Dr. Abel Antonio Chavez


Kelley Hall 104, 1 Western Way, Western Colorado University 
Gunnison, CO USA 81231
970.232.0017; achavez@western.edu


University of Colorado Denver - Denver, Colo., May 2012
Doctor of Philosophy in Civil & Environmental Engineering

University of Houston Bauer College of Business - Houston, Texas, December 2005
Master of Business Administration (MBA)

University of Colorado Denver - Denver, Colo., May 2002
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Western Colorado University - Gunnison, Colo, 5/14 - Present
Assistant Professor

  • Environment and Sustainability tenure-track faculty.
  • Directing Sustainable and Resilient Communities (SRC) track of Masters in Environmental Management.
  • Scoping, budgeting, and overseeing community-based projects and partnerships in: energy management, community resilience and action planning, infrastructure assessments, and community development.
  • Strategic leadership in campus-wide Internationalization and Diversification spanning all campus departments and majors.
  • Champion and catalyst of multiple innovative scholarship initiatives, including: the multi-county Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI), and, IME Becas with the Mexico’s Ministry of Education.
  • Leading the formation of international exchange programs: EducationUSA Leadership Institute with CDHE; Dept. of State Capacity Building Grants.

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)  Potsdam, DE 2/13 – 5/14
Postdoctoral Research Fellow 

  • Research interests in sustainability and resiliency of developed and industrializing communities.
  • Developed methods & models for assessing the drivers of community materials & energy use, and GHG emissions.

University of Colorado Denver - Denver, Colo., 5/12 – 2/13
Postdoctoral Research Fellow 

  • Project and partner development for the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (CSIS).
  • Developed database for city-scale Material Flow Analysis (MFA) and Life-Cycle Accounting (LCA).
  • Steering, and Life-Cycle Committee member for ICLEI-USA city-scale GHG emission accounting protocol. Completed and published October 2012.
  • Advisor to London-BSI Community-Scale GHG Protocol.

University of Colorado Denver - Denver, Colo., 8/08 - 5/12
PhD Candidate

  • Thesis Title: Comparing City-Scale Greenhouse Gas Accounting Methods: Implementation, Approximations, and Policy Relevance.
  • Managed and oversaw numerous environmental interdisciplinary GHG Inventory and mitigation projects integrating MFA, LCA, and community-based participatory research functions.
  • International partners and case studies: Shanghai, Delhi, Manila, 40+ U.S. cities (NYC, Miami, others).
  • Other partners include Tongji University, Delhi Government, De La Salle University, TERI University, Yale, ICLEI-South Asia, and ICLEI-USA.
  • Technical Advisor to cities (e.g., City and Counties of Denver, San Francisco, and others).
  • Lead trainer on national Philippine effort to build capacity in community GHG emissions inventories. Trained over 50 communities and over 200 city staff in the Philippines.
  • Facilitated sustainability (science) training & policy round tables/workshops with partner communities.
  • Interdisciplinary work across Engineering, Public Affairs, Economics, Behavioral Sciences, Planning.
  • Expert on collection, analysis, and communication of energy data for GHG emissions inventory computations to a wide range of interdisciplinary audiences/stakeholders.
  • Implemented city-scale GHG emission mitigation strategies for cities.
  • Expert knowledge of ICLEI, EPA, and WRI GHG Protocol frameworks.
  • Actively informed Community GHG Accounting Protocols: ICLEI-USA and C-40.
  • Presented at international conferences, and authored in international publications.

Chavez Consulting, Inc. -  Denver, Colo., 6/06 – 8/08

  • Consulting focused on Operational Development, Project Management, and Process Improvement.
  • Key resources: Six Sigma, Lean, Project Management, and Process & Financial Analysis.
  • Strategic Management, Sales & Project goals, and Scoping.

Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Houston, Texas,  7/05 – 6/06
Category Project Manager                                                                                                                       

  • Successfully managed all aspects of multi-state category resets in condensed and aggressive period.
  • Resets were accompanied by quantitative data report, presentation, and technical instructions.
  • Managed internal (distributors) and external (retail chains) stakeholder relationships.
  • Designed and delivered Texas and Louisiana statewide, Best Practice trainings to wholesalers; focused on operational efficiencies.
  • Managed multiple accounts in Texas and Louisiana, and maintained expense budgets within limits
  • Developed sensitivity analyses to provide strategic recommendations based on maximum profits.

International Business Residency - Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore 5/05 – 6/05

  • Established meetings with numerous executives from firms such as Deloitte & Touche, and Black & Decker, across China and Singapore.
  • Identified and proposed strategies to create synergistic alliances with American counterparts.\
  • Led the development of proposals to alleviate communication breakdowns that resulted from cross-cultural differences.
  • Studied the financial impacts of doing business outside of the United 

The Dow Chemical Company - Freeport, Texas,  6/03 - 7/05
Capital Project Manager/Black Belt/Improvement Specialist         

  • Led all capital initiatives, while managing a budget of over $3MM & over 30 projects, and developed cash flow analysis and cash flow projections for each project.
  • Led the identification and execution phases of multiple Six Sigma projects through DFSS & DMAIC.
  • Six Sigma projects included: Emission Reduction, Rail Car Loading, Capital Spending, and Pump Enhancement.
  • Created and documented plant procedures, to include Goal, Scope, and System Modeling for every Six Sigma, Improvement, and Capital Project.
  • Focused on safety, led morning safety meetings and followed OSHA standards, and achieved an injury free record on all projects.
  • Facilitated executive business meetings between North American, South African, and German plants to identify business critical capital opportunities, and to provide projections on annual budgets, policies, and performance parameters.
  • Successfully developed and managed, Capital & Improvement plant teams.

Mechanical/Pressure Containment Equipment Engineer - 1/03 - 6/03

  • Led the mechanical discipline thru multiple simultaneous projects in various technologies.
  • Initiated mechanical equipment training sessions to improve teams discipline knowledge.
  • Implemented Dow’s Most Effective Technology (MET) with competitive advantage as the catalyst.
  • Researched and established various vendor relationships that netted over $200K in cost-savings.

Production Engineer 7/02 - 1/03

  • Achieved 95 percent on-line time during increased customer demand era while liable for production line. 
  • Coordinated maintenance revisions and checks, for critical pieces of equipment.
  • Planned and executed crucial Air Regulation project within 4 working days to avoid plant shutdown, and state fines.

Ball Corporation - Broomfield, Colo., 5/99 - 5/02
Associate Engineer

  • Led the design of aluminum can body extruding tooling.
  • Designed and implemented new can measuring robotic mechanism within $75K budget.
  • Worked with Internal plant personnel to model Broomfield R&D facility.


Chavez, A., Kennedy, C., Chen, B., Chertow, M., Baynes, T., Chen, S. & Bai, B. (2017). Urban Metabolism: Resource flows, the urban boundary, and resilience. In Future Earth (Ed.), The Urban Planet: Knowledge towards livable cities. In Press.

Chavez, A. (2016). Key Drivers and Future Trends of Urban Carbon Emissions. In Low Carbon Cities, Future Science. Submitted.

UCCRN. (2015). Urban Energy Supply Sector: Challenges and Opportunities for Low-Carbon, Resilient and Just Cities. Lead Author, Chapter 8 in Climate Change and Cities: Second Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (ARC3-2). In Press.

IPCC. (2014). Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Contributing Author to Chapter 12 on Human Settlements.

Chavez, A.   (2012).  Comparing  City-Scale  Greenhouse  Gas   (GHG)   Emissions  Accounting  Methods: Implementation, Approximations, and Policy Relevance. PhD Thesis. University of Colorado Denver.

Chavez, A. & Ramaswami, A. (2013). Articulating A Trans-Boundary Infrastructure Supply Chain Greenhouse Gas Emission Footprint for Cities: Mathematical Relationships and Policy Relevance. Energy Policy, 54, 376-384.

Chavez, A. & Ramaswami, A. (2013). How large are the total energy supply-chains serving cities? Coverage by territorial, infrastructure and consumption-based carbon footprints. Environ. Sci, Technol. Submitted.

Chavez, A., Ramaswami, A., Dwarakanath, N., Ranjan, R., & Kumar, E. (2012). Implementing Trans-Boundary Infrastructure-Based Greenhouse Gas Accounting for Delhi, India: Data Availability and Methods. Journal of Industrial Ecology. 16 (6), 814-828.

Chavez, A. & Ramaswami, A. (2011). Progress Toward Low-Carbon: Approaches for Trans-Boundary Greenhouse Gas Emissions Footprinting for Cities. Carbon Management, 2 (4), 471-482.

Ramaswami, A. & Chavez, A. (2013). What metrics best reflect the energy and carbon intensity of cities? Insights from theory and modeling of 20 US cities. Environ. Res. Lett, 8.

Spork, C.C., Chavez, A., Durany, X.G., Patel, M.K., & Villalba, G. (2013). Applying real-time emission factors to increase accuracy in GHG accounting for electricity: A case study for Spain. Journal of Industrial Ecology. Submitted.

Ramaswami, A., Chavez, A., & Chertow, M. (2012). Carbon Footprinting of Cities and Implications for Analysis of Urban Material and Energy Flows. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 16 (6), 783-785.

Ramaswami, A., Bernard, M., Chavez, A., Hillman, T., Whitaker, M., Thomas, G. & Marshall, M. (2012). Quantifying Carbon Mitigation Wedges in US Cities: Near-Term Strategy Analysis and Critical Review. Environ. Sci, Technol., 46 (7), 3629-3642.

Ramaswami, A., Chavez, A., Ewing-Thiel, J., & Reeve, K.E. (2011). Two Approaches to Greenhouse Gas Emissions Footprinting at the City-Scale. Environ. Sci, Technol., 45 (10), 4205-4206.

Ramaswami, A., Main, D., Bernard, M., Chavez, A., Davis, A., Thomas, G., & Schnoor, K. (2011). Planning for Low-Carbon Communities in US Cities: A Participatory Process Model between Academic Institutions, Local Governments and Communities in Colorado. Carbon Management. 2 (4), 397-411.

Pattison, A. Chavez, A., Ramaswami, A., & Gifford, B. (2009). A Review of Green Job Estimations for Colorado. Presented at Wal-Mart Green Jobs Council Summit.


University of California San Diego, Addressing Critical Issues and Transitions in the STEM Pipeline, San Diego, California. January 2017.

Clemson University, Who’s Not At The Table? Building Research Capacity for Underserved Communities in Engineering, Clemson, South Caroline. November 2016.

Lecturer and Visiting Scholar at Pavlodar State University (PSU), Pavlodar, Kazakhstan. Material Flow Analysis and Life-Cycle Assessment of Natural Resource Extraction Industries. October 2015 and May 2016.

Lecturer and Visiting Scholar at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona, Spain. Economic Input-Output Analysis for Life-Cycle Assessment and Environmental GHG Accounting. October 2012, May 2013, and November 2013.

Public Lecture/Seminar, City-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounting Methods: A Perspective of The Nature and Size of Supply-Chains Serving Cities. Presented at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) and Joint European Master in Environmental Studies (JEMES), October 2012.

DISCCRS (DISsertations initiative for the advancement of Climate Change ReSearch) VIII Symposium Scholar. Colorado Springs, CO. October 2013.

Chavez, A. Comparing Different Greenhouse Gas Emission Footprint Methods and Metrics to Represent the Energy and Environmental Performance of Cities. International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE). Ulsan, South Korea, June 2013

Chavez, A. Urban Metabolism, LCA, and GHG Footprints for Cities. Workshop on Sustainable Urban Systems. UNESCO, Paris, France, June 2012.

Chavez, A. Nature and Size of Supply-Chains Serving Cities. Gordon Research Conference on Industrial Ecology. Les Diablerets, Switzerland, June 2012.

Chavez, A. Toward Low Carbon Cities. Philippine League of Local Environment and Natural Resources Officers, Inc. (PLLENRO) National Conference. Cebu City, Philippines, November 2011.

Chavez, A., & Ramaswami, A. Two GHG Emission Accounting Approaches: Trans-Boundary Infrastructure Supply Chain, and Consumption-Based GHG Footprints. American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA). Chicago, IL, October 2011.

Chavez, A., & Ramaswami, A. Comparing Geographic, Geographic-Plus Infrastructure Supply Chain, and Consumption-Based Greenhouse Gas Accounting Methods for US Cities. International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE). Berkeley, CA, June 2011.

Chavez, A., & Miller, L. Center for Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (CSIS) and City-Scale GHG Emissions Accounting. New Delhi International Conference on Cities and Climate Change. Delhi, India, February 2011.

Ramaswami, A., & Chavez, A. Are We There Yet? Measuring Progress Towards Low-Carbon Trans-Boundary Challenges in City-Scale Greenhouse Gas Accounting. US-China Workshop on Low-Carbon Cities. Hong Kong, China, December 2010.

Chavez, A., & Ramaswami, A. Hybrid Greenhouse Gas Accounting Methodology for Cities: Past Work & New Developments. American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA). Portland, OR, November 2010.

Chavez, A., & Ramaswami, A. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounting: Framework and Innovations at the City-Scale. Colorado Environmental Health Association (CEHA). Colorado Springs, CO, October 2010.

Chavez, A. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounting at the City-Scale. SACNAS. Anaheim, CA, October 2010.



Building and Planning Communities
Western Colorado University

Natural Resource Systems: F-E-W Nexus and LCA
Western Colorado University

Science of Climate Mitigation and Adaptation
Western Colorado University

Environmental Organization Development and Management
Western Colorado University

Environmental Policy and Politics
Western Colorado University

Urban Metabolism and Life-Cycle Assessment
Visiting Scholar – Autonomous University of Barcelona
These lectures were given to master’s students in the interdisciplinary Joint European Master in Environmental Studies (JEMES).

Introduction to Sustainable Urban Infrastructures
Adjunct Faculty – University of Colorado at Denver

  • Multi-disciplinary, enrolling Masters and Doctoral students from the following disciplines: Engineering, Public Affairs, Architecture & Planning, Health & Behavioral Sciences, and Business.
  • Topics included: Human Development Index, Doubling Times, Food and Virtual Water, Economic Theory, IPAT, MFA, LCA, Urban Metabolism, Industrial Ecology and Symbiosis, Social Norming, Club theory, Advocacy Coalition Framework, Community-Based Participatory Research, others.\

Engineering Management and Leadership Course
Adjunct Faculty – University of Colorado at Denver

  • Designed course and supplemental material for undergraduate and graduate engineering students.
  • Course covered Business and Management fundamentals needed for present day engineers.
  • Course was case based, with literature reviews.
  • Topics included: Leadership, Team Dynamics, Organizational Behavior, Strategic Management, and Operations Management.


  • Irais Vázquez (doctoral). Metabolic Flows in Puebla Mexico. Puebla, Mexico, September 2016 – Present.
  • Juudit Ottelin (doctoral). Rebound effects projected onto carbon footprints: Implications for climate change mitigation in the built environment. Aalto University, April 2016 – October 2016.
  • Digu Aruchamy (masters). An Urban Resilience Indicator Framework. Autonomous University of Barcelona, May 2015 – September 2016.
  • Duanyi Yang (masters). On Calibrating IMPLAN Model in Regional GHG Emission Accountings. University of Minnesota, January 2013 – August 2014.
  • Charlie Spork (masters). Application of real-time data to increase accuracy of emission factors of Belgium, France and Spain. Aalborg University, February 2013 – August 2013.


  • Proposal reviewer: National Science Foundation’s (NSF) – EHR Core Research (ECR) Fundamental Research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education. Spring 2015.
  • Member of Steering and Life-Cycle Committees for ICLEI-USA city-scale GHG emission accounting protocol. Completed and published October 2012.
  • Reviewer for: Environmental Science & Technology, Energy Policy, Journal of Industrial Ecology, Carbon Management, Journal of Life-Cycle Assessment.



  • Coldharbour Sustainable Living Institute – Board Member 7/14 – Present

  • Nuestra Familia – Comunidades para Huerfanos 1/08 – Present

  • Colorado MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement) 1/08 – Present

  • University of Colorado, Denver – Scholarship Committee Board Member 6/06 – Present

  • Open World Learning (OWL) – Mentor and Ambassador 5/06 – Present

  • INROADS (Colorado & Houston) member, alumni, and institute facilitator 1/02 – 5/12

  • National Society of Hispanic MBA’s – Board of Directors 7/07 – 07/08

  • Chamber Of The Americas, Telecommunications Task Force – Board Member 7/06 – 5/08

  • Chamber Of The Americas, Education Task Force – Project Lead 7/06 – 5/08

  • Houston’s professional chapter of Minority MBA Association – Officer 1/04 – 12/05

  • Focal Point at local elementary school for mentoring and tutoring initiative – Dow Focus  7/04 – 5/05

  • Dow Chemical Hispanic Latin Network – Implementation Leader, Freeport Site 6/04 – 5/05

  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers – President, CU Chapter 8/01 – 8/02


  • Spanish (native), English (native), Six Sigma Green Belt Certified, Six Sigma Black Belt

  • Software: MS Office Suite, MS Project, MS Visio, R-Studio, Matlab, JMP, Minitab