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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

ESF Launches Sustainable Energy Management Major

New undergraduate program focuses on energy markets, management, resources

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) has introduced a new Sustainable Energy Management undergraduate degree program that focuses on energy markets, management and resources.

The program is designed to give students an understanding of responsible energy resource use and insight into how these resources impact the natural world. The program is interdisciplinary and involves coursework in the natural sciences, social science and humanities, communication, and quantitative/qualitative problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

"The study of responsible energy resource use, and the development of sustainable sources of energy, is a critical national and global issue," said David Newman, chair of the Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management, which houses the new program. "We need decision makers who are knowledgeable about the quality and quantity of potential energy sources and the ways they can affect the environment and human health. Students who study in this program will be well prepared to meet these challenges."

Twelve students have already enrolled in the program, which is being offered for the first time this fall.

The ESF campus provides numerous opportunities for hands-on learning for students in the program. The college, which has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2015, already has several photovoltaic arrays, a biodiesel production facility and a fueling station for fleet vehicles that run on alternative fuels.

Most significantly, however, students in the program will be able to learn through the operation of ESF's new Gateway Center, set to open within the next few months, which will house a state-of-the-art combined-heat-and-power plant that will provide energy for the Gateway Center and four other campus buildings.

"The Gateway Center will give our students a unique opportunity to learn about sustainable energy while they watch it at work," said Michael Kelleher, ESF's executive director of energy and sustainability, who will also serve as a faculty member in the new program. "This will be a learning experience like no other."

The new major is housed in ESF's Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management. Students seeking the degree will earn at least 120 credits. Graduates will be prepared for jobs in energy resource management positions with public agencies, private industry and nonprofit organizations