Earth Week is coming up! We interviewed a member of the NAU Green Fund Committee in honor of this awesome week filled with events like our Careers with Impact Panel and Networking event, activist Bill McKibben speaking on campus (which is sold out already so ask a friend for an extra ticket!) and the 2nd Annual Eco Fashion Show.

What is the Green Fund Committee, you ask? Well, it’s comprised of a group of students and faculty that vote to decide what projects the student funded (your $5 fee) Green Fund will support to reduce NAU’s negative impact on the environment. They are dedicated to promoting student participation in NAU’s campus sustainability.

Let’s hear what David Miller, a first year member of the Green Fund Committee, has to say about what he does at the Green Fund and his impact:

Name: David Miller

Position: Chair Elect

Major: Computer Science

Year: Junior


David was excited that his family only used recyclable wrapping material for Christmas!

1. What do you like to do when you’re not working on the Green Fund?

When I’m not performing duties in the Green Fund Committee, I like to make electronic music, build simple remote control robots, and read. Right now my favorite book is Stephen Wolfram’s A New Kind of Science.

2. Can you tell us about your favorite Green Fund project?

I try not to pick favorites when it comes to student projects, but I co-authored the computer program that runs the Bike-Powered Charging Station project. I guess it’s natural to say that one is my favorite. The concept is pretty simple. There’s an old Yellow Bike whose back wheel drives a generator. It provides enough power to charge a cell phone and a very small computer that tracks your power output. Unless it’s been moved since the last time I used it, it should be on the second floor of the Engineering building overlooking the grass area in front of the College.

3. What opportunities have you had because of your position on the Green Fund committee?

Through my work in the Green Fund, I was presented an amazing opportunity to go the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (ASHEE) Conference in 2013. I learned more of the ins and outs of operating within a greening committee and what other universities are doing to improve sustainable behavior. I also got to practice talking to professionals and making new professional connections. Of course, I also have to mention the conference took place in Nashville, TN, so there was great food and music just about everywhere.

4. Can you recall a specific time you felt your work with the Green Fund had an impact you could take pride in?

It brings me a great sense of pride and joy when I see student projects succeed. I live on campus at the Historic North Quad, so I get to see the beautiful results of the Sustainable Landscapes Maintenance project every day. The grass outside my front door is cared for without the use of toxic herbicides, and as a result, is thicker, healthier, and greener

Side note from Carissa: FYS 111 “Healthy Landscape, Healthy You” focuses on healthy sustainable landscapes in relation to what David just mentioned. If you are an incoming freshman or have between 30-45 completed units, talk to your advisor or the class instructor to get permission to enroll in this class! Just another example of the amazing work the Green Fund does.

5. What can workers in other NAU departments do to make a positive impact?

In everyday settings, departments can engineer their procedures and processes from the ground up to be smarter. For example, it’s not enough to throw used paper in the recycling bin instead of the trash can. Use both sides and do everything you can paperless. It takes a commitment from every individual to make a more sustainable system.

6. What are the ways NAU students can get involved with the Green Fund?

Students who wish to get involved with the Green Fund can propose new projects by applying on our website ( Students can also read our blog ( and email us questions (

7. What do you think you will most benefit from in the future based on your time with the Green Fund committee?

Aside from professional development, working with others, and being responsible, which are benefits from almost any job, I think I have benefited most from feeling more connected to NAU, thinking critically and creatively about solutions to a problem, and being a moving part in an ever-growing machine of sustainable actions.


David has definitely shown us the direct impact he makes through his work and the career-related skills he’s developed through his experience at the Green Fund. If you want to hear more from people using their time to make a positive impact through their work, make sure to attend Careers with Impact, Panel and Networking Event next Thursday, April 24th!

Does this interview with David make you more excited to learn about Careers with Impact during Earth Week? It should; the amazing work David Miller and the Green Fund committee do inspires us at career services!



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