Ohio State, led by CFAES, wins Environmental March Madness

Ohio State didn't win this year's men's college basketball championship, dropping a close game March 30 in the tournament's Elite Eight. But the next week the Scarlet and Gray scored a different, green-colored national title.

Led by CFAES's new Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability (EEDS) program, which allows students to major in sustainability, Ohio State won Enviance Inc.'s second annual Environmental March Madness Tournament.

Organizers said Ohio State's demonstrated excellence in environmental academics and sustainability, as well as outstanding student and faculty engagement in the tournament, helped it top three other schools in the contest's "Finest Four": George Mason University, Colorado State University, and the University of Washington.

 

"(Ohio State’s) environmental and sustainability initiatives … demonstrated important real-world applications of environmental and sustainability concepts.”—Enviance CEO Lawrence Goldenhersh

 

"We are very excited to be recognized as national champion and are especially proud of our exceptional academic programs focusing on the environment and sustainability efforts at Ohio State," said Ron Hendrick, director of CFAES's School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR). The EEDS program is a joint effort of the school and of CFAES's Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE).

"In the 10 years I have been teaching at Ohio State, I have seen sustainability go from a topic that only a niche crowd cared about and even fewer knew the meaning of, to becoming an area that every department and college wants to work into its courses," said EEDS Director Neil Drobny. "It has been very gratifying to witness and support the change, and we're thankful for Enviance's decision to put together this competition."

AEDE Chair Tim Haab said the recognition is a tribute to the cooperation of faculty in developing EEDS and to Drobny's leadership early in the program. 

"I hope this can be used to further spread the word that SENR and AEDE are leading the way at Ohio State -- and in the nation -- in sustainability," Haab said.

Enviance sponsors the tournament in partnership with GreenBiz Group and Qualtrics.

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-- Martha Filipic, CommTech