Pace Senior Environmental Fellow John Cronin Honored in New Book on His Work


Chris Cory, Pace Public Information, 212-346-1117, 917-608-8164,

Michelle Land, Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, 914-422-4076,


Review copies and photos available on request

Life and work of John Cronin, “Hero for the Planet” and Pace University Senior Fellow in Environmental Affairs, celebrated in new anthology

Contributions by Pete Seeger, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Maurice Hinchey and others

A River’s Pleasure: Essays in Honor of John Cronin Edited by Michelle D. Land and Susan Fox Rogers Pace University Press; Publication date December 7, 2009 ISBN: 0-944473-96-2, Pages: 185, Price $40.00 Professional educator discount of $32 if ordered from the publisher

NEW YORK, NY, December 4, 2009 – For 35 years John Cronin has been at the heart of saving the Hudson River ecosystem, a role model for environmental efforts around the nation. But he has not been alone. In this new collection of essays, a range of writers — among them scientists, activists, scholars and clergymen — describe Cronin’s life and work, offering a unique glimpse into his extraordinary contribution to protecting our water resources.

“A River’s Pleasure” (Pace University Press, $40.00), an intimate and thought-provoking book, offers readers an episodic narrative of a pioneering and influential part of the modern environmental movement, including a look forward into its future.

“A River’s Pleasure” contains 21 pieces of writing that range from an exclusive interview with Pete Seeger to an in-depth profile by The New Yorker writer Alec Wilkinson and an insightful essay from Nicholas Robinson, a globally recognized architect of international environmental law and a Pace law professor. The contributors also include John Horgan, a former senior writer at Scientific American, Anthony DePalma, formerly of The New York Times, an IBM executive, a photo-essayist, an archeologist trying to keep looters away from eight-acre Magdalen Island, and a shad fishing riverman who recalls a cleaner river.

The volume was produced by Pace’s new, interdisciplinary Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, where Cronin is Senior Fellow in Environmental Affairs. He is also Director and CEO of the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries.

Geoffrey L. Brackett, Pace’s Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, describes Cronin in the book’s foreword as “the perfect combination of arrogance, brilliance, charm and ingenuity” for environmental crusading. Cronin is the politically shrewd visionary who first came to national attention during the years between 1983 and 2000 when he was the Hudson Riverkeeper. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who became the group’s attorney, recalls how he and Cronin “donned waders and spent weeks walking riverbanks, climbing fences, crawling up pipes and taking samples, and we sat all night on lawn chairs waiting for midnight dumpers….”

But one title does not suffice to characterize John Cronin’s work; as the essays in this collection testify, he has astonishing range and depth. Editor Michelle Land, a Pace professor of environmental policy who is Director of the Pace Academy, writes in her introduction of how the book reveals his “restlessness, continual reinvention” and his role as a “never-ending source of big ideas.”

Cronin’s current focus is environmental problem solving by fostering cooperation at the intersection of policy and innovation – as described by Pace University President Stephen J. Friedman, “the evolution of John’s focus on the Hudson River has incorporated the whole evolution of environmental regulation.”

Emergent ideas described in the book include real-time environmental monitoring analyzed by computer, other intensified uses of science and engineering, increased collaboration with newly green-minded businesses, and a proposed environmental amendment to the US Constitution.

Susan Fox Rogers, co-editor of the book and Visiting Associate Professor of Writing at Bard College writes of Cronin: “In some ways, what he is remains without easy definition. He occupies a unique territory that mixes activist, teacher, and environmentalist…. Like a kid full of hope, the future, not the past is where John lives.”

The book is available at or through Pace University Press.

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A River’s Pleasure: Essays in Honor of John Cronin Edited by Michelle D. Land and Susan Fox Rogers Imprint: Pace University Press. ISBN: 0-944473-96-2. Publication date December 1, 2009. Pages: 185. Price $40 ($32 professional educator discount if ordered from the publisher).

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