Press Releases

September 27, 2004

Southampton College, Peconic Estuary Program Educate in Estuary
Freshman, Professors Explore Solutions to Peconic Water Problems

Amanda Olsen (

For Immediate Release

Southampton, NY – The Peconic Estuary will serve as both subject and laboratory for Southampton College’s incoming freshman, thanks to $2000 in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funds awarded by the Peconic Estuary Program (PEP).

Water quality in the estuary will serve as the focus of the freshman Global Lecture and Seminar course, part of the new core curriculum being implemented this year at the College. The case study will enable professors to demonstrate the value of different disciplinary approaches in understanding and solving real world problems. Groups of five students will be charged with proposing a project to engage the public in reducing the impacts nutrient pollution in the watershed. A panel of experts, including members of the PEP staff, will judge the proposals and select the one with the most promise to be carried out in the spring and summer semesters of 2005. The winner will be identified in December and work will begin in February. Grant funds will be used to finance their study in the field.

The class is being co-taught by faculty representing diverse disciplines, including Drs. Scott Carlin, Elizabeth Granitz, Nancy Peters, Susan Oatis, John Strong, and Robert Turner. More than a dozen other faculty and staff have been involved in planning the course and continue to contribute to its execution.

Dr. Turner, the course coordinator and grant director, emphasized the impact of community participation on the students. "Having local officials and federal funding supporting the course is a good demonstration of the importance of the problems we are addressing. This, along with the potential to make a real, positive impact in the region, should serve to energize our students."

Approximately 30 students will carry out the project in the spring semester. The funds are administered by Cornell University and New York Sea Grant.