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Bard Center for Environmental Policy Gathers Leading Educators, Journalists, and Scientists for Three-Day Conference on Interdisciplinary Environmental Education, April 24-26

Participants Include Leon Botstein, President of Bard College; William H. Schlesinger, President of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies; Eban Goodstein, Director of the Bard Center for Environmental Policy and Cofounder of the National Teach-In on<

Darren O'Sullivan

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—With President Obama setting education, energy, and the environment among the top priorities of his administration, it is critical to explore how best to prepare students to meet the challenges presented by climate change, rising global population, and the need for renewable energy. The Bard Center for Environmental Policy (BCEP) is hosting a three-day conference, Friday, April 24 to Sunday, April 26, to discuss these issues and examine the challenges facing environmental policy programs in higher education. The conference, “Interdisciplinary Environmental Education in the 21st Century: Training for Leadership,” includes keynote conversations with New York Times reporter Andrew C. Revkin; Bard College President Leon Botstein; leading environmental educator David Orr; William H. Schlesinger, president of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies; and Eban Goodstein, BCEP director and cofounder of the National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions. The conference, which is being sponsored by the Henry Luce Foundation, is free and open to the public and takes place in the Multipurpose Room of the Bertelsmann Campus Center. For a complete conference agenda or for more information on BCEP, visit, call 845-758-7085, or e-mail

Highlights of the conference include several keynote conversations, focusing on important issues: education and sustainability with Botstein and Revkin at 3 p.m. Friday; public education with Orr, Schlesinger, and Goodstein at 3:45 p.m. Saturday; and the National Teach-In with Goodstein at 9 a.m. Sunday. How can we best educate the generation of leaders who, by 2050, will have to rewire the world with clean energy, house and feed another three billion people, and adapt to a rapidly changing climate? Today’s students must guide the world through unprecedented challenges; as educators, how can we prepare them for the tasks ahead? These are a few of the many questions the conference is expected to explore. Sessions will focus on, among other topics, how to achieve a true interdisciplinary curriculum, balance theory and practice, and implement instructional tools that utilize examples and practices from both within and outside the United States. Participating academics and practitioners will evaluate methods for connections across disciplinary fields, and environmental studies graduates will examine how to engage participants in the integration of interdisciplinary learning into curricula designed to support leadership.

The Bard Center for Environmental Policy was created in 1999 to promote education, research, and public service on critical issues pertaining to the natural and built environments. Its primary goal is to improve environmental policies by facilitating the use of the best available scientific knowledge in the policy-making process at the local, regional, national, and international levels. The Center’s premise is that to address environmental problems and pursue sustainable use of natural resources, scientists, economists, lawyers, ethicists, and policy makers must understand one another’s perspectives and values, and communicate effectively with the general public.

At the core of the Center is an innovative graduate program leading to either the master of science degree in environmental policy or a professional certificate in environmental policy. The emphasis on science-based policy enables students to progress from knowledge of the issues to the formulation of feasible, effective policy responses. The program’s unique combination of interdisciplinary modular study, a full-time internship, and intense thesis research allows students to delve deeply into individual areas of interest.

One cohort of approximately 20 students matriculates each year, which leads to a close rapport between students and faculty members. The intensive, campus-based first-year curriculum requires students to synthesize information from a range of disciplines and sources. The value of this approach has been recognized through established partnerships with Pace Law School, the Bard Master of Arts in Teaching Program, and the Peace Corps.

For more information about the Bard Center for Environmental Policy, please call 845-758-7073, e-mail, or visit For more information about the National Teach-In on Global Warming, Solutions for the First 100 Days, visit


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This event was last updated on 04-21-2009