The Pace Institute for Environmental and Regional Studies (PIERS) aims to foster a sustainable relationship between people and nature by studying the diverse ecological, political and economic, social and cultural values of New York City and the Hudson River Valley Region.
Pace University has a dual responsibility to study and serve the region. It is part of the ecosystem and the larger community in which it is located. And since environmental problems are quintessentially social problems that often emerge on a local level, the university is uniquely situated to address them.
PIERS initiates, coordinates, and organizes work done by members of the Pace community in advancement of its environmental and regional mission. It aims to foster an understanding and appreciation of those aspects of regional life that relate to human interaction with the natural resources of the bioregion; build a reference reserve for bioregional knowledge through scholarly research; establish a relationship between the university community and its neighbors; and promote environmental education throughout the university and the Hudson River Valley.
Both scholarship and pedagogy, based on vigorous inquiry into values as well as practical skills, speak to environmental sustainability and social responsibility, as well as community service.
Local-Global Learning Initiative
PIERS sponsors seminars and conferences on local environmental problems and global environmental policies, using the Hudson River Valley Region as our testing ground. Pace University has long been involved in environmental affairs, in the region and internationally, and is ideally situated to critically examine, through the lens of our own region, environmental issues that have received extensive national and international attention.Examples include a conference that examined the national debate on suburban sprawl and critically analyzed nationally discussed land use and planning models by challenging experts to apply them to the suburbs in the Hudson River Valley; a conference on the large body of recent academic work applying the teachings of world religions to the environment aimed at testing the relevance of that work to the everyday experiences of regional clerics and religious representatives from the Hudson River Valley; a series of seminars that analyzed the specific application to real life regional environmental issues of the proposed changes to the federal Freedom of Information Act; and conferences on urban environmental concerns-Urban Ecology: Cities in Transition (2003) & Senses of Place: Urban Narratives as Public Secrets (2004).