Kellogg World Alumni Magazine Spring 2005Kellogg School of Management
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In step with nature

by Deborah Leigh Wood

Every 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 resources."

"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."

Besides walking 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.

Before joining 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 and planes.

For short distances, though, he says nothing beats walking.

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University