History and Mission

The Environmental Consortium of Colleges & Universities was established in 2004 to advance our understanding of the cultural, social, political, economic and natural factors affecting the region. By promoting collaboration among its members, the Consortium works to provide ecosystem-based curricular and co-curricular programming aimed at improving the health of the regional ecosystem.

Mission Statement
The mission of the Environmental Consortium of Colleges & Universities is to harness higher education’s intellectual and physical resources to advance regional, ecosystem-based environmental research, teaching, and learning with a special emphasis on the greater Hudson-Mohawk River watershed.

Guiding Principle
The Environmental Consortium of Colleges & Universities recognizes that to fully understand and appreciate the natural world and its relationship to civilization, many areas of knowledge must be contemplated. In accordance with this fundamental canon, the Steering Committee has adopted interdisciplinary study as the Consortium’s guiding principle and priority.

We seek to:
INFLUENCE behavioral and cultural change within our institutions, to improve the health of the regional and global environment and humanity's long-term survival,

EDUCATE ourselves, our institutional communities, and the public about the ecosystem in which our institutions reside,

SUPPORT environmental, interdisciplinary collaborative research and teaching in the regional higher education community.

The Consortium's primary objectives are:

  • to provide students and faculty with quality resources and programs, emphasizing the region’s natural, cultural, and economic features,
  • to expand and diversify the base of faculty involved in ecosystem-based, interdisciplinary programs,
  • to increase the level of commitment, partnerships, support, and communication from and among member institutions,
  • to contribute to the field of interdisciplinary environmentally-based research and education in the region,
  • to share our collective expertise for practice-based social change,
  • to develop meaningful relationships with regional communities through exchange of knowledge and understanding about environmental issues
  • to act on this knowledge and understanding to improve the health of the region and beyond.

Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies
Spearheaded and hosted by Pace University, the Consortium’s headquarters is situated within the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies in Pleasantville, New York. Among Pace Academy’s stated goals is to externally apply the university’s strengths to local and global environmental problems. As a testament to its commitment to interdisciplinary pedagogy, scholarship and service, the Academy provides essential administrative support that grounds the Consortium’s programs.
Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries The Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries fosters the goals of the Consortium by providing a central resource for multidisciplinary research, collaboration, and dissemination of information. The partnership between Beacon Institute and the Environmental Consortium forges new ground with a joint vision for the region and its environment, and synergistic capacity to work together towards its realization.