Sustain What?

Eager to go green? The Environmental Consortium’s 10th Annual Conference is coming to Pace PLV on November 8 and 9

In celebration of the 10th year anniversary, the Environmental Consortium of Colleges and Universities will return to the theme of campus greening and the role of higher education on November 8–9 in Pleasantville as part of the 10th Annual Conference. Much has changed in the sustainability landscape since the 2006 campus greening conference, so this year’s program will highlight current trends, best practices, and curriculum design.

Join teams from around the region in keynote, plenary, breakout, and poster sessions. Share new ideas, gain renewed inspiration, and bring back plans.

Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies Director Michelle Land will give the welcome address, with a plenary on preparing campuses for an uncertain future featuring Andrew Revkin, senior fellow for environmental understanding at the Pace Academy and New York Times DotEarth blogger on November 8.

Keynotes include Gus Speth, Professor of Law, Vermont Law School, and David Hales, President and CEO of Second Nature.

All Pace faculty, staff, students, and administrators qualify for the team discount. Simply enter promotional code TEAM2013 when you register.

The mission of the Environmental Consortium of Colleges & Universities is to harness higher education’s intellectual and physical resources to advance regional, ecosystem-based environmental research, teaching, and learning with a special emphasis on the greater Hudson-Mohawk River watershed. Spearheaded and hosted by Pace University, the Consortium’s headquarters is situated within the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies.

Battle Scars

On October 23, join Dyson and CHP at a PLV conference examining the consequences of conflict and war on people and the environment.

Conflict affects both the mental and physical health of the population as well as the state of the environment. On October 23, examine strategies that can be used to lessen the impact of war on human beings and their surroundings at the Effects of Global Conflicts on Health conference.

Held in the Gottesman Room from 4:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m., the conference will feature notable speakers and a panel of healthcare professionals who will share their lived experience of providing care during times of conflict:

  • Brian J. Williams, Chief of Financing for the Peacebuilding Branch of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office at the United Nations
  • Narinder Kakar, Permanent Observer of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the University for Peace to the United Nations
  • Monia Sayah, a nurse with Doctors without Borders, Sayah has just returned from working with Syrian refugees in Turkey

The conference will also feature a panel of healthcare professionals who will share their lived experience of providing care during times of conflict.

Co-Sponsored by: 
Pace University, College of Health Professions, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Division for Student Success, Paragon House, and Bio Ethics Series XlX Dyson/Biology.

RSVP to Laurie Davis-Ford at (914) 773-3636 or

Space is limited and registration will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. RSVP is essential as dinner will be served.

Critical Thinking, Critical Issues

Do you believe water pollution is illegal? Cage-free hens are contented animals? Climate change is threatening the United States with more hurricanes? Says who? Based on what? Compared to what? Join the conversation on EarthDesk, Pace Academy’s blog.

Join the conversation on EarthDesk, a blog launched by Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies. Examine environmental issues critically through a diversity of disciplines, with special attention to the global water crisis, animal welfare, and climate change.

EarthDesk convenes thinkers and doers from our own campuses, the region, and the world, representing a host of interests–from law to art, business to the sciences, technology to human health, and more. The objective: to advance creative thought and innovative solutions. Read it, comment, follow it, like it, share it!

Join EarthDesk and subscribe to posts by e-mail at; like them on Facebook; and follow them on Twitter. Interested in contributing your own piece? E-mail

The Get-Back-to-Basics Challenge

Check out how one Pace professor is encouraging students to go without common luxuries to discover how their everyday actions affect the world around them.

Written by Pace student Sarah Aires ’14

“Most of the reasons we use certain luxuries is because we want to fit into our culture, not because they are necessary to our survival,” says Laurel Whitney, professor of Environmental Studies at Pace. Some of us can’t imagine what it would be like to live without everyday staples like shampoo and elevators. These simple aspects of everyday life are often forgotten as we fail to realize that these things really are luxuries. For one week during Earth Month, Whitney challenged students in both sections of ENV 105: Social Responsibility and the World of Nature classes and in the dorms to forgo these and other luxuries to discover how their actions affect the environment and how they can promote a greater awareness of environmental issues as part of the Sustainability Challenge. This is Whitney’s third time teaching the course and assigning the challenge—emphasis on the word “challenge”—during which students go without these luxuries and come to many realizations about their lifestyles and the world around them.

Finding alternatives to make day-to-day activities more environmentally conscious is no easy task. Whitney has said that when she first assigns the challenge, it is often met with “a mix of horror, intrigue, and a bit of incredulity” by her students. By the end of the week, however, students not only successfully completed the challenge, but also expressed an interest in keeping up the behaviors they had learned. Students worked to conserve both water and electricity, opted to walk or bike when they could have taken a cab, purchased locally-grown food to drastically cut “food miles,” and became more aware of plastic products they purchased like water bottles.

On the last day of the challenge, students are forbidden from using any fossil fuels at all—quite the endeavor in the modern world we live in today. Despite the obstacle, students still praised the challenge and felt the lessons they learned were worth the struggle. Dyson student Georleena Douglas said, “For me, the challenge tested my personal strength.” Another student said, “This experience has shown me that I think I want a more simple way of life. I depend too much on a number of things. A simpler lifestyle is a happier one.”

Of the greatest lesson students took away from the challenge, Whitney explained, “Many of them talk about going outside, spending time with family or friends, and getting active. Ideally, many of them learn that when you turn off the laptop, ignore your smartphone, and hold off on the Netflix, you starting reconnecting with the community around you.”

Next year, Whitney is planning to extend the challenge out of the classroom and onto the campus. As a part of a plan to make Earth Month more dynamic on the NYC campus, any student will be able to complete the project.

The Force of NaturesPace

Skunk cabbage, woodchuck, duckweed. Do you know your plants and animals growing and roaming around the PLV Campus? Dyson Biology and Health Sciences Professor Josh Schwartz, PhD, is giving you the scoop on NaturesPace, a project he’s working on to help you identify them with a quick scan of a QR code.

Written by Josh Schwartz, PhD

We are exceptionally fortunate to have a Pleasantville Campus that is rich in both plant and animal diversity. However it is likely that only a few of us can identify more than a small number of the different species that populate the campus or explain aspects of their biology and natural history. Recently we (Josh Schwartz, PhD, of the Department of Biology and Health Sciences and Martina Blackwood, PhD, Staff Director of IT) received Thinkfinity Awards to create a mobile-device accessible online database meant to provide such information. Together with student assistants, we have created web pages devoted to individual species of animals and plants. Each page provides photographs of a species helpful in identification, information on habitat, distribution, physical characteristics, and interesting facts as well as findings from scientific research. A list of references is also provided. Access to pages is through QR or “Quick Response” codes posted on signposts on campus located near particular species. Thus individuals with iPads, smart phones with a QR reader App, or Android-based devices can expeditiously access data by simply reading the QR code with their device. Species pages and additional information are also accessible via the project’s homepage at

We have created a Twitter account (@naturespace2012) so that students and faculty members can share information, via “tweets” on species sightings or plants flowering on campus. Twitter also will allow users to pose questions that could be subsequently answered by students, faculty or environmental center personnel.

NaturesPace is a work in progress and over time we hope to have signposts with QR codes linking to at least 100 species. On the website we also include examples of and links to literature and visual art of students and faculty that have a natural theme. For instance, NaturesPace will have a link to a spring 2013 issue of VOX, the student online literary magazine at Pace, which is focused on nature. Future embellishments may include species keys, audio descriptions, more audio clips of frog calls and bird songs, and links to relevant literature. Other anticipated upgrades will enable users to obtain information about particular natural areas on campus using GPS coordinates or be guided by a web-based docent on a nature tour of the Pleasantville Campus.

The augmentation of the species database is meant to involve biology, environmental studies, education and computer science students. But all students, staff and faculty at our school are welcome to help out in this way and also contribute nature-related examples of their creative work. Our hope is, therefore, that the system’s development and use will improve interaction and collaboration among students and faculty in different disciplines. We envision a continually evolving system that will grow with future advances in technology and scientific knowledge about the organisms on campus. It is our sincere hope that, in this age of dramatic declines in the biodiversity of our planet, the use and development of NaturesPace will greatly improve knowledge and appreciation of our natural world while fostering an increase in curiosity among our technology-passionate and savvy students.

If you are interested in learning more about NaturesPace, Josh Schwartz will be giving a brief presentation on April 25 at 1:30 p.m. in the Environmental Center.


Pace Hearts the Earth: Week 3

This week, both campuses go green—peace parks, growing the grassroots, a student who did time for derailing a controversial BLM oil and gas lease auction, and more!

Healthy People, Environment
Tuesday, April 16
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Butcher Suite
The Pace Center for Environmental Legal Studies with others has launched its first documentary film. It is a wonderful exposition and application of comparative law techniques (learned at Pace) examining how transboundary “peace parks” work in a troubled region of central Africa.  View this documentary film with Professor Nick Robinson exploring innovative integrated development efforts in Tanzania.  A discussion will follow.

Laying New Roots
Wednesday, April 17
12:30 pm.–1:30 p.m.
Environmental Cottage
Join ENV 140 students for the annual Earth Month tree planting ceremony to promote awareness about deforestation. Contact Angelo Spillo at with any questions.

The Island President
Wednesday, April 17
6:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
Miller Lecture Hall
Join us for a national day of action focused around political corruption and climate stalemate.  Be part of a nationwide screening of the powerful film The Island President, the story of Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Maldives, who brought democracy to his country and fought to protect his people, who live on one of the most low-lying countries in the world, from climate change. Moderated by Ghassan Karam.

The Power of Water
Thursday, April 18
11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Kessel Commuter Lounge
Learn about the possibilities of water as an alternative source of energy for the future at this hydropower exhibit.

Bag It!
Thursday, April 18
12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
Just say no to plastic. ENV 140 students will promote alternatives to plastic bags by illustrating the harmful impacts of plastic shopping bags and providing other options. For more information, contact Angelo Spillo at

Two Row Wampum
Thursday, April 18
6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Miller Lecture Hall
The Two Row Wampum is a treaty belt between the Haudenosaunee and the Dutch that was signed 400 years ago. It represents an agreement about living on this earth in peace together. This August there will be a commemorative sailing down the HudsonNative people in their canoes and non-Natives in kayaks, sailboats, etc. Professor Tracy Basile and guest speakers Evan Pritchard and Laurie Seeman will discuss this important Native American treaty and its connection to water protection today. Refreshments served.

Growing the Grassroots
Friday, April 19
9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Pace Professor Greg Julian, PhD, leads a sustainable development dialogue on Hudson Valley environmental issues.

Flex Your Green Thumb
Friday, April 19
12:20 p.m.–1:20 p.m.
Environmental Center/Kessel Lawn
Stop by and plant some of your favorite vegetable and flower seeds.

Walk for World Water
Saturday, April 20
10:00 a.m.
Miller Lawn
Participants carry water one mile across the PLV Campus to raise money for a clean water project in Tanzania. For more info, click here.

Bee Educated
Monday, April 22
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Environmental Center
Beekeeper James Eyring will discuss the importance of honey bees and demonstrate how he cares for our hives.

Shakespeare Sustainable? Frost Green?
Monday, April 22
12:15 p.m.–1:15 p.m
Butcher Suite
Celebrate the Earth with poet Ira Joe Fisher, author of Songs From An Earlier Century, Some Holy Weight in the Village Air, and Remembering Rew, as he reads nature poetry.

Growing Green Jobs
Tuesday, April 23
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Butcher Suite
Career Services will host an Environmental Career Panel, featuring speakers with environmental backgrounds to discuss job/intern opportunities.

NYC Event

What Would You Go to Jail For?
Monday, April 22
9:00 p.m.
Lecture Hall South, NYC Campus
Join the NYC Environmental Studies Program for a screening of BIDDER 70, a film about how one college student faced up to 10 years in prison and thousands of dollars of penalties by derailing an illegal government auction attempting to sell off land to oil and gas companies. For his dazzling act of civil disobedience, he was charged with two federal felonies. BIDDER 70 illuminates how the choices we make determine our future and the world we live in. The screening will be followed up with a Q&A. There will be free food.

For more info on Earth Month events, click here. And make sure to stay tuned here as we’ll highlight more Earth Month activities every week through the end of April! Next week: donate your sneakers, check out the birds of prey, here comes the solar classroom, and more!

Earth Month is sponsored by Pace University Environmental Center and N.A.T.U.R.E. (student environmental club) with the support of Provost Uday Sukhatme, ScD. For more information contact Angelo Spillo at or (914) 773-3530.

Laying Down the Law…School Events

An inside look into the EPA, a lecture on the ineffective delivery of legal services, and a career fair for law school students. A busy week of legal activity for you!

Lloyd K. Garrison Lecture on Environmental Law: Inside EPA
Tuesday, March 12, 5:30 p.m.
Robert B. Fleming Moot Courtroom (immediately following the presentation of the Nicholas A. Robinson Awards for Alumni Achievement)

Lisa Heinzerling, Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center will discuss “Inside EPA.” Hear an insider’s view of the complex and confounding relationship between the Environmental Protection Agency, which is charged with environmental regulation, and the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which has frequently stalled EPA regulations. Professor Heinzerling tells this tale from the dual vantage point of an expert who worked in two administrations. Under the Bush Administration, she critiqued OMB and OIRA and the rise of value-free cost-benefit analysis. She was appointed to the Obama Administration, where she observed the same obstructive dynamics in action while serving in the positions of Senior Climate Policy Counsel to the EPA Administrator and then head of EPA’s Office of Policy and Planning.

Heinzerling, who continues to litigate cases in environmental law at Georgetown, also served as lead author of the winning briefs in Massachusetts v. EPA, in which the Supreme Court held that the Clean Air Act gives EPA the authority to regulate greenhouse gases. Please RSVP to Leslie Crincoli at or (914) 422-4413. For more information on the Garrison Lecture and speaker, click here.

Sixth Annual Pace Law Winter Career Fair
Thursday, March 14, 4:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Tudor Room and Preston Student Lounge
Pace Law School students are invited to meet with local public, private, and government employers from Westchester, NYC, upstate New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Learn about a variety of legal areas and career paths and discuss them with local practitioners.

Philip B. Blank Memorial Lecture on Attorney Ethics: Democratizing the Delivery of Legal Services
Monday, March 18, 4:00 p.m.
Room C-202
One of the most significant problems faced by the legal profession in the 21st century is the ineffective delivery of legal services. Millions in need of legal representation are unable to afford a lawyer and thousands of lawyers are unemployed. We are desperate for a solution to democratize access to the law through efficient and affordable delivery of legal services. Law scholars and economists have argued over the years that nonlawyer ownership and investment offer a solution to this problem. Yet professional conduct rules in all 50 states ban this sort of external funding.

In her award-winning article, Democratizing the Delivery of Legal Services, Renée Knake, Michigan State University College of Law Associate Professor, Co-director of the Kelley Institute of Ethics and the Legal Profession, and Co-founder of ReInvent Law, a law laboratory devoted to technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship in legal services, argues that these professional conduct rules are problematic not only for pragmatic reasons, but also because they compromise important First Amendment interests.

RSVP to Brenda Thornton at or (914) 422-4123. For more information on this year’s Blank lecture and speaker, click here.

Give a Big (Green) Thumbs Up

Know someone at Pace with a knack for being green? Let it be known! Nominations are now being accepted for the GreenPace Award—recognizing people, departments, organizations, and clubs that are helping to make Pace a greener place.

Green ThumbThe GreenPace Award will recognize members of the Pace community for ongoing dedication to developing innovative programs and services that assist Pace in meeting its commitment to sustainable practices. These practices can cover many aspects of sustainability including, but not limited to, energy and water; recycling and waste reduction; transportation; dining services; purchasing; green building and landscaping; and campus culture and academics.

For more information, and to nominate a Pace staff, faculty, student, or Pace club, organization, or department, visit

For inquires about the award, e-mail

The GreenPace Award is a program of the GreenPace Sustainability Committee. The Committee is comprised of University-wide members working to enhance and promote sustainability throughout all of Pace’s campuses. Visit to learn more.

Conversation on Conservation: What a Waste

Janis Ian was right when she said to beware of plastics. On December 7, the PLV Campus talks trash and how you can help limit single-use items.

The early bird catches the worm…or in this case, protects the environment. Stop by the Gottesman Room from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on December 7 as Pace co-sponsors a Conservation Café on What a Waste: The Problem with Single, One-Time Use Items.

Find out how you, your business, and your community can help to limit one-use products and recycle and reuse others.

Featured topics include:

  • “The History of Waste in Westchester County” by Bill Lawyer;
  • “Current Waste in Westchester County and Targets for Reducing Waste” by Marianne Petronella, Director of Resources at the County’s Department of Environmental Facilities;
  • “Implementing the Plastic Bag Ban in Rye” by Sara Goddard of the Rye Sustainability Council; and
  • “Single Use/Waste Reduction in Schools, Government, Businesses, and Homes” by Patti Wood of Grassroots Environmental Education.

A panel discussion and Q&A will follow the formal presentation. M.J. Wilson, an expert on event waste, will join the panel, which encourages attendees to bring examples of how you are reducing waste and repurposing items in your own home to share.

Co-sponsored by Pace, Grassroots Environmental Education, Greenburgh Nature Center,  FCWC, Friends of Westchester County Parks, Mianus River Gorge, Teatown Lake Reservation, Westchester County Parks and Planning Departments, and Westchester Land Trust.

This event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, call (914) 422-4053, e-mail, or visit

But It Is Our Business

Pace student Daniel Hollis is one of the activists at the helm of Pace’s campaign for a sustainable environment, navigating the tricky waters of environmental business regulations and practices so we can all live in a better, cleaner, greener world. He is working to make everyone see that the environmental issues the world faces are in fact, our business as well.

By Pace student Helen Arase ’14

“I think most people in the Pace Community are already concerned about the environment and we all know the reasons why,” says Pace student Dan Hollis. “We all know that we depend on the environment for our own sustenance.  I’d say the vast majority of us agree that we need clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and clean lands on which to build our homes and grow our food.  The next step is for Pace students to start asking ‘What can I do?’”

Hollis came to Pace for the School of Law, which is one of the top three schools in the nation for environmental law and has a fantastic JD/MBA program. To him, Pace offered the opportunity to learn about environmentally conscious and socially responsible business strategies. Pace is known for its concentration on protecting the environment, and Hollis has taken full benefit of what we have to offer. He is receiving his JD with certificates in Environmental Law and International Law as well as an MBA with a dual concentration in Accounting and Strategic Management in 2013.

After graduation, Hollis’ plans may include working within a company or working outside a company as a consultant or activist. But before we look too far into the future, let’s look at his impressive resume now:

  • He has interned at the Pace University Institute of International Commercial Law at the Law School, where he worked as part of a team of three students investigating current trends in international contracting regarding the development and increased use of sustainability clauses in international supplier agreements.
  • He has also worked with the National Council for Science and the Environment. There, he wrote articles on various laws and government agencies whose support includes environmental issues.
  • Hollis is also part of the GreenPace Committee, a team committed to advancing sustainability at Pace. If you’re interested in anything from energy and water usage, to transportation and dining services, Hollis encourages you to join GreenPace and help Pace save the world, one step at a time.

The Birds, the Bees, and the Ball Games

As Earth Month starts to wind down, check out the last set of events featuring birds of prey, honeybee presentations, flower plantings, and more on the PLV Campus.

The Powers that Bee
On April 24, Environmental Center Assistant Director and beekeeper James Eyring invites you to “Bee Aware” as he hosts a visit to the beehives on campus and a presentation on the importance of honeybees to the environment and for the nourishment and survival of humans. A student exhibit will provide information about the current state of what has been named Colony Collapse Disorder.

The Power of Flowers
Bring your green thumbs over to a flower planting on April 24, as Golden Key International Honor Society and Lambda Sigma Honor Society look to spruce up the area around the official Golden Key and Lambda Sigma tree outside of Kessel Student Center. For more information, please contact John Mannhart at

Breakfast with the Birds
Pace University and Rockefeller State Park Preserve would like to invite you to come enjoy breakfast with the birds on April 25. Coffee and bagels will be served as you enjoy a walk on the carriage roads of the Preserve to see what birds are active in the woodlands, fields, and wetlands. So bring your binoculars and a field guide to birds for a fun morning of birding. The Preserve is located about 3 miles from Pace, and directions will be provided. You can pre-register by sending an e-mail to

Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Celebrate Earth Day with the Successful Learning Center!  Visit their table in Kessel from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. to check out their Earth Day artwork and pick up some seeds to plant at home!  From 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.,  they will be rocking out to some great tunes brought to you by WPAW, and from there head over to the baseball field at 3:00 p.m. to cheer on the baseball team as they take on New Haven. E-mail for more info or to register for this event.

Birds of Prey
On April 25, join James Eyring, Assistant Director of the Environmental Center, for an unforgettable evening with hawks, owls, and falcons. Learn about the role these predators serve in a healthy natural community and the Environmental Center’s work with birds of prey. Be prepared as several of these raptors zoom past you in free flight! For more information contact James Eyring at or call (914) 773-3169.

And don’t forget to stop by the Kessel Setters Café through April 26 to see a thematic pictures of nature brought to you by the students in Learning Community class Nature. For more info on all Earth Month events, click here.

A Walk on the Wild Side

When Melissa Grigione was growing up in Scarsdale, NY, she would ride her bike to the Bronx Zoo and watch the animals. Repeat: ride her bike 20 miles to the zoo! There, Grigione discovered her true calling–protecting the environment and wildlife all over the world. Learn more about her research…

By Pace student Helen Arase ‘14

“How can we help most as scientists? Be advocates; figure out how to influence the world,” says Melissa Grigione, PhD, associate professor and director of the environmental science graduate program.

Grigione was always a lover of nature. She remembers watching movies with her parents like Born Free and The Last Giraffe, and learning about people who were interesting and saved animals. “It was a calling. It picked me. I felt it deep in my soul,” she said.

In addition to teaching courses including research methods for ecological field studies and research in environmental science on the PLV Campus, she is also heavily involved in research outside of Pace and has traveled around the world to pursue her love: protecting and conserving the environment. However, when she is in the classroom, it is all about applying what the students are learning to real-world issues. Grigione focuses on three avenues–policy, science, and  communication–and uses all of them in her research. As an ecologist, Grigione admits that she cannot battle the huge environmental issues all by herself. She needs to have many tentacles that reach out to policy makers, public health officials, and great communicators. It needs to be a team effort.

What is Griogione currently focusing on? She and her family are working as a team in the Badlands of South Dakota to study the reproductive biology of bison. This effort is aided by the indigenous people of the area.

She is also acutely interested in carnivores, specifically the “secret” carnivores that could be harmful in our ecosystem, like wild cats and coyotes. The challenge with those animals is two-fold: First, can humans learn to accept them? And second, can we create viable habitats for these species? These questions may not have an answer yet. As Grigione notes, we have to take a “lifetime approach” to conservation. For example, Grigione went to Patagonia in South America to do research on why the farmers were killing the puma there. She found that even though the puma were not killing the sheep like the farmers assumed, there was no tolerance for them. The farmers killed them regardless of whether or not they were a true threat. The amount of indifference to the natural world is alarming to Grigione. She says, “It is our duty and moral responsibility to influence change.”

When you see Melissa Grigione walking around campus, stop and think about all the fascinating work she is doing. Ask how you can help. Maybe one day, you too can be traveling around the world to help protect it!

PLV’s Buzzing with Activity

We may be halfway through Earth Month, but the fun is just getting started. This week, the PLV Campus gets wild animals, the Rio+20 challenge, a solar classroom, bee presentations, free food, and more!

Nature Exposed
Students in Learning Community class Nature Exposed were challenged throughout the semester to take thematic pictures of nature. Stop by the Kessel Setters Café from April 18 through April 26 to see a display of their best photos. The class, taught by Fine Arts Professor Carla Shapiro and Environmental Studies Professor Angelo Spillo, combines lessons about famous naturalists with the art of photography.

If the Shoe Fits, Walk in it!
Get outside and get some exercise while enjoying the natural beauty on campus! James Eyring will lead the community on a hike through the Fitness Trail, the wooded area at the back of the PLV Campus, which consists of several hills and is surrounded by a variety of plants and wildlife. Wear hiking boots or sneakers and bring sunscreen and drinking water! Refreshments will be provided at the end of the walk. For more info, contact Kathi Reczek at

Food for Thought
Hungry? Go organic on April 18 as ENV140 students will provide an exhibit of organic vs. non-organic foods. Taste testing in the Kessel Well Area, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30p.m. 

Let There Be Solar Light
Pace is going solar! Con Edison has provided funding to enable the existing Environmental Center classroom to go solar. The single room building will have six solar panels installed on the roof and a battery system that will allow for the building mainly run on energy from the sun. Stop by as they “flip the switch” on April 19 and the classroom becomes a working model of an alternative to fossil fuels. A brief ceremony will be followed by a presentation of how it all works. RSVP to Angelo Spillo

Wild World of Animals
Bearcats and scorpions and legless lizards, oh my! Things get wild on the PLV Campus on April 19 as N.A.T.U.R.E, Pace’s environmental club, sponsors Wild World of Animals. The group, which has appeared on national and local television shows such as David Letterman, Fox, and Good Morning America, will showcase about 14 different animals, which could include a scorpion, alligator, legless lizard, parrot, bearcat, skunk, opossum, fox, and a large cat. For questions, contact Jessica Moitt at

RIO+20 Challenge
Sponsored by Pace’s Political Science Department, the Pace Rio+20 Challenge on April 20 is a simulation of the upcoming “Earth Summit” taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012. The object of the simulation is to learn about and advocate for the “best practices” that have been created to advance sustainable development throughout the world during the past 20 years. Individual students can choose to represent a country, a UN agency, or one of the hundreds of organizations comprising the “major groups” that are advocating for a more sustainable future. We will draft a resolution that will be viewed throughout the world that asserts “The Future We Want!” as young people. Visit to register!

The Powers that Bee
On April 24, Environmental Center Assistant Director and beekeeper James Eyring invites you to “Bee Aware” as he hosts a visit to the beehives on campus and a presentation on importance of honeybees to the environment and for the nourishment and survival of humans. A student exhibit will provide information about the current state of what has been named Colony Collapse Disorder.

For more info on Earth Month events, click here. And make sure to stay tuned here next week, as we’ll highlight the last set of events celebrating our Earth.

Earth Month Continues!

Earth Month is heating up all over the PLV Campus. This week, Don’t Frack With Our Water, an e-waste fundraiser, what overpopulation means for the environment, and much more!

This week, in Earth Month:

Picture Perfect
The former Hudson River School first found its origins among 19th Century American painters who popularized the rugged scenery along the Hudson River. Come and see the beauty and splendor of the early American wilderness as painted by these artists. On April 10, Professor Mark Cassata will give a presentation as he discusses the essence of their vision and the changes in American values which eventually eclipsed the Hudson River School. For more information contact Angelo Spillo at or call at (914) 773-3530.

Don’t Frack with Our Water!
On April 10, the Peace and Justice Studies Advisory Board and Professor Fran Delahanty’s Introduction to Peace and Justice Studies class will discuss ideas to ban hydraulic fracturing and how to intensify efforts to bring clean, safe, renewable energy to our state, and to save our New York State water and our environment from permanent damage. For more information, contact Professor Fran Delahanty at

Chinchillin’ at the Environmental Center
Have you ever wondered, what’s up with that farm in the middle of the PLV Campus?  On April 11, stop by the Environmental Center and look at the wildlife exhibits (which include Burmese pythons, owls, a chinchilla, and more) and meet the staff at its open house. Also, make sure to check out the Marty McGuire Museum, which became part of the Center and opened its doors to the public last April. Music and free refreshments!

What Is Alienation from Nature?
Also on April 11, Denison University Professor Steven Vogel will host a talk entitled “What is Alienation from Nature?”. There will be some discussion of Marx, politics, and the tragedy of the commons.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side
Join James Eyring, Assistant Director of the Environmental Center, for a fascinating guided nature walk around campus on April 12 to view some of the harbingers of spring! For more information, contact James Eyring at or call at (914) 773-3169.

How Many People Is Too Many People?
On April 12, Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies Ghassan Karam will look at global population issues. A documentary about overpopulation will be shown followed by a discussion about the size of the human population and the resulting environmental implications.

Your Future and the Planet’s: Environmental Careers and Graduate Education
The Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges & Universities presents the 7th Annual Student Summit on April 13 at Manhattanville College, co-sponsored by the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies. Mingle with representatives from colleges, universities, government, law and policy, advocacy, engineering, conservation biology, communication, farming, and more. Be inspired, informed, and gain new perspective as professionals from diverse environmentally-related employment sectors will highlight different career paths and provide industry insight. Event includes a career and graduate program fair. For more info, click here.

Recycle Your E-Waste
N.A.T.U.R.E will host an E-waste Fundraiser with the assistance of 5R Processors on Saturday, April 14. They will be collecting electronics from the Pace and public community and recycling them properly.  Acceptable items to donate include computers, monitors, printers, laptops, TVs, cell phones, stereo equipment, microwaves, large household appliances, and more! Non-acceptable items include refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers, items containing biohazards, hazardous waste, liquids, fluorescent bulbs, smoke detectors, or radioactive materials. For more information, please contact Jessica Moitt at

Laying New Roots
ENV140 students, in partnership with the Alliance for Climate Education, will host a tree planting ceremony to promote awareness about deforestation and recycling issues on Monday, April 16. The ceremony will include a Native American ritual, a presentation on deforestation and recycling, and the planting of a tree. For questions, contact Donte Kirby at or Angelo Spillo at

For more info on Earth Month events, click here. And make sure to stay tuned here as we’ll highlight a week’s worth of activities every week through the end of Earth Month!

Environmental Crusaders

There are quite a few people at Pace who are leading the fight for what they believe in. Angelo Spillo and Michelle Rodriguez are some of the crusaders for our environment. Want to know what Pace thinks of our earth and how to save it? Spillo and Rodriguez are looking for the answer. >>Read More

by Pace student Helen Arase ’14

Here’s a little tip: If you’re planning on asking Angelo Spillo, director of the Environmental Center and academic coordinator for Environmental Studies in Pleasantville, why Pace should be concerned with the environment, be prepared for a passionate response.

“Shouldn’t everyone? How can we not be concerned? Every semester I start my classes off by asking my students, ‘Who likes to have clean water to drink? Who likes breathing clean air? Who likes to eat food that grows in clean soil?’  They all raise their hands and smile as if to say ‘What dumb questions!’” he says. “But when I ask, ‘Who spends time thinking about the condition of our environment?’ only a few if any raise their hands. The point is that abuses to our environment, whether we care or not, will impact us all in some way. Maybe not today, but maybe in 10 or 20 years.  The Pace Community, I believe, has a responsibility as an institution of higher education to do everything it can to promote environmental awareness.”

In addition to coordinating Earth Month and educating students on the environment, Spillo is currently working on environmental research with Pace undergraduate student Michelle Rodriguez. Chosen as one of 15 professor/student teams for the Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Program, Rodriguez and Spillo are trying to get at the heart of why students are indifferent to Pace’s environmental sustainability efforts.

Where do we stand on sustainability and our place in the natural world? This is the question the Spillo-Rodriguez team is asking. They hope to develop a response to encourage future participation at Pace and help connect and educate a higher percentage of students. Our earth is worth the hard work that Spillo and Rodriguez are doing, and we should support them!

For the past few months, they’ve  collected roughly 250 student surveys that will have information about students’ perceptions and priorities of Pace’s environmental  efforts. Their research will benefit the GreenPace Sustainability Committee and will suggest the next steps Pace should take to engage and better serve the students on both campuses in order to become a greener institution. If you want to see them presenting their research, stop by the Undergraduate Research End-of-Year Showcase on April 10 in PLV and make sure to check out Michelle’s blog entries for more info on their findings.

Make sure to stay tuned over the next few weeks as I interview more of Pace’s environmental crusaders!

Join Your “PIERS” to Talk Green!

Do you have an interest in the environment? What about how we interact with nature and the effects on it? Or maybe you’re interested in sustainable living? Right before Earth Month, Pace is hosting the PIERS Student Conference on the NYC Campus on March 23, featuring presentations on everything from sustainable shrimp farming to hydraulic fracturing.

By Pace student Helen Arase ’14

Every day we encounter nature, whether it’s in our studies, out in our neighborhoods, or through our work. But do we think about environmental problems and possible solutions? Do we think about society and the competing views that clash every day?

Take a break from this busy New York life and hear presentations from your peers that will make you think about ways to share important information so everyone becomes more aware of our environment and what is happening to it. Come to the PIERS Student Conference: Encountering Nature Through University Culture on March 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room on the NYC Campus and find out how you can make a difference.

Imagine this: you start recycling, and you help 10 of your friends to alter their ways, and they get 10 of their friends and families to do the same… I’m not a math major, but I know that’s quite a few people you’ve recruited to help preserve and sustain our environment!

Exchanging ideas with other students and people interested in the environment opens doors for communication across disciplinary and institutional borders and broadens the knowledge of society. Stop by and hear from students from Pace, Columbia, Rutgers, and other colleges at three sessions of presentations from Mobile Solutions for a Greener City to U.S. Military Relocation to Guam: Water Supply Feasibility for Anticipated Accelerated Population Growth and much more.

If you have an idea or an interest in environmental awareness, come on down! If not, just come learn something and broaden your perception of the world. To attend, e-mail to get on the guest list. Please bring an ID. For more information, visit

Recycle a Paper and Get Paid?

Are you writing a paper on the environment or environmentalism? “Recycle” it at the 2012 PIERS Conference and you could win $200! See? It IS that easy being green.

How are we disciplined to think about environmental problems and possible solutions? On March 23, the Pace Institute for Environmental and Regional Studies (PIERS) will host the PIERS Student Conference 2012: Encountering Nature Through University Culture and they need your help!

If you have written or are currently writing a paper concerning the environment or environmentalism, you may be able to recycle it and submit it for presentation at the conference for a chance to win $200!

Possible topics including alternative transportation, global warming, natural resources, organic farming, population growth, renewable energy, sustainable consumption, waste and recycling, and more! A 250-word abstract must be submitted to The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2011.

For more information about the conference and call for papers, visit

Rolling, Researching, and Reading on the River

As registration opens up for Spring 2012, we invite you to Think Blue, with the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies’ interdisciplinary three-credit elective that will have you knee deep in the historic Hudson River.

6 faculty, 4 schools, 1 course—all of them add up to one very unique academic collaboration at Pace.

The Hudson River is a central force behind the development of our nation—financially, technologically, and even artistically. This spring, Pace students will have a unique opportunity to learn about the rich past and future of the Hudson River Valley through an exciting combination of experiential learning, both inside and outside the classroom.

“It is a fantastic experience in interdisciplinary collaboration,” says Theresa K. Lant, PhD, an associate professor of management within the Lubin School, who will be part of the new interdisciplinary course called “The Hudson River Experience” launched by the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies. “I have a particular interest in interdisciplinary work because a lot of my research has to do with how you get people with different training and different perspectives to come together and solve society’s difficult problems.”

The course, which is scheduled to begin during the spring 2012 semester, will be taught collaboratively by six faculty members from different departments and schools within the University, including Dyson College, the Lubin School, the Seidenberg School, and the Law School. The course was developed with the intention of teaching students not only about the many environmental, business, and artistic influences of the river, but also how to cultivate the skills they need to think outside of the box and to work together in a collaborative way.

“I’m interested in educational and research initiatives that encourage students or faculty or scientists to reach across their educational boundaries to understand what other people are doing and how it can be relevant to questions they may have—regarding the environment and other societal problems. Complex problems need to be tackled in an interdisciplinary way,” says Lant.

Fellow course instructor John Cronin, 37-year veteran of environmental studies and Senior Fellow at the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, agrees that the Hudson River transcends disciplines.

“By tackling the Hudson from the many points of view that we are, it’s really almost transdisciplinary,” he says of the course. “We designed The Hudson River Experience so that boundaries between our disciplines are completely porous. My specific job will be to help students integrate all of the course topics.”

As Cronin describes the course, policy and history, industry and politics, commerce and aesthetics, are all interrelated to one another in regards to the river. To talk about one topic, one must talk about all topics. “It’s a challenge to have faculty from four schools teach one course,” says Cronin, “but we all get along so well together and so easily identified our common interests that it was a pleasure to put the course together.”

The course, like Pace and the faculty who are developing it, is a reminder of how truly interconnected history, culture, and science are.

For students interested in this three-credit elective, you can read more here.

Hard Choices in Hard Times

The new PLV Lecture Series kicks off with a provocative, behind-the-scenes look at environmental decision-making in a faltering global economy on October 18 on the PLV Campus.

How are environmental policies chosen in a failing economy? Where are the green jobs President Obama promised? Can we afford to delay action on issues such as climate change and water protection? How do we make smart choices to ensure a safe environment for current and future generations?

Please join the Pace Community at Hard Choices in Hard Times: Deciding Our Environmental Future, an exciting discussion about some of the most challenging choices of our times presented by the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Gottesman Room, Kessel Student Center (PLV Campus)
6:00 p.m.– 6:30 p.m.: light refreshments
6:30 p.m.– 7:30 p.m.: roundtable discussion
7:30 p.m.– 8:00 p.m.: questions


  • Glenn Prickett, chief external affairs officer, The Nature Conservancy, and scholar in residence, Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies
  • Andrew Revkin, senior fellow for environmental understanding, Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, and New York Times “Dot Earth” blogger
  • John Cronin, senior fellow for environmental affairs, Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies
  • Robert J. Goldstein, distinguished professor, United States Military Academy and adjunct professor of environmental law, Pace Law School
  • Moderated by Michelle D. Land, director, Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies

This event is free and open to the public. Please reserve your seat by Friday, October 14 by e-mailing

Students for a Smarter Planet

We have the intelligence. Now we need to get started…on smarter energy, smarter banking, smarter health care, smarter cities, and ultimately a smarter planet. On November 18, find out how you can help build it with IBM and with Pace.

Think we can be more efficient with our resources and have a healthier environment and people? So does IBM, and that’s why they’ve created Students for a Smarter Planet (SFSP), an international student organization that allows students to actively help create a smarter planet.  

On Thursday, November 18 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Gottesman Room on the PLV Campus, a speaker from IBM will talk to Pace students about the Smarter Planet initiative, and Pace student Taylor Vogt will discuss making SFSP an official student organization at Pace. Following the presentations, there will be an open discussion and attendees can ask questions about how they can get involved in the initiative and address any other questions they may have.

Learn more about Students for a Smarter Planet.

Welcome to the Good Life

Is your future so bright you have to wear shades? Would you like it to be? On November 5, kick off the first day for the rest of your Good Life with the PIERS Environmental Conference on imagining alternative futures.

On November 5, the Pace Institute for Environmental and Regional Studies (PIERS) will host The ‘Good Life’: Imagining Alternative Futures Conference on the Environment on the NYC Campus.

Dozens of speakers from Pace, Fordham, NYU, Pratt, The New School, city and state departments, and more will lead panel discussions on topics including you as a current and future community stakeholder,  growing a green economy, and many more approaches to defining the ‘good life’ in environmental terms from a wide range of disciplines.

Oh, and this all-day conference won’t just be good, it’ll be free.

Environmental Problem Solving

Advocacy, meet Technological Innovation. Now can you two quit the frenemying and work together to save our world? Thanks.

Advocacy and technology have each played a part in our environmental successes and failures to date, but to what degree should each be leveraged as we face new environmental challenges? Has advocacy lost its way? Is technology a blessing, curse, or both? Where Activism Meets Technological Innovation: The Challenge of Environmental Problem Solving, a roundtable discussion, will explore the relative value of advocacy and technology as well the notion that a union of the two may be our only way forward on November 1 in PLV.

Speakers include Pace Academy senior fellows  and environmental experts and scholars John Cronin and Andrew Revkin, and Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow Janisse Ray.

Additionally Ray, who has organized movements and organizations to protect the environment and has written three books about it, including a memoir about growing up in a junkyard in the ruined longleaf pine ecosystem of the Southeast, “Ecology of a Cracker Childhood,” will lead classes, workshops, informal discussions, and speak at upcoming Pace conference “The Good Life,” as part of her November 1-5 residency at the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies through the Council of Independent Colleges’ Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow Program.

Give A Big (Green) Thumbs Up

Know someone with a knack for being green? Nominations are now being accepted for the GreenPace Awards—recognizing people, departments, organizations, and clubs that are helping to make Pace a greener place.

Green ThumbThe GreenPace Award will recognize members of the Pace community for ongoing dedication to developing innovative programs and services that assist Pace in meeting its commitment to sustainable practices. For more information, and to nominate a Pace staff, faculty, student or Pace club, organization, or department, go to:

If you are ready to be an active part of the Green Movement, join the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) onWednesday, October 6 at 5:30 p.m. in an open roundtable discussion about the Green Movement and the voice of communities of color that will culminate with plans for Earth Day 2011 program. For further information, please contact Denise Belen Santiago at (212) 346-1546/ or Melanie Robles at (212) 346-1261/

Packing a Solar Punch

Attention Law School students: The Environmental Law Society (ELS) wants to celebrate fall with a garden party, featuring food and live music, with a little helping of solar punch!

The Environmental Law Society (ELS)  hosts a harvest garden party on September 19 in WP to celebrate the fall and gather all of the fruit and vegetables grown in the garden over the summer. Meet some new people, hang out with old friends, play some outdoor games, and enjoy a special performance by  Solar Punch.

What’s Solar Punch, you ask? They’re a solar-powered band that uses solar energy to perform music. They are focused on transmitting solutions and ideas about climate change and their live music setup is a living model of how solar electric works. Plus, people think they’re pretty electric. We mean… oh, just get out there and soak up the sun.