June 23, 2014

Jeanette Grider

Thomas Crawford, Ph.D., Named Inaugural Banpu Endowed Chair of Sustainability

The Saint Louis University Center for Sustainability has named Thomas Crawford, Ph.D., as the inaugural Banpu Endowed Chair of Sustainability.

Thomas Crawford, Ph.D.

Crawford, who comes to SLU from East Carolina University, brings a strong background in sustainability that encompasses academics, research and global issues. Supported by a fellowship with UNC's Carolina Population Center, Crawford's dissertation work focused on human-environment interactions and regional change in rural northeast Thailand.

His recent work includes a project to examine the effect of monsoons on human land use and livelihoods in Bangaladesh, and analyzing the impact of carbon dioxide emissions in urban areas in Scotland. He also is currently studying the sea level rise at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

John Woolschlager, Ph.D., director of the Center for Sustainability, says the interdisciplinary nature of the center provides an exciting opportunity for Crawford to extend his existing research, advance academic programs and pursue new sustainability projects with SLU faculty.

"Tom Crawford brings an outstanding academic record that will greatly enhance sponsored research," Woolschlager said. "He also has expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) that will help us launch a new GIS-focused masters program next year."

The Banpu Chair of Sustainability was created with a gift from Thailand-based Banpu Public Company, LTD and its two founding executives, SLU alumni Chanin Vongkusolkit and Metee Auapinyakul. The two met while they were students at the University's John Cook School of Business. Their friendship and interests in energy, sustainability and business led to the founding of Banpu in 1983. The company is a leader in global energy known in Asia for its commitment to sustainability and improving the communities where the company has locations.

Their connection and commitment to SLU has continued through the years with the funding of the Banpu Endowed Chair of Sustainability just one of their many contributions to their alma mater. Auapinyakul currently serves as president of the University's Thailand Alumni Club, one of SLU's most active alumni groups in the world. (http://www.banpu.com/en_index.php)

The Saint Louis University Center for Sustainability was established in 2010 by a grant from the Alberici Foundation. The Center for Sustainability offers both a master's degree in sustainability and a master's of urban planning and development. The Center also offers a joint MBA and master's of sustainability in conjunction with the John Cook School of Business than can be completed in 18 months and offers a graduate certificate in Advanced Remote Sensing and GIS.

Click here to learn more about the Center for Sustainability.

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