Category Archives: ESF in the High School

New Year – New Opportunites

Dear Friends, Collaborators, and Participants –

The New Year is a time for reflection and planning, and an opportunity to personally thank each of you who honor us with your ongoing active partnership and support.

This past year, ESF’s outreach included educational programs and technical services that engaged the College with a broad array of constituents. ESF faculty, staff and students, along with our partners, continued to pursue a diverse range of programs and projects that include on- and off-campus, online, credit and non-credit, and formal and informal learning opportunities for professionals, elementary through high school students, ESF students, and lifelong learners. ESF’s outreach supports environmental, educational, social and economic development in ways that advance both the public good and the College’s mission.

ESF in the High School, a concurrent enrollment program, for example, entails formal partnerships between ESF and high schools in Rochester, New York City and throughout Central /Upstate New York. Last year this program enabled well over 600 students to experience college-level work and to explore STEM and related academic and career opportunities. ESF in the High School also provides high-caliber STEM professional development opportunities for participating teachers.

ESF’s several professional education conferences and workshops continue to engage participants from communities of practice and scholarship in geographical communities near and far. One ongoing four-day workshop hosted by the Sustainable Construction Management and Engineering academic program recently engaged participants from Canada and eleven states, including Texas!

Three professional educational programs last year benefited the Central New York Community by generating a combined economic impact of nearly $300,000.

One initiative, the Radiation Curing Program (RCP) represents a truly 21st Century business/academic/public sector collaboration and a fully distributed online instructional approach that serves professionals and students throughout the U.S. and around the world.

As we look ahead to this New Year, please explore with us an ever more exciting calendar of programs to be held here in Central New York, at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, and in our virtual world. And please join us in recognizing and celebrating all of our partnerships, including those with the NYS DEC, with Rick Fedrizzi and the U.S. Green Building Council, the SUNY Research Foundation, and the Syracuse Center of Excellence (to mention just a few).

I believe that, together with our ESF faculty, staff, students and alumni, we all have an opportunity to truly fulfill ESF’s outreach and service mission and, in turn, to make positive educational, professional, and economic differences in our communities and in our world.
Please contact us with your thoughts and questions – we look forward to working with you.

I wish you a productive and enjoyable New Year.

Dr. Chuck Spuches, Associate Provost for Outreach

Local High School Recognizes SUNY-ESF

ESM Award 2014

ESF Outreach’s Brandon Murphy and Rick Beal, as well as ESF faculty members Klaus Dolle and Rafaat Hussein, were honored by the East Syracuse-Minoa Central School District with a Partnership for Learning award. For four years, ESF has partnered with East Syracuse-Minoa through the ESF in the High School program. This partnership also includes research at the Village of Minoa’s Cleanwater Educational Research Facility.

In this program, students apply knowledge gained from two college level courses to real world problems. Following the curriculum in the Global Environment and Alternative Energy courses, students engage in research on various topics, including compost energy efficiency and aquaculture systems. One such project analyzes the ability of different compost materials to heat a greenhouse through the winter.

This award was presented by John and Pamela Herrington, two ESF alumni who work with Outreach in the ESF in the High School program. Congratulations to Rick Beal, Brandon Murphy, and the entire ESF in the High School team!

Lessons from Onondaga Lake: ESF in the High School Teachers Gather for Watershed Observation and Investigation

The recent ESF in the High School Teacher Professional Development Symposium hosted by ESF Outreach at Willow Bay Park in Liverpool, NY, brought together enthusiastic ESF in the High School teachers on June 23, 2011.  Willow Bay Pavilion provided a scenic gathering point along the shoreline of Onondaga Lake, immersing participants in an atmosphere of hands-on-learning and observation.  According to Dr. Richard Beal, Assistant Dean of Educational Outreach at SUNY ESF, such events provide an opportunity for teachers to develop content for courses and generate excitement about science.

ESF Outreach is home to a range of professional development programs, each drawing on undergraduate and graduate educational and research experience of ESF faculty, students and staff, as well as professionals from a variety of local and state organizations.  Through attending professional development events held throughout the year, ESF in the High School teachers broaden their knowledge base and share lesson plans and teaching outcomes with one another to ultimately better serve their students.

The June program began with an engaging presentation by ESF graduate student Matt Brincka entitled Onondaga Lake and Its Aquatic Ecosystems.  Participants analyzed fish biodiversity within Onondaga Lake by using a net to pull a variety of fish species out of the water to be surveyed.  The net pull was followed by discussion on fish identification and characteristics, and also noted changes in fish populations inhabiting the lake over time.  Such topics enrich and shape future content for ESF in the High School courses, providing teachers with hands-on activities for student involvement.

Additional presentations included History of Pollution at Onondaga Lake, presented by Mike Spada, Research Scientist, Upstate Freshwater Institute; an Onondaga Lake mapping activity directed by Sarah Wraight, Staff Writer, Onondaga Environmental Institute; and Introduction to Green Infrastructure in CNY, presented by ESF graduate students Michelle Molloy and Nathan Ogdahl and undergraduate student Michelle Meyer.  The program concluded with a tour of 515 Tully Street in Syracuse, NY, the home of a beautiful and vivacious residential rain garden, miniature demonstration green roof, two rain barrels, and porous paving.  Dawn Adams, a Global Environment instructor from Pavilion High School, became the proud winner of a free rain barrel following a brief ‘pop-quiz’ as the program came to a close.  Ms. Adams plans on bringing the rain barrel back to Pavilion to show her students with the hope of installing it on campus.

Photos of this Teacher Professional Development Symposium can be found on the ESF Outreach Facebook page:!/media/set/?set=a.219385004767749.57476.102866573086260


Michelle Meyer, Student Assistant for Outreach