Green Gate:


As part of an effort to increase awareness and education about environmental issues on and off campus, Colgate’s Sustainability Office has started a series of podcasts that interview experts within the community about environmental issues.

The hosts of the podcast, seniors Annemarie Heinrich and Laura Wood, have taken on the series as part of their Communication Internship within the Sustainability Office.

“We came into the office this semester and wanted to promote awareness about green initiatives using new media forms,” Heinrich said.

Although they toyed with the idea of a blog or radio show, the interns decided to use podcasts to relay their message because the form is so accessible.

“We wanted environmental education to be easy and accessible to anyone on campus, and with podcasts, students or faculty can listen to them at any time, in a relatively short amount of time,” Wood said.

Each podcast is about 14 minutes long, with the majority of the podcast consisting of a question and answer session. So far this semester, two podcasts have been released.

The first podcast interviews Sustainability Coordinator John Pumilio about Colgate University’s Climate Action Plan and how it will help reduce the University’s carbon emissions. In the second podcast, Heinrich and Wood interview Johnny Chaklader ’03, founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Shapna Project. The Shapna Project supports environmental justice in impoverished areas of the Dominican Republic, Bangladesh and Uganda through the sale of sustainable teas and coffees.

Heinrich and Wood hope that these podcasts will reach the entire Colgate community, especially stu­dents and faculty not involved with environmental studies, as well as the larger Madison County com­munity. In order to appeal to a wider audience, the interns decided to take an interdisciplinary approach, interviewing specialists from an array of different fields.

“We are trying to develop podcasts that look at environmental issues from different perspectives,” Heinrich said. “Many people think that environmental issues are just related to science, but in reality, the issues are relevant to business, history, economics, peace and conflict studies, humanities and many other disciplines.”

“We wanted to take a real liberal arts perspective on environmental education,” Wood said.

The Sustainability Office hopes to put the series on iTunes U, a forum that facilitates educational pod­casts, after they have released five podcasts. At the moment, the podcasts can be accessed through Colgate’s sustainability website. They hope that social media, including the Sustainability Office’s Twitter and Face­book, will help spread the word about the new project.

Contact Cassidy Holahan at [email protected].