President Karen Lawrence today announced an innovative planning program to expand and strengthen environmental initiatives across the curriculum, including preparing students for a new generation of “green careers.” Assisted by a planning grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the selective College will sponsor a series of programs on campus and a long-term planning process designed to build cutting-edge, environmental offerings based on its historic strengths in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
“Our goal is to offer broadly interdisciplinary studies in an emerging field and to foster innovative and meaningful career paths for our students,” said Lawrence. “Recent graduates have already made significant strides in the new world of ‘green’ careers, and we know that current and future students are asking for additional academic offerings in this burgeoning field. Just as important, by strengthening our academic offerings, the work we do with community partners—such as the nearby Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture—can offer increasingly valuable, and career-enhancing, field opportunities for our students.”
One major objective of the planning grant is to better integrate the College’s already rich offerings that touch on environmental economics, global warming and environmental chemistry, the environment and the arts, and the environment in policy and development. It’s anticipated that the collaboration and shared research involved in this alignment will also generate entirely new constellations. Topics suggested include sustainability and architecture, and environmental writing. Specific curricular choices will be developed in four symposia to be held in the coming year—Food and Agriculture, Sustainable Building and Design, Writing Environment, and Arts and the Environment. Coordinating the planning are faculty members Charles Zerner, Barbara B. and Bertram J. Cohn Professor of Environmental Studies, and Marilyn Power, professor of economics, along with Dean of the College Jerrilynn Dodds.