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Meet Dr. Julia Angstmann: New Director of the Center for Urban Ecology at Butler University

Dr. Julia Angstmann joined the Center for Urban Ecology (CUE) at Butler in June of 2015, and she is incredibly excited about many of the ongoing programs as well as future endeavors!

CEES (IUPUI) and CUE (Butler) are in direct alignment as both are urban environmental centers.  As Julia states, “CUE and CEES play in the same playground of Indianapolis.”  They both facilitate interdisciplinary research and education and share similar objectives in enhancing environmental knowledge.  Julia looks forward to partnering more with CEES in the future and promoting their common goals.

The ongoing programs at CUE are already quite strong, such as the CUE Farm (managed by Tim Dorsey) and Campus Sustainability (managed by McKenzie Beverage).  The Make Change Indy program is another current strategy which helps to promote both environmental advocacy and sustainability practices, and the local economy.

An initiative that CUE has been involved in for quite some time now is urban agriculture.  Julia intends to enhance the involvement of the CUE in the Indianapolis urban ag scene as opportunities arise and views CEES as a key partner in the urban agriculture scene. She hopes to connect the CUE Farm more to campus by fostering interdisciplinary course interactions where students can interact with the farm either through social, economic, or science research and scholarly activities.  

A new enterprise in urban agriculture for the CUE is a project with the Marion County Purdue Extension Service as well as Purdue and IUPUI faculty.  The scheme involves a Vista Fellow and encompasses an urban incubator farm project as well as an urban farm education initiative.  The idea is to have a site location on vacant property and convert that into an urban farm.  Business and entrepreneur courses will be provided that revolve around business plans and market strategies for an urban farm as well as on-site training in urban agriculture.  The Vista Fellow will help to create curriculum as well as recruit interested community members.      

One of Julia’s initial plans is to step-back, connect, and better leverage the faculty and staff at Butler to increase the reach and impact that CUE can achieve within the city for ecological research and programming.  While increasing research and connectivity within Butler along with maintaining the farm, sustainability, and other ongoing programs is incredibly ambitious, we here at CEES sincerely believe that Julia’s got this!

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