Category Archives: Conferences & Workshops

Biotechnology Symposium Shines in NYC!

Congratulations to our on- and off-campus colleagues who provided leadership and support to the recent 2015 Biotechnology Symposium. We deeply appreciate the leadership bnlof our colleagues at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Thanks to their collaboration and hospitality, over 50% of our 7th annual Symposium participants came from the metropolitan NYC area.

 My thanks go to our program co-chairs, Drs. Tom Amidon, Lee Newman, and Art Stipanovic, to our Outreach staff, Katherina Searing and Terry Webb, as well to our entire 2015 advisory council:

  • Noel Blackburn, Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Susumu Ikuta, SUNY-ESF (formerly, Bristol-Myers Squibb)
  • Judy Jarnefeld, NYSERDA
  • Kirk Leister, Biotechnology Consultant
  • Scott MacFarlane, SUNY Upstate Medical University
  • Tom Melninkaitis, Tosoh Bioscience
  • Susi Varvayanis, Cornell University

As we look ahead to the 8th Symposium returning to Syracuse and the ESF Campus in 2016, I invite your interest in advisory council participation.

I extend our collective appreciation to all of our sponsors and especially to our partnership with the SUNY Research Foundation. I look forward to working with our SUNY Research Foundation colleagues, sponsors, staff and advisory council to continue to strengthen the Biotechnology Symposium role in serving and advancing Biotechnology’s economic development, research and education impact for New York State and beyond.


Many thanks to all who participated and who made this year’s Symposium a success.

Dr. Chuck Spuches, Associate Provost for Outreach

Biotechnology Sympoisum Speakers Include Dr. Eva Cramer

Spring Cramer_000has arrived and the 7th Annual New York State Biotechnology Symposium is fast approaching!  Plan now to join us May 12 – 13, 2015 at the Brookhaven National Laboratory for plenary presentations, technical sessions and tours of Brookhaven facilities, including the Center for Functional Nanomaterials and National Synchrotron Light Source II

Featured speakers include Dr. Eva Cramer. Dr. Cramer is Distinguished Service Professor of Cell Biology and Vice President for Biotechnology and Scientific Affairs at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. She is also President of the Downstate Technology Center, Inc. as well as President of BioBAT, Inc.

To learn more and to register!

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

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

13th Annual New York State Green Building Conference

March 12-13, 2015
Liverpool NY

Join us in March for exciting keynote/plenary presentations, a great exhibitor gallery, and technical sessions on topics including: Green Materials, High Performance Buildings, Resiliency, Biomimicry, Urban Design, Planning, Community Development, Renewable Energy and more!  We are happy to be partnering with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for the 2015 conference, which will feature a Plenary session hosted by Rick Fedrizzi, CEO of both the USGBC and the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).  Find out more and register today at

See you there!

UN Champion of the Earth to Speak at NYS Green Building Conference


Rick Fedrizzi and his colleagues at the U.S. Green Building Council were awarded the United Nations Champions of the Earth award in November for their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program.  The LEED certification program has been instrumental in the green building revolution around the globe, and certifies 1.7 million square feet of sustainable building space each day.

ESF is pleased to announce that the U.S. Green Building Council has joined the Syracuse Center of Excellence as a partner for the 2015 Green Building Conference.  Fedrizzi, CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council, will host a plenary session during this year’s conference.  Learn more about he 2015 NYS Green Building Conference and register today!

New York State Biotechnology Symposium Continues To Advance

May 12th – 13th, 2015, Brookhaven National LaboratoryBiotech logos

In addition to collaboration with the Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Research Foundation for the State University of New York will partner with ESF to advance the Biotechnology Symposium.

The Symposium has been held annually in Central New York with speakers and workshop leaders from around the U.S. Now in its seventh year, the Symposium has a new name (New York State Biotechnology Symposium), stronger partnerships, and a new location at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Long Island campus. These advancements reflect a shared commitment to serve our State’s various biotechnology  education, research, development, and business communities, along with related economic development throughout New York State and beyond.

Willow Biomass Energy and Alternative Applications Short Course

Shrub willow biomass crop.

POSTPONED–further details TBA

Learn about the exciting frontiers of willow crop production, harvest, utilization for heat and power, alternative applications, and environmental benefits during the Willow Biomass Energy and  Alternative Applications Short Course. Land-owners, natural resource managers, renewable energy professionals, academics, and anyone interested in willow biomass can register online today!

The short-course begins on Tuesday, November 18th with presentations on production, harvest, and profit of shrub willow crops.  Following lunch, participants will learn about energy and environmental applications for shrub willow in the afternoon.  On Wednesday, November 19th, participants will venture into the field to experience a commercial willow harvest demonstration at Celtic Energy Farms.

Make sure to check out the schedule online and register today!

SPARE: Solar Power As Renewable Energy

October 27 – 30, 2014, Syracuse

Solar PanelAs the demand for sustainable energy grows, photovoltaic panels are becoming a popular way to go green and save money.  Consumers making the jump to solar energy look to expert installers to site, design, and maintain these complex systems.

Through the 4-day SPARE Basic Photovoltaic Installer Course, participants can learn the essentials of photovoltaic technology for household use.  The course includes sizing and design for grid- and off-grid systems, various electrical load levels, different mounting configurations, and for the problems associated with shade and orientation. Safety practices for installers and the study of the electrical code for photovoltaic systems will be covered in some detail. Participants will learn about various mounting systems for photovoltaic arrays and how they affect roofs. As part of the class, participants get hands-on experience by building a working photovoltaic system.

This course is recognized by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), and along with passing score on the NABCEP Entry Level Exam, counts as 18 hours applicable towards certification.

Register online at: