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Nature of New York

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Academic Undergraduate Programs
[ News&Events ] [ Sustaining the Nature of New York ] [ Ecological Literacy in a Global City ]

The nature of New York - ecological literacy in a global city

This exciting new component within our CLIP-VE course will look at Eco-literacy: the language of life. For many immigrants coming to New York, this course provides a fascinating holistic look at the deeper language of the metropolitan landscape; at the history and culture of NYC within an ecological, economic and global context. Designed as lecture series with an interactive, web based discussion board, the course will provide exciting insight for students seeking sustainable lifestyles or business solutions in NY, as well those interested in pursuing an academic career in the natural sciences. The premise for this course segment revolves around a new global reality for humans worldwide; in NY and elsewhere for the first time in the history of humankind, we - the human species - have become an urban species. Today more than 50% of the world population lives in metropolises. From New York to Tokyo to Lagos, mega-cities are now the norm. This represents a drastic change in our ecology and how we fit into the world, economically and politically. It represents a huge strain on the global environment of which we are intrinsic parts - and players.
To understand this global reality from the perspective of biology and some of the simpler laws of physics is to become ecologically literate. For many, it is the first step in our endeavor to build sustainable communities. New York's role is more than relevant: our city is an essential actor in the underlying patterns and processes of 'globalization' that have led to this new 'ecology' of the species. To learn this language here, to be ecologically literate in New York, is to fully understand the world around us. Ultimately, it is to understand the mechanics of change – and how to change them.
The instruction will divide into three elemental components. 1) Fauna, flora, rocks and water of NYC. 2) How do these come together to form ecosystems? What are the different habitats of NYC? 3) Is the City itself an ecosystem? Lessons of a dysfunctional system…Solutions and sustainable cities.


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