St. Joseph’s University, New York’s Long Island Campus hosted a number of events from April 18 – 24 in honor of Earth Week, celebrating the planet while emphasizing the importance of sustainability.
The full slate of Earth Week events included planting perennial grasses in the Shea Garden and flowers at the Clare Rose Playhouse, painting and filling tin can pots, a Zoom panel on sustaining the Earth now, the Patchogue Eco Fair, the Seventh Annual Earth Day Seminar and a month-long e-waste and recycling drive.
Hosts for the range of events included the Sustainability Committee, Department of Biology, Green Team, Circle K, Art Club, Dr. Wendy Turgeon, Dr. Konstantine Rountos and Dr. Kirk Lawrence.
Students, faculty and staff from the St. Joseph’s community came together to make Earth Week the success that it was.
Earth Day Seminar
This year’s Earth Day Seminar was titled “A Tale of Sharks and Sturgeons: Conservation of Federally Protected Fishes in the mid-Atlantic,” with speaker Dr. Keith Dunton, associate professor of conservation biology at Monmouth University.
Dr. Dunton discussed two federally protected species, Atlantic sturgeons and coastal sharks, and why society needs to do more to protect them. Through his work, he mostly focuses on understanding migrations, movements, age, growth and habitat use.
“These species have past threats and new threats,” said Dr. Dunton, who is from Ronkonkoma and who has appeared on Shark Week. “Past threats include habitat degradation and overharvesting, and new threats of overexploitation and things like wind farms.”
Prior to the discussion, the annual F.W. Antonawich Memorial Award for Environmental Stewardship was presented to Joy Witzke, a sophomore at the Long Island Campus and executive member of the Green Team.
“Joy is the youngest in terms of class rank to receive this award, which speaks volumes about how much impact she’s already made on our campus,” said Konstantine Rountos, Ph.D., associate professor of Biology and Head of the Sustainability Committee at the University, who hosted the event.
The award was created in memory of St. Joseph’s student Francis W. Antonawich, son of Biology professor Dr. Frank Antonawich.
Other Earth Week Highlights and Photos
Throughout the month of April, members of the St. Joseph’s community safely disposed of nearly 1,000 pounds of e-waste items as part of Earth Week. Sponsored by Upcycle USA, collection boxes held such items as cell phones, computers and laptops, printers, servers, vacuums, radios, speakers, batteries, iPods, televisions and hair dryers.
The Patchogue Eco Fair brought out nearly 20 SJNY student volunteers from the Green Team, as well as three SJNY faculty. Dr. Lawrence brought students to present posters about environmental issues and clean energy, Dr. Igor Ivanovski was a panelist for an agriculture discussion, and Dr. Rountos coordinated Green Team participants and presented a Microplastics poster at the fair.