Raymond selected as new director of Discovery Park's Center for Environment

July 2, 2012

Leigh Raymond

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue political science professor Leigh Raymond has been selected as the new director of Discovery Park's Center for the Environment, a research center dedicated to meeting the world's emerging environmental challenges.

Raymond, co-author of the original proposal creating the Center for the Environment in 2006 and an expert on environmental and alternative energy policy issues, will replace interim director Jon Harbor, professor and head of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.

Raymond's appointment was effective Sunday (July 1).

"Leigh Raymond has a distinguished record of scholarship, teaching and engagement in environmental and policy issues," said Alan H. Rebar, executive director of Discovery Park and senior associate vice president for research at Purdue.

"He has been deeply involved with interdisciplinary environmental efforts since coming to Purdue in 2002 and had a major role in helping launch the Center for the Environment. We're excited about the spirit of collaboration he will bring to his role as director of the Center for the Environment."

Raymond said his primary role as the center's director will be to foster a culture of inclusiveness among the wide range of research and interests in environmental issues and themes already under way at Purdue.

"Having been involved with the Center for the Environment from its beginning, I'm very excited to work with our faculty, students and staff to continue to develop Purdue's efforts to help solve important environmental challenges as director," Raymond said.

Raymond, who also helped Purdue launch the Global Sustainability Institute in 2009, has been a key leader for several recent campus events, including a 2012 international workshop on new perspectives on intractable global problems, the 2011 "Beyond Climategate" panel discussion, and the 2010 workshop on emissions trading policy.

He has an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Yale University and master’s and doctorate degrees in environmental science, policy and management from the University of California, Berkeley. He research and teaching interests span a wide range of environmental issues, including climate change, endangered species protection, regulation of environmental risks from synthetic chemicals, renewables fuels policy and market-based environmental policies.

Raymond also serves as board president of the NICHES Land Trust, a local nonprofit organization protecting more than 2,500 acres of conservation land.

Researchers at Purdue's Center for the Environment are studying ways to help society meet important environmental challenges by modeling and predicting the impact of human activity on ecosystems, monitoring environmental quality, conserving natural resources and developing new technologies.

Making new connections between faculty studying the physical and natural sciences and social scientists studying the “human dimensions” of environmental challenges is another center priority.  The center also offers many opportunities for students to participate in its research programs.

The Global Sustainability Institute (GSI), also led by Harbor, was launched in Discovery Park to coordinate Purdue's research efforts in sustainability challenges such as climate change, energy, food security, the environment and water.

In addition to the Center for the Environment, GSI also includes the Energy Center, Purdue Water Community, Purdue Climate Change Research Center and the Purdue Center for Global Food Security.

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu

Sources: Alan H. Rebar, 765-496-6625, rebar@purdue.edu

                  Leigh Raymond, 765-430-3651, lraymond@purdue.edu

                  Jon Harbor, 765-496-1938, jharbor@purdue.edu

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Department of Political Science