Welcome from the Blue Colab Director
Covering the Covid-19 pandemic in her Inc.com column, Carol Sankar could have been writing about Blue CoLab: “Many of the innovations that help save lives and slow the spread today could prove just as beneficial in the ‘new normal’ of the future.”
Blue CoLab Interns earn credit or work as volunteers to “advance technology and information systems that protect human and environmental health from water contamination.” Water contamination is endemic across the planet, making hundreds of millions of people ill, including tens of millions in the United States.
The best defense against this threat are innovations that enable real-time, technological detection of water contaminants.
To advance those innovations, Blue CoLab is decidedly “hands-on.” Our students dive into: operation of real-time sensors and instruments; management, visualization and sonification of data; UX, web, GIS and app development; system cybersecurity and more. They work in a team-based environment, using our own labs, instruments, equipment, and servers.
At Blue CoLab, we believe students can make a difference today before they launch their careers of tomorrow. And, to paraphrase Carol Sankar, the innovations our students develop today will provide solutions for the problems of tomorrow.
Blue CoLab stands for everything that makes Seidenberg School a special place -- harnessing innovation on behalf of society, and providing students with skill-based experiences that lead to a meaningful career.
All of us at Blue CoLab look forward to seeing you on the team.
Director, Blue CoLab
About John Cronin
John is founding director of Blue CoLab in the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. His career of more than four decades has spanned environmental policy and advocacy, government, and technology. His work on behalf of water protection earned him recognition as a Time Magazine Hero for the Planet.
John has served at Pace University in a variety of ways since 1986, when he co-founded the Environmental Litigation Clinic at Elisabeth Haub School of Law. He formally joined Dyson College in 1999 where he taught environmental policy, co-founded the Environmental Policy Clinic, and the annual Mock Legislative Hearing competition, and assisted with the development of the Masters in Environmental Policy program. He joined Seidenberg School in 2019.
John’s 17-year stint as Hudson Riverkeeper led to international recognition for his environmental advocacy, and the founding of more than 340 water keepers on six continents. He has served as an aide to Congressman Hamilton Fish, Jr., and on the staff of the New York State Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation for Chair Maurice Hinchey. John helped develop and was a signatory (with Governor George Pataki and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani) to the landmark New York City Watershed Agreement, and was chief author and lobbyist for three Hudson River state statutes. As Beacon Institute Fellow at Clarkson University, he oversaw the creation of the pilot River and Estuary Observatory Network, in collaboration with IBM. Somewhere, he squeezed-in three seasons as a Hudson River commercial fisherman.
John’s writings include The Riverkeepers, co-authored with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., with an Introduction by Vice President Al Gore, published by Scribner’s; Op Eds on environmental policy for The New York Times; and popular and academic articles. He wrote and co-produced the documentary film The Last Rivermen, a short-listed runner-up in 1992 Academy Award voting. He has guest lectured nationally at more than 30 higher ed institutions and conferences.
In addition to Time Magazine, his honors include: Honorary J.D., Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law; Jefferson Gold Award for Public Service; Thomas Berry Environmental Award; American Fisheries Society William E. Ricker Award; EPA Region I Environmental Merit Award; EPA Region II Environmental Quality Award; Top 100 Irish-Americans; and Vanity Fair Hall of Fame.
John has been the subject of three books, and numerous profiles by print and broadcast outlets, including Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, Time Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times, USA Today, NBC Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, Charlie Rose, Bill Moyers Reports: America's First River, The History Channel, Sesame Street, and more.
People called John, "Equal parts detective, scientist and public advocate." The Knight-Ridder Newspapers named him a "hero in one of the great success stories of the modern environmental movement.” The Wall Street Journal called him “a unique presence on America’s major waterways.”