New Campus Sustainability Leader!


The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) is pleased to announce the hiring of Jennifer Fraterrigo as its new Associate Director for Campus Sustainability.

Fraterrigo, who was promoted in May 2022 to full Professor of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences, was named to the new role effective Jan. 15, 2022. Her research expertise is in the effects of environmental change and disturbance on vegetation patterns and ecosystem functioning. A member of the International Association for Landscape Ecology, the Ecological Society of America, and the American Geophysical Union, Fraterrigo is also an iSEE Water Scholar and Global Climate Change Scholar.

Additionally, she has supported campus sustainability efforts for years — including service on a Sustainability Working Advisory Team (SWATeam) that addressed land and water issues on campus.

“Jennifer is an outstanding researcher with a passion for environmental sustainability,” iSEE Interim Director Madhu Khanna said. “She will bring her experience and expertise to provide strategic leadership for our efforts toward achieving Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) goals — including making this campus carbon neutral as soon as possible.”

“I also want to thank Ximing Cai for his nearly five years of leadership as Associate Director and contributions to iCAP 2020. Ximing helped streamline the iCAP process, and he was instrumental in establishing mechanisms for closing the circle between campus sustainability and iSEE’s other important missions of research and education. Under his direction, we created a Campus as a Living Lab program that supports efforts by researchers to use campus as a test bed for research that can be scaled up to address larger sustainability challenges. Ximing leaves a strong foundation for campus sustainability programs that we continue to build upon.”

Fraterrigo, who holds an M.S. in Ecology from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin, does research that supports decision-making to promote ecosystem and landscape resilience.

Her primary responsibility at iSEE will be to shepherd the iCAP process, making recommendations that will further the plan’s objectives. She will co-chair the iCAP Working Group, facilitate recommendations from teams of students, staff, and faculty, and guide campus strategy to achieve goals laid out in the plan.

“I am excited to get started at iSEE — and to work with all the students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members who are devoted to making our campus a model of sustainability,” Fraterrigo said. “We have made a lot of progress over the past several years, and the iCAP gives us even more lofty expectations now and in the near future. I’m proud to take on this important role.”

— iSEE Communications and Public Affairs Director Tony Mancuso