In order to create a culture of sustainability, it is important to reach out to our students. Drake has been able to do this through academics and student organizations. Without education, all of Drake’s sustainability initiatives would be ineffective. Through academics and student life, we are able to engage the Drake community in a discussion about sustainability, thus increasing our ability to progress towards carbon-neutrality.
The Environmental Science and Policy (ENSP) Program takes an interdisciplinary approach to solving environmental problems. Students are taught to see the connections between science, policy, economics and society in order to find the best solutions for a more sustainable world. ENSP students participate in research opportunities with professors on habitat restoration, land management, water quality and more. Many ENSP students are also involved with internships and study abroad in places like Central and South America and Australia.
Drake’s Agricultural Law Center educates students about a variety of issues surrounding agriculture, including soil and water conservation, renewable energy, land management and organic farming. The Agricultural Law Center is also heavily involved with the "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" campaign, a network of Iowa farms, businesses and consumers committed to increasing the amount of local, Iowa-grown products in the Greater Des Moines Area.
Drake recognizes that students are critical in creating a culture of sustainability on campus, and the Drake Environmental Action League (DEAL) accomplishes this end through various means.
DEAL has created many different educational outreach programs centered on environmental issues. These events have grown and become cemented in Drake’s fall and spring calendar. DEAL annually hosts Earth Week, which includes its own farmer’s market with vendors from the downtown market and various conservation and political groups educating Drake students on how to get involved in advocating for environmental issues.
Environmental stewardship is an important aspect of the environmental movement. It requires us to give back to the earth, making a better, cleaner, and more diverse world. DEAL has a rich past of actively donating time, energy, and money to protect and restore our fragile planet. Here's some of what DEAL has done:
The Residence Hall Association (RHA) includes the Environmental Chair position. Each of Drake’s eight residence halls has an Environmental Chair who oversees the recycling in each hall. Recycling in the residence halls is now a completely student-run process, leading recycling to increase, and fostering greater environmental awareness within the halls.
Launched in the spring of 2007, Think magazine is the first news magazine published by the Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Think explores many topics surrounding politics and society, including the environment. This student-run magazine is distributed throughout campus and the Des Moines community.