BIU Opens a Multidisciplinary Sustainability and Environment School
The school encourages student interaction in various programs to promote cross-disciplinary research.
Based on new trends in the field and innovative teaching, Bar-Ilan's multidisciplinary school for Sustainability and the Environment began operating this year. The research centre for energy and sustainability, which brings together 55 research groups from various academic disciplines, also operates alongside the school.
The school offers students who wish to specialize in environmental issues a wide variety of study programs in all fields of knowledge - from social sciences to law, chemistry, life sciences, and medicine.
Students studying in any program offered by the school will benefit from the opportunity to participate in a series of core courses in environmental law and policy, introduction to environmental quality, energy and sustainability, and health and environment. These courses will give the students the fundamental knowledge base needed to specialize in any field.
The head of the school, Prof. Oren Perez, says that the main challenge facing humanity in the 21st century is environmental. "Climate changes manifest in global warming, increase in the acidity of the sea, lack of water resources, desertification, an increase in industrial pollution, and more. All of these factors cause severe damage to the quality of life and ecosystems on land and sea. In Israel, these challenges are even more acute given the state's accelerated economic development on the one hand and its limited land and natural resources on the other. Therefore, responding to these challenges requires multidisciplinary capabilities based on a profound understanding of environmental, ecological, chemical, biological, legal, and economic processes."
Prof. Oren Perez, an environmental regulation researcher and the former dean of the Faculty of Law, founded the Bar-Ilan University Environmental Regulation Clinic and the Program for Environmental Regulation and Policy with Dr. Orit Rotem from the Department of Geography and Environment.
Prof. Perez has won many research grants in the environmental field, including three Research grants from the National Science Foundation and additional grants from the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Science, the Health and Environment Fund, etc.
"The climate crisis poses challenges to the world in various disciplines and will affect training and employment in the future," he adds. "The Bar-Ilan School of Sustainability seeks to train the students with an emphasis on the practical aspect and a connection to the field through an environmental clinic, problem-solving hackathons, and internships at various companies."
In the research context, the school will cooperate with the various research centers operating at the university, among them: the Emerging Energy and Sustainability Center, the Nano Institute, the Data Science Institute, the Center for Smart Cities, and many others.
"The weight of 4,400 trucks goes into the atmosphere every minute! This is an emission of 66 tons per minute," said the university's president, Prof. Arie Zaban, "Energy and sustainability are intertwined. Without solving the energy problem, we will be unable to work toward a sustainable environment. These are two issues that have A decisive influence on humanity's future. We are now responding to them with multidisciplinary research and a school that will train the next generation of those involved in the field."