Pace University students in an environmental policy clinic pursue initiatives instead of test scores.
This is an Earth Day shout-out to the dozen undergraduate students in the inaugural semester of our new Pace University Environmental Policy Clinic, a year-round course in which student teams, instead of studying for tests, work with nonprofit groups, communities or other partners to pursue achievable environmental goals.
You can learn about the four current initiatives in posts on ePolicy, the new class blog. Here are excerpts and links:
The class has created a communication campaign aimed at passing a law in New York State that would effectively bar traveling circuses that include elephants or other exotic mammals that cannot be trained or housed without abusive practices:
By the Circus Animal Team
In 1805, Hachaliah Bailey, a farmer from Somers, New York, acquired an elephant, one of the first elephants to enter the United States. He named her Old Bet, and visitors flocked from all around to see the remarkable animal.
Eventually, a distant relative of Bailey teamed up with New York City showman P.T. Barnum. The modern-day ring-and-whip American circus was born.
Today New Yorkers can play a role in retaining the magic of the circus while keeping exotic animals out of the ring. Two bills have been introduced —Assembly A5407 and Senate S5971 – that would effectively ban traveling circuses that use exotic animals from entering the state….
One team, working with the Westchester Land Trust, is creating a pocket card that provides a simple guide for New Yorkers to desirable and harmful garden plants:
By the Wildlife And Invasives Team
Some of the worst environmental threats don’t come from a smokestack or a pipeline. Increasingly, New York State’s ecological health is threatened by an array of invasive plants…
A freshman team is working with Pace campus organizations to increase awareness of the concentrated animal feeding operations, also known as CAFOs, that supply much of the poultry and meat in school cafeterias (not to mention America’s supermarkets and restaurants):
By the Food Justice Team
What is the quality of treatment of the livestock and poultry that are the source of meat served on a college campus? We three freshman enrolled in the new Environmental Policy Clinic course at Pace University decided to find out. This led us immediately to the acronym CAFO.
Honestly, like many students, we had never heard this term before we began researching our food supply. We know now, and what we learned has made us determined to do what we can to limit the purchase of food from this kind of operation….
Another team is working with the Village of Ossining to establish a “microgrid,” a resilient system for generating and distributing as much energy as possible locally:
By the Energy Resilience Team
Climate change and the global energy challenge may seem daunting, but much can be done on the local level to build more resilient and efficient energy systems. The Village of Ossining is one of many communities working to take control of their energy futures.
A microgrid is a resilient energy supply and distribution system that communities can use to increase their energy reliability and cut costs. Using combined heat and power and renewable-energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines in the immediate area, towns are able to create a power grid that, if the need arises, can work in isolation….