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Sponsor and venue information coming soon.

Who Should Attend

If you are interested in learning about science, policy, technologies and the growth of renewable energy in New York State and beyond. Attendees may include:

  • Entrepreneurs and business owners
  • Non-profit leaders
  • Those who are involved in the policy, funding, implementation, and other aspects of renewable energy
  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Elected and governmental officials
  • Community leaders and policy makers
  • Non-profit leaders
  • University faculty and staff
  • College students
  • K-12 educators
  • Sustainability leaders and officers
  • Other professionals and individuals interested in these topics

Sustainable Use of Renewable Energy (SURE)

April through May 2013

Program Overview

Energy issues and challenges are making headlines every day. After a brief overview of the conceptual framework of renewable energy ideas, issues and decisions, ESF and SU faculty, staff, students, and local company representatives will help you understand the most discussed renewable energies, their benefits and drawbacks, and the associated technologies. Each month we will focus on a new source of renewable energy through an interactive presentation.  Join business people, researchers, and experts in renewable energy resources and green management practices as they present the evidence and exchange ideas about the critical topics you have read and heard about.

The Sustainable Use of Renewable Energy (SURE) program is offered by SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) as a collaborative effort of the Sustainable Enterprise Partnership (SEP), a partnership of SUNY-ESF, the Whitman School of Management and L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University, and the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems.

Program Registration

There are not any future seminars currently scheduled. Please check back again for future dates!

Program Format, Location, and Schedule

SURE seminar dates and topics (subject to change)

Date and Time








SURE 2013 Instructional Team

kelleherMichael Kelleher

Director of Renewable Energy Systems at SUNY-ESF, is focused on expanding the use of sustainable technologies and energy efficiency to reduce the College's carbon footprint. Prior to joining ESF, Mike served as an executive with National Grid and Niagara Mohawk. Mike joined the College of Environmental Science and Forestry as the Director of Renewable Energy Systems. In this position he is focused on expanding the use of sustainable technologies and energy efficiency to reduce the College’s carbon footprint. Prior to joining ESF Mike served as an executive with National Grid and Niagara Mohawk. He has extensive hands-on senior management experience in market assessment, strategic planning, mergers & acquisitions, corporate finance, and transaction structuring. Mike and his team built and maintained strong relationships with commercial, industrial, and municipal customers for National Grid. In addition, he developed effective economic development and pricing programs to attract and retain customers. He has also held a variety of financial and resource planning positions with Niagara Mohawk. Mike earned an M.S. in Agricultural Economics, and a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering Technology from Cornell University.

volkTimothy Volk, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate at SUNY-ESF and Co-Director of the SUNY Center for Sustainable and Renewable Energy. Dr. Volk has over 20 years of experience working in the fields of forestry, agroforestry, short-rotation woody crops, bioenergy and phytoremediation in the Northeastern United States and Africa. He holds degrees from the University of Guelph (BS (Agr.), Guelph, Ontario) in Natural Resources Management, Cornell University (MS, Ithaca, NY) in Forest Science and SUNY – ESF (PhD, Syracuse, NY) in Forest and Natural Resources Management. He is responsible for a series of research projects focused on the development of shrub willow biomass cropping systems as a feedstock for bioproducts and bioenergy and the use of willow as an alternative cover for industrial waste sites. He is also actively involved in research and development of sustainability assessments of bioenergy systems, life cycle assessments of willow biomass crops and woody biomass from forests, assessments of woody biomass availability from natural forests, economic modeling of short rotation woody crops, living snowfences, regional woody biomass resource supplies, and harvesting systems for short rotation woody crops. He chaired the ad hoc committee at SUNY-ESF that developed and is now implementing the curriculum for a minor in Renewable Energy and is currently teaching courses on Energy Systems and Biomass Energy. He chaired the ad hoc committee at SUNY-ESF that developed and is now implementing the curriculum for a minor in Renewable Energy and is currently teaching courses on Energy Systems and Biomass Energy.

hallCharles A.S. Hall, Ph.D.

Dr. Charles A.S. Hall is a Professor in the department of Environmental and Forest Biology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry as well as an ESF Foundation Distinguished Professor. He has a BA in Biology from Colgate University, a MS in Zoology from The Pennsylvania State University and a PhD in Zoology from The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

His research interests have involved Systems Ecology: the application of integrative tools of science, including empirical simulation modeling, to the understanding and management of complex systems of nature and of people and nature.  Recently, his research focuses on energy which coalesces with EROI analysis and biophysical economics.  He has been featured in numerous publications and has coauthored a number of books.  His latest is entitled, Energy and the Wealth of Nations: Understanding the Biophysical Economy.

Dr. Hall has taught Systems Ecology and Geographical Modeling with his wife, Myrna, in Argentina, Bolivia, China, Costa Rica and Mexico.  He has also run workshops and seminar series in Italy, Finland and Sweden.

abramsNeal Abrams, Ph.D.

Dr. Abrams received his bachelor of science degree from Ithaca College in 2000. He earned his Ph.D. in 2005 from The Pennsylvania State University. He was a Postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University from 2005 - 2007 and a Lecturer from 2006 - 2007.

Dr. Abrams’s interests lie in the areas of materials and inorganic chemistry, encompassing areas of alternative energies such as energy storage, photovoltaics, and fuel cells.

crovellaPaul Crovella

While studying engineering and architecture at Cornell, Paul spent a summer working as timber farmer and developed a strong interest in the strength and structural performance of timber buildings. His current research strives to develop a non-destructive method for assessing the structural characteristics of timber joinery. Before coming to ESF Paul taught at the University or Puerto Rico and Morrisville State College. He has worked for two years in the Department of Sustainable Construction and Engineering at ESF, helping to develop and teach courses for green construction and is currently working on his PhD at the college. His areas of study include sustainable construction, residential construction, historic preservation and optimum value engineering.

callahanElet Callahan

Professor of Law and Public Policy in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, teaches sustainable enterprise, the legal environment of business, and environmental law and policy at the Whitman School. She also serves as faculty director of the Sustainable Enterprise Partnership (SEP), a collaboration of Whitman and the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University, SUNY-ESF, and the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems. The SEP promotes sustainable enterprise through curricula, outreach, and research.

Callahan has received numerous teaching awards, including the SU Alumni Association’s Outstanding Teacher Award. Her research has been published in the American Business Law Journal, the Virginia Journal of International Law, the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, the Washington University Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law, and the Journal of Business Ethics, among others. Professor Callahan and her family designed and built the first home in New York State to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.  Professor Callahan holds a J.D. (magna cum laude) from Syracuse University College of Law and a B.A. from Wellesley College (Wellesley College Scholar).

smardonRichard Smardon, Ph.D.

Dr. Richard C. Smardon has lived and worked in Vermont, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Oregon and California before coming to the State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry. At SUNY-ESF he was, until recently, Chair of the Dept. of Environmental Studies. He is Professor of Environmental Studies and Director of the Randolph G. Pack Environmental Institute.  He has a Ph.D. in Environmental Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and a Masters in Landscape Architecture and Bachelors in Environmental Design from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has edited/written three books; The Future of Wetlands; Assessing Visual-Cultural Values (1983) with Allenheld-Osmun; Foundations for Visual Project Analysis (1986) with John Wiley and Sons; and The Legal Landscape: Guidelines for Environmental and Aesthetic Protection (1993) with Van Nostrand Rhinehold. He is also engaged in writing a book "Sustaining the World's Wetlands" with Springer Press, which will focus on the role of NGO's in international wetland management.

He was appointed by the Governor of New York to the Great Lakes Basin Advisory Council in 1989 and has chaired the council. He has serves on several editorial boards including Landscape and Urban Planning, Environmental Science and Policy and ScientificWorld. His major areas of expertise include landscape assessment and management, wetland assessment and mitigation, environmental management/citizen participation, law and aesthetics, ecotourism and heritage resource management, and energy sustainability planning implementation. He currently writes a column for Central New York Business Exchange magazine on energy and environment.