Dr. James H. Dontje
James (Jim) Dontje directs the Johnson Center for Environmental Innovation, which serves as a focal point for Gustavus campus and community environmental stewardship efforts. He is the inaugural director of the center and came to Gustavus in 2007. James also has been active with hands-on energy projects, including the installation of several small solar thermal projects, and guiding the installation of several larger solar thermal and PV projects on campus. Before coming to Gustavus, James was the Compton Chair in Ecological Design at Berea College in Kentucky where he taught in the Sustainability and Environmental Studies Program and supported Berea College sustainability initiatives.
Prior to his undergraduate education at Luther College, James lived on a farm in north central Iowa just south of Blue Earth, MN border. James’ graduate work was in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Minnesota. His time in graduate school took place between two terms as a community development worker with the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). From 1988 to 1991, he worked on village level water and agriculture projects in northern Burkina Faso; and from 1997 to 2001, he served as the MCC Program Director in Indonesia’s Papua (Irian Jaya) province, guiding community water supply and general community development projects.