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Mellon Grant will Bring HWS Environmental Studies Program to New Level of Excellence

Posted on Monday, October 09, 2000

October 9, 2000 Geneva, NY-Hobart and William Smith Colleges have received a grant of $290,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will allow the Colleges to expand its already vibrant and robust program in Environmental Studies, extend its collaborative summer research program, and strengthen its outreach for secondary school students.

Environmental Studies at HWS is an interdisciplinary program which focuses concern for the environment with a mix of courses from the natural sciences, social science, and humanities. Majors and minors are offered in environmental science, public policy, social ecology, and concepts of nature. Resources for teaching and research include the Colleges' 65-foot oceanographic vessel, HWS Explorer, and a 108-acre wildlife refuge and biological research station.

Through the Mellon grant the Colleges will gain the capacity to offer new environmental science courses and expand opportunities in the Senior Integrative Experience, the capstone project that integrates environmental studies course work in a substantive way within each student's study focus.

The Mellon support will establish the HWS Community Partners Program, which extends the Colleges' existing resources for independent student work, including environmental research and internships at the NYS Agricultural Experiment Station or with community organizations.

The new grant will allow the Colleges to enhance environmental field study in high schools throughout the Finger Lakes by introducing new problem-solving and critical thinking components for its Science on the Seneca program. The grant will also expand opportunities for minority students to participate in the Colleges' Environmental Studies Summer Youth Institute, a two-week program for talented high school students to better understand the complexity of environmental studies through interdisciplinary course work, laboratory research, and field work.

"The Colleges have always been proud of our Environmental Studies program and the opportunities that Science on the Seneca and the Environmental Studies Summer Youth Institute offer to young people," said President Mark Gearan. "We grateful to the Mellon Foundation for its support for broadening these enterprises."

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