Pace University’s School of Law and School of Education Awarded Collaborative Grant to Expand STEM and Technical Education Pathways in New York City Schools

September 13, 2021
Boat Creek
New York City Public School students visit STEM Hubs in New York Harbor to conduct research alongside scientists and STEM professionals while gaining knowledge of STEM career options.

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University and Pace University’s School of Education have been awarded a collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation (“NSF”) as part of their Research Experiences for Undergraduates (“REU”) program. The award, “Curriculum and Community Enterprise for Restoration of a Keystone Species in New York Harbor Phase III,” builds on and extends previously awarded NSF-funded work. The newly awarded grant will allow the University Schools to focus on expanding the middle school level science curriculum to include comprehensive K-12 STEM career and technical education pathways through multiple partnerships in New York City and throughout the United States. Partnerships to create this STEM educational model include the Billion Oyster Project, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences, The Mark USA, Inc., Columbia Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, New York Academy of Sciences, the New York Aquarium, CUNY, Baruch, and California State Monterey Bay (NSF 1839656, NSF 1750006, and NSF 2140046/PI Lauren Birney).

This grant funded research project builds on and ties into the Curriculum + Community Enterprise for Restoration Science (CCERS) project with the Billion Oyster Project (BOP). BOP-CCERS is a collaborative community of students, teachers, scientists, volunteers, businesses, and local organizations working together to restore New York City’s oyster population and cleaning up New York Harbor in the process. The BOP-CCERS allows students an opportunity to learn hands-on about environmental stewardship as well as environmental law and policy by giving students real responsibility. This current Environmental Law and Policy focused REU provides students the opportunity to build unique legal and policy-based skills in a real-world learning environment and affect their community in a positive manner.

“Through our previous NSF funded work, we have examined the best ways to provide STEM education for under-represented students and those living in densely populated urban areas so that they have access into STEM fields. This new NSF-REU collaborative grant will allow our undergraduate students, overseen by JD and LLM law students, to focus on providing access to dynamic and immersive learning experiences for these under-represented communities. These opportunities will create an interest in community-based citizen science integrated in environmental law and policy thereby fostering future careers in these areas and ultimately result in a more diversified workforce,” noted Dr. Lauren Birney, Professor at Pace University’s School of Education.

“We are in the midst of a continuing climate-crisis and it is imperative that we foster innovative learning and skills to solve this crisis – environmental laws and policies will be vital in doing so. This grant will not only help our students address the issues of climate change facing our planet, but through hands-on work and research, will help to derive the best way to teach future generations how to protect the environment and address the crisis. Pace University is home to the number one ranked environmental law school in the United States and in collaborating with the University’s School of Education is primed to make an impact and lead the way for this project,” stated Haub Law Professor Jason Czarnezki, Associate Dean for Environmental Programs and the Gilbert and Sarah Kerlin Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law

The grant funded research project will be co-led by Professor Jason Czarnezki and Dr. Lauren Birney. The grant will provide an opportunity for one Haub Law JD student and one Environmental Law LLM student to oversee a collaborative Pace University undergraduate environmental law and policy research project by six undergraduate students. The grant will also provide funding for participation in a conference where the research and work will be presented. 

About the Elisabeth Haub School of Law

Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University offers JD and Masters of Law degrees in both Environmental and International Law, as well as a Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) in Environmental Law. Haub Law also offers several joint degree programs, where a student may earn a JD while working on a second advanced degree. Joint degree programs include a JD/MS in Environmental Science in collaboration with Bard College’s Center for Environmental Policy, a JD/Master of Environmental Management in collaboration with Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, a JD/LLM in Environmental Law, and more. Similarly, Pace University undergraduate students also have the opportunity to pursue a JD while completing their bachelor’s degree, completing both in less time than if pursued separately.

Haub Law, housed on the University’s campus in White Plains, N.Y., opened its doors in 1976 and has more than 9,000 alumni around the world. The school maintains a unique philosophy and approach to legal education that strikes an important balance between practice and theory. Haub Law launched its Environmental Law Program in 1978, and it has long been ranked among the world’s leading university programs, with a current #1 ranking by U.S. World and News Report. Pace’s doctoral graduates teach environmental law at universities around the world. Pace’s JD alumni are prominent in environmental law firms, agencies and non-profit organizations across the U.S. and abroad. In 2016, the Law School received a transformational gift from the family of Elisabeth Haub, in recognition of its outstanding environmental law programs. For more information about Haub Law, visit the Haub Law website. About Pace University

About Pace University

Pace University has a proud history of preparing its diverse student body for a lifetime of professional success as a result of its unique program that combines rigorous academics and real-world experiences. Pace is ranked the #1 private, four-year college in the nation for upward economic mobility by Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights, evidence of the transformative education the University provides. From its beginnings as an accounting school in 1906, Pace has grown to three campuses, enrolling 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in more than 150 majors and programs, across a range of disciplines: arts, sciences, business, health care, technology, law, education, and more. The university also has one of the most competitive performing arts programs in the country. Pace has a signature, newly renovated campus in New York City, located in the heart of vibrant Lower Manhattan, next to Wall Street and City Hall, and two campuses in Westchester County, New York: a 200-acre picturesque Pleasantville Campus and the Elisabeth Haub School of Law in White Plains. Follow us on Twitter or on the Pace News website.

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