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

ESF Students Among 2011 SU Showcase Fellows

Presentations will be part of May 2 events

Five SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) students will be among the Syracuse University Showcase Fellows who present their original research and projects relating to sustainability at SU Showcase 2011. The event, to be held in the Schine Student Center May 2, is called "Sustainability for a Livable Future."

The ESF students and their counterparts from SU were chosen to share their projects because of their timely and relevant topics. The academic works range from food and green buildings to the media's influence on creating sustainable behaviors.

Both the campus community and the general public are invited to visit the Schine Student Center May 2 to explore the SU Showcase attractions. The names of this year's fellows, with brief descriptions of their projects, are listed below with the Showcase themes.

ESF presentations at the event are:

  • Aquaponics
by Kevin Phu, Dorian Kessler and Michael Amadori; developing a pilot-scale aquaponics unit that combines aquaculture with hydroponics. Their work falls under the theme of Sustenance (food, water, health).
  • The underrepresented student's access to sustainability in the post-secondary education experience
by Andrea M. Webster;
understanding the relationship between race and socioeconomic status and access to sustainability education. Her work falls under the theme of Lifestyles (sustainable behaviors, attitudes, policies).
  • Sunspace growing and heating research project
by Brad DeFrees; testing the feasibility of constructing a low-cost greenhouse structure that will both allow winter gardening and reduce heat loss from a house. His work falls under the theme of Energy.

SU presenations are:

SUSTENANCE (food, water, health)

  • Food and sustainability on campus: Eating green on the Orange campus
by Lorenz Chiu, Samantha Birsen and Anna Wu;
measuring and influencing student perceptions of sustainability and meat consumption.
  • Health for all: Development of an infrastructure-appropriate system for sterilizing medical consumables in rural equatorial regions
by Thomas Law; developing a prototype solar-powered steam sterilizer with an integrated vacuum drying system for medical use in remote areas of the developing world.

STUFF (recycling, reuse, rethinking materials)

  • Reimagining trash
by Elisabeth Terrio; connecting objects with reuse potential with people who will reuse the objects for repurposed products for small businesses.
  • Multifunctional portable thermos mug
by Bochao Wang and Li Han;
designing a prototype solar-powered portable mug that can be stretched and folded easily.
  • Low-impact art: Costuming an opera
by Timothy Westbrook;
creating costumes by using as much post-consumer material as possible.

LIFESTYLES (sustainable behaviors, attitudes, policies)

  • Can green TV make us greener? The appeal and effectiveness of environmental TV programs at promoting pro-environmental behaviors among individuals with different attitudes
by Katelyn Kirnan; determining the effects of environmental TV programming on attitudes and beliefs.
  • Sustainable tourism: Oxymoron or just an incredible challenge?
by Roman Yavich;
researching the sustainability of tourism development from the various viewpoints of the stakeholders of this industry.

INFRASTRUCTURE (urban and built environment)

  • Myco-tecture
by Scott D. Bascom;
investigating the potential of using Mycelium from fungus as a sustainable building material.
  • Green roofs: How they affect water quality
by George Segre; studying the green roof on the Syracuse Center of Excellence building in order to quantify the effects of a green roof on water quality.


  • Energy-harvesting door
by Byron Golub; developing a mechanical attachment that can harvest the energy that people use when they open normal swing doors.

THE ANTHROPOCENE ERA (human impacts on natural ecosystems)

  • Respiration in soil microbial communities
by Peter Chuckran; investigating the factors that could affect CO2 respiration rates of soil microbes, which can shed light on feedback loops affecting climate change.
  • Permafrost in a changing world by Rachel Valletta; researching the effects that melting permafrost can have on both a global and regional scale, including those that extend beyond mere scientific research and have major societal and economic impacts.

ART FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE (an art exhibit in Menschel Gallery)

  • Das meer
By Elin Sandberg; creating artwork that combines plastic with clay, paper pulp, weaving, basket coiling and wood to produce a hand-netted, recycled cloth oceanic algorithm.

In addition to being featured at SU Showcase, the fellows will have their work published on the Showcase website as part of an online anthology of student research on sustainability.

SU Showcase 2011 will kick off with a morning "teach-in" on climate change. Dave Eichorn, meteorologist and ESF environmental studies graduate student, will conduct the teach-in breakfast presentation on the changing climate of Central New York.

For more information visit http://sushowcase.syr.edu/Registration_2011.html.