Benjamin has been the Environmental Sustainability Director at Central Community College (CCC) since August 2016. His office is in Grand Island but he oversees all CCC campus sustainability projects and manages an office of currently five student interns on different campuses. Some major projects and initiatives at CCC include a 1.7 MW wind turbine, pollinator gardens on all 3 campuses, electric vehicle charging stations, four e-badges that award students for volunteering and hands on projects, a plastic bag recycling program in partnership with TREX, bike share, composting, Sustainability Leadership Presentation Series (SLPS), Earth Week on all campuses, America Recycles Day, and volunteer events.
Benjamin has a Bachelor of Arts in Earth Science from the University of Northern Iowa, a Masters of Environmental Studies (MES) from The Evergreen State College, and is currently a doctoral candidate in Environmental Resources and Policy from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where he completed the initial climate assessment and action plan. He currently also serves on the AASHE STARS steering committee and is the CCC Board member for Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA). Ben has worked on federal, state, and non-profit grants and was a water quality consultant for Gettler Ryan Inc. throughout California, the Pacific Northwest, and Alaska from 2000-2008. Previously he was at Triton College in River Grove, Illinois where he was TAACCCT Grant Coordinator for Sustainable Agriculture from 2012-2015. Prior to that he was the initial Sustainability Coordinator at Richland Community College and he was on the Green Hospitals and Sustainable Agriculture statewide committees through the Illinois Green Economy Network.
He grew up on a small family farm near Osage, Iowa exploring the outdoors. Ben also was selected to travel to the Ukraine as part of a nuclear study team and visited Chernobyl as a water quality expert. He also is an avid hiker, biker, and skier and has explored much of the West coast.