Category Archives: News & Initiatives

Graduate Student Appointments Announcement!

I am very pleased to let you know that Eugene Law has been appointed the 2015-16 ESF Outreach Graduate Assistant.  Eugene is an M.S. student in the graduate program in environmental science (Dr. Stewart Diemont, Major Professor). Among his many accomplishments, Eugene earned the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence in recognition of excellence in academic achievement, leadership and community service. Eugene has served as president of the ESF Undergraduate Student Association, as the undergraduate representative to the ESF Board of Trustees, ESF representative to the Syracuse University Student Association and as a brother of Alpha Phi Omega Community Service Fraternity.

I am also honored to let you know that the following graduate students were selected to serve as Teaching Fellows for the 2015 Graduate Assistant Colloquium on Teaching and Learning. Thank you for all of your ongoing support and active participation. 

  • Scott Bergey, Ph.D. student, Chemistry (Dr. Arthur Stipanovic, Major Professor) and president of the ESF Graduate Student Association (GSA)
  • Whitney Lash-Marshall, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Environmental Studies
  • Fernanda Oliveira, Ph.D. student, Paper and Bioprocess Engineering (Dr. Klaus Doelle, Major Professor)
  • Emily Stephan, Ph.D. student, Environmental Resources Engineering (Dr. Theodore Endreny, Major Professor)
  • Sara Velardi, Ph.D. student, Graduate Program in Environmental Science (Dr. Theresa Selfa, Major Professor)
  • Jay W. Wason, III, Ph.D. student, Environmental and Forest Biology, (Dr. Martin Dovciak, Major Professor)

The Graduate AssistGACAttendees2014editedant Colloquium introduces new graduate teaching assistants (and research assistants and fellowship recipients who elect to participate) to

  • the culture and expectations of ESF;
  • instructional skills necessary to work effectively as a GA;
  • people and units who provide leadership and support to the GA’s role; and
  • professional skills and resources that will endure beyond your ESF graduate assistant experience.

The Colloquium will be held Wednesday, August 26 and Thursday, August 27, 2015 in Moon Library.  Complete Colloquium information is available on the web at


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.

Governor’s Visit to ESF Campus

NYS Governor, Andrew Cuomo, was on campus last week as part of a State-wide effort supporting his 2015 budget proposal and his “Opportunity Agenda”.  The Governors’ visit suggested that it might be helpful to gather some of the new year reports from leaders who represent and influence PK-12 and post-secondary education, training and economic development in Central New York, New York State and the U.S.  Here they are…

Dr. Chuck Spuches, Associate Provost
ESF Outreach


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

A New Era at SUNY-ESF Starts Now!

The Onondaga Lake Bioblitz is just one of many events celebrating Dr. Wheeler's inauguration as ESF's new President.

The Onondaga Lake Bioblitz is just one of many events celebrating Dr. Wheeler’s inauguration as ESF’s new President.

Make plans to join the ESF community in celebrating the inauguration of our new campus president, Dr. Quentin Wheeler.  Inauguration events include the Kick-Off Picnic, Academic Symposium, Presidential Roast, Inauguration Ceremony, and even the Onondaga Lake Bioblitz.

Discover many exciting species during the Bioblitz, a 24-hour exploration of life living in and around Onondaga Lake highlighting the importance of biodiversity and conservation. Scientists will work alongside citizens all day and night to inventory as many species as possible in the 24-hour window.  Register today and stop by the Honeywell Visitor Center on Friday or Saturday to experience this whirlwind event! 

Visit the Inauguration webpage to register today!

New Beginnings

I enjoy wishing students and colleagues a “happy new year” on the first day of classes. It’s even more fitting on a glorious fall day like this year’s first day of classes (not that there is ever reason to complain about the weather in Syracuse!).

The bikes are back on campus for the new fall semester!

The bikes are back on campus for the new fall semester!

Here at ESF, we are embarking on not only a new academic year but also the installation of our new campus president, Dr. Quentin Wheeler. A web page devoted to President Wheeler’s inauguration outlines the events including a Presidential Roast, an academic symposium, and a bioblitz at Onondaga Lake. The centerpiece event is the formal Inauguration Ceremony at 10:00 a.m. Friday, September 12th in Hendricks Chapel. I hope you will join the ESF College Community – in person or from afar – as a new era unfolds.

Join us, too, for one or more of the College’s new and ongoing outreach programs. Programs serve K-12 students, professionals, students at other colleges/universities, and other lifelong learners from communities of practice and scholarship near and far. Last year, ESF Outreach staff enjoyed working with the College’s faculty, staff, alumni, students, and off-campus collaborators to serve over 4,000 participants in a diverse range of credit and non-credit educational programs.

Along with ongoing programs such as ESF in the High School, Professional and Field Engineer short-courses, Summer Session, and SPARE (solar power installation training), explore these additional opportunities for 2014 – 2015:

  • The 6th Annual New York State Biotechnology Symposium will be held at the Brookhaven National Laboratory May 12-13, 2015.
  • The SUNY-ESF/RadTech Future of UV/EB Webinar Series kicks off August 27, 2014 with Lance Pickens, CEO and Founder of MadeSolid, who will present “UV 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing.”
  • The Dale L. Travis Lecture Series begins Wednesday, September 24, 2014 with Professor Robin Wall Kimmerer, Director of the ESF Center for Native Peoples and the Environment and author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Dr. Kimmerer’s talk is titled “The Honorable Harvest: Indigenous Knowledge and Conservation.”
  • The RadTech International North America/SUNY-ESF Radiation Curing Program credit and non-credit short courses begin September 8th for ESF and visiting graduate and undergraduate students or professionals.
  • The SURE program’s first event of the year is “Sustainable Practices in Central New York,” a one and a half-day program held October 2 & 3, 2014 in collaboration with the Sustainable Enterprise Partnership. Join Dr. Brad Allenby, Lincoln Professor of Engineering and Ethics at Arizona State University to learn more about the future of sustainability and industrial ecology.
  • The 13th Annual New York State Green Building Conference will be held at a new location: The Holiday Inn Syracuse-Liverpool in Liverpool, NY.

All this and more! Visit us in ESF’s new Gateway Center, learn more on the web at, or contact us at (315) 470-6817 or

Happy New Year!

Dr. Chuck Spuches
Associate Provost for Outreach

Dr. Murphy on Climate Change – Op/Ed Article for Post Standard

Cornelius B. Murphy Jr.

Dr. Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr. was featured in the Post Standard Op/Ed section on Sunday 4/20/14.

Click Here to read his op/ed article on Climate Change!

NY Power Authority Announces New Program to Advance NY’s Clean Energy Economy

image1 Blog Post 2.17

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) recently announced a major new program to advance New York’s clean energy economy.

The Build Smart NY Energy Efficiency Innovation Collaborative (EE-INC) will accelerate the adoption of emerging energy-efficiency products that have greatest promise for creating jobs in New York and for reducing energy use in schools, offices, residential facilities and other buildings statewide.

The Request for Information invites you to tell us about your market-ready, but not yet widely deployed, energy-saving technology for participation in an $800 million-and growing-marketplace of installation opportunities.

The Energy Efficiency Innovation Collaborative (EE-INC), spearheaded by the New York Power Authority, is the newest link in Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s chain of economic development initiatives to advance innovative energy efficiency technologies by installing them in publically-owned facilities under the Build Smart NY program – ultimately growing new businesses and jobs.

To learn more and to register, visit the EE-INC web site, To view the press release, visit

image2 Blog Post 2.17



President Wheeler Featured in Wall Street Journal Online

President Wheeler Featured in Wall Street Journal Online

New ESF President, Dr. Quentin Wheeler, author of “What on Earth? 100 of Our Planet’s Most Amazing New Species,” was recently featured in a story about new species discovered in 2013. Click the photo to watch the Wall Street Journal Online interview.

ESF announces new and innovative program

Dear Colleagues: 

SUNY-ESF, along with RadTech International North America, the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) and other partners is proud to announce a new Radiation Curing Program (RCP) comprised of three online courses and an Advanced Certificate.  

Students matriculated at other campuses may use these courses as professionally-oriented upper-level electives focused on a specialized interdisciplinary application of chemistry, physics and engineering. Participating students will pursue coursework alongside practicing professionals.  Students from other campuses may register on a visiting (non-matriculated) basis during the academic year or Summer Session.

 Practicing professionals and others seeking professional preparation or development will appreciate this convenient and affordable approach. 

Participants may

  • Pursue one or more “500” level courses on a non-credit or credit basis.
  • Apply and earn an Advanced Certificate in Radiation Curing by meeting application requirements and successfully completing all three courses for credit (participants may still register and work on one or more courses at a time).

About Radiation or Energy Curing…

Perhaps the most concise overview of UV and EB curing is provided by RadTech:

Chances are several times today you touched an object “cured” using either ultraviolet (UV) or electron beam (EB) processing by simply reaching for your morning cereal box, handling a CD or DVD, reading a magazine, using your credit card, typing on your keyboard, driving your car, or just walking on your floor.

UV and EB curing refers to a special way in which coatings, inks, adhesives, composites and other materials may be cured (dried), rather than using traditional methods that typically use more energy and create harmful emissions. In effect, the ultraviolet light spectrum in a UV lamp and the focused electrons in EB interact with specially formulated chemistries to cure materials–typically more quickly, using less energy and thereby at lower cost than by other methods.

The advantages of UV & EB are well-documented–particularly when used with manufactured products that require fast processing and/or on substrates that are sensitive to heat. In addition, UV & EB are considered environmentally responsible since most of the solvents in traditional processes may be eliminated, thanks to the special capabilities of UV & EB curing.

 Fall 2013 Schedule

  • Introduction to Polymer Coatings /September 9, 2013 – November 15, 2013 / Online
  • Radiation Curing of Polymer Technologies / September 23, 2013 – December 6, 2013 / Online
  • Radiation Curing Equipment, Instrumentation and Safety / September 23, 2013 – November 15, 2013 / Online

Spring 2014 Schedule

  • Introduction to Polymer Coatings /February 3, 2014 – April 18, 2014 / Online
  • Radiation Curing of Polymer Technologies / February 17, 2014 – May 2, 2014 / Online
  • Radiation Curing Equipment, Instrumentation and Safety / February 17 , 2014 – April 18, 2014 / Online

Summer 2014 and future Fall/Spring Schedules will be posted soon.

  • Available soon

Complete information is available at or contact

Dr. Charles M. Spuches, Associate Provost for Outreach
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
226 Gateway Center l One Forestry Drive l Syracuse, NY 13210
315.470.6810 (direct)  l  315.470.6817 (main) (email)  l (web)