plant emissions through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI. This past legislative session, NRCM also played a key role in getting increased funding for energy efficiency improvements that will save Mainers money while reducing climate-changing pollution.
Under Mulkey’s leadership, Unity College is spearheading efforts to encourage colleges and universities to divest from investments in fossil fuels, having divested itself in 2012. Dr. Mulkey has also made it a focus of the college to support undergraduate research and provide expertise on sustainable energy projects funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Stephen Mulkey brings to the board of the Natural Resources Council of Maine a deep level of understanding about the environment and innovative approaches to protecting it,” says NRCM Executive Director Lisa Pohlmann. “He brings to our organization his academic leadership, passion for education, and determination to protect our planet. We could not be more excited about the opportunities this will mean for our organization and our state.”
Pete Didisheim, NRCM’s Senior Director of Advocacy, worked with Dr. Mulkey as a member of the Unity College Board of Trustees. “Dr. Mulkey is a scholar, activist, and leader who will be a great fit for NRCM’s board of directors. We welcome this opportunity to have a closer connection between NRCM and Unity College, which has become a leading college for training students to pursue environmental careers and passions.”
The election took place at the Natural Resources Council of Maine’s annual meeting of the membership on October 16, 2014, in Portland, which also honored the organization’s 2013 Environmental Award winners and was followed by “A Conversation about Climate,” hosted by the Natural Resources Council of Maine. The event featured a panel of climate experts, including climate scientist Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University and author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines. Nearly 500 people attended the event, which NRCM organized to educate the public about the threat of climate change and what must be done to address it.
In recent years Unity College has gained national attention for a variety of achievements including: its focus on sustainability science, the leading-edge of 21st century ecological problem solving and the vanguard in the fight for the mitigation of global climate change; its ground-breaking “green” innovations such as the award-winning TerraHaus, the first student residence on a college or university campus built to the Passive House standard, the most energy efficient building standard in the world; and for being the first college in the United States to divest from investments in fossil fuels, igniting a growing national movement in higher education.
The Natural Resources Council of Maine is a nonprofit membership organization working statewide for clean air, healthy waters, safeguards for our people and wildlife, forest protections, and clean energy solutions. We harness the power of science, the law, and the voices of more than 16,000 supporters across Maine and beyond. Learn more at www.nrcm.org.
Unity College is a private college in rural Maine that provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education that emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Unity College graduates are prepared to be environmental stewards, effective leaders, and responsible citizens through active learning experiences within a supportive community.