Sustain What?

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

On November 8 and 9, in celebration of the Environmental Consortium’s 10th year anniversary, we are returning to the theme of campus greening and the role of higher education. Much has changed in the sustainability landscape since our 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 to your institution. This year’s conference will feature keynote addresses by:

David Hales, Second Nature

David Hales will deliver the conference opening keynote on Friday, November 8.

  • In August, 2012, David Hales was selected President and CEO of Second Nature, the Boston-based advocacy organization committed to promoting sustainability through higher education
  • Under his leadership as the fifth president of College of the Atlantic, it became the first institution of higher education in the United States to be a “NetZero” emitter of greenhouse gases
  • Directed environmental policy and sustainability programs of the United States Agency for International Development throughout the Clinton administration
  • Served in the Carter administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the United States Department of the Interior
  • Was Director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources
  • Represented the United States in numerous intergovernmental negotiations, including the Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biodiversity, as well as in meetings of the United Nations General Assembly and Commission on Sustainable Development
  • Served on the steering committee of the American College and University President Climate Commitment and chaired the Higher Education Committee for the American Council on Renewable Energy

James Gustave “Gus” Speth, Vermont Law School

Professor Gus Speth will be presented with the Environmental Consortium’s “The Great Work Award” in honor of Thomas Berry and deliver a keynote on Saturday, November 9.

  • A Distinguished Senior Fellow with Demos, he completed his decade-long tenure in 2009 as dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
  • From 1993 to 1999, he was administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and chair of the U.N. Development Group
  • Co-Founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Founder of the World Resources Institute
  • Chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality in the Carter administration
  • Provided leadership and entrepreneurial initiatives to many task forces and committees whose roles have been to combat environmental degradation, including the President’s Task Force on Global Resources and Environment; the Western Hemisphere Dialogue on Environment and Development; and the National Commission on the Environment
  • Author, co-author or editor of six books, including the award-winning The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability and Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment

To see a full conference agenda or to register to attend, click here.

Talking About Eating Animals

Pace Academy teams up with Farm Forward to bring you a virtual visit from award-winning author Jonathan Safran Foer and to discuss the issues surrounding today’s food industry.

“Do you eat chicken because you are familiar with the scientific literature on them and have decided that their suffering doesn’t matter, or do you do it because it tastes good?” asks Jonathan Safran Foer, acclaimed author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, in his first nonfiction book Eating Animals.

On Thursday, October 10, Foer takes the first steps towards answering this and other questions at a virtual classroom visit that discusses Eating Animals, today’s food industry, animal welfare, environmental degradation, and more. This event, which is presented by Farm Forward’s educational outreach program, will allow students, faculty, and staff to interact with Foer during a Q&A session following Foer’s opening lecture.

This event is part of Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies’ 2013-2014 awareness campaign on how food serves as the connection between people and the environment. Through engaging events at each campus, the FoodYou Campaign draws attention to the impacts of our food choices, delving into controversial topics such as the future of genetic engineering and the climate footprint of meat production. To learn more about the FoodYou Campaign, visit

Last year, Farm Forward held its first series of “Virtual Classroom Visits,” where Foer met with more than 2,100 high school and college students. In all, 70 college and high school classes across 20 states and 3 countries participated. The response from teachers and students was overwhelmingly positive.

The event will be shown at 12:45 p.m.–1:30 p.m. in PLV’s Miller Lecture Hall and 2:15 p.m–3:00 p.m. in NYC’s Lecture Hall West.  For more information about Jonathan Safran Foer’s virtual classroom visit, contact Caroline Craig at the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies.

When Carnivores Become Neighbors

Experts at the Pace Academy discuss what it means to restore Westchester’s carnivores to their native habitats and how it will affect the county’s human inhabitants.

On Thursday, October 11, 6:30 p.m., join the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies as they discuss what it means to rewild Westchester County and what the restoration of carnivores will mean for the community.

Changing landscapes and the ability of some carnivores to adapt to human settings has led to increased human-carnivore interactions in suburbs and cities around the country, including Westchester County.  Carnivores are essential to our ecosystem, but intolerance and misinformation can impede the conservation of these important animals.

Join experts in the field as they discuss efforts to rewild Westchester, including the ecological, ethical, and social aspects of predators and people coexisting. The event features a keynote from Conrad Reining, eastern program director of the Wildlands Network, on the concept of thinking “eco-regionally” and a roundtable discussion with Michelle Land, director of the Pace Academy, Dyson Professor Melissa Grigione, PhD, director of the graduate program in Environmental Science and co-founder of Bordercats Working Group, and Pace Law Professor and Director of the Brazil-American Institute for Law and Environment David Cassuto. Together, these experts will explore how we as a community can embrace and manage this phenomenon of rewilding our communities while ensuring our safety.

For more information, visit

A Multidisciplinary Endeavor

The Pace Academy and the Office of the Provost have recently announced the 2012-2013 Pace Academy Faculty Scholars, who are committed to the development and advancement of environmental study.

The Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies and the Office of the Provost are proud to announce this year’s selection of Pace Academy Faculty Scholars, all of whom were chosen for their potential to advance environmental discourse and increase the level and degree of sophistication within the discipline. Each of the selected faculty will receive a $4,000 stipend to contribute to a scholarly body of work.

This year’s scholars come from several different disciplines and areas of expertise from across the University. Frank Marchese, PhD, will be presenting a digital art installation entitled “Bits of the Urban Environment.” The exhibition, which will consist of panel discussions and an exploration of engaging urban spaces in innovative ways, marks the 10th anniversary of Pace’s Digital Gallery.

Lubin Professor Noushi Rahman, PhD, will use his stipend to conduct meta-analysis about the effects of environmental corporate social responsibility (ECSR) on firm performance. To date, no meta-analysis has been conducted on ECSR’s influence on corporate performance.

Professor of Law David Cassuto will be developing a multidisciplinary course called “The Legal Animal,” wherein he and his students will explore the legal definitions and implications of the word “animal” in today’s legal system. “These varied and conflicting definitions of ‘animal’ make it impossible to develop a coherent body of law governing our interactions with the nonhuman world. That lack of coherence in turn leads to significant and ongoing issues of cruelty and environmental harm,” says Cassuto. “’The Legal Animal’ represents an attempt to bring these problems of dissonance into sharp relief and perhaps begin the process of their resolution.”

“This program would allow students to fulfill a number of core requirements; participate in an in depth multidisciplinary learning community environment with onsite trips; gain experience and expertise in environmental studies through a close, interdisciplinary engagement with the Hudson River Valley from various perspectives; and potentially earn a certificate or, if possible, credit as a minor,” says Dyson Professor of English Helane Levine-Keating, PhD, who is working with faculty and department chairs from across the University to develop a 15-credit program that will include two Learning Community courses and one travel course that focuses on experiential learning in the Hudson River Valley.

“My goal as a Faculty Scholar,” says Levine-Keating “Would be to continue to collaborate with community and faculty members to increase my awareness of current developments and bring them to bear in course development as well as potential scholarship and research.”

Lauren Birney, EdD, an assistant clinical professor in the School of Education, will be creating K-12 educator mentor-mentee teams that will explore opportunities to create more meaningful curricula based in the common core and experiential in nature.

Rolling, Researching, and Reading on the 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 more information about the course, join the faculty at an Information Session on Wednesday, October 26 at 12:20 p.m. in the Environmental Center. For course inquiries, contact Michelle Land, Director, Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, or (914)773-3092.