Chameides Reappointed to Second Term as Nicholas Dean

Dean William Chameides has led the Nicholas School through significant growth in enrollment.

William L. Chameides has been reappointed to a second five-year term as dean of Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke President Richard H. Brodhead and Provost Peter Lange announced Thursday.

Duke regularly conducts five-year reviews of deans and senior administrative positions, and Chameides' recommendation for reappointment follows an evaluation by a faculty committee.

Chameides, now in the fourth year of his deanship, will begin his new term effective July 1, 2012.

"I am most pleased Bill has accepted reappointment," Lange said. "His first term as dean has been marked by great progress on a number of long-standing challenges for the school: a new building, increased intellectual integration of the school's divisions, restructuring of programs to better meet students' needs, and the demand for outstanding scholars and practitioners working on critical environmental research and policy issues. Throughout, Bill has led with a steady hand and strong vision and his new term offers the opportunity to continue this work and reap its fruits."

Under Chameides' leadership, groundbreaking for the school's new home, the 70,000-square-foot Duke Environment Hall, will take place this month; enrollment in the school's signature master of environmental management and master of forestry degree programs is up more than 50 percent since 2007; and new hires have strengthened the faculty in key fields such as energy, water and the environment's impacts on human health. 

Lange also cited Chameides' leadership as vice chair of the Duke Campus Sustainability Committee and in establishing the Duke Art and the Environment Initiative as significant accomplishments of his first term as dean. 

The Campus Sustainability Committee has developed a Climate Action Plan to reduce the university's carbon footprint by half by 2024, and by 88 percent by 2050. The Duke Art and the Environment Initiative engages the power of the arts to inspire greater environmental awareness and stewardship through innovative programs such as the annual Duke LEAF Award for Lifetime Environmental Achievement in the Fine Arts and the Nicholas School of the Environment Film Award.

Chameides, who also holds the post of Nicholas Professor of the Environment, joined the Duke faculty as dean in 2007 following more than 30 years in academia as a professor, researcher, teacher and mentor, and three years as chief scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund.  

An atmospheric chemist by training, his research focuses on identifying the causes of and remedies for global, regional and urban environmental change and finding pathways toward a more sustainable future.  He has served on numerous national and international scientific committees and task forces, and in 2008 was appointed vice chair of the Committee on America's Climate Choices, commissioned by Congress to develop a long-term roadmap for America's response to climate change.

In recognition of his contributions, Chameides was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and was named a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, among other honors.  In 2010, he was named one of the world's most widely cited scientists by the international research database ISI Highly

Chameides blogs several times a week on environmental issues at The Green Grok. His blogs also regularly appear in the Huffington Post, and in the online editions of Scientific American and National Geographic's Great Energy Challenge.

As dean, he has worked with faculty, fellow deans and university administrators to devise new academic programs and offerings in energy, environmental health and environmental entrepreneurship, and to expand opportunities for students to pursue dual degrees in the environment and engineering, business, law and public policy. He has led efforts to ensure the new $35 million Duke Environment Hall will be built to the highest standards of sustainability and energy efficiency.

"Solving our world's environmental challenges will require cutting-edge research and a new breed of leaders. Creating knowledge and leaders of consequence; that's what the Nicholas School and Duke are all about," said Chameides. "I am proud of what we have accomplished so far. It's been a team effort involving staff, students, board members, my fellow deans, the provost and president as well as and most importantly the faculty. I am grateful they will be with me again as I embark on a second term."