Commander Brian Cook, Southeast Region's sustainability manager, has received the "Sustainability Hero" award for his efforts in fiscal year 2011.
Cook’s contributions are varied and significant, centering on the completion of energy audits for SER parks and securing over $1.1 million in ARRA funding for energy saving projects. In collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Cook has developed a robust interpretive campaign on sustainability efforts, identified “best sites” for renewable energy opportunities, established guidance on metering facilities for energy use, and provided support to reduce fugitive high global warming potential gases. Cook also prepared a “white paper” on the challenge of renewable energy agreements between park units and utilities.
In addition to many specific personal accomplishments, Cook has also mentored others through hiring student interns using the Federal Work Study program and the Greening Youth Foundation. The students’ collaborated to develop a regional long term interpretive program for sustainability and assist in preparation of a Clean Cities grant for Blue Ridge Parkway which resulted in a contribution of over $200,000.
"I am grateful and honored to receive this special award," he said. "Southeast regional management and parks have truly embraced the vision of sustainability and environmental stewardship, which is why we continue to see so much excellent work being done in the parks. The regional office supports this green spark of ingenuity and action and has confidence it will continue to grow."