Earth Matters: free environmental workshops

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by Susan Cerra

Starting this month, the Dominican College is holding free workshops to educate local residents about the environment and teach them how to be good stewards of our communities. The workshops are free and funded by a grant from Orange & Rockland Utilities.

Dr Regina Alvarez, an assistant professor of biology at the Dominican College and an instructor at the New York Botanical Garden, said that while many people are concerned about the environment, they often don’t realize how important nature is in them. towns and suburbs. Nature, she points out, is everywhere around us, even in the most urban environments.

Halyomorpha halys, the brown mottled bug (BMSB). Photo: David R. Lance, USDA APHIS

“We believe this series of workshops will foster community well-being and a sense of connection with the natural environment of Rockland County,” said Alvarez. “Knowing more about the world around us and how to care for it locally enables the community to protect and defend the environment in which we all live. “

The workshops will be held at the Prusmack Center, 3 Campus Drive, Blauvelt, NY, on the Dominican College campus from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. For more information or to register for one or more workshops, please send an email to [email protected]

The 4 scheduled workshops are:

  • Introduction to Rockland County Biodiversity – Saturday July 24, 2021 Alvarez will teach participants to recognize the biodiversity around them and explore the connection between biodiversity and their well-being.
  • Community science: the 21st of the peoplest Century Flora – Saturday August 21, 2021 Daniel Atha, Director of Conservation Outreach, New York Botanical Garden, will discuss EcoFloras of North America. This innovative model connects people to plant collections, nature and urban biodiversity, combining existing knowledge from herbaria and libraries with real-time observations of plants and their ecological partners.
  • The natural history of insects – Saturday, September 18, 2021 Ken Chaya, president of the Linnaean Society of New York and instructor at the New York Botanical Garden, will delve into the world of creatures that make up 84% of the animal kingdom. Participants will learn about the roles insects play in maintaining healthy ecosystems, as well as their fascinating life cycles and complex social systems.
  • The invisible universe: microbial diversity under our feet – Saturday, October 16, 2021 Bernadette Connors, Associate Professor of Biology at the Dominican College, will guide participants in exploring soil and water microbes using next-generation computer technologies. Participants will also learn about the link between microbes and environmental and public health.

The workshops are open to interested community members, local teachers, college students, and high school students.

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Earth Matters is a weekly column that focuses on conservation, sustainability, recycling and a healthy lifestyle. This weekly series is brought to you by Julie Wendholt, Financial Advisor and Vice President of Pell Wealth Partners, a private wealth consulting firm of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC.


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