Professor speaks, alumna wins award at regional environmental conference

Lauren Gallagher
News Co-Editor

A University alumna and professor was featured at the 26th Annual Environmental Partnership Awards Dinner held at the Woodlands Inn and Resort in Wilkes-Barre.

At the event, alumna Margaret Capooci received the Environmental Initiative Award, and Terrence E. Sweeney, Ph.D., chair of The University’s biology department, was the keynote speaker.
A recent press release written by The University’s director of news and media relations, Stan Zygmunt, further explains the work of Capooci and Sweeney.

Capooci is a graduate from The University’s class of 2016 with a bachelor’s degree as a double major in environmental science and philosophy. She received the Emerging Environmental Leader Award at the event for demonstrating leadership, initiation and dedication to protecting and promoting a healthy environment in various projects she was involved in during her years at The University.

As a full-tuition presidential scholar, Capooci was a member of the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program (SJLA) and The University’s Honors Program.

Aside from her academic accomplishments, Capooci was very involved in leadership and service on campus. She was the co-founder in 2013, vice president in 2013-14, and president in 2014-2016 of the sustainability club and a member of the Earth Week Planning Committee. She was also vice president of student government.
In 2015, she worked as a summer student at the Woods Hole Oceanography Institution at the University of Wisconsin. During her time at the institution, she developed and defended her thesis “Salt Marsh Ecosystem Responses to Restored Tidal Connectivity Across a 14y Chronosequence.” She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in the water science and policy program at the University of Delaware.

Dr. Sweeney, the event’s keynote speaker, has been a member of The University’s faculty since 1992. He currently serves as a professor.
Sweeney earned his bachelor’s degree in physics and chemistry from Colgate University as well as his master’s degree and Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Rochester.

In an interview, he explained how at the event he discussed a new course offered at The University, BIOL 184 “Extreme Physiology, NEPA Edition.” It is a derivation of The University’s upper level physiology travel course, BIOL 395, “Extreme Physiology.”

The course serves as a general education course for natural sciences and will be offered during summer session two for four weeks in 2017. The course will be capped at 10 or 12 students.

Sweeney described that the course entails morning lectures educating the student about training, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

Then during the afternoon, the students apply what they have learned while exploring and learning about local parks, forests, trails, etc. in the Northern Pennsylvania area where people can go to stay active. Students are also assigned certain days throughout the course to blog about their experiences.

He said the goals of the course are combined with the goals of the course’s partner, Pocono Forest and Water Conservation Landscape (PFW CL).

The goals include educating students about nutrition and training to enhance human physical performance and advancing the PFW CL’s goals of conservation, community and connections.
For more information regarding the new course, visit The University’s website.

One Response to Professor speaks, alumna wins award at regional environmental conference

  1. Terrence Sweeney Reply

    November 10, 2016 at 11:12 am

    For those interested in checking out the website for Extreme Physiology, NEPA edition, you’ll find it here:

    Terrence E. Sweeney, Ph.D.
    Professor and Chair of Biology

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