FES heads into the future to celebrate its 41st anniversary

The Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) is celebrating its 41st anniversary with a symposium titled, Into the Future Out of the Past, an examination of the role of FES in the changing environmental field over the past 41 years.

Join past and present faculty, staff and students in celebrating 41 years of FES. Into the Future Out of the Past will assess past experiences and future opportunities through dialogue and debate.

Right: Cate Mortimer-Sandilands

The symposium will take place on Friday, Nov. 6, from 9:30am to 5pm in 140, Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies Building, Keele campus.

Into the Future Out of the Past will open with York environmental studies Professors Cate Mortimer-Sandilands and Peter Victor (left), conversing about the changing form of FES, its capacity to actively participate in developments within the evolving field of environmental studies, and the extent to which FES has, and will continue, to play its role as an educational and academic innovation. The session, moderated by FES Professor Emeritus David Morley (right), will conclude with the framing of issues for small group discussion with input from symposium participants.

In the afternoon, there will be panel discussions on the future of the Faculty with FES Professors Ravi de Costa (left), Leesa Fawcett, Laura Taylor and Gerda Wekerle, moderated by FES Professor Emeritus Ted Spence. An open discussion with participants will follow the panel.

Right: Leesa Fawcett

Linda Starodub (MES ’79), chief of human resources at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna, Austria, and Susan Wright (MES ’81), president of The Coaching Project Inc., will give the concluding reflections.

Left: Laura Taylor

A wine and cheese reception will follow the symposium.

For more information about the upcoming FES 41st anniversary celebration, visit the Faculty of Environmental Studies Web site. To register for the Into the Future Out of the Past symposium, click here.

A little FES history:

It was 41 years ago, in July 1968, that Gerry Carrothers, appointed founding dean of York’s proposed Faculty of Environmental Studies, began the task of designing the new Faculty. In September 1969, 16 students enrolled in the first master in environmental studies (MES) class. This September, more than 300 students will start their studies in the Faculty’s three programs – bachelor in environmental studies, MES and PhD in environmental studies. Over the past 40 years, more than 5,000 students have graduated from FES programs.

Right: Gerda Wekerle

The Faculty began as an innovative experiment in an emerging field in a still youthful university. Much has changed, though the underlying principles of the Faculty and its programs continue as its guiding force. FES remains a unique place – adaptable and creative in the midst of changing environmental pressures. This capacity to respond is why this innovation of the 1960s is still alive to celebrate the past 41 years. The questions that attended the Faculty’s birth are still being posed, and the wide range of answers to such questions are still under constant debate.