Kathryn Ramirez-Aguilar, founder and program manager of the CU Green Labs Program with Facilities Management and the Environmental Center, was presented with the Go Beyond Award for individual achievement at the 2016 International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri.
The award recognizes organizations, individuals, products and projects that advance sustainable, high-performance laboratory facilities. Ramirez-Aguilar's Go Beyond Award commends her inspiring leadership in the sustainable laboratory community as well as her ongoing impact at the University of Colorado Boulder and beyond.
With unbounded enthusiasm, a wealth of new ideas and 15 years of practical laboratory experience, Ramirez-Aguilar works tirelessly to reduce the environmental footprint of scientific research, particularly by engaging action on the part of laboratory members.
A CU Boulder alumnus, Ramirez-Aguilar obtained her doctorate in analytical chemistry in 1999, followed by seven years of post-doctorate biochemistry work at CU.
Passionate about greening the CU laboratories, which account for nearly half of all energy consumption on campus, Ramirez-Aguilar founded one of the first green labs programs in the nation (CU Green Labs Program) in 2009.
She is also engages with the green labs community on a national level, regularly collaborating with colleagues at other universities and federal agencies to increase efficiency and sustainability in lab environments.
Ramirez-Aguilar founded and leads the I2SL University Alliance Group (UAG), which focuses on systems changes that impact sustainability at academic research institutions. Through her role with the UAG, she helped lead the Greening Grants Work Session at the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Summit for the past two years, which brought stakeholders from federal agencies, research institutions and non-profits together to make connections between sustainability goals and federally-supported research.
She has also been instrumental in the development and launch of the North American Laboratory Freezer Challenge, designed to encourage laboratories to recognize the benefits of good cold-storage managementjust. The challenge was announced at the 2016 I2SL conference and is being managed in partnership with My Green Lab.
Ramirez-Aguilar's foresight, dedication and leadership have helped make CU Boulder a leader in the laboratory sustainability movement.