RiverU kicks off with real-world sampler for environmental learning

RiverU students toured the world of "Tweets" at the Center for Environmental Innovation and Education (CEIE) this week, with a demonstration of the power of social media by NY Times Dot Earth blogger Andrew Revkin. As students will be posting assignments to Beacon Institute's Watermark blog throughout the three-week program, Revkin helped to set a global stage for RiverU bloggers in week one. Watermark, launched in May of this year, is edited by RiverU's policy prof John Cronin.

Other highlights for RiverU's kickoff week were field trips led by Clarkson University/RiverU faculty members Tom Langen, Ph.D. and Shane Rogers, Ph.D., focusing on ecology and environmental engineering. Students traveled from the headwaters to the mouth of the Fishkill Creek, collecting water samples for lab analysis at CEIE. 

An awe-inspiring tour by Continental Organics CEO and co-founder Mike Finnegan gave students an inside look at his "Zero Waste" agriculture company located in New Windsor, NY. Finnegan and his team have pioneered a closed-loop facility that includes recirculating aquaponics systems, indoor and outdoor vegetable cultivation and compost manufacture. Finishing off the week was a team-building sail aboard the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.