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Studying, protecting, and sharing our local watershed

EUS is a major part of grants promoting community science, sustainable trail design, and dam assessment
Studying, protecting, and sharing our local watershed
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently awarded Bard two Hudson River Estuary Program grants, in addition to one awarded in 2015 to support the development of a science-based community stewardship group called the Saw Kill Watershed Community (SKWC). The two new grants are both feasibility studies, one to plan for improvements to trails along the water, and one to determine next steps for a dam along the Saw Kill. Bard was also awarded a one-million-dollar NYSERDA grant to study the feasibility of micro-hydroelectric power generation on the Saw Kill and similar waterways. EUS faculty, staff, and partners are part of all of these projects.

SKWC brings together Bard faculty and staff and local community members. EUS professor Eli Dueker led the grant-writing team, and Dr. Dueker, EUS Executive Administrator Tom O’Dowd form the interim leadership team, along with Carolyn Klocker of Dutchess County Cornell Cooperative Extentsion and Red Hook community members Karen Schneller-McDonald and Sheila Buff. SKWC's mission is “building community through hands-on science, education, advocacy, to protect the Saw Kill watershed and its ecological, recreational, and historical resources." This project utilizes and connects scientific research to inform and raise community stewardship of the watershed. Starting in January of 2016 the group began holding monthly “community conversations” to stay on top of local watershed issues and take actions.

For more information on the Saw Kill Watershed Community:

Visit the website:

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See the press release:

Our Mission

Both biogeophysical systems and human societies (cultures, economies, political regimes) are nested complex systems involving numerous interactions. Environmental and Urban Studies (EUS) is a transdisciplinary program that examines the interdependence of human societies and the physical environment. The program strives to ensure that majors have a solid background in the physical sciences, the humanities, and economics and policy--and understand what sustainability means in the real world. We aim to enhance students' understanding of the complexities of environmental and urban issues and their awareness of interrelationships between built and "natural" environments.

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