Zak Dowell- Anthropology ’97

 Dowell Zak

Co-Owner Sustainable Technology Institute

Upon finishing my degree at Longwood, I began working as a contract Archaeologist. I enjoyed this job and worked for several cultural resource management companies for a couple of years. After traveling to several states to work on different phase 1 and 2 projects, I decided to switch gears and live more sedentarily. I began working for the family business, and learned to build houses.  After a few years, I began to have an interest in energy efficiency. This was due to the damage I saw us humans doing to the planet. I soon began to build homes that had less of an impact on the earth. In 2008, shortly after the housing market crashed, I decided it was a good time to go back to school for an advanced degree. I went to Appalachian State University to work towards a Master of Science degree in Technology (with a concentrations in building science and appropriate technology). In my first semester, I was required to take a class called: “Technology and Culture”. I had a real “Aaha” moment when I realized the parallels between my former and current path of study.

I completed my studies and started teaching energy efficiency classes in the VA community college system in 2010. After a few years, I co-started a company that specialized in solar training and certification. Our company also performs solar installations, energy audits, and consulting for those looking to make their buildings more energy efficient. I am thankful to Dr. Jordan, Dr. Bates, and Dr. Dalton for the quality education they provided me. I am grateful to be in the small percentage of people who love what they do.

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