Monthly Archives: May 2011

Upcoming: Central NY Biotechnology Symposium

Dr. John Fieshcko, Executive Director of the CNY Biotechnology Research Center and Professor in the Department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering at SUNY-ESF, introduces the 2011 Central New York Biotechnology Symposium, including what’s new about this year’s conference and who should attend.

To learn more and to register, visit:

Syracuse School District Wins Smart Scholar Early College High School Grant

We were excited to learn recently that the Syracuse City School District received a second Smart Scholar Early College High School grant from the New York State Department of Education.  We are proud to be partners in this initiative as well as the previous (2009) Smart School project, along with Onondaga Community College.

Read Maureen Nolan’s Post Standard article at

Chuck Spuches, Associate Provost for Outreach

To learn more about ESF’s partnershp with the Syracuse City School District and ESF in the High School please see

Tully High School’s Next Renewable Energy Application

This Thursday, Tully Central School District will demonstrate an electric car charging station, powered by windmill and solar panel energy sources mentioned in our last post.  In a recent Post Standard article Elizabeth Doran reported that district officials will demonstrate the charging station and a 2011 Chevrolet Volt for Onondaga County Executive, Joanie Mahoney  and other government officials [Wind and sun will help charge electric car at Tully Jr.-Sr. High School  (Page A-6, Post Standard, Wednesday, May 11, 2011)].

Tully Educators and Community Provide Support, Students Provide Inspiration

There have been some attention-grabbing stories in the news recently, ranging from royal nuptials, to natural disasters, and international manhunts.  In the midst of these, I came upon one news story that provided tremendous inspiration and pride.

In a recent Post Standard piece Elizabeth Doran reported on a Tully High School senior,  Dewey Northrup, who, along with his classmates spent three years designing a way to use solar panels and wind to power the school’s outdoor scoreboard [Student Project Lights Up Scoreboard:  Tully seniors design and build energy-efficient outdoor board  (Page A-3, Post Standard, Monday, May 2, 2011)].  As Elizabeth reported, the solar/wind-powered scoreboard was unveiled and used for the first time during a recent lacrosse game.

In my phone conversation later that morning with Tully Superintendent Kraig Pritts (a former technology teacher himself), he reminded me how a community can and should pull together to support young people as they develop their critical thinking, teamwork and innovation skills.  Superintendent Pritts expressed the pride he takes in seeing students engaged in “real-life learning” that takes place inside and outside of the classroom.

He said it so well, “Students learned about renewable energy.  But they learned you can’t expect immediate results”.  Dewey Northrup and his fellow Tully classmates spent three years diligently working on this project!

Congratulations to Mr. Northrup and the Tully School district staff for your leadership and for creating a culture of innovation.  We’re proud to have you as an ESF in the High School partner school!  We wish former Tully teacher, Kevin Sommer (now at Jamesville-DeWitt School District), Tully High School’s current ESF in the High School teacher, Rebecca Humphrey, and everyone at Tully School District a great end to your school year – keep discovering, keep innovating!

On a related matter, as an extension of the scoreboard project, the Tully District has installed what is believed to be the first public school-based renewable energy charging station for electric cars. Superintendent Pritts will hold a press conference Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 9:00 am at Tully Junior-Senior High School to demonstrate the electric car recharging station and its use with a Chevrolet Volt.

The Tully Central School District is constantly seeking ways to increase its use of environmentally friendly projects. Superintendent Pritts explained that this is only one of the several programs that have been set in motion to provide a hands-on learning environment for its students and represents an incredible collaboration between school, community and higher education.

Dr. Chuck Spuches, Associate Provost for Outreach

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Student Project Lights Up Scoreboard:  Tully seniors design and build energy-efficient outdoor board by Elizabeth Doran is available at

Students, parents and educators from rural, urban, and suburban schools may learn more about ESF in the High School at or by contacting Dr. Rick Beal at ESF Outreach.

Information about this summer’s Introduction to Green Entrepreneurship course is available at

Information about ESF’s upcoming SUNY SPARE- Solar Power As Renewable Energy Photovoltaic Installation and Maintenance Training is available at

Tully Central Schools is on the web at:

AXA Equitable Take Your Child to Work program includes ESF Scientist

ESF was proud to be represented by one of its ESF Science Corps members, Shannon Buckley, on the April 28, 2011 Take Your Child to Work day program hosted by AXA Equitable through its Corporate Responsibility Council.  Our thanks to Joseph Lewis, AXA Senior Financial Analyst, and his colleagues for organizing this program.

Shannon is a Ph.D. candidate at ESF whose path to an environmental career began at an early age.

“I grew up in a small town in western New York and, from an early age, knew that I wanted to work with the environment.

Shannon Buckley, an ESF Ph.D. candidate, presents to children ages 8 to 15, as a part of a Take Your Child to Work day program hosted by AXA Equitable.

My grandfather, an ESF alum, used to take a car load of my cousins and siblings out around the area and teach us anything from catching fish with homemade fishing poles to tree identification and meteorology. My fascination with the natural world around me hasn’t stopped since.”

Shannon received her B.S. degree from the University of New Hampshire in Environmental Conservation (with a dual major in International Relations) where she worked with the Climate Change Research Group and AIRMAP program.

“This is where I was exposed for the first time to issues of air quality and climate change and my first experience in a research environment.”

She  continued to explore climate change while pursuing her Master’s degree at Columbia University in the Climate and Society program.  Her master focused on climate science and how changes in climate will impact human populations.  Shannon worked for NYS DEC in the RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) program before coming to ESF.

Shannon’s major professor is Dr. Myron Mitchell, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Council on Hydrologic Systems Science in the ESF Department of Environmental and Forest Biology.

Shannon goes on to explain that

“My Ph.D. research is looking at spatial and temporal variations in CO2 levels in urban and residential areas of Syracuse. I eventually hope to incorporate urban forestry and public outreach into my work. I am very excited to be part of the ESF Science Corps program (previously funded by a National Science Foundation GK12 grant) because I feel it is essential to get young people educated on and involved with environmental issues.”

So do we!  Thanks, Shannon, and thanks, again, Joseph and everyone at AXA for your support and encouragement of young people in our community.

Chuck Spuches, Associate Provost for Outreach