About Us

The Office of Sustainability was created July 1, 2010 in the Facilities and Services (FS) department.

Mission, Vision, and Core Values

Mission: To be a resource for the NMSU community to develop a common vision of sustainability through innovation, education, and action.

Vision: To empower the NMSU community to care about the environment in which they live and work and to carry it into their personal lives and future generations.

Core Values

  1. Respect and love for humanity and all living things
  2. Passion for the environment
  3. Integrity of actions
  4. Exemplify an understanding that the natural and built environments are intertwined
  5. Unity of purpose through collaboration and interaction of ideas

Manager’s Bio

The Manager of Environmental Policy and Sustainability at NMSU, joni newcomer [sic], currently manages the Office of Sustainability.  Dr. newcomer received her first degree in Interior Architecture from Arizona State University.  She began her career in Arizona doing space planning for government offices as well as planning and design for higher education and medical facilities.

In 2003 joni received her degree as a Naturopathic Doctor, connecting her more closely to Mother Nature and the planet.  She moved to Las Cruces in 1994 and in 2005 became a Design Project Manager in Facilities and Services before getting the Sustainability Manager position in 2010.  Her passion for the environment, driven by a life-long interest in the outdoors translated into her current position as Manager, Environmental Policy and Sustainability.

She became an active volunteer of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) Chihuahuan Desert Chapter when it began in 2007, chairing the Education Committee, the Advocacy Committee, and working on the original Regionalization plan, as well as being a representative for the USGBC West Regional Council.  In 2008 and 2009, she went to Washington, DC as an advocate for green building design and met with senators and representatives from New Mexico.


The role of the Office of Sustainability is to:

  • Develop policies and guidelines for protecting natural resources, reduce the University’s ecological footprint, and ensure accountability for green building and low-impact development in NMSU’s ongoing capital improvement program
  • Coordinate environmental sustainability initiatives on issues ranging from climate change to recycling and water conservation
  • Work with faculty, staff, and students to enhance NMSU’s environmental literacy and awareness through academic programs and educational outreach activities
  • Identify and steward sustainability initiatives that maximize the environmental and financial performance of the university
  • Infuse sustainability principles into new construction, renovations, standards, plans, and studies
  • Integrate sustainability into energy management, operations, maintenance, grounds-keeping, solid waste removal, and cleaning practices
  • Develop and maintain tools, metrics, and indicators for assessing progress toward sustainability goals
  • Coordinate, support, and lead utility conservation and recycling initiatives
  • Assist administrators with the development of policies related to sustainability
  • serve as an advisor to the Assistant Vice President of Facilities and Services, the University Architect, and the Campus Planning Committee on issues of sustainability
  • Integrate sustainability into curricula and building operations and support student environmental projects and initiatives
  • Support and work with sustainability issues that use the campus as a laboratory for learning about sustainability
  • Advise and be a resource for individual students and student groups engaging in sustainability issues and projects


We encourage students to get involved and volunteer their time.  Bring us an idea of something green you’d like to do on campus and we’ll work with you to accomplish that (see the Volunteer page for ideas).  You can also get your volunteer hours for your student organization. Dr. newcomer is the co-advisor for the student group Organization of Aggie Students Inspiring Sustainability (OASIS) – visit us to see what it’s all about and what environmentally-oriented events we’re planning.