Spring at Nic School: A time of celebration

A series of events from April 14 to 16, 2016 demonstrated the tremendous strength of the Nicholas School community and the commitment of our alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends to continue to work together to effect positive impacts on the health and well-being of our planet and its inhabitants.

Stanback-with-Alan-editedThe long weekend kicked off on Thursday afternoon with a celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Stanback Internship Program, one of the signature features of the Nicholas School. Current and former interns, faculty, and the program’s namesakes, Fred and Alice Stanback and their family members, came together to celebrate this life-changing program that has done so much to prepare Nicholas graduates for successful careers in the environmental field. The Keynote address for the event was made by Derb S. Carter, Jr., Director of the Southern Environmental Law Center.Stanback-Group---edited

Thursday and Friday featured joint meetings of the Nicholas School’s Board of Visitors and Alumni Council, our two volunteer leadership organizations. Board and Council members came together to discuss the School’s latest achievements and future direction, and to hear about some of the important educational and research initiatives our faculty and students are involved in, from influencing climate change policy locally and globally, to participating in the Paris Climate Negotiations; and from mapping and protecting the habitats of marine animals in the Atlantic and Arctic, to launching Duke’s newest research and education programs in China.  Our Alumni Council is working on several new signature programs to provide ongoing learning opportunities for alumni and to deepen connections between current students and graduates.

013816_reunion_picnic-alumni-edited Friday and Saturday marked our second annual Alumni Reunion Weekend. Blue skies and beautiful North Carolina weather greeted alumni, family and friends who took part in a variety of fun and informative activities. There was an update on the School from Dean Alan Townsend, a “lab crawl” led by our research faculty,013816_reunion_picnic-kids-edited the Duke Forest Pine Cone Pacer 5K Run/Walk, and of course, a chance to reunite with old friends (and make new ones) at our alumni picnic in the Environment Hall Courtyard. Over 60 alumni and friends attended the weekend’s events. The Pine Cone Pacer also had its largest attendance with over 130 participants.


The Nicholas School Class of 2016 (MEM, MF and PhDs) will receive their diplomas at our recognition ceremony on Saturday, May 14 at 9am. Founding Dean Norm Christensen will be our graduation speaker. He will be joined by alumni speaker Andrew T. Goode, MEM ’91 and student speaker Meagan Knowlton, MEM ‘16. Duke undergraduates in our Earth & Ocean Sciences, Environmental Sciences & Policy and Environmental Sciences programs will receive their diplomas at 2pm. A reception will follow each ceremony in Environment Hall. If you are in town, we invite you to join our graduates and their families and friends for this joyous rite of passage. Click here for more information.