Jim Vandertill
Student Story


Jim is a junior majoring in Environmental Studies and Entrepreneurship. He has a passion for the outdoors, economics and public policy.

He has worked on multiple habitat restoration projects for the national and local parks and with local businesses to provide fresh produce to urban communities. He has interned with Healthy Living Kitchen LLC, Cleveland Kraut and is the acting Treasurer of Cleveland State's American Planning Association.

What are your career goals?

My passion for the outdoors has shaped what I have studied in college and what my career goals are.  Much of my time at Cleveland State has been spent researching perspectives on green space.  My goal is to be able to quantify and assign a monetary value to ecosystem services that impact cities.  In this pursuit I have taken classes in the College of Urban Affairs, Business, and Science and Research.  As a result I have gained knowledge of what impact green spaces have on micro and macro economics.  My goal is to take what I have learned and be able to calculate the costs and benefits of green space.  With these calculations I plan to create policies, budgets and business models as platforms to create more sustainable land-use and natural resource allocation. 

What's one thing you've learned about sustainable living in the last year?             

Last year I was looking for opportunities to increase my impact when working with Cleveland's green spaces.  From this search I found the Shredwicks Tree Stewardship Course offered by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy.   For anyone who is interested in trees, this is a great class.  The course gave a broad perspective on the Cleveland Tree Plan and hands on knowledge on how to care for and select the right tree for a location and purpose.  It was incredible to me how large of an impact trees have on sustainable development.  Also how much greater the impact could be when you pick the right tree for why and where you are planting.

What should other students know about sustainability at CSU?

The one thing I would like fellow Vikings to know about sustainability is that biking to campus is a great way to be sustainable and healthy.  I have been biking to and from school for about two years now and love it.  I know biking every day is not for everyone, but I encourage you to try it!  There is a great comradery between bikers, you never have to worry about parking and you are not dependent on the bus schedules.  To make your transition to biking even more sustainable you can check out the Ohio City Bike Co-op.  They recycle bikes and will be able to give you all the advice you need to get started.  Biking is one way you can make CSU a more sustainable campus.