College Holds Free Community Environmental Workshops Funded by O&R

Dominican College is holding free workshops to educate local residents about the environment and to teach them how to become good stewards of our communities.  The workshops are free and are funded through a grant from Orange & Rockland Utilities.

Regina Alvarez, Ph.D.,  Dominican College Assistant Professor of Biology and Instructor at the New York Botanical Garden, said that although many people are concerned about the environment, they often don’t realize how important nature is in cities and suburbs.  Nature, she stresses, is all around us, even in the most urban environments.

“We believe this workshop series will foster community wellness and a sense of connection to the natural environment in Rockland County,” said Alvarez.  “Learning about the world around us and how to care for it locally empowers the community to protect and advocate for the environment within which we all live. “

The workshops will take place at the Prusmack Center, 3 Campus Drive, Blauvelt, NY, on the Dominican College campus from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.  For more information, or to register for one or more workshops, please email

The four workshops scheduled are:

  • Introduction to the Biodiversity of Rockland County – Saturday, July 24, 2021  Alvarez will teach participants to recognize the biodiversity around them and to explore the connection between biodiversity and their well-being. 
  • Community Science: The People’s 21st Century Flora – Saturday, August 21, 2021  Daniel Atha, Director of Conservation Outreach, New York Botanical Garden, will discuss EcoFloras of North America.  This innovative model connects people to plant collections, nature, and urban biodiversity, combining existing knowledge from herbaria and libraries with real-time observations of plants and their ecological partners. 
  • The Natural History of Insects – Saturday, September 18, 2021  Ken Chaya, President of the Linnaean Society of New York and Instructor at the New York Botanical Garden, will delve into the world of the creatures that make up 84 percent of the animal kingdom. Participants will learn about the roles insects play in maintaining healthy ecosystems, as well as their fascinating life cycles and complex social systems.
  • The Unseen Universe: Microbial Diversity Under Our Feet – Saturday, October 16, 2021  Bernadette Connors, Ph.D., Dominican College Associate Professor of Biology, will guide participants in exploring the microbes from soil and water using next generation computational technologies.  Participants will also learn about the connection of microbes to environmental and public health.

The workshops are open to interested community members, local teachers, college students, and high school students.