The announcement of an exciting affiliating between the Academy of Natural Sciences and Drexel University was shared yesterday by the ANSP’s President and CEO George W. Gephart, Jr. and Drexel President John A. Fry. The joining together of these two environmentally aware power-houses is great news for Philly’s sustainability scene, and offers a lot of promise for environmental education and increased power in influencing the decision making of government agencies responsible for environmental policy.
Yesterday’s announcement marked the official signing of a letter of intent by both institutions, following approval from each one’s decision-making board on May 18th. The partnership was born from the ANSP’s desire to grow and capitalize on its globally recognized science and education programs. From there, the decision to partner with a science-led, university-based partner came as a no-brainer and Drexel University, with its innovative technology, media arts and sustainability programs was an ideal choice. A $1 million grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts to jump-start the collaboration didn’t hurt either.
But, what will this partnership really mean for both institutions and the City of Philadelphia? Let’s break it down:
- The partnership will offer ANSP’s scientists new teaching opportunities and an ability to tap into Drexel’s technology/media arts programs for use in museum exhibitions
- Drexel’s faculty will now have unique opportunities to contribute to the fields of environmental science and policy on a much grander scale, both through teaching and research
- Drexel students will have access to the ANSP’s collections and scientists for learning and research opportunities
- Drexel and the ANSP can now work together on research into natural and environmental science issues including environmental degradation, biodiversity, global ecosystem interactions and sustainability
- Combined, Drexel and ANSP can now compete for investment from agencies like the National Science Foundation, EPA and NIH more aggressively
- The alliance is committed to sharing its impressive body of knowledge with individuals of all ages and walks of life through informal/formal learning opportunities and programming
Keep your eyes and ears open for the new exhibitions, programs and discoveries that are sure to come from this partnership once the affiliation agreement is finalized over the next 45-60 days. Once this happens, ANSP will become a subsidiary of Drexel known as the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (though its legal name will remain unchanged).
For more information on the partnership, read the official announcement here.