Environmental Priorities Committee

Mission Statement

In response to long-standing interests of faculty and students alike, and current practices at other institutions of higher learning, the Environmental Priorities Committee (EPC) of Hofstra University would like to affirm and support the University's commitment to protect, preserve, and enhance the environment within and around the campus through sound and sustainable ecological practices in a manner that not only directly benefits the community on campus, in the county, and on Long Island, but also educates by increasing awareness and knowledge of the complexity of environmental issues and their resolutions. The EPC would like to bring environmental perspectives into consideration of issues relating to University life at all levels, from operations to academics to student life, retention, and recruitment. Hofstra University should be a model in actual practice right now as well as a center for the study of viable practices and technologies for the future. A clear and explicit commitment to environmental or "green" practices is long overdue and would help demonstrate Hofstra University's leadership position in the state and region in both academic and civic communities. The status of Hofstra's campus as a national arboretum should represent to the world that Hofstra is also a "green" campus in the fullest sense.

Hofstra's commitment to environmental priorities, in study and in practice, will benefit the University in multiple ways:

  1. The demonstration that Hofstra cares for its students, the community on campus, and the larger communities to which it belongs, and that therefore Hofstra wishes to model and teach responsible practices within those communities.
  2. The development of environmental studies programs or environmental aspects of existing programs to teach and encourage environmental literacy, or how to live responsibly in terms of the environmental impact of human activity.
  3. Through responsible environmental practices, and programming, Hofstra will encourage the sense of community on campus among students and all employees linked in common interests and responsibilities. Environmental sensitivity goes hand-in-hand with sensitivity to other aspects of a community based on mutual respect and equality.
  4. Hofstra's enhanced sense of a cohesive community for residents and commuters – of life together on campus – through shared environmental practices could increase student retention, depth of identification with the institution, and also serve as a recruitment tool for concerned, committed, highly motivated students.
  5. Environmental practices do not necessarily conflict with economic considerations but rather can coincide with sound economic practices and promote prosperity in the fullest sense: The University could experience financial savings through conservation, additional recycling and management of resources, or the alleviation of other problems, such as parking, through organized carpooling, when possible. The University should also consider the development of an Institute for Environmental Practice and Policy, possibly linked to The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University® as a regional think tank for environmental concerns.

The EPC would like to work toward these goals by:

  1. Collecting information about current practices in the manner of an environmental audit.
  2. Conducting a survey of student and employee interests and expertise, and ideas on environmental issues in and around the University, and to examine possible links with, for example, the Law School, School of Business, and School of Education courses and outreach programs.
  3. Conducting an assessment of what practices might be instituted in the short and in the long term as steps toward the goal of sustainability.
  4. Establishing relations to other university environmental groups for the exchange of ideas and reciprocal support, possibly at first within the CAA Colonial Athletic Association/Colonial Academic Alliance, but also beyond that association. A CAA meeting on environmental practices might be a starting point.
  5. Establishing relations to other environmental organizations, for purposes of support, information, and possibly student internships.
  6. Developing an EPC website for Hofstra in order to provide an accessible point of contact for communication and information.
  7. Developing on that website for general consultation an expanding list or checklist of practices that can be adopted by individuals (on campus and at home), groups, departments, divisions, colleges, various University-operations units, and by the University as a whole – from reusable coffee cups and paper recycling to energy-saver lightbulbs, and computer waste recycling, to pollution reduction.
  8. Initiating a Hofstra Blue/Gold & Green newsletter on recent developments and recommendations.
  9. Arranging special Green events, such as Earth Day celebrations and speakers.
  10. Developing funding sources for such activities, ideally through our own environmental practices, but not excluding on and off-campus donors.

"Green" Books at the Hofstra Library

The following books are available in Hofstra's Axinn Library. Use the Library Catalog to check for locations and availability.

  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Living by Trish Riley
  • 50 Simple Steps to Save the Earth from Global Warming by Green Patriot Working Group
  • It's Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living by Crissy Trask
  • Go Green: How to Build an Earth-Friendly Community by Nancy H. Taylor
  • Wake Up and Smell the Planet: The Non-Pompous, Non-Preachy Grist Guide to Greening Your Day by Grist magazine
  • Fight Global Warming Now: The Handbook for Taking Action in Your Community by Bill McKibben
  • Civic Agriculture: Reconnecting Farm, Food, and Community by Thomas A. Lyson
  • The Solution Is You! An Activist's Guide by Laurie David
  • Green Investing: A Guide to Making Money through Environment Friendly Stocks by Jack Uldrich
  • The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen
  • MySpace/OurPlanet: Change Is Possible by Myspace Community, Jeca Taudte, and Dan Santat (Illustrator)
  • Cool Green Stuff: A Guide to Finding Great Recycled, Sustainable, Renewable Objects You Will Love by Dave Evans
  • Hey Mr. Green: Sierra Magazine's Answer Guy Tackles Your Toughest Green Living Questions by Bob Schildgen
  • 365 Ways to Live Green: Your Everyday Guide to Saving the Environment by Diane Gow McDild
  • Green Chic: Saving the Earth in Style by Christie Matheson

Courses and Clubs at Hofstra Related to the Environment and Environmentalism


BIO 003 Biology in Society
Laboratory and lecture course for non-majors. Evolution, genetics, genetic modification, and ecology are taught with a focus on modern agriculture. Labs include basic botany, testing food for genetic modification, bacterial contamination and antibiotic resistance, and the effect of biodiversity on plant growth. Also covered in lecture are techniques for genetic modification of plants and animals, the impact of modern livestock and crop cultivation methods on air, water, the evolution of wild organisms living with crop species and the impact of human behavior on the evolution of viruses. (2 hours lecture, 2 hours laboratory.)

BIO 110A Field Ecology
Lectures on species and ecology of selected geographic regions. Techniques of specimen collection, preservation, field identification, and ecological evaluation of study sites are stressed on field trips and in the laboratory.

BIO 114 General Ecology
Lecture and discussion of the basic principles determining the distribution and abundance of populations and species, including ecological tests of adaptation. Structure and relationships at the community, landscape, and biosphere levels. Emphasis on applied topics such as pollution abatement, ancient and contemporary climate change, pest and wildlife management, and human population growth.

BIO 115 Conservation Biology
Lecture and discussion of the basic principles of the conservation of biological diversity. Review of the main causes of extinction events past and present, sustainable development, and the importance of zoological parks and legislation to species conservation.

BIO 275 Advanced Conservation Biology
This course reviews the basic topics in conservation biology and considers in detail advanced topics. Topics include the origin and measurement of genetic species and ecosystem biodiversity, ancient and contemporary extinction processes, species and ecosystem management, and the political and economic aspects of biodiversity preservation. Students use computer simulations to compare strategies for managing and restoring endangered species and ecological communities. (2 hours lecture, 1 hour recitation.)


PHI 133 - (HP) Environmental Ethics and Ecophilosophy
Exploration of environmental morality based on the science and metaphysics of ecology. Practical concerns include population and pollution, resource protection and interspecies relations; theoretical issues include the scope and status of ethical significance. A key aim is to clarify and enrich conceptions of the relationship between nature and culture.


GEOL 01: Physical Geological Science
With Professor Bennington or Professor Farmer. A survey of Earth System from the core to the atmosphere, including the processes that form natural resources such as energy and water, generate mountains, earthquakes, and volcanoes, and regulate global climate.

GEOL005: Environmental Geology and Natural Hazards
With Professor Farmer. Every other fall semester. Case studies of the ways that the Earth System threatens humans through natural events such as earthquakes, volcanos, and hurricanes, and the ways that humans threaten the Earth System through water pollution, radioactive waste, and global climate change.

GEOL014: Global Warming and the Science of Climate Change
With Professor Farmer. A seminar for first-year students only. Exploration of the atmosphere, the oceans, and the solid earth from the perspective of the climate system; discussion of the feedbacks that govern the carbon cycle with particular attention to human influence on the system.

GEOL033: Environmental Geomorphology
With Professor Bennington. Taught every other spring semester. Origin and development of constructional, depositional, and erosional landforms with regard to geologic processes (uplift, mass wasting, earthquakes, etc.) and their effect on engineering activities through urban and industrial expansion. Examination and interpretation of features from topographic and geologic maps and aerial photos, considering the criteria necessary for basic regional planning.

GEOL Hydrology
With Professor Bennington. Taught every other spring semester. Discussion of surface and ground waters. Hydrologic principles of water movement. Economic importance and water potential of the United States, with particular attention to the problems relating to Long Island. Field trips and laboratory analysis of aquifers.

GEOL140 Paleoclimatology
With Professor Farmer. Taught every other fall semester. Parameters of the modern climate system, including solar radiation, planetary energy balance, and general atmospheric and oceanic circulation. Survey of the geologic history of the climate system over tectonic, astronomical, millennial, and historical timescales. Investigation of an original research question in paleoceanography and exploration of possible future climate states.

Geology Club
This club is open to all Hofstra students and meets every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in Room 162 Gittleson Hall. Meetings include guest speakers discussing careers in geology, hydrology, and environmental science; planning for geological field trips; and social activities.

Featured Links

Comments Hofstra Environmental Stewardship Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) University Senate Faculty Planning & Budget Committee