Jim Cooke Spotlight

Dr. Jim Cooke in Haiti

Congratulations go out to Dr. Jim Cooke, professor of environmental science, for recently being awarded the College of Arts and Sciences Professional Service award.

Cooke has worked extensively in the “greening” of the ACU campus.  For years, he has encouraged students to make a difference in, and act responsibly towards, the environment.  His class in Environmental and Technological Sciences is noted for engaging students in practical ways to reduce their personal carbon footprint.  Several projects conducted by students have been incorporated on campus.  Cooke was instrumental in developing the campus recycling program.

Cooke has encouraged the development of a theology of stewardship of God’s creation.  It has led to interesting conversations among faculty in A&E as well as other departments on campus.  It has also precipitated several discussion sessions among ACU faculty.

Cooke has been at the forefront in raising environmental consciousness across the ACU campus and engaging ACU at the national level (i.e., Evangelical Environmental Network). 

Cooke, with the assistance of a student, completed a baseline assessment of energy use by the entire ACU campus.  The resulting monograph is being used as a measuring device and basis for recommendations on what ACU could/should do to enhance its collective stewardship of resources.

Just before the beginning of the fall 2009 semester, Cooke was tapped by ACU administration to become part of the ACU EPA audit team.  He attended the Texas Environmental Compliance Peer Audit Training in conjunction with and approved by Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas Inc. (ICUT), Texas Association of Community Colleges, Texas Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors and the Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities.  Cooke will help audit ACU and other private universities so we/they are prepared in advance of EPA compliance audits that all U.S. colleges and universities are undergoing.

Cooke has also been instrumental in leading the development and implementation of A&E’s rainwater catchment systems at the Rhoden Field Laboratory.  He has worked tirelessly with Mr. Billy Kniffen, Texas AgriLife Extension Rainwater Specialist, who happens to be one of our graduates.  The goal is to catch sufficient rainwater to provide water for our livestock and to irrigate raised beds for lab and research purposes. 

Cooke’s interest in environmental issues is not reserved for ACU. He spent time in Haiti on behalf of Global Samaritan Resources with a team installing water purification systems in March 2010.  Though the earthquake has increased awareness about Haiti, Cooke’s efforts in a small way not only serve immediate needs, but will help individuals have clean, safe drinking water as the country grapples with misuse of its natural resources.

Congratulations to Dr. Jim Cooke.

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