New & improved
Linfield is taking large steps in sustainability efforts, starting with the hiring of
Linfield’s new sustainability coordinator, alumnus Duncan Reid
Linfield alumnus Duncan Reid extends his arms, palms close and parallel to each other. He is describing the narrowness of a street in a snug Lake Oswego neighborhood and how plum trees line each side.
“Which are so beautiful in the summer,” Reid said, “and every house has one.”
Behind one of those plum trees sits a humble cottage with a generous yard— the place Reid spent most of his time romping around outdoors as a child.
“That’s still such a reminder for me, I get so busy with things here, which is great, but I need to get back out into the wilderness areas once a month,” Reid said. “When I’m there, I’m like, ‘oh my god, this is so rejuvenating and inspiring – this is why we’re doing this.”
Reid is speaking of the initiatives he is constructing with Linfield’s Advisory Committee on the Environment and Sustainability (ACES) as the new environmental stewardship and sustainability assistant.
The new position requires Reid to work closely with the facilities staff to develop and maintain sustainable practices, as well as to work closely with students who wish to be involved in the emerging projects.
Although the position is new, Reid’s passion and endeavors to create and maintain sustainability within the community are not.
It wasn’t until after high school, however, that Reid developed interest in the field he now has expertise in.
“I was just a high school student, I wasn’t doing what I did in college,” Reid said. “I went to school, hung out with friends, and played golf.”
His interests in the natural world peaked during the summer before he would attend Linfield as a freshman, during which he worked as a canvasser for Environment Oregon’s environmental campaigns.
“I would go door to door and raise money for the campaigns,” Reid said.
His time as a canvasser sparked his growing captivation with matters of the environment and from then on, he began to eagerly self-educated himself on climate change.
“That was a real turning point for me,” Reid said. “I was starting to become aware of global issues and taking them seriously.”
However, his first day at Linfield brought him his first challenge.
“When I got to Linfield, there wasn’t a lot going on about environmental awareness,” Reid said.
Reid wasn’t disheartened by the shortfall.
“I recognized my role as a foundation builder,” Reid said.
Just four years later, Reid had built more than just a stable foundation.
Before graduating with a degree in environmental policy, Reid established the ever-growing Greenfield club, helped to found the bike co-op, led an alternative spring break program and wrote into legislation the Sustainability Grant Fund.
“I thought, okay, I have limited occupancy, so what kind of things can I put into place that will help students like me to be more effective?” Reid said.
Having built the foundation that is now quickly growing, Reid is excited about his return to his alma mater to continue the efforts.
Already, Reid has hired four students that make up the new Sustainability Team.
“There are so many ways to get involved,” Reid said. “It means a lot more if there are students behind something.”
Reid wants to be available as a resource to students and encourages those who have an interest to be actively involved.
“Students really do have the power,” Reid said, “but they have to go and do something about it.”
For more information about the sustainability efforts and how to get involved, Contact Duncan Reid at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call, (503) 883-2738 (ext. 2738)
This semester, there will be a meeting to implement a new Waste Task Force: It will be a campus effort to move towards a more sustainable waste relationship. Contact Duncan Reid for more information.
Earth Week is April 15-22. Keep an eye out for events and hands-on service. There will be education and awareness throughout that week.
Chrissy Shane/Features editor
Chrissy Shane can be reached at email@example.com