step with nature
Deborah Leigh Wood
weekday, Joe Shacter '87 walks a short distance
from his home in the South Loop to his job at 35 E. Wacker
Drive. More than just a pleasant way to get to work, his mode
of transportation says a lot about who he is and what he does.
As senior policy
advocate since February at the Environmental Law & Policy
Center (ELPC), Shacter literally walks the walk and talks
the talk of someone who's devoted to improving the planet
by making wise transportation choices.
At ELPC, Shacter
advocates strategies to reduce air pollution and greenhouse
gas production. He says he had a "tangential interest"
in the environment before starting his previous job as president
and CEO of the Chicago Academy of Sciences and its Peggy Notebaert
Nature Museum. But during his four years there, he "caught
the bug of trying to do what we can to take care of our natural
"If we don't
alter the way we live," he says, "the pace of climate
change will accelerate, with far-reaching consequences. We
try to improve the environment by developing technologies
and work with communities to create job opportunities."
to work, Shacter and his wife, Sara, a free-lance children's
writer, do their best to improve the environment by driving
a Prius, Toyota's hybrid.
the Nature Museum, Shacter worked for eight years at Chicago's
Museum of Science and Industry, overseeing such projects as
the Titanic exhibit in 2000, a permanent exhibit featuring
a retired United Boeing 727 and the underground garage with
a restored streamliner train.
For two years prior
to joining ELPC, Shacter served on the board of the Midwest
High Speed Rail Association. The grassroots organization works
with ELPC and other groups to promote the development of fast
trains, which he says reduce emissions, require less fuel
than driving and are less polluting per passenger than cars
distances, though, he says nothing beats walking.