UMSL getting greener with new sustainability coordinator

Katy Mike Smaistrla was named the new sustainability energy and environmental coordinator for the Office of Environmental Health and Safety at UMSL. (Photo by August Jennewein)

As the University of Missouri–St. Louis embarks on its Jubilee year, an ever-growing focus on sustainability and the carbon footprint of the university emerges.

Although UMSL has been green for some time, this semester’s addition of Katy Mike Smaistrla as the sustainability coordinator for the Office of Environmental Health and Safety further reinforces that commitment.

Smaistrla said she’s excited about the new challenges in store for her and the opportunity to change people’s mindsets about sustainability.

“UMSL has the opportunity to really be a major presence in the St. Louis community and be a role model and a leader on an issue in the field I’m passionate about,” she said. “I care about making St. Louis more sustainable, so what better next step than to join an institution with the ability to really make an impact, given that so many of its alumni are right here in the city.”

Smaistrla, whose position is part time, has hit the ground running since starting in August. She’s writing a climate action plan for the university, creating awareness through social media channels and building partnerships throughout the area.

The climate action plan will consist of several chapters including recycling and waste, transportation, energy usage and food and agriculture. Information about UMSL sustainability can be found on Facebook or Twitter. UMSL is also a new member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Through the new partnership with AASHE, campus members have access to resources and educational opportunities.

Prior to joining UMSL, Smaistrla served as the coordinator for the St. Louis Higher Education Sustainability Consortium and an educator for EarthWays Center through the Missouri Botanical Garden. She earned her master’s degree in environmental education from Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass.

Smaistrla is available to members of the UMSL community who have questions or suggestions for sustainability on campus. She can be reached by email at


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