Brownfield Action

Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning


Selected Hofstra University Students and Alumni commentaries on the Brownfield Action Simulation. 
Student Feedback
  • “I thought it was very interesting to be able to apply some of the things we learned about in class and get the chance to complete a mock ESA.”
  • “Extensive, informative simulation. Personally it opened my eyes as to what’s really involved which is what lowered my interest.”
  • “I’m impressed. This is a helpful and challenging tool. I hope more funding goes into this project.”
  • “I think it’s a great idea and I’ve really learned about how these investigations are conducted in real world situations.”
  • “It is great to work with BA and I think every hydro class should use it!”
  • “It’s like Sim City, but less fun.”
  • “I loved it!  I thoroughly enjoyed every part of the investigative parts.  It’s exciting to think that jobs like that actually exist.  I’d much rather be out in the field running tests, interviewing people, finding background histories on sites, than be at a desk every day at work.”
  • “Interesting, enjoyed working on the site.”
  • “I loved it!  I definitely increased my interest in environmental consulting and gave me practically real life experience.”
  • “I have developed a strong interest in investigating and remediating brownfields in my Hydrology class at Hofstra. We have been studying brownfields and ESAs using a web-based simulation called Brownfield Action developed at Barnard College and Columbia University. As part of the simulation, I have conducted a phase 1 ESA and I have written a phase 1 report. Currently I am going through the process of conducting a phase 2 investigation and I will be writing a phase 2 report. I thoroughly enjoy the work that goes into these investigations and I find them very interesting. I also value the positive impacts that they can have on a community; not only does property get cleaned up, but the economy gets a boost once a brownfield site becomes useable again. I started my college career with involvement in Students for a Greener Hofstra and the Progressive Student union. My work with these clubs provided me an opportunity to see first hand how people's lives are affected by environmental degradation and I gained a strong understanding of just how interconnected the environment is with our health and economic well-being. While I appreciate the grass roots movements, I decided that I wanted to play a more direct role in improving conditions and so am now pursuing a career in the environmental consulting field.”
Alumni Feedback (currently working in hydrology / environmental consulting)
  • “What I can say about the Brownfield Action is that it certainly sparked an interest in learning more about the environmental field. It was helpful in taking what we learned in lecture and putting it to use in the simulation. Overall I think it is an excellent stepping stone to help prep future environmental geologists/scientists/hydrogeologists.”
  • “I was fascinated by the study of geology, but at the same time I struggled to really envision what sort of career it would lead me to. It was the Brownfield Action simulation that opened my eyes to a real career possibility. The simulation allowed me to see and experience an actual environmental job and not just any job, a job that I actually enjoyed doing. The Phase I and Phase II investigations combined several elements that I love. I realized that in order to complete a thorough Phase I ESA I would be able to not only utilize geologic principles that I have been studying but also investigative skills. And I loved the concept of possibility being able to go ahead and preform a Phase II ESA to see how accurate the Phase I predictions were. It's like being a scientist without the strict confines of a chemical or biological laboratory. The Brownfield Action simulation not only helped me define a career goal, but it also helped me land a job in the environmental field. The skills and knowledge I gained through the program not only made my resume look stronger to future employers but it allowed me to impress interviewers through conversation. Many potential employers were impressed by the fact that I knew enough about federal regulations and environmental concepts to even just carry on a discussion about Environmental Site Assessments.”