Tag Archive for College of the Environment

COE Graduates May be Admitted to Vermont Law School through New Partnership

Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth signed an agreement between Wesleyan and Vermont Law School that guarantees admission for College of the Environment graduates meeting GPA and LSAT thresholds into Vermont's Environmental Law Program. At left, Sonia Mañjon, vice president for institutional partnerships and chief diversity officer, and at right, Barry Chernoff, director of College of the Environment, accompanied President Roth at the signing on April 3.

Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth signed an agreement between Wesleyan and Vermont Law School that guarantees admission for College of the Environment graduates meeting GPA and LSAT thresholds into Vermont’s Environmental Law Program. At left, Sonia Mañjon, vice president for institutional partnerships and chief diversity officer, and at right, Barry Chernoff, director of College of the Environment, accompanied President Roth at the signing on April 3.

Thanks to a new partnership, graduates from Wesleyan’s College of the Environment who meet certain academic standards will be guaranteed admission to Vermont Law School’s prestigious JD (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Law), JD/master’s or master’s degree programs. Vermont’s Environmental Law Program, the largest in the country, is widely considered to be one of the best environmental law programs in the United States.

President Michael S. Roth signed the agreement between Wesleyan and Vermont Law School on Wednesday, April 3.

“We’re excited to provide this option for students in the College of the Environment to take their interdisciplinary exploration of environmental issues to the next level through advanced study of the law, policy and regulation,” said Roth. “The COE was conceived of as a place where scholars can think about translating their research into action in the public sphere. Vermont Law School offers superb programs in environmental law and policy. Earning a JD or master’s degree there certainly will empower our graduates to make an even greater difference in the world.”

“We are delighted to sign this agreement with Wesleyan University and look forward to welcoming qualified graduates from its College of the Environment to the Master’s and the JD degrees offered at Vermont Law School,” said Marc Mihaly, President and Dean of Vermont Law School. “Students from Wesleyan fit the profile of our most successful students – they are smart and committed to making a difference in their communities and, indeed, in the world.”

“In my mind, Vermont Law School is the premier school for environmental law in the country,” remarked Barry Chernoff, director of College of the Environment and Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies. “Pursuing further study in environmental policy, regulation and law will enable our students to influence critical environmental issues facing our country—and the world—over the next century.”

Under the agreement, graduates of Wesleyan’s College of the Environment will be guaranteed admission, with a waiver of all application fees, into Vermont Law School’s JD, Master in Environmental Law and Policy (MELP), or Master in Energy Regulation and Law (MERL) programs. Qualified applicants must complete all requirements to earn a Bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan; complete a minimum of 15 credits for a JD, or 16 credits for a master’s, at Wesleyan; have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher; earn an LSAT score of 150 or higher for the JD; and present a letter of recommendation from the director of the College of the Environment. The agreement applies to those who have graduated from Wesleyan within four years.

College of the Environment students are especially well-prepared to pursue this type of work after graduation, said Chernoff, because Wesleyan requires them to do their primary scholarship in a particular discipline, and then examine environmental issues from multiple lenses for the Environmental Studies linked major. Majors are also required to complete a capstone project on an environmental topic, principally from the perspective of their primary major, which offers good practice in real world environmental research. The emphasis on critical thinking from an interdisciplinary perspective, which takes into account the viewpoints of all stakeholders, gives “our students a great basis for doing environmental policy work in the future,” Chernoff said.

He added that a significant number of COE graduates currently go on to earn law degrees. Current students he consulted about a partnership with Vermont Law School gave universally positive feedback.

Chernoff said he has, and will continue, to promote the partnership among faculty, students, alumni and prospective students. “I really think it’s important for young people to have interesting opportunities available to them after graduation, and for Wesleyan to provide gateways for students into careers,” he said.

In addition, Chernoff is exploring the development of other partnerships to provide COE students with different avenues for post-graduate education in areas such as public health, environmental management, sustainability and sustainable design.

Ackoff ’11, Bukiet ’11 Receive Distinguished Student Award

Barry Chernoff presented the Robert Schumann Distinguished Student Awards April 22 during the Wesleyan Earth Day celebration. Chernoff is the Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, professor of biology, professor and chair of the Environmental Studies Program, director of the College of the Environment. Pictured at right is award recipient Sophie Ackoff '11.

Miles Bukiet '11 also received the Robert Schumann Distinguished Student Award, which was established in 2007 by a gift from the Robert Schumann Foundation. The award is presented to an outstanding student who demonstrates academic accomplishment and excellence in environmental stewardship through work at Wesleyan or the greater Middletown community. (Photos by Emily Brackman '11)

COE Faculty Fellows Explore Water’s Past, Water’s Future

Wesleyan’s College of the Environment has appointed faculty members Johan “Joop” Varekamp, Clark Maines, Vijay Pinch and Elise Springer as 2011-12 fellows. The fellows will gather with other Wesleyan scholars and undergraduate students for a year-long academic “Think Tank” on a critical environmental issue. The 2011-12 topic is “Water’s Past, Water’s Future.”

The aim of the Think Tank is not only to generate a deeper understanding of the thematic issue, but also to produce scholarly works that will influence national and international thinking and action on the issue. Scholars and students in the think tank are expected to produce scholarly

Post Quake Haiti Topic of Panel Discussion



Gina Ulysse introduces a panel discussion on “One Year later: Assessing Disaster and Community in Post Quake Haiti” Feb. 9 in Usdan University Center. Ulysse is associate professor of African American Studies, associate professor of anthropology, associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies.



Pricing Carbon Emissions Discussed at Carbon Conference

Wesleyan, in conjunction with the Price Carbon Campaign, an umbrella organization of climate-policy advocates, hosted “Pricing Carbon: The Wesleyan Conference” Nov. 19-21 at Wesleyan. Participants at the conference discussed and developed new approaches to pricing carbon emissions that are destabilizing Earth’s climate and driving global warming.

Wesleyan to Host National Conference on Pricing Carbon Emissions

“Pricing Carbon: The Wesleyan Conference” will run Nov. 19-21 on campus.

Wesleyan, in conjunction with the Price Carbon Campaign, an umbrella organization of climate-policy advocates, is convening a conference to discuss and develop new approaches to pricing carbon emissions that are destabilizing Earth’s climate and driving global warming.

“Pricing Carbon: The Wesleyan Conference” will be held Nov. 19-21 at Wesleyan. Headline speakers include climatologist and Columbia University Professor James Hansen, author-activist Bill McKibben, and environmental-justice lawyer and advocate Angela Johnson Meszaros.

“Wesleyan University’s College of the Environment was established in 2009 to help students become better stewards of our fragile Earth,” says Barry Chernoff, director of the College of the Environment and professor of biology. “We welcome this opportunity to co-host a national conference

College of the Environment Opens with Ceremony, Reception

From left, Joshua Boger '73 P'06 P'09, chair of the Board of Trustees; Barry Chernoff, the Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies and director of the College of the Environment; and Wesleyan President Michael Roth, officially launched the College of the Environment Oct. 23 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Nature Conservancy Awards Chernoff Funds for Fish Study

Barry Chernoff, the Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, professor of biology, chair of the Environmental Studies Program and director of the College of the Environment, received a $13,000 grant from The Nature Conservancy for his research titled “Fish and Benthic Invertebrate Assemblages-Zemko Dam.” The grant expires Aug. 15, 2011.

Huffington Family, Foundation Give $5M to COE, Financial Aid

Terry Huffington P'11, P'14, her family, and the Huffington Foundation have given Wesleyan $5 million to support a College of the Environment endowed chair and endowed scholarships.

Wesleyan has received gifts totaling $5 million from Terry Huffington, her family and the Huffington Foundation to fund an endowed faculty chair in the College of the Environment and endowed scholarships.

The Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair in the College of the Environment, created with a $3 million gift from the Foundation, will benefit the nascent College, devoted to the development of environmental knowledge and the exploration of innovative approaches to environmental problems.

A separate $2 million gift establishes endowed scholarships that will support Wesleyan’s need-blind financial aid program.

“Through these very generous gifts, Terry Huffington, her family and the Huffington Foundation have contributed to our highest priorities—curricular innovation and access to a Wesleyan education,” says Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth. “Their support helps Wesleyan maintain its leadership position in liberal arts education and secure its future with a stronger endowment. I am deeply grateful.”

Ms. Huffington P’11, P’14, of Houston, Texas, says that access to education has always been a family priority.

“I was brought up with the mantra that the most important thing you could do for people is to give them an opportunity to get an education. We welcome the opportunity to support Wesleyan’s efforts to enroll students regardless of their economic circumstances,” she says.

The first holder of the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair will be Gary Yohe, a Wesleyan professor of economics renowned for his work on global climate issues. He is a senior member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that was awarded a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He is also a member of the standing Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change of the National Academy of Sciences.

Gary Yohe will hold the first Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair in the College of the Environment.

“We are delighted that Dr. Yohe is to be named to the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair in the College of the Environment,” says Ms. Huffington. “It is a privilege to support a researcher and educator of his caliber in an area of study that is of such vital importance to our global community.”

The College of the Environment is an interdisciplinary initiative that draws faculty from 18 departments or programs at Wesleyan. Among its innovative features is a think tank, which brings together faculty, prominent scholars from other institutions, and students to produce scholarly works intended to influence thinking and action on environmental issues.

Ms. Huffington, a former geologist, has a long-standing interest in stewardship of energy supplies and achieving a decreased reliance on hydrocarbon fuels. Her interest led her to develop Elkstone Farm in Steamboat Springs, Colo., which features a permaculture greenhouse designed to grow organic produce year-round in a sustainable, energy-efficient manner.

New Academic Partnership, Fellowship Advances Animal Studies

Lori Gruen (left) and Kari Weil

Wesleyan University and the Animals and Society Institute (ASI) have formed a partnership and will offer the “ASI-WAS Human-Animal Studies Summer Fellowship” in 2011 through Wesleyan’s recently-launched College of the Environment.

The ASI-WAS Human-Animal Studies Summer Fellowship marks the launch of Wesleyan Animal Studies (WAS), which will advance the rapidly growing field of Animal Studies and foster scholarship on human-animal relations from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.

The fellowship will be hosted by Wesleyan faculty Lori Gruen and Kari Weil. Gruen is chair and associate professor of philosophy, associate professor of environmental studies, associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies at Wesleyan, and author of  Ethics and Animals: An Introduction (Cambridge, Feb. 2011). Weil is a visiting professor of letters at Wesleyan, and author of Thinking Animals: An Introduction (Columbia, 2011).

The ASI’s Human-Animal Studies Fellowship Program was started in 2007 by its executive director,

COE Hosts Open House, Informational Session for Students

The College of the Environment hosted an open house, information session and pizza luncheon Sept. 22 in Usdan University Center.

Barry Chernoff, the Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, professor of earth and environmental sciences and director of the College of the Environment, explains how the COE emphasizes academic studies, a think-tank and public outreach.

Chernoff Receives Mellon Foundation Award to Support the COE

Barry Chernoff, chair of the Environmental Studies Program, the Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies; director of the Environmental Studies Certificate Program, professor of biology, received an $800,000 award from The Andrew Mellon Foundation to support the College of the Environment. The grant, awarded on June 25, will support the COE for four years.