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PEI Awards Environmental Certificates and Prizes

In the early afternoon of June 2nd, students gathered together with family, friends, faculty, and staff to celebrate Class Day at the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) and to award 54 graduating seniors with Environmental Certificates.

Class Day 2014
54 graduating seniors from 16 different departments were awarded Certificates in Environmental Studies. (Photo by PEI Staff)

 

Lars Hedin, director of Princeton University's Program in Environmental Studies (ENV) and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, commenced the celebration by mentioning the growth and breadth of the Program. “The ENV Program continues to grow. This year’s Environmental Certificate class is the second largest in the Program’s history. Most significantly, today’s certificate recipients hail from 16 different majors reflecting the wide-ranging interest in environmental issues across the Princeton campus. They comprise the next generation of leaders and thinkers who will make important decisions that will impact not only their lives, but those who follow," he said.

Stephen Pacala, director of PEI, joined Hedin to award three seniors with prizes for best senior theses and exceptional environmental leadership. In his remarks Pacala stated, “There is no greater need than for talented people to tackle the problem of global warming -- an issue which has stalemated society in ways that endangers all of us, all our children, all the graduates here today, and all of their children.” Speaking specifically to the ENV recipients he said, “But I am optimistic knowing that many of the brightest young people, such as those of you here today, are taking leadership and teaming up to address this challenge.”

Following the presentation of the three awards, Hedin called each ENV certificate recipient to the front of the auditorium to be honored and to receive the traditional honorary gift of a PEI umbrella.

Princeton University Prizes

Suchana H. Costa (Peter W. Stroh ’51 Environmental Senior Thesis Prize recipient), Stephen B. Moch (T.A. Barron Environmental Leadership Prize), and Maura L. O’Brian (Environmental Senior Thesis Prize)
Suchana H. Costa (Peter W. Stroh ’51 Environmental Senior Thesis Prize recipient), Stephen B. Moch (T.A. Barron Environmental Leadership Prize), and Maura L. O’Brian (Environmental Senior Thesis Prize). (Photo by PEI Staff)

 

PEI Awards and Prizes

Graduates, faculty, family and friends congregate outside Guyot Hall following the ENV Class Day Ceremony.
Graduates, faculty, family and friends congregate outside Guyot Hall following the ENV Class Day Ceremony. (Photo by PEI Staff)

 

Environmental Studies Senior Thesis Prize

The Environmental Studies Senior Thesis Prize is awarded annually to one senior in the Environmental Studies Certificate Program who has produced the best thesis in the broad area of environmental studies. Student nominations are made by departmental thesis advisers.

Maura L. O’Brien, Art & Archeology
Thesis Title: Chrysalid:  Art Inspired by the Natural Environment
Thesis Advisers: Daniel Heyman, lecturer in visual arts and the Lewis Center for the Arts; Curt Kauper, Rachel DeLue, associate professor, director of undergraduate studies; and Kurt Kauper, visiting associate professor of visual arts and the Lewis Center for the Arts

Peter W. Stroh '51 Environmental Thesis Prize

The Peter W. Stroh '51 Environmental Senior Thesis Prize was established in 2003 as a memorial to Peter W. Stroh '51, an active member of PEI's Advisory Council and an enthusiastic supporter of the Environmental Studies Program. The prize is awarded annually to the student who has produced the best thesis on an environmental topic. Academic departments are solicited for nominations in the spring with a limit of one student per academic discipline eligible for consideration. All members of the senior class are eligible to be nominated including students participating in the ENV Certificate Program.

Suchana H. Costa, Ecology and Evolutional Biology
Thesis Title: Herbivory Constraints on Symbiotic N2-fixers in Young Recovering Tropical Rainforests
Thesis Adviser: Lars Hedin, director of the Program in Environmental Studies and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology

Class Day Cake
Class Day Cake. (Photo by PEI Staff)

 

T.A. Barron Environmental Leadership Prize

The Thomas A. Barron Environmental Leadership Prize recognizes a member of the graduating class who has distinguished himself or herself by showing exceptional dedication to environmental concerns, not only in formal classes and independent academic work, but also by leading and encouraging activities among fellow students and in the community at large. Nominations are limited to one student per academic department. A seconding letter that addresses the student's contributions to environmental leadership is also required.

Stephen B. Moch, Woodrow Wilson School
Thesis Title: Driving Down Emissions: Improving the Efficacy of Federal Electric Vehicle Deployment Policy
Thesis Adviser: Michael Schwartz, visiting professor in energy and the environment, Woodrow Wilson School and visiting research scholar, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment