UNION — Kean University is expanding its environmental and life sciences program to the New Jersey Highlands, providing students with a new plateau of opportunities while sustaining the land that provides more than half of New Jersey with drinking water.
The state is depending on Kean’s sustainability program to preserve and manage the land’s resources as the university plans to inhabit and conserve 41 acres of the Highlands. The region will be preserved progressively as new generations of students and faculty who embrace the idea of sustainability will conduct extensive research and forestry that can enhance the learning experience for students researching the impacts of climate change in the ecosystem, and biochemical processes related to landscape management.
The program provides students with a variety of educational opportunities including ecology sustainability of terrestrial and aquatic natural resources, wildlife and native species. Executive Director of Kean University Center for Sustainability Studies, Dr. Nicholas J. Smith-Sebasto, says students in other disciplines will also benefit from the new program through a reconnection with nature, encompassing topics that include artistic appreciation and literary expression.
Kean University is a New Jersey based campus popular for its academic excellence and investments in research and cultural facilities. KU created the first Bachelor of Science program in Sustainability Science in the state. The University is committed to a greener campus by eliminating all non-biodegradable produce products from its cafeterias and started a farmers’ market featuring locally grown produce.
The New Jersey Highlands is a 2 million acre region that covers much of northern New Jersey. KU’s partnership with the Regional Highland’s Center in New Jersey granted the college the living laboratory. The area includes adjoining forests and a natural landscape. The parcel of land Kean University will expand to features several hiking trails and a large lake for fishing and canoeing. New York and New Jersey together protect and promote the highlands as the East coast’s most remarkable natural and cultural resources.
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