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

Welcome to the ESF Open Academy

Our College community is committed to being a leader in the evolving higher education landscape. ESF Open Academy represents an academic unit that encompasses the College's Summer Semester, Academic Year Visiting Student, Professional, and Public Education Programs, Online Educational programming, and ESF's Teaching and Learning Center.

In the near term, you may get the impression that we are all about online education. A lot of our attention will indeed focus on this newest part of our educational portfolio. Nevertheless, you and our learners will also have the opportunity to learn about and participate in well-established programs that have earned ESF state-wide and national recognition.

Greening USA recently recognized the New York State Green Building Conference (looking ahead to its 18th consecutive year). This Syracuse-based not-for-profit organization promotes community sustainability as one of their 2016 Sustaining Our Community Award recipients. This award recognizes organizations, projects, and individuals that contribute to the sustainability of our community and demonstrate a commitment to environmental, economic, and social justice, and stewardship.

The Green Building Conference provides ongoing professional education, professional licensing credits, and hosts nationally-recognized academic, industry, and public sector leaders as speakers (e.g., Jeff Speck, Principal, Speck & Associates LLC; Anthony Leiserowitz, Director, Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, Yale University; Silda Wall Spitzer, Senior Advisor, New World Capital Group; Tedd Benson, Founder and Owner, Bensonwood; Alex Wilson, Founder, BuildingGreen, Inc.; Dan Reicher, Executive Director, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford University; and Sarah Susanka, Architect, cultural visionary and bestselling author of The Not So Big House).

We are working on expanding online education programs as a critical part of ESF's educational offerings. Online learning activities are similar to those we have all experienced in traditional courses; that is, students read course materials, write papers, do research, complete graded assignments, and communicate with their instructor and fellow students. However, the course design facilitates these activities through an online network. Learning in this format is both interactive with faculty and collaborative with other learners.

To help achieve this goal, the ESF Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) was established in 2017. The TLC is a teaching/learning center that encourages and supports innovative and effective teaching and learning. The TLC directly supports our faculty as they adapt and create new online delivery programs for additional students. The priority is on faculty and the courses that are part of the College's online certificate and degree portfolio and programming and approaches that are broadly beneficial to all ESF faculty and graduate teaching assistants.

As we work to expand ESF's reach and impact, we need your active support and involvement. Your thoughts and questions are always welcome and will be appreciated!

Neal Abrams

Neal M. Abrams
Interim Director