I have always been passionate about finding ways in which we can live, develop and grow as a society in balance with nature. I saw the rapid suburban growth and the degradation of our natural systems for progress and knew there had to be a better way to do things - I just wasn’t sure how to make it happen....
It is always important to start a new adventure on the right foot. That is why I was so excited to begin my studies in Environmental Sustainability Master program with the four day orientation week, during which there would be time to get to know my new classmates and elaborate on our perception of sustainability. It did not disappoint.
New York is home to countless things that are valued by New Yorkers such as; the theatre, the financial district, unique dining experiences, Central Park, and cultural museums. When it comes to natural systems however, people often have difficulty placing a dollar value on the good. For instance, it is recognized that wetlands are valued for their plethora of biological functions, but how valuable are they in economic terms? Does having a wetland on your property increase or decrease the value of your property? What other factors contribute to this value? Martin Heintzleman, 2015-2016 Fulbright Scholar at the Institute of the Environment, was able to shed some light on this topic.
On March 3rd the Institute of the Environment in partnership with Sustainable Prosperity hosted a seminar with PhD student Akio Yamazaki. As a student in the Master’s of Environmental Sustainability program I was keen to attend and hear about Mr. Yamazaki’s research concerning the effects of the BC carbon tax on the manufacturing sector. Though his study was incredibly interesting it was more the discussion that ensued between IE faculty members concerning his results which created enthusiastic debate.
At the Institute of the Environment, we take an interdisciplinary approach to learning and are interested in understanding the perspectives of various experts. I was therefore very excited to learn that the Office of Campus Sustainability at Ottawa University was broadcasting a virtual classroom with David Suzuki. I was keen to invite our Master’s of Environmental Sustainability students, and attend myself.