The Barnard Year of Science has highlighted the College’s exceptional student, faculty, and alumnae scientists. Events that feature Barnard faculty alongside distinguished guests allow participants to learn about the vital scientific advancements taking place at the College and contextualize Barnard’s important place within the broader scientific community.
On Wednesday, April 6, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. EDT “Conservation, Collaboration, and Community: From Research to Implementation” will feature a panel of Barnard faculty experts in discussion with WildCRU, the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit within the University of Oxford’s Department of Zoology. Guests will learn about WildCRU’s innovative approach to solving conservation problems, and their commitment to their “conservation quartet” to understand, educate, involve, and implement. Leading scientists at Barnard will also share how the College exemplifies this “quartet” in our work to research and resolve problems, and explore current and future work in the area of conservation.
Taking place in the James Room in Barnard Hall (with a virtual attendance option), the panel will be introduced by President Sian Leah Beilock and feature Barnard faculty members Martin Stute, Hilary Callahan, and Sandra Goldmark. Special guests will include David MacDonald, founder of WildCRU, and Amy Dickman, current director of WildCRU.
This panel is inspired by the generosity of the family of Daphne Recanati Kaplan and Thomas S. Kaplan P’24, supporters of both Barnard and WildCRU, who have generously pledged $10 million to support transformative renovations to the College’s principal science building. The Kaplan family’s gift will help to fund the creation of the Roy and Diana Vagelos Science Center’s first-floor Science Pavilion, a welcoming, accessible space that will showcase conservation and meaningfully engage our community.
A Growing Eminence in Environmental Science
Over the course of the Barnard Year of Science, we have highlighted that more than ever before in the College’s history, young women interested in the sciences are choosing Barnard. In recent years, our students have also demonstrated an increased interest in environmental science, conservation, and sustainability. During the last academic year alone, more than 300 students, or about 12 percent of the entire student body, took courses on these topics.
The College’s physical proximity to vast urban parks, access to the American Museum of Natural History, and affiliations with the Lamont‐Doherty Earth Observatory, The Earth Institute in the new Columbia Climate School, and the Mailman School of Public Health, offer undergraduate students unparalleled opportunities for research and education. Barnard’s high academic standards, multidisciplinary courses, and training in methodologies equip students with the tools needed to think critically, evaluate and solve problems, and communicate science to address our society’s needs.
The disciplines of sustainability and conservation, which visibly impact our surroundings and everyday lives, provide a natural gateway to the sciences. By creating opportunities for individuals from our on-campus and surrounding communities to engage with STEM through the approachable lens of environmental science and conservation, Barnard’s new Science Pavilion will be a place to inspire interest in the scientific disciplines and launch the next generation of conservationists.
The Recanati-Kaplan Family’s Philanthropy
The Recanati-Kaplan family’s significant gift to bolster Barnard’s STEM offerings is emblematic of their longstanding commitment to conservation, sustainability, and environmental issues. An Oxford graduate and current Barnard parent, Thomas S. Kaplan and his wife Daphne Recanati Kaplan co-founded Panthera in 2006, which quickly became the world’s leading supporter of big cat conservation, working to end poaching of endangered cats and to protect the ecosystems they inhabit.
Through Panthera, the Kaplans endowed WildCRU’s study of lions in Zimbabwe’s Hwange Park. The Recanati-Kaplan Foundation has been an essential supporter of WildCRU’s operations for over a decade and has funded a myriad projects, including the Recanati-Kaplan Centre Postgraduate Diploma in International Wildlife Conservation Practice, a residential program that has supported the careers of over 60 young conservationists from the developing world since its founding in 2008.
“The Recanati-Kaplan family is an ardent supporter of the sciences, STEM education, and environmental conservation,” said President Sian Leah Beilock. “Their commitment to advancing the sciences at Barnard represents a powerful vote of confidence, and we are grateful for their partnership.