Fall Semester ESF Courses

Office Hours: T, W 10:30-11:30 am Please email to schedule visit

River Form and Process

River Classification
  • Course ID:
    ERE 412 / ERE 612
  • Online Resources:
    Blackboard | Photos from Previous Years
  • General Description:
    This course deals with river forms and processes using engineering analysis and design methods to address non-regime channels. River and watershed maps and remotely sensed data are processed and analyzed using geographic information system methods. Fields surveys measure river cross-sections, longitudinal profiles, planform geometry, and substrate and data are used to apply Rosgen and Montgomery river classification schemes. River substrate and sediment samples are used to characterize hydraulic roughness, bed sediment size distributions, transport thresholds and capacity, erosion processes, and consider channel evolution trajectories. Methods and equations are introduced to estimate groundwater connectivity, river discharge, and solute and sediment transport. Probability and regression functions are used to analyze hydraulic geometry, flow frequencies, and bankfull or effective discharge. River restoration practices are studied and critiqued. Student projects synthesize course material to monitor, assess, or design a river restoration project. Readings in fluvial geomorphology supplement engineering analysis.

Introduction to Environmental Resources Engineering

  • Course ID:
    ERE 132
  • Online Resources:
    Blackboard | Prior Year Photos
  • General Description:
    Students in ERE 132 completing this course will be able to: a) define engineering and explain 1 important innovation from each of its 5 fundamental ages; b) identify the teaching and research specializations of ERE faculty; c) create a professional resume to help you achieve academic and career success; and e) gain exposure to select environmental engineering facilities and understand the role they play in serving the local community as well as the expertise required to design, construct, operate and maintain.

Spring Semester

Office Hours: T, W 10:30-11:30 am Please email to schedule visit

Ecological Engineering in the Tropics

Ecological Engineering in the Tropics
  • Course ID:
    ERE 311 / ERE 511
  • Meeting Location & Time:
    Field site Costa Rica, Planned for Spring Break March 2018
  • Online Resources:
    Blackboard | ESF ERE 311 in Costa Rica 2016 | ESF ERE311 in Costa Rica 2015 | 2013 Costa Rica Trip Article | ESF ERE311 in Honduras 2007 | ESF ERE311 in Honduras 2008 | ESF ERE311 in Honduras 2009
  • General Description:
    Ecological Engineering in the Tropics is designed for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a science or engineering major at SUNY ESF, and may serve to satisfy field and design experience requirements in EFB and ERE. Ecological engineering theory and design are introduced and reinforced through system-based designs that sustainably provide resources, assimilate waste, or restore ecosystems. Readings and field exercise cover how systems can be manipulated to function sustainably and address social, environmental, and economic goals and constraints. A central theme for the course is assessing the sustainability of the water-food-energy-hygiene connections that are fundamentally important to communities at all income and educational levels. Students will engage in field based lessons that explore agro-techno-ecological systems and will discuss their ideas for ecologically engineered solutions to rebalance the water-food-energy-hygiene crisis. Rebalancing this crisis, even at the household or village scale, provides significant progress on international research. Students completing this course will master skills applicable for successfully participating in both national and international engineering and science projects. Graduate students will demonstrate higher mastery by synthesizing additional journal readings and data collection in a 15-page paper that critiques the theory and practice of ecological engineering design in the tropics. This course was awarded support in 2004 from SUNY International Programs for: a) increasing hands on learning for undergraduates, as recommended by the National Research Council, b) increasing interdisciplinary activity between engineering and other environmental sciences, and c) extending the above learning to cultures experiencing rapid population growth and associated economic and natural resource pressures.

Seminar: Hydrology and Biogeochemistry:

  • Course ID:
    ERE 797
  • Online Resources:
    Blackboard
  • General Description:
    This course is inter-disciplinary and brings together our environmental biology, forestry, chemistry, and engineering units, as well as collaborative partners from Syracuse University. We mix presentations on recent research findings with food and drinks, and have enjoyed a favorable response by students and faculty. Topics that capture student interest include photo essays of nearby research sites, introducing graduates to advisors, field methods and equipment available for their work, and trading lessons learned with other grads.

Engineering Hydrology and Hydraulics

Engineering Hydrology and Hydraulics
  • Course ID:
    ERE 340 / ERE 540
  • Online Resources:
    Blackboard | Water Resources Engineering blogs by students in 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013
  • General Description:
    Engineering Hydrology & Hydraulics is an introduction to the broad topic of water resources engineering; topics include the delineation of watersheds for hydrologic cycle analysis, the application of hydraulics to estimate pipe and channel dynamics, the estimation of runoff frequency to predict floods, the conceptualization groundwater flows to understand drawdown, and the analysis of ecologic function to guide restoration. Water resource systems will be studied to identify and isolate the fundamental hydraulic and hydrologic processes controlling the system, often reduced to the equations for conservation of mass, momentum, or energy. The hydrologic processes explored by the course will include scaling rainfall across time and space, computing the timing and magnitude of watershed runoff, and routing flood waves through detention basins and streams. The hydraulics explored in this course will include pipe flow, open-channel flow, flows within control structures (e.g. weirs and flumes), and flow through porous media. A variety of probability distributions will also be explored to better assess the engineering challenges in designing a structure to withstand an uncertain future. Additional emphasis will be placed on student participation in a design and research projects. Design projects are coupled to weekly laboratory exercises that pursue in greater detail several key lecture topics. The research project has taken the form of service-based learning and of pure research, depending on the student's inclination. Results are presented at the ESF Spotlight on Research & Outreach. Students will additionally learn of sources for hydrologic and hydraulic data, engineering analysis tools, and important restoration applications for technical information. Graduate students will conduct additional research and writing work to satisfy this course.

Humanitarian Engineering for Development Workers | Appropriate Technologies for Developing Countries

Water Source Estimation
  • Course ID:
    ERE 496 / ERE 596
  • Online Resources:
    Blackboard | NAE Global Scholars Challenge Program | Engineers without Borders
  • General Description:
    The course focuses on the why and how of delivering basic services to rural populations, where services include potable water, waste removal and sanitation, smoke venting and efficient cook stoves, and electricity to provide light for reading. Engineering infrastructure used to deliver these services in developed countries is often found as inappropriate in the rural sectors of developing countries due to the associated design, build, and maintenance costs that prohibit local acquisition and control. Appropriate technologies are designed and built for local cultural, economic, and environmental conditions and can be maintained locally.

Teaching News and Celebrations

ERE is now offering Humanitarian Engineering for Development Workers, a wonderful course for all students. This course involves students discovering the geography of poverty and how basic needs can be met for many low income and low-middle income countries. ERE is offering a spring break course, Ecological Engineering in the Tropics, with lessons at Rancho Mastatal in Costa Rica. In the past we built a hydraulic ram pump, a solar powered UV water purifier, and a point of use slow sand filter.

Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is fundamentally about facilitating student learning through interactive lessons, often based in experiential or service learning, that utilize standard and innovative tools. I provide lectures that introduce topics, connect themes, and field questions, as well as facilitate classroom discussions that reinforce application and untangle misconceptions. Directed readings are intended to provide depth in content, while assessment of student projects and opportunity sets provide iterative feedback for mastery. I view teaching as an integral part of my job at the College, and the College supports my scholarship in the classroom. My teaching, of course, must reach and change the learner, and in my effort to do this, I expect that the student take responsibility to actively manage their learning. I am dedicated to always learning more about facilitating great teaching from teaching workshops, teaching consultants, exemplary teachers, student comments, and reflection on my own performance. Given the breadth of opinions on teaching, I am sure that I have plenty of ground to cover in my quest to explore the frontiers of instruction. If you would like to contribute, please act.

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