Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Top Moments for Hofstra Sustainability Studies, 2013-2014 Academic Year

There are so many great memories from the 2013-2014 academic year here at Hofstra. I picked a handful of photos to show some highlights.  I could have picked dozens more , but I kept it simple.  Thanks to all of my friends, colleagues, and students at Hofstra University who make every day on campus special.

The year started off with Hofstra's Discovery group.  Incoming freshman interested in public service come to campus a week early in a program called The Discovery Program.  I work with students in the sustainability track.  Here we are at the end of a long, hot afternoon after a nature trail cleanup.
Each incoming Hofstra freshman read The Good Food Revolution by noted urban agriculturalist (and fellow Wisconsinan) Will Allen.  The book is an inspiring biography that really got the students thinking about public service, food, race, and environmental protection.
Mr. Allen also dedicated our new student garden on campus.  It was an honor to meet him!
Thanks to funding from the National Center for Suburban Studies, Joanne Norris (a Sustainability Studies BS Major) became the first student garden manager.
Hofstra is a very special university.  Most classes are capped at 35.  Some classes, particularly the Freshman Experience Seminars, are capped at 15.  I have had the honor and pleasure of teaching in the Freshman Experience program for the last two years.  Here we are on a class field trip in Manhattan at the city's first green skyscraper, The Bank of America Tower.
I had the honor of giving two talks at the United Nations in the fall and was the lead investigator of a team that did a report with the U.N. on national sustainability assessments.
My sinkhole book came out this fall and received quite a bit of press.  Here I was in the CBS This Morning Studio ready to go on nationwide television.
In early December, we hosted one of the most important debates on GMO food ever to be held with some of the nation's leading experts in the field.
The fall also saw the annual, Celebration of Suburban Diversity banquet.  Here I am with my 2013-2014 posse of (back row) Dr. Niedt, me, Taiyo Francis, (front row) Lisa Marie Pierre, Joanne Norris, and Jared Garfinkel.  Lisa Marie was back visiting us after her first year working on her Ph.D. at Arizona State.

January brought us visiting faculty member Wenting Chen.  She is a faculty member at Hainan University in China and is working with our crew on sustainability and tourism.  What a joy it is to have her as part of our team!
Did I mention that I have the best students in the world?  Here we are on one of my patented sustainability tours of campus.  The spring semester is always a busy one, but the efforts and positivity of the students keep me motivated.
Earth Day brought many terrific speakers to our campus.  Here is David O'Connor, the Director of Sustainability Policy Division of the U.N.; Burrell Montz, Chair of Geography at East Carolina; and William Colglazier, Science Adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry.  We always try to bring the best people to Hofstra on Earth Day and this year was another example of excellence!

The spring was a real milestone for our program!  Jared Garfinkel was the first student to graduate from Hofstra with a degree in Sustainability.
The campus was tuliprific this spring in one of the most stunning displays of beauty that I can remember.  It is a delight to work on a campus that is also an arboretum.

I could have added so much more!  Talks at the Geological Society of American and the Association of American Geographers.  My work with the National Cave and Karst Research Institute.  My team's work with the National Center for Suburban Studies.  Student research projects.  Fun times with colleagues on and off campus.


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