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Faculty Success Stories: November 2017

News Story

Pace University's faculty has been hard at work this fall—here are two faculty success stories that have particularly stood out among all the great work that’s happening at Pace.

A Big Grant for Environmental Study

Dyson Assistant Professor and Director of Environmental Studies and Science Matthew Aiello-Lammens, PhD, along with colleagues from the City University of New York and Yale, has been awarded a $593,000 National Science Foundation Advances in Biological Informatics grant to develop software tools for studying species distributions.

The software should lead to better estimates of species ranges, which are important to interests as diverse as conservation biology, the study of invasive species, and diseases passed to humans from insects and wildlife. The project will train graduate and undergraduate students at all three institutions, and help broaden the scope of environmental studies at Pace, particularly in regards to understanding, evaluating, and acting upon data as it pertains to the welfare of local and global wildlife.

Says Aiello-Lammens, "This grant will support the work me and my colleagues are doing to make better software for understanding and predicting species ranges. That is, the locations where species occur. My work on the grant focuses on using our software to make more active ecology lessons for the classroom and to facilitate getting vital species range information to conservation organizations. Those organizations in turn use that information to make decisions on how best to conserve species that might be at risk, such as those on the endangered species list."


Disarmament for Peace

Dyson Associate Professor of Political Science Matthew Bolton, PhD, and Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies Emily Welty, PhD, along with more than a dozen students, have been working intensely on a nuclear weapons ban treaty with International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017.

“The Pace University community can be proud of their participation in the advocacy that led to the nuclear weapons ban,” said Bolton. “Students gave many hours to this campaign as interns, volunteers, and in civic engagement assignments. Faculty advised the campaign, engaged in advocacy, and offered input based on their research.”

Bolton worked on a specific ICAN team that pushed for a number of components for the treaty—advocating successfully for it to include provisions for environmental remediation and victim assistance, as well as obligations on states in regards to matters of cooperation.

Welty is the Vice Moderator of the World Council of Churches Commission on International Affairs, which is a member of ICAN and Main Representative to the United Nations for the International Peace Research Association. One of her major roles for this endeavor was to educate, inform, and mobilize communities of faith on the issue, so they could speak out on the pertinent issue of nuclear disarmament.

“Nuclear disarmament is an important issue to me because I believe that long-lasting peace cannot be achieved through threats to destroy one another. However, I believe it can be achieved through meaningful dialogue and cooperation, for which a ban on nuclear weapons sets an amazing precedent,” says Peace and Justice Studies major Sydney Tisch ’19, one of the students who worked on the disarmament research.