Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Our first blog contest winner!

We would like to congratulate the winner of our first Environmental Studies Blog Contest: Erica Schwabach! Erica has won a $50 MasterCard gift card for her blog submission. Please congratulate Erica if you see her and be on the look-out for future blog contests!!

Alison Gibson submission: ESSO

Student Blog Submission
by Alison Gibson
Environmental Studies Student Organization (ESSO)

The Environmental Studies Student Organization (ESSO) has made great progress from humble beginnings as an ever-expanding ESF club that applies an interdisciplinary approach to solving community issues in relation to Environmental Studies (EST). The members are “dedicated and enthusiastic,”according to ESSO president, Frannie Monasterio, who considers herself a“facilitator” for the club’s collaborated ideas.

ESSO is mainly composed of EST students, since the club works closely with the EST department. EST students must select one of three option areas within the major: Policy, Planning, and Law; Biological Science Applications; and Environment, Communication, and Society. The club helps lower division undergraduate students determine which option area to choose and constantly works to improve the EST major and faculty advising. To pursue this goal, mixers are held in the fall and spring to showcase an informative community comprised of current students, professors, and advisors.

“To bring together the EST majors on a similar front,” says Monasterio, when asked about ESSO’s mission. “We all have our own options, but we don’t often collaborate, aside from the occasional class project, so the idea was to engage all of us in a bigger issue together outside of the classroom that we were actually interested in.”

Drew Gamils, ESSO’s co-vice president, believes ESSO allows students to gain strength within the EST community. “Hopefully through the club [students] can find other students who have the same problems,” says Gamils. She has faith in the club’s “support system,” and after members have been eased into the major, they can apply their studies through community service and off campus educational opportunities.

On October 25, six ESSO members worked with the local Syracuse Rescue Mission to feed over 200 city residents, and the club plans to return frequently as a community outreach effort. Additionally, on September 16, ESSO worked with Sarah House, a local hospitality house, at the Strathmore Parks Run. Volunteers worked in the“Family Fun Area” which featured face painting, a dart game, and a bounce house. Traditionally, ESSO has been involved with local street clean-ups, on university streets such as Clarendon Street, Euclid Avenue, and Ostrom Avenue.

The club wants to extend its focus to environmental education, concentrating on social aspects instead of the “hard sciences,” by patterning with the Student Environmental Education Coalition (SEEC) with its efforts to reach out to local Syracuse schools. ESSO also wants to make greater local impacts, involving political action or research.

Due to difficulties with the club’s organization last year, ESSO is the only ESF club to have a budget of $0 allowed by the Undergraduate Student Association (USA). Asking USA for money didn’t seem like the best option, according to Monasterio. The club decided to take on the responsibility and burden of fundraising, involving a pancake/waffle sale and multiple bake sales, which have all been largely successful. Gamils is optimistic, saying, “We haven’t given up; we’ve kind of got into a little bit of trouble when we didn’t have a budget, and…we’ve done our best to increase our [member] numbers and raise our budget from scratch.”

The money raised will go towards attending conferences, such as POWERSHIFT 2013, a rally for environmental issues working through wearepowershift.org. Additionally, this semester, the club is planning a trip to NYC for the weekend after final exams. NYC is a “prime choice” for many of the subjects EST majors practice, such as policies and community planning, says Monasterio. Gamils explains that members will look at “increasing green space and infrastructure in the city.” One of the main attractions will be visiting the High Line, a public park built on a freight rail line above Manhattan’s West Side streets.

Gamils and Kyle Wilkinson, a new ESF student and ESSO member, plan to attend the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) 2013 National Conference: Disasters and Environment, the 13th conference on science, policy, and the environment, held in Washington, D.C. from January 15-17. They are volunteering as note takers and look forward to sharing their experiences with the rest of ESSO upon their return.

Both Monasterio and Gamils recall when the club had four people, but ESSO’s size has tripled this year, with about 10-15 active members, so Gamils jokes, “While that doesn’t seem like a huge club, that is really big for ESSO.” With new members providing enthusiasm and ideas, ESSO has big plans.“We have goals in the future. We want to do big events, and everyone seems on board.”


Drew Gamils

Frannie Monasterio


Erica Schwabach blog submission

Student Blog Submission
by ~Erica Schwabach

My personal research as an Environmental Studies major

The ethereal flow of energy and resources between a being and its environment; the human dynamic of dominion and dualism towards the place in which he or she is a part; the study of how we, as humans, can collectively compile a new, ethical mind set regarding our views on nature; are all topics of which I am currently digging into.
When I first arrived at ESF a few months ago I had mixed feelings. I was excited, anxious, and happy to be in a new place in which to develop myself and learn new ways of thinking. As I settled in to my classes I started to gain a new sense of anxiety and excitement. I was finally getting the chance to learn something so beautiful and important: the way that humans and other beings interact with their environment. I knew right away that I was in the right place. The Environmental Studies major has been a blessing; it has allowed me to pursue topics that I find most important when studying environmental issues. Some topics that I have learned thus far: how humans view the natural world, how organisms interact with their environment, how to best communicate with society at large about environmental issues, and even how economic principles can be integrated into scientific rhetoric.
However for me, the way that ecology, sociology, and even theology and philosophy are intimately intertwined is something that I am most interested in studying and researching. A “thesis” or idea seems to be forming in my mind from this new found interest. The question is: Why should we care about the environment? It seems that the way that humans view the environment has a direct correlation on how we may then treat the environment. The current scientific, empirical view of the natural world may not be enoughto thoroughly understand nature and how humans can successfully live in nature. It may be that a sense of wonder, beauty, or awe of nature; a feeling of “oneness” with nature; an understanding of our interrelatedness or interconnectedness with nature is makes us, as humans, want to take care of the environment and why we may value it as sacred.
As I am quickly learning, I may not be alone in this thought process. Countless scholars, social scientists, and even theologians have thought about this particular problem. Fikret Berkesis an author and professor at The Natural Resources Institute, of the University of Manitoba, Canada and has written a book titled, “Sacred Ecology”. Berkes outlines in this book that scientific knowledge can be a complimentto other ways of knowing, particularly indigenous and local cultural values, and why this knowledge is so significant (Berkes, 1999).
Through the study of human culture and deep ecological concepts, through the raw investigation of knowledge, and by having a basic faith in the human race, our current society may collectively start to see how to address environmental concerns in a new light. It is an important time in history where a new world view, perhaps one that includes ethical, spiritual or cultural, and ecological or scientific values, must be developed in order to see the Earth flourish in its own right.

· Berkes, Fikret. Sacred Ecology: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Resource
Management. Philadelphia, PA: Taylor & Francis, 1999. Print.

Shomita Bhattacharya submission: Why I Chose to Study Environmental Studies at ESF

Student Blog Submission:

by Shomita Bhattacharya

Why I chose to study Environmental Studies at ESF?

The mission of ESF to promote the leadership necessary for the stewardship of both the natural and designed environments aptly matches and strengthens my career goal of learning about and working for the cause of environment, which emanated from my birthplace, Bhopal (India), the globally known gas tragedy place. While studying at Bhopal, the constant deliberations on the problems and solutions pertaining to the gas leakage inspired me to learn more about the environment – human interface and be an instrument to facilitate solutions to the growing environmental problems, locally and globally. The phenomenal increase in the environmental problems nationally and internationally, has made it increasingly important to study and provide solutions to some of the most challenging environmental problems that we face today, tomorrow and in the foreseeable future. Being one of the oldest and most distinguished institutions in the United States, ESF, with focus on the study of the environment, provides an effective platform for interdisciplinary field of study that integrates the biological and physical sciences in an effort to understand environmental systems, and the solutions to both man-made and natural environmental problems. Studying in ESF, would give me a chance to take forward my studies at a global hub, which will also provide me a platform for interaction with the best minds and rich cultural diversity leading to a comprehensible global perspective. With the vivid expertise of the ESF, I am sure the course will provide an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to understand and mitigate hazards arising from anthropogenic and natural activities by focusing on key areas of environmental management, specially the area of policy advocacy. Through the experiences and learnings from my small environmental journey as a student, it strongly emerged that there is lack of deep understanding to mitigate the present and potential environmental hazards. To translate these learnings and practices into action, more effective institutionalized mechanisms and interventions are required. For this, I understand that better knowledge and skills and capacity building in advance tools and techniques, from a center of excellence, like ESF, are essential to comprehend the intricacies of environmental management and resolve the problems arising out of these minutiae. A combination of diverse factors including excellent academic and multicultural symbiotic environment of my school, opportunities for extensive environment related extracurricular activities inside and outside school, and my close association with forests and wildlife since my childhood through my family background, have been main sources of motivation for me to take up a career in Environment Studies, ESF being one of the best niches for this. With so much already, and yet more to be benefited, when I see myself graduated from ESF I also see a warrior within me, a warrior who speaks for the environment and negotiates with the world for its sustainability. The course at ESF will help me to organize my capacities and talents to achieve the goal of my journey, i.e. to help the world to live in a better and quality environment.
Attached picture is from the Environmental Studies Field Trip to Lake Ontario with Professor Manno.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spring 2013 Advising Notes

A number of changes are yet to be completed on the online Spring 2013 Time Schedule of Classes.  Here are some important bits of information for you as you plan for next semester with your advisors.  We expect everything to be updated n the Time Schedule and on MySlice by the time registration begins next week.

 Spring 2013 Advising Notes

Changes and additions that are not yet on the Time Schedule of Courses

31 October 2012

EST 606: Environmental Risk Perception will be offered. 3:30 – 4:50 T/Th  321 Bray
EST 609 Collaborative Governance (#53206) will be offered however- Time/dates listed on schedule is NOT up to date yet.  Senecah

EST650: Envrn Perception&Human Behavior will NOT be offered.  Students can take LSA650 in its place (this is a Fall course).  

EST 696 Env. Health Policy (#60931)   Friday     9:30-12:20.  Moran

FOR 770 Ecological Economics and Policy (#55106) Tues & Thursday 12:30 – 1:50.  Luzadis

EST796 Seminar in Environment and Society on Wed. from 9:30-12:20.  Selfa

EST 797 Communication, Food and the Environment.  Seminar. 1 Credit. Time and section number are still TBD.  Parker

EST 797, Section 2, #45077  Ethics, Culture & Community-Based Environmental Research  Instructors: Dianne Quigley and David A. Sonnenfeld  Jan. 18-19, Mar. 15-16, and Apr 19-20, 2013

Valerie A. Luzadis, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair,
Department of Environmental Studies
Assistant Provost for Assessment and Academic Initiatives
SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry
Syracuse, NY 13210
Tel: 315-470-6636; Fax: 315-470-6915


Thursday, October 15, 2009


Your steering committee (MS: major professor and two faculty members or other qualified persons; MPS, major professor and one faculty member or other qualified person) must be established and must have met by the end of your third semester. If you are in your second year and do not yet have a committee, it is definitely time to consult with your major professor about this.

Jack Manno

For MS students, College policy is that you should have your thesis proposal reviewed and approved "by advising week of the third semester." This year's advising period is November 2 - 10. Meeting this deadline will help you select courses based on the needs/requirements of your thesis.