|Ramapo College, April 2016 (photo: Jan Barry)|
“Pilgrim Pipeline Debate Flares in Towns along Proposed Route”
“Indian Point Power Plant Leak Sets off State Alarms”
“Water Crisis in Newark Opens Up Widespread Lead Pollution Problem”
“Is Lack of Connection to Nature Harming Our Children?”
“Honeybees: Campaigning for the Creatures Who Help Feed Us”
These are just some of the timely and essential ecological issues that 10 student-reporters at Ramapo College of New Jersey explored in the Spring 2016 Environmental Writing class. This flowering of feature story projects is posted on our class website, ramapolookout.blogspot.com.
Also posted is a wide array of eco-themed assignments throughout the semester, from assessments of Rachel Carson’s historic expose of chemical pesticide and herbicide poisoning in Silent Spring, to profiles of North Jersey environmental reporter Scott Fallon of The Record and Secaucus Environmental Director (and Ramapo College alum) Amanda Nesheiwat, plus explorations of other current issues in the Ramapo River watershed and beyond discussed by a number of other distinguished guest speakers. Take a look at how students viewed these vistas.
"We should be grateful for reporters who work to inform the community about undisputable facts that could lead to health risks in their own backyards. The public has a right to know who was responsible for the poisoning of their water, soil and air." --Jonathan Sanzari, in "Environmental Reporters Shine Light on Environmental Injustice"
"One aspect of Professor [Howard] Horowitz’s visit that really intrigued me were his poetry maps. The poetry maps shared were 'Idaho' ... and 'Manhattan,' which appeared in The New York Times. Poetry maps, for those who don’t know, are exactly what you would think. The poem is shaped as a map of the chosen area, and each landmark can be found in the poem where it would be found on any regular map...
“'Manhattan' is read as if the reader is taking a trip through the city. That’s the beauty of these poems. They take you on a trip through an area. Of course, there is an advantage to knowing the area, where you can see in your mind all the places mentioned. The works can still be enjoyed by anyone, as Professor Horowitz is so descriptive as he takes readers on such a beautiful walk." --Marissa Erdelyi, in "Maps, Poems and Environmental Writing"
"I believe it to be a common misconception that change can only be enacted from huge sources such as national non-profit organizations. But, in reality, change must be localized, as Dr. Chuck Stead of Ramapo College, frequently tells his students. His recommendation for those wishing to make change is to start at the most local level possible. Perhaps by going to a town hall meeting in your own town." --Melanie Schuck, in "Change Campaigns Start Local"