Nicole Hagerman Miller is the Managing Director at Biomimicry 3.8, a Missoula, Montana based company that draws it's design inspiration and functional instruction from nature and natural systems and tailors those ancient and refined principals to modern day businesses and organizations the world over. She shares intriguing success stories, some of the bright moments during her covid quarantine time as well as the story of her personal growth from an ideology of achievement above all else, to a value system that emphasis the importance of the journey not just the destination.
Lee Ball: Welcome to another episode of the podcast, Find Your Sustain Ability, where we have deep conversations about the meaning and varying perspectives of sustainability. Today, we're speaking with Nicole Hagerman Miller. Nicole serves as the Managing Director of Biomimicry 3.8, a certified B corp and social enterprise dedicated to helping change makers create a more sustainable world by emulating nature's designs and core principles. Welcome to the show, Nicole.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Thank you. I'm happy to be here.
Lee Ball: It's really nice to have you on the podcast today. Always love talking to you and appreciate your perspective, but I wanted to start by asking you how you're doing these days as we begin to navigate out of our global pandemic much like the cicada emergence?
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Well, thank you for asking. I'm doing well. I always am hesitant to answer that question because I understand that people can be in not so good situations. I feel very fortunate that I live in Montana, a place where I have access to nature, I can get outside. My work wasn't impacted heavily by COVID. Overall, I feel very grateful coming out of COVID and coming out of, I think, the awakening that so many people had. I think I am so hopeful that the awakening stays rich and conscious for people and that there was so much awareness I think that occurred for people in the value of slowing down and pausing and getting outside.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: I think all of that that surfaced was just really inspiring to see happen in the world. This is a really long answer to your question, but I'm really well and I'm really hopeful and I'm really encouraged by some of the things that we did see. As much as there was the horrible and the restless and the unnerving and the scary aspects of it, there were also some really beautiful outcomes of COVID, and I'm choosing to focus on those silver linings. With that, it embodies me with an overall feeling of being well and grateful.
Lee Ball: What did you say that nature was a big part of your pandemic experience for you and your family? You're in Montana, so I know it was cold during a lot of the pandemic, but also know that you are not afraid of the cold.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Well, I don't know about that. I feel like as I get older in my years, my tolerance for cold goes down a little bit each year. Yeah, absolutely. Nature was a massive part of being able to be resilient in such an unnerving time. I think the thing that I often think about is last spring, when COVID was at its height, I remember sitting in my yard and being like, "Wow, these birds are so loud and everything is so green." I work with an amazing group of biologists. We were talking about that and it was actually Janine Benyus, the co-founder of our company who said, "I'm also sure that it is different. I just think that we're noticing it for the first time in a way that we've never noticed it before."
Nicole Hagerman Miller: That really struck me and I did start noticing things in a way that I hadn't before. I think I was chalking it up to, oh, the world is slowing down, and therefore nature is really showing her glory. But I think it's always there. It's just we're not always looking in that way. I definitely became more conscious of what was happening in nature and having that space, as I mentioned earlier, to slow down and really enjoy it in a more conscious way and in a more grateful way, because we sought nature for sanity in so many of those months. Absolutely, I think it was a part of being able to get through this past year and a half, but then also in everyday. I think it's part of my wellness strategy, for sure.
Lee Ball: We sure are fortunate to have your founder, Janine Benyus, on your team. There's no better person in my opinion to remind us to stop and pay attention to what's going on in the natural world.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: I'm grateful for that every day, and all of our team. I probably share this story a lot, but it's one of my favorite memories of actually first meeting Janine. We were traveling together and we were with a group, a client group that we were working with. We were within a city, but we were in this tropical forest area that was a protected zone, and we were going for a walk in there to just look at some of the local species and just look at what we could learn from the species. I remember the organizers, they had planned this three mile loop, right? This one hour three miles. Totally doable, right? That's a lovely nice stroll.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: For our group, in the hour, we got not even a couple of yards into the walk and we just stayed there. I think it's such a great example of you don't have to go far. I think for me, I was always one of those people who was like, "Must get to the top of the mountain in this time. Must get back. Must have this cardio experience." I was always so focused on the goal, and I think she's really been such a teacher for me in learning that value of slowing down and learning that you don't have to go even on a three mile walk to see all these different things. You can just sit in one spot in your backyard and have the same experience.
Lee Ball: What were some of the biggest challenges and takeaways for you and your team at Biomimicry 3.8 during the past 12 to 14 months?
Nicole Hagerman Miller: I think we were all very grateful that we were grounded in biomimicry and that we look to nature to help us make our decisions, to help make more informed decisions about what we want to do and what we want to put our energy into. We're grounded in that as a company. I think that gave us a stability that maybe others didn't have, is that we were already ... I think we were well-grounded, right? We had this belief and understanding and ethos of there is something bigger holding us and that we all are working to protect that and to be in service to that. I think that purpose and embodying that purpose keeps us grounded.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: I think one thing that we saw is that while yes it was scary, while yes it was unnerving, while yes there were so many unknowns, we knew that the work that we are doing and will continue to do was becoming more and more important. I think not that we would have chosen this way for it to become eliminated, but I think because of that awakening, because of that awareness, we were seeing more interest in our work, and I think that was encouraging for us, certainly as a team, to see other companies wake up. In full transparency, we did have several projects drop off.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: A lot of our projects that were product-focused, those got tabled. But the ones that were around our built environment work, building did not slow down during COVID. That absolutely kept, and it even in some cases grew. The other piece of it that I think we're seeing is oftentimes we really had to work to create that system, that web for people to show, yes, you're going to start applying biomimicry to a R&D project over here, but there's so many other applications, right? We would have to ease people into that in terms of seeing the holistic capacity of what biomimicry can bring.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: I think now what we're seeing is a much more awareness or an easier understanding of systems thinking and systems approach to problem solving because ... Well, actually, I can't say I know for sure, but it seems like that was easier for us in the last year. Something within COVID triggered that for people to be able to understand, oh, we can't look at issues in isolation anymore. We have to look at things systematically. Once you start looking at a whole system operating biomedically, what does that yield in terms of impact? That conversation has been a unique one in the past in terms of organizations that were able to go there.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Interface is a great example. We've been working with them for almost 20 years and they got it. But when we would work with other companies that oftentimes would see Biomimicry as this shiny object like, "Oh cool, let's try biomimicry." They would see it as a very one-off like, "Let's apply here," and we really had to work very hard to help them see the system's benefit of doing biomimicry. Obviously, that's challenging because companies and organizations can be deeply siloed and it's hard to break those and interconnected parts. But what I've seen is that conversation is becoming easier.
Lee Ball: I want to back up a little and talk about your journey that led you to work in the sustainability space. Can you share some of your story that explains why you care so much about helping people and places? I'm always really interested in people like you that have remained connected to nature over the years. I think it's an important part of those of us that are interested in sustainability education. How do we get people to care? You clearly care. There was something about your childhood, your journey that just led you to this work.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Certainly my upbringing growing up in Montana, being connected to nature. Indirectly, I had that probably within my DNA of wanting to take care of this place. I also come from a family that has five generations of being in Montana that has worked the earth, farming and ranching. I think taking care of the earth is probably somewhere embedded in my genetic code. But I don't think I was conscious about it until I did my work at Overstock and was doing sourcing. When I first started sourcing, it was funny our CEO described it as, "Nicole, you have a dream job. You get to travel the world and shop," which is a really glorified way of saying what I did.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: It wasn't quite that luxurious. But I think what that gave me is the exposure to how our products are made. I don't think most people are privy to that process of just any product that's in front of us. We've become such a consumer-oriented culture that drives our whole economic systems. So then to start to understand that more deeply, it really impacted me in how do we design better in a way that isn't having these negative externalities? Because it was clear, as soon as I started getting into the sourcing space, is half of my job was figuring out how to mitigate for the externalities.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: I just became really curious of, well, how do we not even have that conversation? How do we design upfront so that we're not spending all of our time trying to offset those externalities? That was in probably 2003, 2004, I had that awareness. It was one of those things that changed me forever, and Lee, I'm sure you've had these moments where it's like I remember coming back from a trip. I spent a lot of time in Shanghai. I set up an office there and we'd go to India quite a bit. I remember I'd just come back from this tour of being in China and India, and was back home and I was sitting in my apartment.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: It was just looking around at all the stuff. I don't have a ton of stuff. It was just looking at all of that and just thinking, "Wow, this has to change. I want to be part of not just supplying stuff for people, I want to be part of giving people things that make them feel good and make them feel beautiful and give them happiness, but not at the expense of the environment and not at the expense of somebody's help and not at the expense of all the things that manufacturing can do.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: For me, I think it was just one of those moments where once you see it, you can't unsee it. I just forever wanted to change it at that point. That was when I started my journey deepening my understanding of sustainability, of CSR and really getting into that world. Then once you start into that space of sustainability, you can't unsee it and it's all you want to do. I've dedicated my work and my career and a lot of what I do personally around the space.
Lee Ball: Thank you for sharing. Biomimicry 3.8 really is a unique organization. How do you describe what you do, let's say, to the semi interested uncle during a holiday meal?
Nicole Hagerman Miller: That's a great question, Lee, because I do get that question. Well, luckily, biomimicry is definitely becoming more and more in the zeitgeist. When I say biomimicry, more often it's like, "Oh, cool. Well, tell me what you do with biomimicry." At least we're making that transition into I don't have to explain what biomimicry is anymore. But in some cases I do, and the simplest way to explain it is that we look to nature for innovation and time tested strategies. The 3.8 is a 3.8 billion years of R&D that exists in nature that we can tap into to essentially de-risk our innovation process.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: That's the language I use a lot in business. It really depends on who we're talking to, because there's so many amazing components of biomimicry that what we lean into in biomimicry is largely dependent on what that person's interest is. Short answer to your question is if someone asks me, I usually flip the question a little bit and say, "Well, tell me a little bit more about you and what you're interested in," and then I can find a nice parallel for them because there's so many examples of biomimicry and how we look to nature to do that. But it's even more of ... We can talk about it at a more of even a spiritual level, right?
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Of how people are reconnecting to nature to be better humans. There's so many ways that we can talk about it. For us at B3.8, the way that we often lead people into biomimicry is what we call the three seeds of biomimicry, and that's reconnect. Reconnecting to nature, the ethos. Why are we doing this? Then the emulation. That's a lot of what you hear in the media about biomimicry. Looking at spider silk to make stronger fibers, right? Emulating what nature is doing. Then that entry point is really being able to look at those seeds and think, "Well, okay, well, is this person really interested in the science and wanting to understand that piece of it?"
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Then the third is the ethos of it, right? For me, that was my entry point into I wanted to design a better world. I knew there was a better way to design. But some people, their entry point is very much like I want to reconnect with nature to better understand what the potential is from a human capacity standpoint. Right? There's these entryways into biomimicry that help people understand how it can be applied and how they could use it in their everyday life.
Lee Ball: You and I have worked most recently on the Project Positive initiative through B3.8. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about the basic concept of generous or positive design and how it differs from a lot of what people refer to these days as net zero.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Yeah. I think, well, it's something I'm so passionate about and so excited about, and I'm so happy we've had the chance to work together in this project. What Project Positive is, is really a collaboration of companies and organizations that are really looking to change the conversation of it about what does it mean to be regenerative, moving away from this space of doing less bad, but moving into this space of positive and what we talk about as regenerative, right? So much of the conversation is about net positive and being positive and regenerative. But what does that mean? Right?
Nicole Hagerman Miller: How do you define that? I think that's where we saw a lot of opportunity for biomimicry to really play a role in helping define what does positive mean, what does regenerative mean. Because nature is the best blueprint we could possibly ask for teaching us how to do things for regeneratively. That's what nature does. That's how it succeeds, is it gives back and keeps producing, it keeps providing in a benefit way, in a life family way. How can we look to that as a model for how we can design our world? And how can we look to that as a measure in particular is a lot of the work around Project Positive, which is looking at using nature as what we call a model mentor and measure for regenerative.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: The premise of this work is something that Janine talked about in her book from 1997 in her Ted Talk in early 2000. It's not a new idea, but what we've been able to formalize a little bit more and pilot is this notion that we can quantify, we can measure the benefits that a ecosystem produces. These will be ecosystem services that a wild land can produce. How much carbon is being sequestered? How much air is being filtered? How many particulates are being removed? How much biodiversity is being generated? These are positive benefits that our wild lands are producing for us for free as humans. Right?
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Once we start to look at that as a quantifiable unit of measure of this wild land store and we can understand, oh, this is how much carbon is sequestering, this is how much water it's filtering, that can become a performance target and guideline for us, a local target and guideline for our performance standards. When we first started doing this work, we were really talking about ecological performance standards, really looking at the local and native ecosystems to help us make locally informed decisions around what positive looks like.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: We've been piloting this work for about five years and really have some incredible examples with Interface and Ford, Jacobs and HOK and others to really demonstrate what does it look like to set these aspirational targets of performing like the ecosystem next door benefiting not only the ecosystem itself, but also the people who are operating living in those communities, right? It's this idea that people and planet are not separate, right? The benefits that we get ecologically are also socially and economically beneficial as well.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Tying that all together in a way to start to show people how these actions that we can take to design for regenerative are in service to longterm business success, local ecological success, and social health and wellbeing. That's been the premise and the vision of the work of Project Positive, and what Project Positive does is bring the companies together that are doing this work to share best practices, to share ideas, to share challenges so that we can really advance the work in the time that is necessary.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: There is a real sense of urgency for us making an impact. We have these existential crisis things happening, and we're making these incremental moves around us. What we're trying to do is just to really show how this vision works, but then how these companies can work with one another, learning from one another to expedite the learnings and expedite the application and outcomes that are generated.
Lee Ball: Do you have an example or two of a partnership that you could share that describes to the listeners a cool project that you're working on?
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Yeah. As I mentioned earlier in the call, Lee, we've been long-term partners with Interface. They manufacture carpet tiles, and they're continually ranked in the top five most sustainable companies in the world, right in line with Unilever, Patagonia, and a lot of their vision came from their CEO, Ray Anderson, who just had this incredible epiphany. He read Paul Hawken's book, The Ecology of Commerce, and that was really just pivotal moment for him. That's really when he engaged Janine Benyus, our co-founder, to be part of his dream team with Paul Hawken to really rethink what the carpet tile manufacturing industry could look like.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Then Interface really took a lead and has been a leader in sustainability sense. This was about six years ago, we were having this conversation and they were looking ahead and saying, "Okay, we're going to reach our 2020 sustainability goals. What's next? What are we aiming for next?" That's really when this notion of, well, what is it that Interface can control? What is it that they can really have an impact on? We started really talking about their manufacturing facilities and develop this idea of, well, what if your factories function like a forest? We started to pilot it.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: We started to look at, okay, well, what's it going to take for this to really get traction and have success? At the same time, the company was building a new headquarters in Atlanta, as well as redesigning one of its operational facilities in LaGrange, Georgia. While we had identified our first pilot as Australia, we did the work there to test out some of it, just thinking in ideas, but then we quickly pivoted and brought it over, first starting with their LaGrange manufacturing facility, and just looked at, well, how does the Southern Piedmont Forest operate? What is it doing?
Nicole Hagerman Miller: How much carbon is it sequestering, and when and what cycles? We really did this deep analysis and then brought that back to Interface and said, "Okay, here's what the forest around you is doing. How might your factory start doing this?" We really landed on, well, what could the factory do to generate benefits around these key areas of carbon, air, soil, habitat? We honed in on, okay, well, this is what the forest next door is doing. How can the Interface manufacturing facilities operate in a way that is producing benefits? We've honed in on these five categories and then just started looking at things such as bioswales and green roofs and HVAC systems.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: We just took all of these different design interventions that they could integrate today, but just started doing so in a way that demonstrated how they could do so holistically to create these multi-functional benefits in the same way that a forest does, right? It's a system, it's not one single tree sequestering the carbon to benefit all. The soil has to play a role. The air has to play. Everything plays a role for all to work. It was, I think, that pilot that first started us to think about the role that Interface could play. What did they have within their sphere of influence and control around some of these things that we identified?
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Really for them, that was its aha moment of, okay, well, we're building this new headquarters in Downtown Atlanta, it's in the same eco region, same goals that we're setting. What could they do in an urban environment as well? We had this really exciting opportunity to look at what would it look for its actual manufacturing facility to function like a forest in its environment, but then also to translate that and to look at scale of, well, what does that look like if we apply that to an urban environment? Over the project, there were several different design interventions that focused on multiple different things.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: One of the big design interventions for their headquarters in Atlanta was the [inaudible 00:25:26] system that they integrated and how that really was able to help them look at the holistic opportunities around the water that they were in-taking, and what benefit did that provide from the city level and how they were giving some of those benefits back? We wanted to get feedback from the sustainability community around this vision, and we would talk about it as factory as a forest. This notion that people should start thinking about their manufacturing facilities as opportunities to create these benefits, right?
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Aron [inaudible 00:25:58] will say this a lot. She's the vice-president of their sustainability. She still had to grapple with the fact that their manufacturing facilities were hot, uncomfortable places to work. How could they solve for that? Some of the design interventions that we integrated really solved for that, really made them more comfortable places applying some of the shading, cooling and some of these broader ideas, and they're not always super novel super innovative, right? They're just looking at these holistic strategies of these forests and what are some of the abstract principles that we can take from that evolution of the work and then talking about it on this notion of factories that function like forests?
Nicole Hagerman Miller: We really started to engage other companies that had manufacturing facilities that were really interested in having them be beyond less bad, right? That's really when we started peaking the interest of Ford Motor company. They have within their sustainability strategy, one of their key pillars is positive impact. What does positive impact look like for Ford? Knowing how much of their impact is in the manufacturing space, we really started this exciting conversation of highlighting for them, not only in the manufacturing, but then in their office spaces that they were building.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: We're in that work right now. Still doing it. It's been about a year into that project and it's evolving in a really exciting way. I think what's important for people to see is that progress, right? This is the whole point of Project Positive. Is there safety in numbers? As a more people start doing this work and learning from one another, we can get more people interested and integrated into thinking this way and to applying biomimicry from a design process from the very beginning.
Lee Ball: Well, I'll have to say that all of this work has influenced us a great deal as we've been imagining a campus as a forest. Our dream of creating a campus as a forest is still alive and well, and it's moving forward. I look forward to give you a more detailed update soon.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: To build on your last point, with campus as a forest, this idea that the building itself is part of the faculty and that we're learning from the building itself, and that there's so much in that conversation. I think that's something that's really exciting about the campus as a forest notion, is that we have these buildings that are producing all these benefits that students are involved in the operations and the maintenance and the benefits that are being produced, the relationship with the community.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: I think that's something that's really exciting about the campus of forest notion, is there's so much learning that can happen, and it's a fundamental shift in how campuses think about their cost centers, right? If you think about how much education can come out of just a building alone, in addition to the R&D that's done there, I think that's a really exciting aspect of this vision.
Lee Ball: I agree. Talk about a living laboratory, that's relatively cliche these days. But this would be the epitome of a living laboratory. Yeah, to think about the buildings themselves as faculty members, as being part of the team, that's helping us to instruct about the built environment, design and the interplay between the natural world and the built environment. We're extremely excited to be able to see this dream manifested and bring people here at Appalachian State to experience a campus as a forest. I happen to know that you are a fan of fungi, specifically the mycelium as they thread their way in and out of our natural world. Could you tell us about why that's so exciting?
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Yeah. I think for me, I am such a big fan of connectors and communication and how communication is the bridge that links us together, and as humans, we have a hard time doing that. Communication isn't always easy. But I think I've been so fascinated with mycelium because it's just this amazing network of communication that happens that is just this really beautiful way of saying, okay, this ... In an ecosystem, if there is a disease happening or if there's something that is bothering its particular species, how mycelium plays this really important role of communicating that to the species next door, right? To say, "Hey, this is happening. You need to adapt over here to be able to be resilient to this disease that's spreading or to this bacteria that's happening."
Nicole Hagerman Miller: I think just the role that it plays in connecting the ecosystem and being that connector, I think has always inspired me potentially because maybe as a human, I often like to play that role as a connector. I'm so fascinated by all the different things that exist in what people are doing, and there's so much beautiful inspiring things happening in the world. How do we connect that to really make that thrive and support that? I think that's probably why I've attached to it, is I see myself in it a little bit, which probably sounds weird. But I think there's just something so beautiful and fascinating about this notion of the World Wide Web and how everything underground is connected to these mycelium networks.
Lee Ball: It doesn't sound weird to me because I resonate completely. You and I are both connectors and that's why we work so well together. Yeah. Nature's internet, right? The original internet.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Yeah, exactly.
Lee Ball: We have time for one more question. What really excites you these days about your work and what drags you out of bed and gets you pumped about coming in these days?
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Well, the field in which I work in, biomimicry, it would get me out of that any day, no matter what the project, because I think the opportunity to really influence how we're designing our world is exciting. I think what I'm most excited about right now is probably a combination of two things, definitely the work that we're doing with Project Positive and really connecting with a lot of this global movement around nature positive and how we can use biomimicry as a design tool to really create regenerative design and really connect that with the social aspects as well.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: We talked earlier about the environmental and social. I'm really excited about that merger, that we're no longer talking about environmental issues over here and social issues over here, and that they're very much intertwined and people are seeing that. I'm really excited about that, and I'm really excited about our work that we're doing in biomimicry, learning from nature to really show people how it is in service to human benefit. I think historically, there's been this conservation aspect of our work, which is equally important and exciting.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: But I think once we can tie it to the social, it hits people at a deeper level and it makes it a little bit more real and tangible. I think bearing witness to that and seeing that actualize and being materialized in the work that we're doing right now is really exciting. For us as a company, what we've started to become aware of is that the value of our work is storytelling. Being able to tell people that story of place, this is the value of this place, this is the value of this ecosystem, this is the benefit that it generates, this is what we can learn from it, this is how can it form design.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: For us, we've been so heads down focusing on that design that we are just recognizing the benefit that we can create as a company is to be much more conscious about that storytelling. While we were storytelling within our projects, we weren't really storytelling in a way that gave the world access to it, that gave our internal champions the tools that they needed to bring the rest of the people along. A lot of the work that ... We have a mutual friend [inaudible 00:34:34] and the work that she's done at Harvard Sustainability Program to really introduce this concept of sensing and piloting and bringing people along in the role that we play at B3 is really that storytelling that supports that because everyone has a deep connection to nature.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: No matter who you are, where you come from, you have that connection. Being able to tap into that and tap into place is something that I'm really excited about, something we're starting to put energy around. I'm really excited about some of this stuff that we'll be coming out with in the next year around the value of biomimicry is this proven pathway to regenerative. Those are two things that obviously are connected, but I'm very much excited about. If you're really interested in biomimicry and want to learn more, there's a couple of key sites I can send you to.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: First, our site is biomimicry.org. You can learn all about our work and what we do. Also, we have a blog, Synapse.bio, which talks a lot about how we apply biomimicry. We have a sister organization called the Biomimicry Institute, which has an amazing website called asknature.org. If you're out and about or if you're a designer ... By the way, everyone is a designer. Whether you're designing a operations plan or a product or your family finances, everyone is a designer, right?
Nicole Hagerman Miller: If you are looking at how to create something and you want to know how nature does it, you can literally go to this website, asknature.org and type in the question like how does nature do cooling? How does nature manage temperature? How does nature ... You can look at these different questions and get the biological answer. It's a great website, great resource. Highly encourage everyone to take a look at that. You could spend hours.
Lee Ball: Well, Nicole, thank you so much for your time, and thanks for being on the podcast, Find Your Sustain Ability. We really appreciate you and your work, and just have a wonderful rest of your day.
Nicole Hagerman Miller: Thank you so much for having me, Lee. So good to connect with you and to be on this podcast with you.
What do you think?
Share your feedback on this story.
About Sustainability at Appalachian
Appalachian State University’s leadership in sustainability is known nationally. The university’s holistic, three-branched approach considers sustainability economically, environmentally and equitably in relationship to the planet’s co-inhabitants. The university is an active steward of the state’s interconnected financial, cultural and natural resources and challenges students and others think critically and creatively about sustainability and what it means from the smallest individual action to the most broad-based applications. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate academic degree programs that focus on sustainability. In addition, 100 percent of Appalachian’s academic departments offer at least one sustainability course or course that includes sustainability, and all students graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome. Learn more at https://appstate.edu/sustainability.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.