Nearly 60 students, faculty and staff attended SJC Long Island’s virtual Earth Day Seminar, which featured speaker Dr. Sharon Pochron, director of the worm ecotoxicology lab at Stony Brook University.
Pochron led the discussion “Soil Health in the Anthropocene” via Zoom during last week’s event.
The seminar, sponsored by the College’s Department of Biology and the Sustainability Committee, focused on how earthworms and other insects improve the health of the soil. She also discussed how pesticides and microplastics are bad for the health of the soil, insects and humans.
“The creatures who live in the soil and the creatures who live on the soil are important, too,” Dr. Pochron said. “We need this whole system of organisms working together to support the soil that provides our food, our clothing and our shelter, and that filters our water.”
Francis W. Antonawich Memorial Award
Prior to the seminar, this year’s Francis W. Antonawich Memorial Award for Environmental Stewardship was presented to biology major Christopher Lo Re ’20.
“Chris exemplifies the ethos of this award by exhibiting leadership, excellent character, a kind heart and a passion for the environment,” said Konstantine Rountos, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology. “He has been on the Dean’s List every semester and has a 3.9 cumulative GPA. Equally as impressive is his dedication to volunteerism at various environmental organizations on Long Island, and his dedication to student groups.”
The award was created in 2018 in memory of Antonawich, an SJC Long Island student who long held a passion for environmental science.
“He was truly a special student who embodied the spirit of volunteerism and action,” Dr. Rountos said.