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Academics and Student Life

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Academics and Student Life

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.

Environmental Science and Policy Program

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 Law School

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.

The Drake Environmental Action League

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:

  • Donated to the Gulf Restoration Network efforts to clean up and restore the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil drilling disaster.
  • Partnered with the Department of Natural Resources to assist in community efforts to clean up a polluted stream a few blocks west of campus. Though it was cold, dirty, and early in the morning, over a dozen volunteers pulled trash and junk from the mud to clean the stream.
  • DEAL members traveled to Catalina Island off the coast of California to help restore degraded habitats there. For a week, they worked from sun-up to sundown removing invasive species, planting native ones, building educational trails, and managing an organic garden.
  • Secured free, energy-efficient compact florescent light bulbs to hand out to students and community members.
  • From cookie sales, DEAL raised enough money to adopt both a red panda and a blue-footed booby through the World Wildlife Fund.
  • By working with Repower America and the Environmental Law and Policy Center, DEAL members have been engaged activists for years, writing letters and attending rallies at local, state and national levels.

The Residence Hall Association

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.

Think Magazine

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.

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