Joseph Vernon, Montana State University-Northern
Joseph Vernon is Montana State University-Northern’s Sustainability Coordinator and has been instrumental in re-vitalizing Northern’s recycling efforts. Under his direction, the Sustainability Team has more than doubled the number of recycling bins available on campus and has brought a renewed awareness of the need to recycle.
Joseph coordinates the Sustainability Team’s efforts with the communities Recycle Hi-Line efforts and can be found volunteering at the community drop-off site every month. Joseph took initiative to obtain seed money for a 1 year pilot program for recycling #5 plastics, expanding the recycling effort at Northern as well as the surrounding communities. Joseph can be seen volunteering for the local monthly community clean-up days.
In April 2014, Recycle Hi-Line recognized Joseph by presenting him with their Environmental Hero Award for his leadership and dedication to the community’s recycling efforts.
-Greg Kegel, Chancellor
As a child I visited a Zoo and learned from an exhibit about the effects of plastic on our environment and in our oceans. Since then I’ve always been very passionate about recycling and sustainable living. Once I came to Northern and learned of the Sustainability Coordinator position with the Student Senate, I hit the ground running to put my knowledge and skills to work. I also joined the local nonprofit organization Recycle Hi-Line and have become an ambassador between MSU-Northern and Recycle Hi-Line to increase recycling awareness both on campus and within the community. I have begun a pilot program on campus to collect number 5 plastic from the community monthly recycle drives and ship them to an organization in New York for recycling. As well, I worked to increase the amount of recycling containers on campus to improve recycling accessibility. I have worked hard to educate students on the benefits of recycling and the negative effects of not recycling. I have set up a student employment opportunity for collecting recycling across campus which has improved student and faculty participation greatly. I also give classes to community youth organizations when asked to by community leaders and Recycle Hi-Line.