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Welcome from our Director

Dr. Stolz in labDr. John F. Stolz
Director and Professor


"Looking back on 10 years as Director."



Welcome to the Center for Environmental Research and Education (CERE) at Duquesne University. A lot has changed since I became director of CERE in the summer of 2009.The effects of climate change are the headlines of the day with heat waves, drought, and more intense storms and wild fires. Resilience and the 17 United Nations Global Goals for sustainable development have become the guiding principles of an enlightened corporate world. Aims to reduce the carbon footprint of institutions, companies, and municipalities, are providing the impetus for regular greenhouse gas emissions inventories. Energy, more than ever, is a central environmental issue; with the widespread development of unconventional shale gas and oil reserves and the expanding market for renewables. Pittsburgh is once again experiencing a renaissance as a world leader in medicine, high tech and robotics, and center stage when it comes to climate change.

CERE remains committed to staying at the forefront of environmental education with our current curricula and course offerings. Our traditional master's degree program in Environmental Science and Management (ESM) and the certificate programs in Environmental Science and Environmental Management have responded to the evolving regulatory environment and remains dedicated to compliance. The Conservation Biology track for the master's and the undergraduate BS in Environmental Science continue to grow with expanded course offerings and research opportunities. Our student groups include Evergreen, Ecology Club, and Pure Thirst. The addition of two full time faculty, Drs. David Kahler and Plaxedes Chitiyo have brought expertise in hydrology (Dr. Kahler) and sustainable agriculture (Dr. Chitiyo).

CERE has always been about people and we consider our students part of a much larger family. We work hard to ensure each has a chance to achieve their potential. That means faculty mentoring and advisement and opportunities for research, internships and work experience. The affiliate science faculty are professors in the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, with active research programs. The adjunct faculty are working environmental professionals who bring their expertise and firsthand experience to the classroom. Our alumni number more than 500 and constitute a network of working environmental professionals.

Situated at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers, Pittsburgh is an ideal place to study. It has a legacy of industry (e.g., oil, coal, steel), but also a history of environmental awareness. Rachel Carson, who wrote "Silent Spring", grew up Springdale, less than 20 miles east of downtown. Today Pittsburgh is home to a plethora of corporations and environmental firms, as well as over 500 high tech companies. It also has a great number of environmental organizations and non-profits. There's the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, National Aviary, Carnegie Museums, and Phipps Conservatory. Thus, there are plenty of opportunities, and CERE offers four different types of internship experiences: industry, agency, organization, and education. Whether it's participating in a greenhouse gas emissions inventory, sampling for water contaminants, or teaching school children in an environmental summer camp, it's easy to get involved.

As we look ahead to the next decade, it may be hard to predict what the top environmental priorities will be. One thing is for sure, we at CERE will continue our commitment to providing the best possible education and opportunities for our students.