Professional Education Programs Thrive

An important dimension of the College’s outreach commitment entails organizing and delivering successful faculty-driven and faculty-partnered local, state, national, and international professional education conferences, workshops, and contract trainings. Again this year, well over 1,000 participants hailed from over 50 NYS Counties, 20 States, and several countries.  Programs often carry professional development credits that serve NYS-licensed architects, landscape architects, and engineers.  Moreover, these programs have a positive economic impact in Syracuse and around the State.  In 2015, for example, programs held in Syracuse and at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (Long Island) generated additional revenue for Onondaga County and for the Upton, Long Island community.


2016 NYS Green Building Conference Panel (left to right): Silda Wall Spitzer, Director & Principal, NewWorld Capital Group, LLC; Dr. Ed Bogucz, Executive Director, Syracuse Center of Excellence; Marge Anderson, Executive Vice President, Seventhwave;  Dr. Quentin Wheeler, President, SUNY-ESF; Josh Stack, Ecological Builder, Northeast Natural Homes, Inc.; Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and Founding Chairman, USGBC.

Current and past programs include, for example the Sustainable Use of Renewable Energy (SURE) Symposium hosted by ESF in collaboration with the Sustainable Enterprise Partnership (Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management and L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science), New York State Green Building Conference, New York State Biotechnology Conferenced, SUNY SPARE (Solar Power as Renewable Energy), the American Ecological Engineering Society National Conference, the International Phytotechnology Conference, and more! Learn more here.

Chuck Spuches, ESF Outreach





Think Summer – Think ESF SCIENCE!

ESF SCIENCE (Summer Camps Investigating Ecology in Neighborhood and City Environments) was established as an offshoot of our first NSF GK12 grant in 2003.  With support from a Congressional Ear Mark grant administerScienceed through the U.S. EPA, we were able to “kick it up a notch” and develop SCIENCE into a highly regarded opportunity for Syracuse city students.

We are enthused that, again this summer, a full week will be devoted to students from New York City through a partnership with the Sponsors for Educational Opportunities (SEO) Scholars Program.

We have another great ESF Science Corps team this year:

  • Jake O’Connell, Program Coordinator, ESF Outreach (ESF ’15 and former Science Corps member), Syracuse, NY.
  • Tim Pede (Team Leader), Ph.D. student, Environmental Resource Engineering, Minoa, NY.
  • Lauren Ness, Junior, Environmental Biology, Bay Shore, NY.
  • Kim Oswald, Sophomore, Environmental Studies, Geneva, NY.
  • Lawrence Vedilago, Senior, Environmental Studies, Massapequa, NY.

Chuck Spuches, ESF Outreach

High School Students Engage in the Process of Science!

With  appreciation to the Outreach team, especially Maura Stefl, Jake O’Connell and Rick Beal, congratulations to all of the ESF in the High School students and teachers who participated in the annual Environmental Summit on June 2, 2016.

The Envirosummitnmental Summit is a research symposium designed to bring together a community of high school aged scientists to present and discuss their original research with their peers, high school and college science faculty, graduate and undergraduate students. The research is conducted as part of the ESF in the High School Global Environment course. The Summit enables participating high school students to  not only gain knowledge but to actively engage in the process of science!

Please see the 2016 Environmental Summit program with a complete list of participants here

Chuck Spuches, ESF Outreach

Dr. Rick Beal to Serve as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar

Dr. bealRick Beal, Assistant Dean in the ESF Outreach Office, has been recognized as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar.  Rick will be in residence this fall at the Royal University of Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Rick previously served in the Peace Corps (Eritrea, Assab) and has a distinguished record at ESF, all of which certainly contributed to Rick receiving this honor.  I’m very proud of Rick and I invite you to join me in congratulating him and wishing him success in this exciting endeavor.

Congratulations, Rick!

Chuck Spuches, ESF Outreach

Competitive Grant Awarded to Increase Diverse Student Participation in STEM

I am proud to announce that ESF will be part of a new SUNY-led initiative to train graduate students who will mentor middle school students in STEM.

ChrisThe Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) recently announced that “AEOP, in collaboration with Battelle, has awarded grants to eight organizations and technical associations to expand student participation in enriching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) exploration and learning, particularly for underserved students. AEOP offers students and teachers Army-sponsored programs that effectively engage, inspire, and attract the next generation of STEM talent.”

SUNY is planning to scale-up the highly successful AEOP eCYBERMISSION initiative in which teams of middle school students explore how STEM thinking and approaches can solve a challenge in their community. This competitive program culminates in virtual science fairs and recognition at the state, regional, and national level.  Selected SUNY colleges and universities, in collaboration with the New York Academy of Sciences, will use the infrastructure established through a previous similar project to train SUNY graduate students in STEM programs who will then mentor middle school teams in three New York regions: New York City, Syracuse, and Utica.

This new effort extends a strong culture established at ESF that includes, among other endeavors, two National Science Foundation G-12 grants (Graduates in K-12 Education), the ESF Science Corps, the ESF SCIENCE summer program and, most recently, the NSF-funded SUNY/New York Academy of Sciences STEM Mentor Program: Service Research in Urban Schools. Each of these programs are examples of a deep commitment to have ESF’s research and academic expertise complement K-12 teacher STEM professional development, and enrich K-12 student academic and career engagement in STEM.

I look forward to working with our SUNY, Academy and other collaborators and to sharing more about this important and exciting initiative this fall.

Chuck Spuches, ESF Outreach

NYS DEC Convenes at ESF!

ESF proudly hosted the NYS DEC Division of Lands and Forests, under the leadership of Rob Davies, for their Statewide Public Lands Supervisors Meeting.  Congratulations to the DEC for their leadership and service. 


Announcing the ESF Open Academy and Teaching & Learning Collaboratory

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry has been awarded a SUNY Extended Improvement Performance Fund grant that will, in part, help us to establish an innovative integrated organizational framework that will extend our distinct mission-based leadership within and on behalf of SUNY.

  • The ESF Open Academy will be a vehicle for providing online-enabled undergraduate and graduate courses, certificates, and degree programs, and will expand to include informal learning experiences to ESF, SUNY, and other college/university students, to high school students, and to professionals and lifelong learners throughout New York State and beyond.
  • The ESF Teaching and Learning Collaboratory will provide faculty professional development support for online-enabled education, and a venue for peer-to-peer collaboration.


As part of this institutional commitment, the Open SUNY Institutional Readiness self-assessment process began in January 2016.

Related information: Chancellor announces funding in State of the University Address

Open SUNY Faculty Development Opportunity: Registration for the Summer 2016 Quality by Design (QbD) online faculty development course is OPEN! Registration is free for all SUNY faculty and staff. The course runs June 6 to July 3, 2016. For information and to register.

For further information and with questions contact Chuck Spuches,, 315.470.6810.


From the green screen to the green scene: Congratulations Dave Eichorn!

20231257-largeAs many of you who are friends and collaborators know, Dave Eichorn, renowned as a local media celebrity and beloved meteorologist (an extraordinary accomplishment in a region accustomed to getting 9 feet of snow, including  unpredictable Lake Effect snow  each winter!), has long occupied a treasured place in our ESF community.  Dave was, for example, the keynote speaker for the Environmental Challenge for over a decade.  I’ll always remember fondly the day he announced to  500 Syracuse City middle school students that he was going to return to school to complete his degree – and they cheered wildly.  I don’t know who derived more inspiration from that exchange, Dave, the students, or the others of us in the auditorium…

When we embarked on a NASA Global Climate Change Education project (2009-11), SUNY Sustainability: A Climate Change Solution Curriculum, Dave worked with us AND completed his masters degree.  This YouTube video gives you a hint of the focus of our project and of Dave’s good work.

A Meteorologist on Climate Change recently paid tribute to Dave in a piece titled,

After 37 years, Syracuse weatherman Dave Eichorn gives his last on-air forecast

This title says it all…

Join me in congratulating Dave for his extraordinary love of weather, of the relationship between climate and weather (what Dave calls, environmental meteorology),  for his ability to communicate his passion,  and for  inspiring each and every one  of us.

As reported, Dave intends to pursue a Ph.D. here at SUNY-ESF. He  will continue as an adjunct professor at ESF and we very much look forward to further collaboration with our friend and colleague.

All our best,

Chuck Spuches


Robin Kimmerer: We owe our children the right to a livable future

I commend to you an essay written by our colleague, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Ph.D.,  a plant ecologist and Distinguished Teaching PrRobinKofessor here at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.  Dr. Kimmerer offers an instructive and inspiring perspective on the young people in Oregon who are pursuing a historic  legal case against the federal government for “failing to adequately address accelerating climate change that jeopardizes their Constitutional rights to life, liberty, property and security.” Continue reading

Moonlighting Update

Please accept this final reminder to join President Wheeler and distinguished guests for part or all of tomorrow evening’s program. Please also share the registration links below and this stories about Moonlighting:

Barefoot College founder to speak in Syracuse on Earth Day

Stunning images of the birds of Onondaga Lake on exhibit

Thank you!

Chuck Spuches


Thanks to Laura Crandall, Scott Blair, the Outreach and Communications Office’s teams, our incomparable ESF students; and our OLCC, Audubon New York and Honeywell friends.

Onondaga Lake: An Important Stop for Birds on an Impressive Journey Photo Exhibit

Presented by the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps in partnership with Audubon New York and Honeywell.

6:00 – 7:00 PM, Friday, April 22nd / Gateway Conference Center, SUNY-ESF Campus

 …then stay in the same location for

Ethics and Earth Day:

Finding Environmental Justice in a Complex World

Join us in dialogue with our guests, distinguished scholars and activists, Sanjit “Bunker” Roy, Meagan Fallone, and Samuel Gorovitz

7:00 PM, Friday, April 22, 2016 (Earth Day)

Gateway Center on the SUNY-ESF Campus (directly across from the Carrier Dome)

  Admission is free. To help us plan…

Register Here!

Please share this registration link with your friends, students, and neighbors.