BARD CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY WINS NYSERDA CONTRACT TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN SCIENTISTS AND POLICYMAKERS
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard Center for Environmental Policy (BCEP) was selected from 16 applicants for a major contract from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Under the contract, BCEP will assist NYSERDA's Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation, and Protection (EMEP) Program in developing and implementing strategies to provide the public, policymakers, and the scientific community with scientifically credible and objective information about the environmental impacts of pollution associated with electricity generation. BCEP will also join EMEP in organizing the conference, "Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation, and Protection in New York: Linking Science and Policy," in Albany on October 7 and 8.
"Our interdisciplinary graduate program was specifically designed to link science and policy, so we feel particularly well placed to carry out these activities," said Joanne Fox-Przeworski, BCEP’s director and former director of the United Nations Environment Programme for North America. "We are honored to be selected for this contract and eager to contribute to New York State's efforts to support research, education, and sound policy on the most pressing and challenging issues facing energy production and environmental protection."
The BCEP/NYSERDA collaboration will involve developing outreach materials, including publications and a website, that convey scientific information and EMEP research results to policy analysts and the general public. "The October conference offers a unique public forum to bring together leading scientific, economic, and legal experts to discuss results that will lead to more beneficial and cost-effective policies," noted Zywia Wojnar, BCEP’s manager of NYSERDA projects.
NYSERDA is a public benefit corporation created in 1975 by the New York State Legislature. Its responsibilities, among others, include conducting a multifaceted energy and environmental research and development program to meet New York's diverse economic needs; administering the New York Energy $mart program; making energy more affordable for residential and low-income households; assisting industries, schools, hospitals, municipalities, not-for-profits, and the residential sector to implement energy efficiency measures; and financing energy-related projects that reduce costs for ratepayers.
The EMEP program, funded by a charge on the electricity transmitted and distributed by the state's investor-owned utilities, aims to accomplish three main objectives: to improve the scientific understanding of electricity-related pollutants in the environment, to assess the environmental impact of electricity generation relative to other sources of pollution, and to help develop approaches to mitigate impacts of electricity generation and improve environmental quality. Under EMEP, NYSERDA sponsors conferences and workshops for policymakers and scientists on topics ranging from asthma in New York City to mercury in remote regions of the Adirondacks. The program's numerous research partners include colleges, research institutions, nonprofit groups, health institutions, and other agencies in New York State.
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, leadership, and financial 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, and the Center offers joint degree programs with Pace Law School; the Bard Graduate Center for Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture; and the Peace Corps.
For more information about BCEP or its graduate program, call 845-758-7071, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or log on to www.bard.edu/cep. For more information on NYSERDA, call 1-866-NYSERDA or log on to www.nyserda.org.