Harnessing the Capability of Scientists to Influence and Motivate Change: An Overview of the New Eco Leader Advancement Program at CU Boulder

Christina Greever, University of Colorado Boulder

Since I2SL 2018, CU Green Labs has been revitalizing our existing Eco Leader Program in order to have greater impact in reducing the environmental footprint of research and to better harness the human capacity we already have in our laboratories. This presentation will cover the structure and content of the newly created Eco Leader Advancement Program, considerations that were made in its development, how we've obtained feedback on early drafts of the program, and how the program is being executed on our campus. Eco Leaders progress through three levels of the program, earning recognition as they achieve each new level. Program goals are to have Eco Leaders gain more general sustainability and social justice knowledge, engage with existing CU Green Labs initiatives, conduct a Lab Assessment and implement changes, engage with more of the 'systemic' issues/topics that the lab sustainability community feels need to be addressed (sustainable procurement, sharing equipment, BETR grants), provide leadership in their lab, and find camaraderie among other Eco Leaders. This program is entirely optional, so we are relying on Community-Based Social Marketing strategies to engage Eco Leaders and keep them progressing through the program. CU Green Labs has received feedback that this program framework could be applied at other institutions if successful, so we look forward to bringing these ideas to I2SL this year.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify strategies/activities/tactics that might help engage more with scientists;
  • Articulate the goals that were laid out for each of the three levels of the Eco Leader Advancement Program;
  • Understand some of the concerns about this program that were raised by our existing Eco Leaders, and how the program was changed to reflect those considerations; and
  • Implement the parts of this program that are feasible and attractive at attendee's own institution.


Christina Greever was the Program Assistant and Outreach Coordinator for CU Green Labs at the University of Colorado Boulder from September 2015 – October 2018. Since November 2018 she has been working remotely for CU Green Labs in a temporary role from Salt Lake City. She has worked on a wide variety of initiatives with CU Green Labs including the shared ultra-low temperature freezer program, lab equipment metering, outreach to labs, and development of the Eco Leader Enhancement Program. She currently works part-time for the lab sustainability nonprofit My Green Lab.


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