Tuesday, April 2, 2024

EPA Region 3 Administrator Adam Ortiz Visits University Of Pittsburgh To Discuss Research, Collaboration; Kicked Off Earth Month At Pittsburgh Charter School

On April 2,
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz participated in a faculty roundtable at the University of Pittsburgh to discuss current projects, research trends, and innovative approaches to today’s environmental issues.

Hosted by the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation and the Office of Sustainability, the interdisciplinary roundtable included representatives from several offices, including the Water Collaboratory, Circular Economy Program, and College of Arts and Sciences. 

The discussion provided Ortiz an overview of the proposed Pitt Sustainability Institute, how the university is addressing environmental justice in surrounding communities, and grant funded research.

"Across the region, we’ve been meeting with faculty, researchers, and students to learn more about approaches to some of today’s biggest challenges, what they’re finding, and how EPA can support those efforts,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “The interdisciplinary work happening at the University of Pittsburgh is exactly what’s needed to meet the complex environmental challenges of today.”

"The University was thrilled to welcome Regional Administrator Ortiz and the team to campus Tuesday.  We had the opportunity to engage in impactful conversations around Pitt’s interdisciplinary sustainability research and educational efforts, including community engaged research to positively impact communities," said Melissa Bilec, the George M. and Eva M. Bevier Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Co-director of the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, and Special Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability at the University of Pittsburgh. "We hope this is the start of productive conversation and interconnected work to benefit our region.”

Visits such as these highlight EPA’s dedication to collaborating with academic institutions and promoting the importance of environmental education at all levels. 

Visit To Charter School EcoStewards

Prior to his campus visit, Ortiz spent the morning with 3rd-5th graders at Pittsburgh’s Environmental Charter School to kick off Earth Month with staff and students and Congresswoman Summer Lee. 

As part of the school visit, Ortiz met with ‘EcoStewards’- 4th and 5th grade environmental leaders - to discuss litter, invasive species, and watershed protection. 

The group also potted native species that will soon be planted in Frick Park. 

Following the discussion and planting, the school’s Green Team presented their zero waste presentation to Ortiz, highlighting why every small action makes a difference.  

“The environmental literacy of these young students is truly remarkable,” reflected EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “To have such a deep understanding of complicated issues such as stormwater at such a young age is a testament to the value environmental education programs have, not only on the students, but the surrounding communities as well.” 

"We are grateful that EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz and Congresswoman Lee kicked off our Earth Month celebrations with us,” said Environmental Charter School Superintendent Dr. Amanda Cribbs, EdD. “ECS focuses on real-world education, and this was the perfect opportunity for students to see how what they learn today can translate to an environmentally friendly and sustainable career in the future." 

[Posted: April 2, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

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