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BARD CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY RECEIVES $495,000 LUCE FOUNDATION GRANT FOR LEARNING ACROSS BORDERS PROJECT Prestigious Award Will Support Research and Curriculum Collaborations and Student Exchanges with Institutions in Developing Countries

Darren O'Sullivan
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded the Bard Center for Environmental Policy (BCEP) a $495,000 grant to support its new Learning Across Borders project, which aims to foster global environmental policy solutions by establishing student, research, and professional exchanges with institutions in countries such as China, South Korea, Hungary, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Kenya. “We are particularly pleased that the Bard Center for Environmental Policy’s proposal to us was one of the best in a strong group of candidates and that it symbolizes and reinforces Bard’s current endeavors toward globalization and environmentalism,” said H. Christopher Luce, program director of the Luce Foundation’s Program in Public Policy and the Environment. The grant will create global learning networks to enable BCEP to strengthen two of its core missions: improving the quality of environmental policies at the local through international levels, and training well-rounded environmental professionals who can integrate science-based knowledge with the legal, economic, political, and ethical considerations that influence the policy-making process in a variety of nations. “Because so many environmental issues—from the protection of water resources, management of urban sprawl, and regulation of dangerous chemicals to protection of vulnerable fish stocks—occur throughout the world, it is critical to establish creative partnerships that prepare environmental professionals to address these ubiquitous challenges in different cultural, political, and economic contexts,” said Joanne Fox-Przeworski, director of the Bard Center for Environmental Policy and former director for North America of the United Nations Environment Programme. “This grant will enable BCEP to share its experiences with institutions in developing countries, where limited resources often impede access to scientific knowledge and limit institutional experimentation.” “The Learning Across Borders project is based on Bard’s continuing efforts to strengthen science-based learning, while addressing practical real-world problems,” said Bard President Leon Botstein, who also stressed the importance of the project as a potential model. “In the spirit of Bard’s most promising initiatives, this project is envisioned as one that could be replicated at other institutions seeking to enhance the importance of environmental education and adapting the results of learning to the policy-making arena.” The Luce grant will, over three years, allow BCEP to strengthen the international component of its successful interdisciplinary graduate program by helping to support joint curriculum development and comparative research planning between BCEP and collaborating institutions, fund scholarships for early-career professionals from developing countries to enroll in the BCEP graduate program, and establish internships for second-year BCEP students at institutions in developing countries. Participating institutions include Central European University in Budapest; Korea University in Seoul; Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing; Instituto de la Naturaleza y la Sociedad de Oaxaca in Mexico; the Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning in São Paolo; Pultusk University in Pultusk, Poland; and the Universidad de San Andrés in Buenos Aires, Argentina; among others. By the end of the three-year period, nine institutions on four continents will have had the opportunity to participate in developmental colloquia through student as well as professional exchanges and to launch collaborative projects. “The BCEP model aims to create a new type of environmental leader who is able to transcend disciplines and seek technically creative as well as politically and culturally feasible responses to the diverse structural causes that underlie environmental problems,” said Fox-Przeworski. “Since environmental problems do not stop at national boundaries, we see it as part of our mission to facilitate this exchange and foster networks between students, colleagues, and professionals in programs with objectives similar to ours.” Learning Across Borders will provide institutions in developing countries the opportunity to adapt BCEP’s curriculum to the needs and realities of their countries. Luce Foundation funding will enable BCEP to organize curriculum development workshops, at which professional practitioners and educators will exchange information about their priorities, policy experience, and requisite knowledge for environmental decision making in the 21st century and set the stage for cross-national research projects. Meanwhile, by providing scholarships to early-career professionals from developing countries to attend BCEP, Learning Across Borders will help address the increasing demand in those countries for environmental policy analysts. For example, the current first-year class includes early-career professionals from Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia and China. Their training will help them develop effective environmental policies in their home countries—policies that rely on the rule of law and market instruments—with greater transparency and accountability. Furthermore, the Luce-funded internships in developing countries will enable second-year BCEP students, especially those committed to environmental careers focusing on issues in the global arena, to gain valuable professional experience in an international setting. Tangible benefits for all participants in Learning Across Borders will include exposure to perspectives and problem-solving methodologies of other cultures, particularly useful at the early-career stage. The Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by the late Henry R. Luce, cofounder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc. Today it has assets of about $700 million. Most of the foundation’s wealth derived from stock donated by Henry R. Luce. The work of the Luce Foundation reflects the interests of four generations of the Luce family. These include the interdisciplinary exploration of higher education; increased understanding between Asia and the United States; the study of religion and theology; scholarship in American art; opportunities for women in science and engineering; and environmental and public policy programs. Through its Program in Public Policy and the Environment, the Luce Foundation supports research, training, and policy recommendations dealing with significant issues at the national and international levels. Higher education has been a persistent theme for most of the foundation’s programs, with an emphasis on innovation and scholarship. The Bard Center for Environmental Policy promotes education, research, and public service on critical issues pertaining to the natural and built environments. Its primary goal is to improve the quality of environmental policies by incorporating the best available scientific knowledge into the policy-making process at the local, regional, national, and international levels. The Center’s innovative graduate program, launched in 2001, trains future leaders who can translate the science behind environmental and natural resource problems into creative, feasible policies. The Center’s unique modular program offers an intensive course of study, grounded in the sciences, as well as economics, law, politics, and ethics, and emphasizes communication skills and leadership training. After a period of internships, graduates are prepared for careers in nonprofit organizations, government, and the private sector. The program leads to a master of science degree or professional certificate in environmental policy. The Center also offers joint degree programs: a doctor of jurisprudence with Pace Law School and a master of arts in teaching with Bard College. It is also affiliated with the Masters International program of the Peace Corps and the academic council of the United Nations. For more information about the Bard Center for Environmental Policy, please call 845-758-7073, e-mail, or visit # # #


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This event was last updated on 03-27-2007