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ESF grows partnership with Oswego County BOCES

SUNY-ESF Outreach
7/28

ESF in the High School, part of SUNY-ESF Outreach, offered two college level environmental science courses for college-bound high school seniors in 2004-2005. Seven students were selected for the New Vision Environmental Science and Engineering Program from the nine school districts that make up the Oswego County Board of Cooperative Educational Services (Altmar-Parish-Williamstown, Central Square, Fulton, Hannibal, Mexico, Oswego, Phoenix, Pulaski and Sandy Creek).

One environmental science student, Mexico High School senior Amanda Cummings was singled out for her academic achievement. She received a one-time $1,000 scholarship from the New York State Association of School Business Officials (ASBO).

Cummings will put her scholarship toward tuition at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse where she plans to pursue a career as a geneticist.

Cummings earned six college credits at ESF through Oswego County BOCES B. Ramer Tech's New Vision Environmental Science and Engineering program. "The program gave me the chance to interact with the ESF faculty and learn how to write scientific papers," she said. "It certainly gave me a jump start on my college career."

As a program requirement, Cummings conducted an individual research project on the absorbency and wet strength of recycled paper towels compared to non-recyclable fibers. She presented her findings to several ESF professors during an environmental summit hosted by the college. ESF in the High School offers two courses at the B. Ramer Tech campus: 1) Writing and the Environment, and 2) Global Environment taught by ESF adjunct faculty Charles Vertucci, (ESF Class of '02) who facilitates the New Vision class and field work for the high school seniors with other faculty, staff and students at the college during the school year.

The enrolled students, who successfully meet the specific requirements, are guaranteed admission to ESF and they are eligible for scholarships and internships through ESF in the High School.

New this fall: Bringing Back Native Plants

"We will engage students from Oswego County BOCES in an array of learning experiences that encompass conservation biology, business and science education," said Donald J. Leopold, Ph.D., Distinguished Teaching Professor and Interim Chair, Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology.

Leopold continued, "We will create and integrate supplemental curriculum materials and activities that involve students in collecting and propagating species from seeds and cuttings of native plants. There will be primarily state-protected and rare New York state species that also have high horticultural value."

BOCES students will be working with some of the most sought after native and state protected plants such as trillium species and the federally listed hart's-tongue fern. These plants will be propagated by the students in the tissue culture lab at SUNY-ESF, where they will be grown large enough for transfer to the Oswego County BOCES greenhouse.

Plants will be grown large enough in the BOCES greenhouse for eventual sale through an Oswego County garden center. Marketing materials will reflect the student?s and faculty's understanding of key ecological, conservation and horticultural topics relevant to each plant species.

Students will also become involved in running a successful business thus improving their math, communication and interpersonal skills. Profits from plant sales will be reinvested in further propagation of native plants, marketing and enhancement of a native plant garden display using land adjacent to B. Ramer Tech (Oswego County Route 64, Mexico).

Planning for next year

"We are looking for people who are interested in the protection and promotion of New York's native plants to participate in a symposium on the subject," said Richard Beal, Ph.D., Associate Director of Educational Outreach, SUNY-ESF.

Oswego County BOCES will host the symposium, continued Beal: "We will use this as part of the learning process for students in the New Vision Environmental Science program as well as a way to engage a stronger community effort to save our native plants."

For more information contact:
Richard Beal, Ph.D. Associate Director of Educational Outreach
SUNY-ESF
One Forestry Drive
219 Bray Hall
Syracuse, NY 13210

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Release No. 1, July 28, 2005


SUNY-ESF
State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
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