Greetings Current and Future Members of the Interdisciplinary Environmental Association! It is an honor and pleasure to serve as president of the IEA for the next two years. While challenges to our planet's environment seem more dire than ever, solutions to these problems are more innovative than ever. It is my goal to build on the successes of IEA bringing academics from various fields together (i.e., interdisciplinary) by encouraging collaboration with leaders, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders outside the ivory tower (i.e., transdisciplinary).
There is a growing realization that environmental problems disproportionately affect the poor, who often do not have the resources, time, or power to respond to environmental problems. I want to focus on environmental justice by increasing membership and participation to people who have historically been oppressed, disenfranchised, and marginalized. Indigenous people around the globe are among the oppressed. Indigenous people have seen the land, water, and air they inhabited for millennia occupied, polluted, and destroyed by colonizers during the past few centuries. Powerful interests seeking short-term profits, regardless of environmental or human costs, murder hundreds of environmental protectors every year. My own scholarly work focuses on Indigenization and decolonization, which naturally guides me to lead IEA in the same direction.
Young people have always had the most energy, freshest ideas, and bravery to question and disrupt an inequitable status quo. I want IEA to grow in general, but especially among our young membership. I want to recruit IEA leaders who are young. If you are a young environmental leader, or know of one, please contact me directly at IEAGregC@gmail.com. Kappa Alpha Omicron is IEA's honor society. There are currently 14 chapters from US universities that we are very proud of. My goal is for that number to quadruple and include chapters from other continents. The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to meet virtually, demonstrating the benefits of distance collaboration. Many environmental challenges we face are global in scale: it makes sense to have a global network of KAO chapters and IEA membership to attack environmental problems in a transdisciplinary manner.
Everybody is a stakeholder in our planet's environment. Therefore, everybody is invited to join IEA, and work with us to explore, discover, educate, solve, act, lead, motivate, innovate, and collaborate in ways that benefit our shared environment. Please bring your passion, gifts, and interests to the table. We need a diversity of experiences, viewpoints, experts, and talents to help IEA become a force for real-world environmental problem solving.
Very best wishes,
Greg Cronin, Ph.D.