The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment at Illinois (iSEE) is one of several under the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. iSEE shepherds interdisciplinary research projects into major themes in sustainability, energy and environment to ensure that future generations will have continued resources and a healthy Earth on which to live.

The Institute also offers leadership to campus units to assist in implementing the campus’ strategic plan for sustainability.

We work with colleges and campus units to develop and promote opportunities for faculty and students to engage in efforts that address the critical environmental, societal and economic issues of sustainability now and into the future.

To accomplish our goals, we will rely on help from major corporate and charitable partners and from private citizens.


Alvin H. Baum Family Fund


iSEE is supported by the Alvin H. Baum Family Fund through a generous gift of $2 million. Before the University of Illinois Board of Trustees and the Illinois Board of Higher Education approved establishment of the Institute on Dec. 16, 2013, the Baum Fund previously supported its predecessors: the Center for a Sustainable Environment and the Environmental Change Institute.

The Baum Fund, under the administrative leadership of Joel Friedman, is also supporting iSEE Critical Conversations and a capstone research project team for students in the Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Fellows Program between 2018 and 2021 with contributions totaling $100,000. Additional generous funding was provided in 2021 in support of iSEE’s new Environmental Leadership Program.


The Alvin H. Baum Family Fund is committed to bettering the lives of those who live and work predominantly in the Chicagoland area. Priorities established for the Foundation’s giving are health, human services, education, housing, environmental issues and the arts.

Read more about the Baum Family Fund >>>


Levenick iSEE Resident Scholars, Fellows Programs

The Levenick iSEE Resident Scholars Program is part of a major endowment in 2019 by Stuart L. and Nancy J. Levenick, right, of Naples, Fla. The gift from Mr. Levenick, who received a B.S. in Forestry in 1976 from the U of I, and his wife established an endowed Sustainability Chair in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES) as well as the Resident Scholars in Sustainability Leadership. The Chair will work with iSEE to bring in worldwide sustainability researchers from other universities, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations to share their expertise and collaborate with students and faculty on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

Resident scholars page >>>

Read the full news release about the Levenicks’ 2019 gift >>>

The Levenick iSEE Fellows Program, established in 2015, expanded the Institute’s base of research and scholarship by supporting resident Scholars, Research Fellows, and Teaching Fellows. These academics will lead short-term research and educational projects to advance iSEE’s missions of actionable research and campus sustainability.

This program is made possible by a generous endowment from the Levenicks. Mr. Levenick, who retired as Group President of Customer & Dealer Support at Caterpillar Inc., gave $500,000 to the University of Illinois Foundation in late 2014 for the creation of the Levenick iSEE Fellows Program Fund. That fund was matched by Caterpillar, and the matching will go toward building a new iSEE Collaboratory space for teaching, research, communications, and collaboration.

Fellows Program page >>>

Read the full news release about the Levenicks’ 2014 gift >>>


Doug and Dawn Sitton Awards

In 2024, iSEE began awarding the Doug and Dawn Sitton Award, designed to support educational opportunities and internships for U of I undergraduate students that can lead to career opportunities when they graduate. iSEE plans to partner with outside companies and organizations like the Illinois Environmental Council to provide internships that might not otherwise exist.

Doug Sitton

This award is funded by a generous endowment from Doug and Dawn Sitton. Doug Sitton, a 1980 Illinois graduate, is senior principal and client executive at IMEG Corp. and founder of Sitton Energy Solutions, an Illinois-based energy management firm that merged with IMEG in 2022.

“We are grateful to Doug Sitton for his support for iSEE and this new initiative, which builds on our Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) to give students additional experience in environmental policy and advocacy,” iSEE Alvin H. Baum Family Chair & Director Madhu Khanna said.

Read the news release on the first award winner >>>


Janelle Joseph Awards

Each year, iSEE Friend Janelle Joseph sends a gift in support of our Certificate in Environmental Writing and Q Magazine.

Joseph’s gifts have supported an annual environmental writing contest for undergraduates as well travel stipends for Q articles, allowing students to immerse experience firsthand the people, places, and environmental issues about which they write.

Help Support iSEE!

Wish to support the Institute’s missions of research, education, and campus sustainability? Please consider giving a gift to iSEE!

Please click DONATE below. You will then be directed to the University of Illinois Foundation’s secure Online Giving site to enter an amount as well as your personal and credit card information.


And thank you!