I-CARES names Fike associate director


David Fike, associate professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in Arts & Sciences, has been appointed associate director of the International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability (I-CARES). He has also been named an I-CARES professor.

“David truly embodies the collaborative spirit of I-CARES,” said Himadri B. Pakrasi, the Myron and Sonya Glassberg/Albert and Blanche Greensfelder Distinguished University Professor and director of I-CARES. “Having worked with him on a variety of projects, I know how committed he is to bringing people from numerous backgrounds together to help solve energy and environmental challenges affecting our planet.”

Fike, who joined the university in 2009, also will continue to direct the Environmental Studies Program in Arts & Sciences, where his primary focus has been on interdisciplinary curriculum development for a range of environmental issues. In his new role with I-CARES, Fike will help advance its mission with special emphasis on research work related to various environmental issues, while strengthening connections with students, stakeholders and partner organizations on and off campus.

“I’m most excited about fostering a sense of connection and community among the various environmentally focused academic programs and student groups on campus,” Fike said. “Interacting with people outside of my own research, in addition to being one of the main joys of working in a diverse academic institution, will also catalyze new ways for me to think about my research questions and teaching activities.”

“I am very pleased that David has been appointed to the center,” said Barbara Schaal, dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences and the Mary-Dell Chilton Distinguished Professor. “David is an outstanding scientist whose biogeochemical research has truly global implications. He has also shown a great deal of initiative in connecting with scientists in other disciplines to form productive collaborations.

“I have no doubt that he will bring these leadership skills to his new role and continue to foster the kind of innovative and interdisciplinary environmental research that is the hallmark of I-CARES,” she said.

“David Fike brings so many qualities that are assets to I-CARES,” Provost Holden Thorp said. “He is a passionate advocate for environmental studies, he is a strong scholar, he is a great teacher and leader of students. His appointment cements I-CARES as a leader in the university on many fronts.”

Fike earned bachelor degrees in engineering physics, astronomy and geology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; a master of philosophy degree in polar studies from Churchill College at Cambridge University; and a doctorate in geochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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