Who are we ? NNYLA is a new, integrative alliance for the
realization of experiential learning in the building of a more sustainable
Our premise : New York City and the metropolitan region host outstanding
natural diversity, tens of thousands of plant and animal species that
interact with their physical environments to produce the greater ecological
landscape of New York, one we need to sustain for our own survival.
Our structure and mission : NNYLA includes a network of 19 CUNY-wide,
campus-based, student environmental clubs - or “ Green Teams”
- connected to a collaborative web of CUNY faculty and proven grassroots
organizations (NYC Audubon, etc.).
• The purpose of the clubs, or Green Teams, will be to foster
career opportunities by helping to create and disseminate a better understanding
of our urban environment.
• 2005 kick-off program : The Green Team’s initial activities
will be project-driven. Students will be taken out into the field, will
participate in lectures, discussions; they will be encouraged to explore
the nature of their own communities and define a creative project around
the ecology of their neighborhoods. The top 15 individual projects would
be rewarded with a 2005 summer internship, leadership position and/or
research opportunity with the region’s “Harbor Herons”
program (NYC Audubon/CUNY/Wildlife Trust), an integrative urban ecology
study including wild birds and satellite/video monitoring and issues
of pollution levels, water quality, public health; and leading to publications
in peer-reviewed journals.
• Award-winning students will be given rare access to hidden islands
of New York where the herons nest, might help scientists capture and
equip the birds with satellite transmitters, help conduct a monitoring
of breeding herons (with possible access to the FUJI blimp over-flights
of NYC), or install web-cams and web-cam supported websites for the
monitoring of nesting success.
Our key-words: ECOLOGICAL LITERACY , ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP and CAREER
TRAINING in environmental science.
• ECOLOGICAL LITERACY: NNYLA will introduce students to the cutting
edge systems theory inherent in ecological literacy, by showing students
how plants, animals and ecosystems influence and interact with the complex
systems and nature of our communities; how they ultimately determine
our livelihood; and not only the quality of our environment but that
of our economy, and the future of our jobs, families and careers. (the
reach of NYC’s dependence on the environment – or “ecological
footprint” - extends into the food- and watersheds needed to sustain
the financial, economic and cultural heartbeat and life of our city,
as far away again as the Amazon or the Arctic).
• ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP: NNYLA will foster the course of action
that through awareness, dialogue, consumer choice, environmental justice
and leadership, CUNY students themselves can help directly control and
improve the quality of their communities – and their future. The
mission of NNYLA is thus threefold:
o to give CUNY students the chance to see, feel and grasp the profoundly
nature-based reality of their existence and greater homeland - Metropolitan
New York City, and its relationship to the world.
o to share in the knowledge that environmental destruction and social
injustice are directly related, if not causally linked; and
o to inspire CUNY students to protect and restore the human, plant and
animal communities of NYC, and elsewhere - with the understanding that
ecologicalhealth, ultimately, means the success of our own homes and
• CAREER TRAINING: NNYLA is a unique opportunity for students
to participate in community-based scientific and environmental research
in the heart of NYC, and as an means of training for their careers.
This year in association with the NYC Audubon, students of NNYLA will
be involved in solving real, environmental and public health-related
problems. In the process they will become creators, not just consumers,
Students will in addition be able to communicate via the discussion
board of a new web site “Exploring the Nature of New York”
This site is also the comprehensive CUNY content resource for students
researching NYC nature and those participating in NYC-based environmental
For further infomation please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Video from Green Teams Field Trip