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Ecological Engineering
M.P.S., M.S., Ph.D.

fingers on plantOverview

Ecological Engineering is the design of ecosystems for the mutual benefit of humans and the environment. Ideal design considers humans to be part of nature rather than apart from nature. At SUNY–ESF we believe that ecological engineering education and research should meet local to global needs. We teach and research sustainable solutions and approach ecological engineering broadly, working in many areas of the world and in most major areas of ecological engineering.

Ecological Engineering emphasizes engineering design of ecosystems consistent with ecological principles of natural, self-organizing, self-maintaining systems. This interdisciplinary field incorporates knowledge in engineering, ecology and social sciences to produce energy- and information-efficient solutions to environmental problems. Public policy, ethics and values are considered in the decision-making process. Students select between alternative solutions to ecological resource problems, in recognition of environmental, economic, legal, social and managerial constraints.

student in stream

SUNY-ESF ecological engineering is in New York, Mexico, Honduras, and Belize.

Program Requirements

Program prerequisite or co-requisite courses beyond the departmental requirement include at least one semester of study in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, or statics; probability and statistics; ecology; and hydrology.

Program mastery courses beyond the departmental requirement include at least one course (3+ credit hours) in each of the four areas of competence listed below (illustrative courses are listed in parenthesis).

  1. Ecosystem Restoration (e.g., Ecosystem Restoration Design, Sustainable Engineering, River Form and Process, Ecological Engineering in the Tropics)
  2. Pollutant Treatment (e.g., Methods in Ecological Treatment, Ecological Engineering for Water Quality, Stormwater Management)
  3. Modeling (e.g., Hydrologic Modeling, Systems Engineering, Engineering Hydrology & Hydraulics)
  4. Ecosystem Sciences (e.g., Microbial Ecology, Ecosystems, Systems Ecology, Tropical Ecology, Ecological Biogeochemistry, Plant Ecology and Global Change, Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, Limnology, Environmental Chemistry)

We teach, design and research:

Looking Forward

Graduates from the ecological engineering option commonly find employment or continue their advanced graduate education in any of the following areas of practice:

  1. Ecosystem restoration, including watershed, river, forest and wetland restoration
  2. Design of sustainable systems for wastewater treatment and stormwater management
  3. Environmental remediation
  4. Urban ecosystem design and development
  5. Industrial ecology, life cycle analysis and sustainability analysis

Participating Faculty

  • Douglas J. Daley; djdaley@esf.edu
    water resources, solid and hazardous waste management, ecological engineering, environmental restoration, phytoremediation, bioremediation, soil and water pollution, solid and hazardous waste management, environmental engineering
  • Theodore A. Endreny; te@esf.edu
    water resources engineering, ecological engineering, stream restoration, urban watersheds, lesser-developed countries
  • Charles N. Kroll; cnkroll@syr.edu
    stochastic and deterministic hydrology, environmental modeling, water resource systems engineering, ecological engineering, urban forestry, drought assessment, environmental systems engineering, stochastic and deterministic modeling, risk assessment, coupled human and natural systems
  • Stephen B. Shaw; sbshaw@esf.edu
    hydroclimatology, water resources engineering, ecohydrology in a changing climate, water resources, climate change, hydrology, systems modeling, stormwater management
  • Wendong Tao; wtao@esf.edu
    Sustainable wastewater treatment (Constructed wetland, gravel biofilter, simultaneous nitritation and anammox); Resource recovery from bioresidues (anaerobic digestion, solid-liquid separation, struvite recovery, ammonia recovery)

Graduate Students in Ecological Engineering

Current Students

Only currently registered students appear—new student names are added at the start of the academic year.

Nathan BarletNathan Barlet
ntbarlet@syr.edu

Ecological Engineering

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Diemont
Undergraduate Institute: SUNY-ESF

Graduate Research Topic
Ecological Engineering

Favorite Quote
"We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children" - Native American Proverb

Home Page
Web Link

Ethan BodnarukEthan Bodnaruk
ewbodnar@syr.edu

Ecological Engineering

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Endreny and Kroll
Undergraduate Institute: Harvey Mudd College (Engineering — Other)

Previous Graduate Study: North Carolina State Universit (Nuclear Engineering )

Personal Statement
I'm interested in urban forestry from an ecosystem services perspective and urban sustainability in general. I work with the iTree set of tools to quantify urban forest structure and ecosystem services. I’m also interested in ecological sanitation, the conversion of wastes into resources (integrated ecological waste management), citizen science, and permaculture. I’m a very idealistic person but am grounded in data and science. I see a huge need for scientists to actively participate in movements for social change (in addition to the need to communicate science to the public). The intersection of science and activism is fascinating to me, but is sometimes very frustrating.

Graduate Research Topic
My primary research focuses on urban forest ecosystem service optimization, tradeoffs, and disparities. I'm creating a decision support tool that will help stakeholders determine where to plant and protect trees to best obtain desired ecosystem services while shedding light on costs, tradeoffs, and environmental justice. My work involves spatially explicit modeling, quantifying metrics of inequality, and valuing ecosystem services. It builds on the iTree set of tools (www.itreetools.org). Initial ecosystem services included in the analysis are the reduction of air pollution (via dry deposition of PM2.5 and stomatal uptake of ozone by leaves), reduction of the urban heat island (shading and evapotranspiration), and infiltrating stormwater (supporting municipal green infrastructure goals).

Favorite Quote
"Know the rules well, so you know when to break them." - Gandhi

Home Page
Web Link

Website
Web Link

Brandon HaynesBrandon Haynes
bjhaynes@syr.edu

Ecological Engineering

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Daley and Horton
Undergraduate Institute: South Dakota State University (Civil Engineering)

Personal Statement
Start with knowing yourself; as you see yourself more clearly, you will know where you want to go in life. Then learn about where you want to go, and pretty soon you'll figure out how to get there.

Graduate Research Topic
Carbon Sequestration in Green Roofs

Favorite Quote
Life is about living

Natasha KacoroskiNatasha Kacoroski
nmkacoro@syr.edu

Ecological Engineering

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Daley
Undergraduate Institute: Green Mountain College (Biology)

Personal Statement
I like to grow plants, but a sense of wonder is the most beautiful thing to cultivate. At this time, I'm focused on the human relationship with ecological sustainability I would like to integrate my three interests - biomimicry, ecological design, and phytotechnology - into a study of ecological engineering so that I may better understand how to design, implement, and manage systems and technologies that ameliorate human impacts on natural resources.

Graduate Research Topic
The optimization of thermal and water fluxes on green roof microcosms with native plant species.

Favorite Quote
"Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle." -Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Yong Seuk KwonYong Seuk Kwon
ykwon04@syr.edu

Ecological Engineering

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Endreny
Undergraduate Institute: Cornell University (Natural Sciences — O)

Links
Web Link

Personal Statement
I am interested in ecological restoration, especially with ecosystem functionality and geophysical capacity.

Graduate Research Topic
Ecological Engineering with a focus on ecosystem function restoration

Favorite Quote
"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect." -Aldo Leopold-

Eileen LeonEileen Leon
eleon@syr.edu

Ecological Engineering

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Tao

Personal Statement
We (humans) are all damaging Earth with every single action; therefore, we have the power to stop this abuse and any small change in our daily activities can give some relief to our planet...

Graduate Research Topic
Ecological Engineering - Anaerobic Digestion for food wastes treatment

Home Page
Web Link

My Website
Web Link

Undergraduate School
Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso - Civil Biochemical Engineer

Marie SchoenenbergerMarie Schoenenberger
mascho01@syr.edu

Ecological Engineering

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Daley
Undergraduate Institute: St Francis College PA (Environmental/Sanita)

Favorite Quote
"If they give you lined paper, write the other way." - Juan Ramón Jiménez

Emily StephanEmily Stephan
eastepha@syr.edu

Ecological Engineering

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Endreny
Undergraduate Institute: Cornell University (Environmental/Sanita)

Graduate Research Topic
Coupled human and natural systems, river restoration, watershed sustainability

Favorite Quote
If we surrendered to Earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees. -Rainer Maria Rilke

Home Page
Web Link

Angela StiresAngela Stires
acstires@syr.edu

Ecological Engineering

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Endreny
Undergraduate Institute: Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Engineering — Other)

Favorite Quote
"It is our choices that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities" - Albus Dumbledore

Anayo UkwuaniAnayo Ukwuani
atukwuan@syr.edu

Ecological Engineering

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Tao
Undergraduate Institute: University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Previous Graduate Study: University Putra Malaysia (Civil Engineering )

Links
Web Link

Personal Statement
Recent global environmental issues have deeply fascinated my interest in studying an environmental course at university level, which I believe will lead to designing a sustainable system to enhance the survival and existence of our ecosystem.

Graduate Research Topic
Resource/nutrient recovery

Favorite Quote
To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, To leave the world a better place than what I've found… To know even one life has breathed easier Because I have lived…this is to have succeeded. __Ralph Waldo Emerson

Scott WolcottScott Wolcott
scwolcot@syr.edu

Ecological Engineering

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Endreny and Newman
Undergraduate Institute: SUNY Center Buffalo (Civil Engineering)

Previous Graduate Study: SUNY Center Buffalo (Civil Engineering )

Graduate Research Topic
Treatment of High Strength Organic Wastewater using Green Walls

Favorite Quote
“Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.” - Colin Powell


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