Fisette named to NRC panel on 'green schools'

Paul R. Fisette, associate professor in the Natural Resources Conservation Department, has been appointed to a national committee that will review and assess the benefits of “green schools.”

Fisette, who is also the director of the Building Materials and Wood Technology Program, has received a two-year appointment to serve on the National Research Council Committee on Review and Assessment of the Health and Productivity Benefits of Green Schools.

The goal of “green school” design is to reduce the overall consumption of resources in the areas of land, water, energy, materials, air and food. Programs include green, high-performance building; reduction of energy and resource consumption; waste management and recycling; transportation; outdoor environmental education; staff training, and curriculum-integrated “green” education.

As part of the council''s division on engineering and physical sciences, the committee will investigate the connections between the characteristics of green schools and the health and productivity of students and teachers. The committee will review, assess and synthesize the results of available studies on green schools and determine the basis for the effects of the schools on student learning and teacher productivity.

As a committee member, Fisette will review and assess existing studies regarding possible connections between green schools and the health and productivity of students and teachers; develop an evaluation framework to assess the relevance and validity of individual reports; report the results of this effort, and identify research that represents opportunities to use existing knowledge to better understand the relationships between green building technologies in schools and the performance of students and teachers.

“I am personally and professionally interested in the field of energy conservation and sustainable design,” said Fisette. “I can think of no better way to engage my scientific curiosity than to explore how to make learning environments more healthy and productive for our students.”

Fisette''s appointment will end on Sept. 30, 2006.