UM Carey Law brought together experts from across the University System of Maryland (USM), for the system’s first Environmental Summit.
The February 17 event was intended to lay the foundation for USM’s 300 environmental scholars to create durable and inter-institutional relationships that will provide new, interdisciplinary curricular and research opportunities throughout the system, which includes 11 universities, four research laboratories, and two academic centers across the state.
“A major goal for the summit was to provide an incubator for interdisciplinary teaching and research,” said Michael Pappas, professor at UM Carey Law.
“The course-planning and lightening round activities at the summit were a great success in that regard, allowing scholars to meet and find overlapping interests,” Pappas noted. “I was pleased to connect with scholars that I otherwise probably would not have met, and I am excited to follow up with them about future projects.”
Pappas and UM Carey Law Professor Rena Steinzor serve as members of the USM Environmental Steering Committee, which organized the summit.
The summit featured welcoming remarks from University of Maryland, Baltimore President Jay Perman and a concluding keynote address from USM Chancellor William Kirwan. It also offered three- to five-minute “lightening” presentations from 20 participants about their current and future research; break-out sessions where participants designed nine course modules concerning climate change with the goal of developing them into future interdisciplinary class offerings; and a panel on inter-institutional collaboration.
“This event was a great first step in capturing some of the enthusiasm for interdisciplinary work. It gives us a nice foundation to build on,” added Pappas. Participants have already made plans to meet and continue work on new initiatives.