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 SRU's Ron Gargasz, Carter Administration Official, Presented Environmental Award 

 

SPOTLIGHT

Dec. 16, 2003

CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine (724) 738-4854; e-mail: gordon.ovenshine@sru.edu

ADJUNCT SRU PROFESSOR RON GARGASZ, FORMER DIRECTOR OF CONSERVATION FOR THE JIMMY CARTER ADMINISTRATION, RECEIVES ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD

GARGASZ DONATES AWARD CHECK TO SRU

           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Ron Gargasz, director of conservation for the Jimmy Carter administration and a founder of the sustainable environmental movement at Slippery Rock University, has received the 2003 Western Pennsylvania Environmental Award for his life’s work of promoting organic farming. Gargasz received the award  from Dominion and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

           Gargasz donated the $1,000 award check to SRU’s Robert A. Macoskey Center for Sustainable Education and Research, which he co-founded. Sustainability refers to projects that are ecologically sound, economically feasible and socially just. Pesticide-free farming is an example.

           “Having been a certified organic farmer for 23 years, I live a fairly solitary life,” Gargasz said. “This is nice recognition for the thrust of my life’s work. My lifelong pursuit has been to leave the land in an even more pristine state than when I occupied the land.”

       " I am impressed with his achievements and proud of our students’ many endeavors at the Macoskey Center,” said SRU’s Dr. Jane Fulton, dean of the College of Health, Environment and Science. “Ron’s insights and willingness to be among the first sustainable farms in Pennsylvania has helped produce our nationally recognized reputation for sustainability studies.”

          Dominion, headquartered in Richmond, Va., is one of the nation's largest producers of energy. Dominion's portfolio includes Peoples Gas in western Pennsylvania.

 Pioneer accomplishments

           Gargasz has been involved with sustainability since 1967, long before it became a popular concept. He wrote the agro ecological curriculum for SRU’s first Master of Science in Sustainable Systems Program. An  adjunct professor of sustainable agriculture, Gargasz taught at SRU from 1990 to 1994.

           He and the late Robert Macoskey founded the Macoskey Center in the 1980s. Sustainable systems students study land use, protection of natural resources and innovative solutions to environmental problems.

           Today, Gargasz raises organically fed beef cattle and grows buckwheat, beans and vegetables on his farm in Plain Grove, Lawrence County.

PR, PN, PgN

 

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