EPA stops by to sign understanding with University

Stephanie Mason/ Contributing Writer

The University was greeted this past Friday by Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming, regional administrator of the Southeast Region for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Fleming was welcomed by Michael Heithaus, director of the University’s School of Environment, Arts and Society program and professor of biological sciences, to sign a memorandum of understanding between the EPA and the University.

According to Heithaus, this MOU is expected to “lead to substantial new scientific collaborations and fantastic new opportunities for students to get involved and work at EPA and with EPA.”

Once the memorandum was signed, Fleming announced the EPA’s new “tradition of exchanging pins.”

After exchanging folders containing documentation of the MOU, as well as pins with Fleming, University’s Provost Douglas Wartzok acknowledged the “real action planned” with this MOU and expressed his gratitude to Fleming for her presence and compliance in speaking to the University on behalf of the EPA.

Fleming took the stage to discuss with students the importance of protecting and sustaining the environment.

She said that by renewing focus on environmental education, we are “positioning the graduates of this institution to ride a strong foundation for how America will not only survive in the 21st century, but how we will thrive in the 21st century.”

“In order for us to thrive, all of us need to have those basic necessities of clean air, clean water and clean land,” Fleming said.

She also stressed the importance of conversation and communication when discussing environmental issues.

With environmental education nowadays people need to, “look beyond the traditional work,” because each study is “interconnected and it’s going to take that interdisciplinary approach to find solutions.”

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