Monthly Archives: March 2015

Are you ready to Summer? Join us for ESF’s Summer Semester!

Apparently our attempt to bring some joy to an otherwise long cold winter has garnered some enthusiastic support. I appreciate our graduate assistant, Kansas native and environmental science masters student, Rachel Hoppins, and Long Beach, California native and environmental studies undergraduate, Chris Rothery, for their creative spirit – thank you.

If you haven’t fo22301_363300567211348_852335096924437441_nllowed Chris through the seasons and holidays of the academic year, please visit him on Facebook. But please don’t let the joyful tone distract you from the serious opportunities ESF’s Summer Semester offers ESF students – as well as students from other campuses to explore on-campus and field-experience courses, including courses in Acadia National Park (Maine), Washington DC, Heiberg Forest, New York City, Martha’s Vineyard, the Hudson River Watershed and elsewhere. Or the opportunity to Take ESF with You Wherever You Go through on online course. All at affordable and competitive SUNY tuition rates. Help us spread the word – thank you.

Chuck Spuches, Associate Provost for Outreach

Dr. Tom Amidon / College Technology Educator of the Year

tomDr. Tom Amidon received the Technology Alliance of Central New York’s  2015 College Technology Educator of the Year award at the TACNY awards banquet on Monday, March 23rd.

Dr. Amidon, a professor in SUNY-ESF’s Department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering, has made his mark on the paper and bioprocess industries. After graduating from ESF with a doctorate in 1974, he worked for International Paper for 23 years, concluding his service as laboratory manager for the company’s corporate research center in Tuxedo, N.Y. He brought his research skills back to ESF in 2000 as chair of what was then called the Paper Science and Engineering Department.

While chair, Dr. Amidon led the development of a bioprocess engineering curriculum, which received accreditation under the chemical engi­neering rubric. He also helped develop a SUNY Advanced Certificate in Bioprocessing that has been completed by more than 100 students over the past decade with the majority of them working at Bristol Myers Squibb.

Since stepping down as chair, Dr. Amidon has become co-academic adviser for a SUNY Advanced Certificate in Radiation Curing of coatings, paints, and inks. This technology, which con­serves energy and reduces emissions, is rapidly growing in com­mercial applications.

While at ESF, Dr. Amidon opened up new a research area in paper science, evaluating novel approaches for the disassembly of woody materials with the aim of preserv­ing current profitable uses while making new raw materi­als available. He worked with the American Forest and Paper Association to develop a new research area called new forest-based materials. He is the U.S. expert in the area, and he has presented to House Science Committee staff and numerous international gatherings.

In New York state, Dr. Amidon has been an advocate for companies to adopt the “biorefinery concept”. He is leading a consortium of New York companies to com­mercialize green chemistry technology developed by the faculty and students of ESF’s Paper and Bioprocess Engi­neering program. This technology uses water and mem­brane systems to create a sugar solution from wood that can be fermented into biofuels, such as ethanol or buta­nol, or used to create biodegradable plastics and other products.

The Technology Alliance of Central New York was founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse. TACNY’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

Thirteen and Counting: NYS GBC


I wonder how many of us, fourteen years ago, imagined that we would be celebrating the 13th annual New York State Green Building Conference? Yet here we are.  Thanks go to our dedicated advisory council, our partners and sponsors, to our staff – and to the strong community of practitioners and educators who represent diverse contexts and roles and who have made this their preferred place to gather, share and advance this critical mission.

While the conference only concluded ten days ago, we’ll now begin planning and preparing for number 14 in 2016.

This year’s conference included an inaugural VIP Pre-conference Reception and Program. We took this opportunity to recognize many of the people who have helped develop and sustain NYS GBC for over a decade. The program included the following remarks:

  • United Nations Champion of the Earth / Rick Fedrizzi, CEO, U.S. Green Building Council and CEO, Green Building Certification Institute
  • Learning from Our Older Brothers and Sisters: Envisioning Future Buildings / Ed Bogucz, Executive Director, Syracuse Center of Excellence
  • A Building that Teaches / Dr. Neil Murphy , Professor and President Emeritus
  • Learning from Nature’s Models / Quentin Wheeler, President, SUNY-ESF

 View highlight video

In addition to a plenary session led by Rick Fedrizzi and his senior USGBC colleagues, the conference itself featured Chief Oren Lyons (Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation Faithkeeper), Sam Rashkin (Chief Architect, U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office), and outstanding workshops and sponsor sessions. Among the several memorable highlights were

  • CenterState CEO recognized Northeast Green Building Consulting, LLC as the first certified B-Corporation in Syracuse, and
  • USGBC recognized the ESF Gateway Center’s  LEED Platinum designation.

Please join me in expressing appreciation to all who made the 13th NYS GBC a valuable and productive experience – and please plan to join us next year!

Chuck Spuches, Associate Provost, ESF Outreach

NYS Green Building Conference: the time is NOW!

What time is it?  You mean now? / Yogi Berra

Whatever inspiration (or consternation) you take from baseball’s sage, for all of us looking forward to the New York State Green Building Conference, the time is NOW!  Take advantage of reduced online registration by this Friday, March 6th – after this registration is on-site.

The Zero Energy Ready Home Training pre- conference workshop is Wednesday, March 11th (led by Sam Rashkin, Chief Architect, U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office, and Kevin Stack, Founder and CEO, Northeast Natural Homes, Inc.).

In addition tFedrizzio outstanding workshops  and networking breaks, lunches and receptions Thursday and Friday, March 12 – 13th,  we’re looking forward to the 360 Performance: From Design to Day-to-Day keynote presented by Rick Fedrizzi, CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and CEO of the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), along with Scot Horst, Chief Product Officer, United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and Chris Pyke, Chief Operating Officer for Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB).

We are honored to have Chief Oren Lyons, Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation FaithkeeOren Lyonsper, join us for a keynote presentation. Among his honors and recognition, Chief Lyons has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Syracuse University.  He has been the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the National Audubon Society’s Audubon Medal, the Earth Day International Award of the United Nations, and the Elder and Wiser Award of the Rosa Parks Institute for Human Rights. He serves on the board of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.   Register Now!

Please join us.

Chuck Spuches, Associate Provost for Outreach