Earth Day 4.22.20
Dean Toddi Steelman
Toddi Steelman, Stanback Dean, Nicholas School of the Environment

Dean's Message

On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day celebrations took place at two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States. The annual recognition now includes events coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network in more than 193 countries.

While it may seem at times that we are in dire straits with the weather events and predictions of what the state of our natural world will be in the next 50 years, it is important to reflect on the positive aspects of what has changed in the past five decades.

The 50th Anniversary of Earth Day should be a time of reflection and commitment for us all. In recognizing this, I have called upon our faculty and staff to focus on three defining areas as we seek to have intentional impact with our science, our teaching and our outreach. 

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colorful world map

Feature Story

50 Years of Environmental Successes

While the list of environmental woes facing our planet doesn’t seem to be growing any shorter, we think it’s important not to lose sight of the progress we’ve made on many fronts. View our timeline highlighting some of the major environmental milestones of the last half century.

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Faculty Reflections

Nicholas School faculty look back at the last 50 years since the first Earth Day.

Drew Shindell Earth Day 2020 head shot
April 22, 2020 | Climate Change
Heather Stapleton Earth Day head shot
April 22, 2020 | Environmental Health, Toxicology
Andy Read Earth Day head shot
April 22, 2020 | Ecology & Conservation, Oceans
Brian Murray Earth Day head shot
April 22, 2020 | Economics, Policy & Governance, Energy
Deborah Gallagher Earth Day head shot
April 22, 2020 | Economics, Policy & Governance, Sustainability
farmer walking into sunset

The Rural Divide

Rural voters care just as much about the environment as urban voters do, but a distrust of government regulation stokes their opposition to many federal climate and conservation laws, a report published this year by Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions finds.

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RV Shearwater in Dry Tortugas

Giving News

Maiden Voyage

The state-of-the-art R/V Shearwater made its maiden research voyage on a ten-day trip around South Florida, the Dry Tortugas and Gulf of Mexico.

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