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ESF Awards Steingraber an Honorary Degree

Ecologist, writer receives Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree

Ecologist, author, and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) during Convocation May 11.

Steingraber is an internationally recognized authority on the environment's links to cancer and human health.

Steingraber's highly acclaimed book,Living Downstream: An Ecologist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment, presents cancer as a human rights issue. Originally published in 1997, it was the first to bring together data on toxic releases with data from U.S. cancer registries and won praise from international media. Released as a second edition in 2010,Living Downstream has been adapted for film by The People's Picture Company of Toronto.

Continuing the investigation begun inLiving Downstream, Steingraber's book,Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood, explores the intimate ecology of motherhood. Both a memoir of her own pregnancy and an investigation of fetal toxicology,Having Faith reveals the extent to which environmental hazards now threaten each stage of infant development. TheLibrary Journal selectedHaving Faith as a best book of 2001, and it was featured in a PBS documentary by Bill Moyers.

Steingraber has received many honors for her work as a science writer. She was named a Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year and later received the Jenifer Altman Foundation's first Altman Award for "the inspiring and poetic use of science to elucidate the causes of cancer."

The Sierra Club has heralded Steingraber as "the new Rachel Carson," and Carson's own alma mater, Chatham College, selected Steingraber to receive its biennial Rachel Carson Leadership Award. In 2006, Steingraber received a Hero Award from the Breast Cancer Fund and, in 2009, the Environmental Health Champion Award from Physicians for Social Responsibility, Los Angeles.

Steingraber has keynoted conferences on human health and the environment throughout the United States and Canada and has testified in the European Parliament, before the President's Cancer Panel, and has participated in briefings to Congress and before United Nations delegates in Geneva, Switzerland.

A columnist forOrion magazine, Steingraber is currently a scholar in residence in Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y. She is married to the artist Jeff de Castro, and they live in a 1,000-square-foot house with a push mower, a clothesline, a vegetable garden, and two beloved children.