Category Archives:

Landscape Architect Receives 2017 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant

LAKate Orff is a 2017 MacArthur Fellow.  One of twenty-four of this year’s fellowship recipients, from a variety of disciplines, they’ll be better known for having received a MacArthur “Genius Grant”.  Her work focuses on “designing adaptive and resilient urban habitats and encouraging residents to be active stewards of the ecological systems underlying our built environment.”

Kate received a B.A. (1993) from the University of Virginia and an M.L.A. (1997) from Harvard University, and is author of Toward an Urban Ecology (2016) and co-editor of Gateway: Visions for an Urban National Park (2011). She is the founder of SCAPE and is an associate professor and director of the Urban Design Program in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University.

As founding principal of SCAPE, a landscape architecture and urban design studio, Orff’s work ranges from large-scale coastal infrastructure initiatives to the design of city parks, as well as book-length publications, museum exhibitions, and self-guided podcast tours that invite city dwellers to explore the natural histories of their regions.

Dr. Doug Johnston, Chair of ESF’s Landscape Architecture program, is hosting John Donnelly, Technical Principal of SCAPE at 5:15 PM, Thursday, October 12, 2017 in 409 Marshall Hall (on the ESF campus).

Chuck Spuches, Dean, ESF Open Academy


To receive our E-news (about monthly) and keep up with new and ongoing programs for yourself, your staff, students, friends and colleagues, let me know here.

A Spirit of Collaboration: OLCC & ESF

AOLCC Pic2s a member of the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps (OLCC) Advisory Board, I had the privilege to witness a true spirit of collaboration when Dr. Tony Eallonardo and Amelia Hoffman worked together to combine an OLCC-sponsored Onondaga Creek Cleanup with an ESF Saturday of Service (as part first year student orientation).

Tony, an ESF alum (B.S. in 2002, M.S. in 2006, and Ph.D. in 2010), is a Scientist at O’Brien & Gere where he focuses on Plant Ecology and Ecosystem Restoration. Tony’s also an OLCC Advisory Board member.

Amelia coordinates ESF’s Academic Success Center where she helps students achieve their academic goals through large and small group tutoring, academic coaching, workshops, and success planning.

Thanks to each of you for your inspiring leadership and for all you do for ESF students and our community.

Chuck Spuches, Dean, ESF Open Academy


To receive our E-news (about monthly) and keep up with new and ongoing programs for yourself, your staff, students, friends and colleagues, let me know here.

Half-Earth: A Dialogue

halfearthJoin ESF President, Quentin Wheeler, and colleagues for his next Moonlighting dialogue on E.O. Wilson’s Half-Earth Project as presented in his newest book, Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
7 to 9 p.m.
Gateway Center

Register for the Event

Chuck Spuches, Dean, ESF Open Academy


To receive our E-news (about monthly) and keep up with new and ongoing programs for yourself and your staff, students, friends and colleagues, let me know here.

Introducing the ESF Open Academy

OA Blog BannerAs the sun shines brightly on our campus this morning, I’d like to introduce you to the ESF Open Academy.

You may have heard that we have renamed ESF Outreach.  ESF’s educational outreach office is now the ESF Open Academy. This new name represents an academic unit that encompasses the College’s pre-collegiate, professional, and public education programs, as well as a renewed commitment to online education.

In the near term, you may get the impression that we are all about online education. A lot of our attention will indeed focus on this College priority. Nevertheless, you and our learners will continue to have opportunity to learn about and participate in all of the well-established programs that have earned ESF state-wide and national recognition.

As we work to expand ESF’s reach and impact, I ask for your active support and involvement. Your thoughts and questions are always welcome and will be appreciated – thank you!

Although our new web site is still being developed, please learn more about ESF’s Open Academy and our Teaching and Learning Collaboratory here.

We look forward to working with you.

Chuck Spuches, Dean, ESF Open Academy


To receive our E-news (about monthly) and keep up with new and ongoing programs for yourself and your staff, students, friends and colleagues, let me know here.

eCybermission Program Fosters STEM Learning and Leadership at All Levels

This video (a preview version) recaps a SUNY ESF and Syracuse City School District collaboration in the eCybermission program, a virtual science fair that engaged students in deep STEM learning by asking them to identify and propose a solution to a problem in their own community.  We were proud to be invited to participate in this SUNY-led effort, in collaboration with the New York Academy of Sciences, and supported, in part, by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) and the Battelle Memorial Institute.

Your thoughts and questions on this video and this project are welcome.

Related posts include

Chuck Spuches, Dean, ESF Open Academy


To receive our E-news (about monthly) and keep up with new and ongoing programs for yourself and your staff, students, friends and colleagues, let me know here.

Emerging Leaders Application Deadline Extended

As a follow up to the February 13th post, “Rep. Katko Announces Initiative to Boost Small Business Growth”, the SBA has announced that the Nationwide deadline for applications for Emerging Leaders 2017 has been extended to March 24th. Attached for your information and follow up are

Please share this information about this exciting and valuable program.

Chuck Spuches

NYS DEC Summer Internships for SUNY ESF Students

nygov-logoRead a complete outline of NYS DEC Summer 2016 Internship requirements and opportunities here.

Rep. Katko Announces Initiative to Boost Small Business Growth

jksba17I’m proud that ESF has been able to be supportive of our Small Business Administration’s (SBA)  Emerging Leaders training program.

SBA District Director Bernard J. Paprocki and U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-25) hosted a press conference on Monday, February 13 at 10:00 a.m. to announce the details of a free business training program for Syracuse small businesses.

Since its start in 2008, the SBA Emerging Leaders program that has helped more than 3,000 small business owners in 51 cities across the country grow their businesses with support, resources and skills to succeed. With the 2016 class, 95 Central New York entrepreneurs have completed the program since it launched in Syracuse.

The seven-month intensive, executive entrepreneurship education series includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time per participant and provides the opportunity for small business owners to work with experienced mentors, attend workshops and develop connections with their peers, city leaders and financial communities.

The press conference was held at Café Kubal, Creekwalk Commons Cafe. Café Kubal is a local coffee roasting company with six cafés and an office and roasting space that brings the experience and integrity of great service and quality coffee to downtown and the greater Syracuse area. Company founder and CEO Matt Godard has continually grown the company’s number of locations and employees since graduating from the Emerging Leaders program in 2014. Local recruitment for the 2017 Emerging Leaders class started at today’s press conference.

WHO:            Bernard J. Paprocki, district director, U.S. Small Business Administration

                        U.S. Rep. John Katko, NY-25

                        Matt Godard, founder and CEO, Café Kubal

WHEN:          Monday, February 13, 2017    10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

WHERE:       Café Kubal, Creekwalk Commons Café, 324 W. Water St., Syracuse, NY

Information on how interested small business owners can apply and eligibility criteria can be found at

Dr. Chuck Spuches, ESF Outreach

ESF Junior Honored as ‘Unsung Hero’

01-26-shewaPlease join us in congratulating Shewa Shwani who received the 2017 Unsung Hero Award at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration January 29, 2017 held in the Carrier Dome. Shewa is an ESF Junior majoring in biotechnology — and an ESF Outreach Student Assistant!   Shewa earned this award because of the combination of her work in the community and her work to spread awareness about different cultures.

In addition to her schoolwork, Shewa’s  service has included volunteering at the Food Recovery Network (FRN) and the Duck Race to End Racism at the Syracuse Inner Harbor, serving as vice president of the Muslim Student Association at Syracuse University, and organizing the inaugural 3k Run for Literacy to raise awareness about literacy needs among the refugee community.

Shewa works on–campus in both the Student Diversity and Inclusion Office, and the ESF Outreach Office.

Read more.

Jeff Speck: NYS Green Building Conference Keynote Speaker!


As a proud sponsor and conference partner, the SyracuseCoE recently announced that TED Talk Speaker, Jeff Speck, will be a a keynote speaker at the 15th Annual NYS Green Building Conference!

March 30th & March 31st | Marriott Syracuse Downtown


JEFF SPECK (AICP, CNU-A, LEED-AP, Honorary ASLA, Principal, Speck & Associates LLC) is a city planner and urban designer who advocates internationally for more walkable cities. As Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 through 2007, he presided over the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and created the Governors’ Institute on Community Design. Prior to his federal appointment, Mr. Speck spent ten years as Director of Town Planning at DPZ & Co., the principal firm behind the New Urbanism movement. Since 2007, he has led Speck & Associates, a boutique planning firm that specializes in making American downtowns thrive.

With Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Mr. Speck is the co-author of The Smart-Growth Manual and the “modern classic” Suburban Nation, tha tthe Wall Street Journal calls “the urbanist’s bible.”  His latest book, Walkable City, that the Christian Science Monitor calls “timely and important, a delightful, insightful, irreverent work”, was the best selling city-planning book of 2013-15.


Join us as a sponsor, register to participate, or contact us with questions at 315.470.6817 / Please note: early registration ends February 15th.

See related post  Go green and sustainable: Join us in March at Hotel Syracuse!