Friday, March 27, 2009

Many Reasons Why

Saturday is Lasell Day at Lasell College. We open up the campus to prospective students and their families to answer questions about our programs. I am looking forward to meeting prospective Environmental Studies majors.

I spent some time today reflecting on why a student would choose to study Environmental Studies at Lasell College. What are the strengths of our program? While there are many things that the College has to offer, why would a student choose Environmental Studies?

Here is my list:

1. Our Connected Learning Philosophy. The Environmental Studies program utilizes the Lasell College campus as a learning lab to connect classroom concepts with real world applications. Environmental Studies students conduct greenhouse gas audits of campus buildings and write campus sustainability reports addressing issues such as energy, water, waste, purchasing, and transportation. Students develop an understanding of sustainability issues by closely examining the institution in which they live, work, and study.

2. The Faculty. For a small colllege it is impressive how many faculty members we have with expertise in the environment. We have an environmental lawyer, two environmental economists, an environmental chemist, and an ecologist. In addition we have many other faculty with interests or experience in fields related to the environment. This includes faculty in psychology, business, fashion, and communications.

3. Geographic Location. Lasell College is located in a safe neighborhood of Newton but students have easy access by public transportation to the resources of Boston. The environmental scene is Boston and Cambridge is vibrant and our location gives students access to the many event hosted by various organizations. For example, in the next few weeks the Livable Streets Alliance,, Toxics Action Center, Environment Massachusetts, Massachusetts Climate Action Network, and the New England Grassroots Environment Fund are all hosting events. There are tremendous opportunities for students to engage with environmental organizations outside Lasell.

4. Geographic Location. I realize I have geographic location listed twice but it is really a huge asset to our program. The environment is the largest social movement in the world and so many non-profit organizations have offices or are headquartered in Boston. Associated with these offices are great internship opportunities for our students. Also many of the state and federal offices working on environmental issues are also located in Boston.

5. The Green Campus Initiative. Lasell College has committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. Further we have set several other sustainability goals as part of our Green Campus Initiative. The Initiative provides a great opportunity for Environmental Studies students to take on leadership roles to help reduce the ecological footprint of our campus.

6. The Turtles. Our lab houses three endangered aquatic turtles. While they are big now, they were only 7 grams when we first brought them home.

1 comment:

Megan Ramey said...

Hey Michael, thought I'd leave info about the Livable Streets Alliance Street talk for tonight in case anyone wanted to attend:

Urban health: How shaping our built environment shapes ourselves.

by Russ Lopez

Thursday April 2, 7:00 - 9:00 pm

@ LivableStreets office space, 100 Sidney Street, Central Square, Cambridge

free and open to the public, donation suggested beer/sodas provided compliments of Harpoon Brewery!