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Students Protesting Hydrofracking in Albany

Students from across the state deliver a message to Governor Cuomo on hydrofracking in New York State. This rally comes as the DEC continues to review public comments on the hotly debated issue.


ALBANY, N.Y. -- It was a clear message from several dozen students and young professionals about what they believe the governor should drill home in the ongoing hydrofracking debate.

Proponents of natural gas drilling say many of the young protesters at Monday's rally actually stand to benefit the most from the industry that could produce a seismic shift in the state's economy, springing forth billions of dollars and thousands of jobs.

"Lot of colleges along the Southern Tier are now catching on, they're offering curriculum in natural gas jobs, from the very basic jobs at the site to engineering jobs," said Jim Smith, Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York.

But that's not the revolution these young folks are looking for. They delivered a petition to the governor's office with signatures from more than a dozen youth leaders across the state calling for a permanent ban on natural gas drilling.

"Hydrofracking just results in boom and bust economies and this is not the solution we want for New York. We want thriving, just, and sustainable communities," said K.C. Alvey, Green Umbrella Youth NY.

The current hydrofracking moratorium is in place while the DEC continues its now four-year review of controversial issue. In the meantime, several municipalities across the state have already banned it within their limits. Commissioner Joe Martens told YNN they will take these bans into consideration when rendering a final decision on whether to issue drilling permits.

"We are not going to benefit from this, it is going to cause environmental degradation, it's going to ruin our economy, fossil fuels are boom and bust," said Caroline Cowley, Power Shift NY.

"The economic benefits are not really up for debate or discussion, we are seeing thousands of jobs created in Pennsylvania, and we expect that to happen in New York," said Smith.

The DEC is still reviewing more than 60,000 public comments it's received on the hydrofracking issue. Martens said there is no timetable for a final decision and that there’s a mountain of information to sort through and that’s the focus right now.


Posted by Danielle Prizzi at 4:04PM   |  Add a comment
International Sustainabiliy Education Forum in Beijing

Three members of the Ithaca College community were invited to present on Ithaca College; sustainability education program at the International Forum on Education for Sustainable Development, held from October 16-18th 2011, in Beijing, China. Dr. Susan Allen-Gil, professor and chair of the department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Dr. Susan Swensen, professor and chair of the department of Biology, and Marian Brown, special assistant to the provost for sustainability, represented Ithaca College and the United States at this prestigious international gathering of educators for sustainable development. This international forum - held every two years in the Asia-Pacific region - is part of the ongoing outreach and progress reporting process for the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), which is overseen by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).  The Ithaca College delegation was invited to present a series of three linked presentations on our innovative; Committed to Change” program of sustainability education. Dr. Swensen spoke about faculty development; Brown presented on applied learning opportunities; and Dr. Allen-Gil discussed our domestic and international partnerships, including those with EcoVillage at Ithaca, Living Routes, the Center for Ecological Living and Learning (CELL) as well as offering ideas for future development of  our program. The three IC talks were consecutively translated into Mandarin Chinese for the benefit of the forum attendees. The Ithaca College delegation was the only group representing the United States at this international forum, and one of only two delegations from North America. During their visit, the Ithaca team visited the Liu Yi Primary school in Beijing, a showcase for; low carbon & sustainability education in primary grades. This marked the first time this school had entertained any international visitors, so the Ithaca team received very special attention from the entire staff and study body, with the grade-schoolers offering recycling and creative reuse demonstrations, as well as musical, dance and athletic performances.

Posted by Rebecca Whalen at 4:28PM   |  Add a comment

Back in April of this year, marked the publication of a book called Citizenship Across the Curriculum. The book urges higher education institutions to implement civic engagement into their coursework while in the process making it a priority for study in every discipline. IC history professor, Michael Smith, co-edited the book with a few other professors from other universities. He also authored one of the chapters called Local Environmental History and the Journey to Ecological Citizenship. Head here to purchase the book and read some reviews on it. Kudos Professor Smith!

Posted by Rebecca Whalen at 11:36AM   |  Add a comment

In partnership with AASHE, the Greening of the Campus conference took place in Indiana in late September.

"This interdisciplinary conference allows people representing diverse areas in university communities to share information on environmental issues. These areas range from the practical day-to-day management of the physical plant to "green" curriculum development and "green" utilization of campus resources. The areas are bound by common concerns for achieving environmental soundness through safe and sane management of resources. The campus community can become a "green" model for society as a whole by gathering and sharing this information."*

Our very own Stephanie Piech was there representing our campus! She presented on sustainability in dining services from an interns perspective. Topics she covered were going trayless, energy audits and compost initiatives, and how student groups and interns have taken part in making these things happen.  She also mentioned some of our resource management groups like REMP for their work on campus and SWIFT for their work with the food shelters. Great Work Steph!


*taken from the GOCVIII website.

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Sarah Araldi '11 is featured on the Humanities and Sciences School website for her work as an intern with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). As the agency's market and marketing support intern, Sarah was tasked with writing much of the agency's new website and was able to contribute to energy campaigns being implemented all over the state. In addition, she worked has worked at IC on a student team to design cost-effective rain barrels for water conservation, and is pursuing her interests in environmental planning and urban design - all while minoring in art history!


Article Highlight:

"Sometimes, 13 can be a lucky number.

Ithaca College was the 13th -- and last -- school that Sarah Araldi visited during the college application process. Sarah, an environmental science major who hails from Westerlo, a town of 3,400 near Albany, wasn't sure whether she wanted to even stay in New York State at all. 'But,' she says, 'once I got here I fell in love -- with the campus, the city, the people -- everything just felt right.'"

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