Spring 2023

Spring 2023

Dean's Open Line

Ken LacovaraKenneth Lacovara, Ph.D.
Founding Dean, School of Earth and Environment
Founding Executive Director, Edelman Fossil Park

You’ve heard me speak about the importance of mitigating the climate and biodiversity crises, but now it’s time to talk about what the School of Earth & Environment is doing about it.

Last February, we were awarded one million dollars from TD Bank’s Ready Challenge to found the Green Jobs Academy of Rowan University.  This program will help us serve students wanting to enter the wind and solar energy workforces through specialized training leading to certifications or degrees, and then guide them toward well-paying jobs in the region.  By partnering with Rowan College of South Jersey and local businesses, we are helping to reshape the local economy into one equipped to accelerate the growing green energy sector of South Jersey.

Scientists, including those right here in the School of Earth & Environment, are working hard to better understand and address the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis, but we need to engage the public to bring all hands on deck.  Fortunately, degrees offered in Geography, Planning, and Sustainability (GPS) help train students to communicate the dimensions and urgency of the crises we face.

I recently had the honor of hearing one of our GPS graduates of the class of 2023 speak on this very issue - Aarushi Gupta.  As the President of the Rowan Environmental Action League, she focuses on key strategies in response to “what can I do about the climate crisis?” For example: reducing waste by making smarter purchasing decisions, and reusing what you have before throwing it away; growing your own food, composting, and eating more plant-based foods; and, finding something that you’re good at or enjoy and using that talent to make a contribution.  It doesn’t matter what your talent is, you can help make a difference by doing something. The important thing is to act, and to act now.

As Aarushi encouraged us all in her graduation speech, “When the opportunity arises, say “yes”.

I’m looking forward to seeing what she and all of our amazing graduates accomplish in the future.