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CUNY Institute for Virtual Enterprise

One Bernard Baruch Way (55 Lexington Ave. Suit 2-140).
New York, NY 10010

P: 646-312-4790
F: 646-312-4781

Nature of New York

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High School Programs
[ News&Events ] [ Nature of New York Initiative ] [ Exploring Our Urban Environment ]

The Nature of New York - exploring our urban environment College Now
This unique high school course will introduce students to Ecological literacy and urban ecology. With 28 hours of classroom and 18 hours of field trips to the parks and nature sanctuaries of NYC, students will learn the language and laws of ecology; how animals and plants interact with each other in sustaining the web of life, and how humans and cities rely on the natural world for their sustenance, health and survival. Students will be given the opportunity and resources to independently research and understand their own, day-to-day symbioses with the natural world; they will be assigned simple, community-based research projects and problem-solving exercises in environmentally-rooted public health and ecology issues, such as Asthma, pollution, species extinction and the importance of salt marshes in mitigating the effects of hurricanes. The students will also have a shot at environmental leadership: while asked to investigate the nature of their communities, they will be given a solid platform with which to create and disseminate an awareness of NYC's ecology by communicating the results of their research with their schools, families and community. In the final two months of the semester students will be asked to divide into teams and create and pursue a specific research project that summarizes their fall's learning experience and establishes their future proactive goals for nurturing an aspect of NYC's environment. The teams will present their research proposal to the public at the Eco-Metropolis Conference in November of 2005, at the CUNY graduate center (, co-hosted by NNYN and IVE. For their research, students will gain privileged access to an established network of scientific institutions and grassroots environmental organizations and media connected to IVE and NNYN. At the semester's end, they will present the results of their projects to a select audience of science and environmental professionals and members of the civil society. Laureates of this "Nature of new York case-study competition" will be given immediate access to more resources, should they chose to continue their leadership project through College. Finally, student will gain in Cyber-literacy: they will post data, results, questions and progress reports (and communicate with each other and faculty) on our website's discussion board (

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