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Environmental Lecture Kicks Off Year Of Sustainability At Clarkson

Anthony Cortese, founder and president of Second Nature, kicks off Clarkson University’s yearlong sustainability initiative when he speaks at Cheel Arena on Thursday, August 30, at 4 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Cortese’s lecture, “Education for Sustainability: The University as Model,” is the first lecture in the Clarkson Sustainability Seminar Series. The presentation is the first of the annual Clarkson Convocation Series, which brings artists and lecturers to the North Country.

The Sustainability Seminar Series is part of Clarkson’s Environmental Sustainability Initiative. The yearlong campus-wide initiative will involve teaching, research application and discovery devoted to sustainability on campus. Activities will include a campus environmental audit, with recommendations for changes to the campus, which will make it more environmentally sustainable; incorporation of environmental themes into the curriculum; and support of student and faculty research and projects related to environmental sustainability.

Boston-based Second Nature was founded in 1993 by Cortese, U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), philanthropic and environmental leader Teresa Heinz and educator/environmentalist Bruce Droste. The educational non-profit organization works with colleges and universities to incorporate sustainability concepts into campus life, including teaching, learning, research, interaction with the community and campus operations. To date, Second Nature has provided training, consultation and resources to more than 2,500 faculty and administrators at 200 colleges and universities.

Cortese received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and his master’s degree in environmental engineering from Tufts University, and his doctorate in environmental health science from the Harvard School of Public Health. His career in public service began with his work for the U.S. Public Health Service from 1969-72 and the Environmental Protection Agency from 1972-78. He was commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection from 1979-84.

In 1989, Cortese founded the award-winning Tufts Environmental Literacy Institute at Tufts University. That same year, he became Tufts’ first-ever dean of environmental programs, a position he would hold until 1993. Cortese was the organizer of a 1990 conference in Talloires, France, from which, 22 college presidents from 13 countries made a declaration of responsibilities and actions to help foster “a just and sustainable future.” Since then, nearly 300 university presidents from over 50 countries have signed on to what is known as the “Talloires Declaration.”

In addition to co-founding Second Nature, Cortese is a founder and Managing Director of the Consortium for Environmental Education in Medicine (CEEM), a sister organization that seeks to bring the effect of the physical and natural environment on health into medical education and practice. He is also a founding member of US Board of Councilors for the China - US Center for Sustainable Development, a founding member and officer of the board of directors for The Natural Step U.S., a member of the editorial board at the International Journal for Sustainability in Higher Education, and is a fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). His speeches and presentations have brought him to many college campuses, including Boston University, Harvard University the University of Hawaii, and the University of Sao Paolo, Brazil.

For more information about Cortese’s lecture, please call 315-268-3856. For more information on the Clarkson Environmental Sustainability Initiative, check out the Web site at or call 315-268-3856.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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