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The Great Work


"Our present need is to know just how to move out of this alienation of the human into a more viable mode of presence to the natural world.

Here I propose that the religions are too pious, the corporations too plundering, the government too subservient to provide any adequate remedy. The universities, however, should have the insight and the freedom to provide the guidance needed by the human community.  The universities should also have the critical capacity to influence over the other professions and other activities of society. In a special manner the universities have the contact with the younger generation needed to reorient the human community toward a greater awareness that the human exists, survives, and becomes whole only within the single great community of the planet Earth."



Thomas Berry
(1914-2009)
The Great Work: Our Way Into the Future

2015 Awardee
Dr. Joseph W. Rachlin
Professor and Interim Associate Provost and Dean for Research
Laboratory for Marine & Estuarine Research (LaMER)
Lehman College


[Photo: Dr. Rachlin (left) with his nominator, Dr. Yuri Gorokhovich, Lehman College]


The Environmental Consortium was honored to present The Great Work Award in honor of Thomas Berry to Dr. Joseph Rachlin for advancing Fr. Thomas Berry's ideal that "The human exists, survives and becomes whole only within the single great community of the planet Earth."

Dr. Rachlin accepted The Great Work Award at the twelfth annual Environmental Consortium conference at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York on November 7, 2015.

Press release.
 
About the 2015 Honoree
When environmental issues were still trying to gain a foothold in the Hudson River Valley in the late 1960s, Joseph Rachlin was already a wet and muddy grad student up to his elbows in river research.

Now a veteran aquatic ecologist and director of the Laboratory for Marine and Estuarine Research at CUNY’s Lehman College, Professor Rachlin has spent 48 years doing something few scientists do – building a world-renowned research career within a few miles of home. A Bronx native, he has devoted his life to the study of the Hudson estuary, and Bronx, Saw Mill and East rivers, and at 80, his passion is undiminished as he leads students in research aimed at restoration of those urban waterways.

Professor Rachlin is best known for his research into the life histories of both freshwater and marine aquatic organisms. He is a fellow of both the Linnean Society of London, and the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists. In addition to his research activities he has served as the director of the CUNY Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, and has served Lehman College as Dean of the Division of Natural and Social Sciences.