College Mission Statement
Medgar Evers College was founded as a result of collaborative efforts by community leaders, elected officials, the Chancellor, and the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York. The College, named for the late civil rights leader, Medgar Willey Evers (1925-1963), was established in 1969 and named in 1970, with a mandate to meet the educational and social needs of the Central Brooklyn community. The College is committed to the fulfillment of this mandate.
In keeping with the philosophy of The City University of New York and Medgar Evers College, we believe that education has the power to positively transform the lives of individuals and is the right of all individuals in the pursuit of self-actualization. Consequently, the College’s mission is to develop and maintain high quality, professional, career-oriented undergraduate degree programs in the context of liberal education. The College offers programs both at the baccalaureate and at the associate degree levels, giving close attention to the articulation between the two-year and the four-year programs.
The College has a commitment to students who desire self-improvement, a sound education, an opportunity to develop a personal value system, and an opportunity to gain maximum benefits from life experience and from their environment.
How the CES Department started?
The CES Department formed June, 2015 – after the former Physics, Environmental, & Computer Science Department (PECS) split.
How and why the Environmental Science Program Started (around 1995).
Medgar Evers College’s Environmental Science Program was spearheaded by Prof. Dr. John Gibbs, Departmental Chair at the time. Preceding the start of the Environmental Science Program (Fall 1995), several pivotal industrial accidents occurred around the world, which contributed greatly to global environmental awareness. This new level of awareness led to the recognition of a new sense of limits: a sense that the exploitation of our natural resources and the contamination of the environment had to be controlled. Soon after the international celebration of Earth Day in 1970, public concern for the environment began to increase. In response to the growing public concern a number of universities developed new courses, programs and departments, thereby giving a new meaning to the term, environmental science education.
Global incidences undoubtedly provoked much concern and debate about how inevitably advancing technology impacts our environment. The prolonged contamination of the Hudson River by General Electric and other factories caused a range of harmful effects to wildlife and people who ate fish from the river or drank the its water. Heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury, and other toxic compounds were continually dumped in the Hudson River from 1947 to 1977. The 1985 disaster in Bhopal, India, where leaking methyl isocyante gas killed more than 2000 people and injured more than 200,000 are residents is still fresh in our minds. However, the accident that must have instilled most worldwide fear took place at Chernobyl, a town near Kiev. On the morning of April 26th, 1986, a nuclear reactor exploded. This explosion and subsequent fire spread radioactive materials over a wide area of Europe and the Soviet. About this accident, via Discover (1986), Thomas Powers wrote, “Chernobyl is a reminder of the two great fours of our age. One is the fear that we will destroy ourselves. It comes and goes. But the other fear is always with us. It’s what keeps the factories going – the fear of a civilization addicted to abundance, willing to risk anything except running out.”
Closely allied to this “second fear” may well be several of our environmental problems. A civilization addicted to abundance is also a civilization of over-production and wastes. At that time, there was an excess of almost everything that threatened the environment. – too much pollution, too much waste, etc.
Curiously, however, we also have an excess of people. On account of growing human populations, food and job shortages have stifled some of the world’s poorer nations, threatened both wildlife and wilderness, and cities have grown to unmanageable sizes. Technically, developed countries, such as the United States, can often expand the production of food, goods, and services to meet the demands of population growth. However, concomitantly, they are forced to pay a very high price in increased population, vanishing wilderness, disappearance of wildlife, and the emergence of new social problems in rapidly spreading cities.
Population growth is thus a major contributor to many of our present environmental problems and is challenged in this respect only by that “second fear’ alluded to above. We must, therefore, always recognize that the problems of the environment occur on a global scale and in any discussion of the subject the global perspective must be considered.
Daniel Koshland wrote in Science (1987), “it’s time to take a global look at the policies and priorities that are dooming our ecosystem – we can win but only if we recognize that we all win or lose together, and no one can be excluded from the game.”
We all, therefore, need to become involved in the efforts aimed at improving the quality of the environment, even the members of our poorest communities. At Medgar Evers College, we are determined to see that urban communities become increasingly aware of these growing environmental problems. These communities must produce graduates that can find solutions to existing problems and develop effective strategies for pollution control and prevention. The Environmental Science Program was created to draw attention to environmental problems (in general) and to the environmental problems of urban communities in particular.
The Environmental Science Program aims to produce graduates devoted to improving the quality of one’s physical environment. Specifically, Medgar Evers College must take the initiative and assume a major role in addressing the environmental concerns of urban communities, such as central Brooklyn. The program was created to produce graduates with expertise in: (a) air and water pollution; (b) identification and handling of potentially hazardous materials; (c) environmental and occupational regulations; (d) waste management; (e) public health and safety; (f) indoor pollution; (g) worker-safety protection; (h) ground water and soil pollution; (i) community approaches to environmental problems; (j) natural resource conservation; etc.
Urban communities will need to being battling their own environmental concerns. These communities urgently need the expertise to assist in analyzing environmental problems, developing solutions, and introducing methods of control and prevention. As new environmental regulations are introduced and olds ones modified, these communities also need assistance in environmental management. It is well known, for example, that select urban communities are usually the sites for industries that produce pollutants or are involved in hazardous waste disposal. Members of these communities, therefore, suffer the environmental impact such activities.
This program draws the attention to the socioeconomic plight as far as environmental issues are concerned. The Environmental Science Department was forged to give communities and independent/academic perspective how industry and government may be affecting their communities. Educating and training future generations will help to uncover the level of compliance with the laws and requirements of governmental agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
At present, the Environmental Science BS Program has a complementary track, where one can attain a concentration in Environmental Health. Our department (in conjunction with other MEC faculty and administrative personnel) is currently building additional complementary programs and certificate-offerings that will meet the growing demand in Climate Science, Environmental/Human Health, Planetary Science, and Renewable and Sustainable Energy – our department’s major research thrusts.
- CES Department at Glance
The CES Department formed August, 2015.
By The Numbers
- Professorial Faculty: 11
- Adjunct Faculty:
- Undergraduate Students:
- BS in Environmental Science
- BS in Environmental Science with a Concentration in Environmental Health
- Numerical-Modeling of Planetary Atmospheres
- Indoor/Outdoor Health
- Renewable and Sustainable Energy