I first arrived in Phoenix in December 1979, driving a Toyota pickup down I-17 into a brown cloud of air pollution. I planned to work at Arizona State University for six months or less, until I could find a "real job". Three decades later, I had spent more than half my life in the geologic wonderland that's inspired some of the country's most innovative entrepreneurs and most peculiar politics. Despite growing up in the leafy suburbs of New York City, I soon felt claustrophobic if I couldn't see 50 miles cycling in to work.
My story could be multiplied millions of times throughout the Valley of the Sun. People came for economic opportunity, and stayed for lifestyle. Yet both are under threat. Phoenix is a canary in the global coal mine, an urbanization laboratory where new technologies to reduce the heat island effect and make algae-based jet fuel vie for attention with rising crime rates, traffic congestion, and shrinking water supplies, all driven by too many people chasing too few resources.
The Center for Environmental Science Applications aims to leverage ASU's faculty expertise to address some of society's most acute environmental challenges, both in Arizona and around the world. We help build novel partnerships with companies, governments, other universities and NGOs. We seek funding to support projects that cut across disciplines, rely on new technologies, take a systems perspective, and engage stakeholders. Please look through our website to see our portfolio, return often to gauge our progress, and send us your comments.
Jonathan Fink, Director (Link to Jonathan Fink's personal page and presentations)