About Us

An Integrated Approach to Environmental Challenges

The study of the environment is inherently interdisciplinary. Mitigating our environmental ills and avoiding further harm to the environment cannot be achieved by any single discipline acting alone. Securing the future of Earth’s diverse life forms and the ecosystems in which they are interdependent relies upon the thoughtful integration of society’s various areas of knowledge, supported by an ethical framework.  
 
Pace University is uniquely positioned to approach environmental issues in a truly interdisciplinary fashion. As such, the new Pace Academy will engage expertise across the departments within the University’s Schools and College, to advance the understanding of the mutually enhancing relationship between nature and society. Through its programs, Pace Academy will foster curricular, scholarly, policy, and experiential, practice-based opportunities for our students, faculty, and broader community. 

 
Pace’s First University Center for Excellence
 

Pace University’s President, Stephen Friedman, released his Three Year Strategic Plan in January 2008, which included the development of “centers of excellence” intended to develop and promote high level collaborative and interdisciplinary programming in key thematic, academic areas throughout the University.
 
President Friedman called upon Joseph M. Pastore, Jr., Professor Emeritus (in Residence), to facilitate thinking and action in support of the development of such “centers.” Convened by Provost Brackett, and led by Dr. Pastore, a steering committee comprised of over twenty faculty representatives from each School and College in the University and one member of the University’s Board of Trustees met over a 12-month period. The Committee’s collaboration resulted in a Development Paper on creating centers of excellence generally, and a  University Center for Excellence on the Environment, specifically. Provost Brackett then worked from that document to establish the leadership team composed of Michelle Land, John Cronin and the newly announced University Professor on the Environment Nicholas Robinson, proposed and developed an operational program with them, consulted again with the University-wide committee, and launched the Academy.
 
The Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, the first Pace University Center for Excellence is a freestanding institute within the Office of the Provost. This University-wide initiative will continue to be guided by an Executive Committee that draws upon representatives from each School and College, senior administration, University Relations and other strategic expertise within the institution.  

 

Pace University’s Environmental History: A Robust and Long-Standing Commitment to the Environment
 
The new Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies renews and deepens the University’s long-standing commitment to environmental research, scholarship and service. 
 
Beginning in 1963, with the opening of the University’s Pleasantville Campus and later the creation of Dyson College's Environmental Center in 1971, Pace University began to build upon the legacy left by the Dr. Robert Choate family. The Choate family and its descendants resided for a century on the property that is now the Pleasantville Campus and they did so in a manner wholly wedded to and dependent upon the property’s natural resources. 
 
The University’s commitment to environmental protection assumed an exciting new direction when, in the early 1980’s, the University’s School of Law began its environmental law program, which is internationally respected and has expanded to include Master of Law and Doctor of Juridical Science programs.
 
The new Pace Academy for Environmental Studies, builds upon its predecessor, the Pace Academy for the Environment created in 2002.  Through its work, the Pace Academy has become known for its regional leadership by spearheading the formation of the Environmental Consortium of Colleges & Universities (a 59-member collaboration) and launched the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries (focusing on applied technological innovation). 
 
The current breadth and depth of Pace University’s environmental programming is evidenced by the our globally recognized undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs augmented by related curricular, co-curricular, experiential, and service programs centered on the environment. The Pace Environmental Gateway  was created by Pace Academy as an online clearinghouse and integrated network of all the environmental offerings across the University and is a testament to our commitment.