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Boone appointed dean of School of Sustainability

October 14, 2013

Christopher Boone, professor at Arizona State University’s Schools of Sustainability and Human Evolution and Social Change, has been named dean of the School of Sustainability (SOS).

Boone is a noted scholar of urban environments, sustainable urbanism, environmental health and environmental justice. He has served as interim dean of the school since July 2013, succeeding former dean Sander van der Leeuw, a renowned archaeologist whose expertise lies in the role of invention, sustainability and innovation in societies around the world.

“Professor Boone’s extensive work in sustainable urban infrastructure, public health and environmental justice gives him a unique insight into assembling the environmental, economic, social and cultural pieces of the global sustainability puzzle,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “His holistic approach to finding answers to pressing challenges and passion for transforming sustainability education into use-inspired research and practice will train a new generation of students and practitioners to do the same.”

“Chris has done a terrific job as interim dean, developing good relations and plans with the other deans and me, crucial for an interdisciplinary school,” said Elizabeth D. Phillips, ASU executive vice president and provost. “He has also earned enthusiastic support from the faculty in the school and I am delighted he has agreed to serve as dean.”

Boone joined ASU in January 2006 as an associate professor and gained full professorship in April 2010. He is a co-principal investigator for the urban Long Term Ecological Research projects based in Baltimore and Phoenix, supported by the National Science Foundation.

“ASU established the first School of Sustainability in the nation and my mission is to ensure that it remains a leader in its field and continues to be the vanguard of sustainability research, education and practice,” Boone said. “At SOS, not only do we educate future leaders in sustainability through our degree programs, we also translate that education into action by partnering with other colleges at ASU and with key organizations to enable significant changes on the ground.”

In addition to his academic pursuits, Boone is a member of the executive committee of the Global Institute of Sustainability. He also serves on the Mayo Clinic Green Committee and was recently elected to the Executive Committee of the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors for the National Council on Science and the Environment. 

Gary Dirks, director of the Global Institute of Sustainability, said that he is pleased with Boone’s appointment.

“Chris is a dedicated professional and exceptional colleague,” Dirks said. “His leadership in the directorate will be of great service to both the institute and school.”

Rob Melnick, executive director and chief operating officer of the institute, added, "Chris Boone is an exemplary sustainability scientist and a modern scholar who has embraced a transdiciplinary approach in his teaching and for developing solutions to local, national and global challenges of sustainability. As a founding faculty member in the School of Sustainability and as one of the primary architects of ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability, Chris will be an outstanding educator-leader for extending the school's already excellent reputation."

Boone, who in 2009 headed a provost’s committee to develop a minor in sustainability, is a member of the scientific steering committee of the Urbanization and Global Environment Change program and has participated in the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s National Climate Assessment for Cities. He also actively contributes to Future Earth, an international research initiative that aims to transform the risks and opportunities of global environment change into sustainable outcomes.

Boone has co-authored two books on urban sustainability, “City and Environment” and “Urbanization and Sustainability.” He currently serves on the editorial boards of journals such as International Journal of Sustainable Urban Development and Environmental Justice. He is also the associate editor of the journal Current Research on Cities and co-editor of a new book series, called "New Directions in Sustainability and Society."

Boone received his graduate and doctoral degrees in geography at the University of Toronto before pursuing a post-doctoral fellowship at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.