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ASU hosts 2008 National Environmental Studies and Sciences Summit May 22-24

May 19, 2008 -- Arkansas State University will be hosting the 2008 National Environmental Studies and Sciences Summit Thursday-Saturday, May 22-24, in the Reng Student Services Center/Student Union, 101 N. Caraway Road, Jonesboro. ThisAn aerial picture of deforestation, due to gold mining, in the South American jungle. Environmental issues like deforestation require the interaction of different disciplines to analyze the problems and find possible solutions to them. Photograph by Aldemaro Romero. summit will gather more than 70 academics and professionals from dozens of universities and colleges around the world. Attendees of the summit will be discussing numerous issues concerning teaching and research in different areas of environmental studies and sciences. The two previous summits were convened at the University of California at Santa Barbara and Syracuse University in New York. Dr. Robert L. Potts, chancellor, ASU-Jonesboro, will deliver the summit's opening remarks.

This summit is sponsored by the U.S. Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD) and the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE). The summit is also sponsored by several academic units at ASU, including the Environmental Sciences Graduate Program, the Department of Biological Sciences, the Department of Chemistry and Physics, and the Office of Academic Affairs and Research.

Among the topics to be discussed during this meeting are how to train students in environmental issues for the challenges of the twenty-first century, how to encourage minority students to participate in environmental sciences programs, and how to promote and sustain interdisciplinary research.

Other sessions will deal with interdisciplinary teaching, community programs, and lab and field studies. The summit provides a great opportunity for faculty engaged in environmental research and pedagogy to exchange experiences.

The summit is also a great opportunity for ASU to showcase its Environmental Sciences program and its plans for the program’s future development. Faculty from ASU’s Environmental Sciences program for quite some time have been involved with National Academy Summits and National Science Foundation-sponsored workshops geared towards the development of research-based undergraduate courses that cross the many and varied disciplines of the Environmental Sciences.

The lines between various academic disciplines are becoming more and more blurred, and thus students must be able to work across these disciplines, especially those students choosing to work in the environmental sciences. At ASU, our faculty and students are leaders in the integration of the sciences and humanities to provide training and research opportunities that address real-world environmental issues. With ASU’s location in the Mississippi Delta and the unique environs of the region, faculty and students in the program are excited about the opportunities presented by the summit.

Summit host university ASU will be placed on the map of the great U.S. institutions of higher education that have solid environmental academic programs. This not only enhances the reputation of the institution, but also attracts more support and more students to the university.

That is particularly true this year when the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) is being created and has chosen the ASU-hosted meeting for its launch.

For more information about the summit, its participants, and its program, visit

In order to communicate its research to the public, ASU’s Department of Biological Sciences has produced a series of articles about various aspects of science, including research and opinions.

This article (#151 in the series), written by Dr. Aldemaro Romero, Dr. Alan Christian, and Dr. Robyn Hannigan, professors at Arkansas State University, announces ASU’s hosting of the 2008 National Environmental Studies and Sciences Summit in May. Dr. Romero is chair and professor of biology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Arkansas State University, Dr. Christian is associate professor of zoology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Arkansas State University, and Dr. Hannigan, professor of analytical geochemistry, is the director of the graduate program in Environmental Sciences. She is also holder of the Judd Hill Chair of Environmental Sciences at Arkansas State University as well as serving as a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Physics.

The Department of Biological Sciences shares faculty with the Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI) at ASU. Contact the department by telephone at (870) 972-3082, by e-mail at, or see for more information.




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