Green Infrastructure Symposium 2011
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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

SUNY-ESF and the Environmental Finance Center at Syracuse University are pleased to present the 2010 Green Infrastructure Symposium:

Growing Green Infrastructure in New York State and Central New York

Wednesday, November 17 and Thursday, November 18, 2010
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
The Crowne Plaza
701 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, NY 13210
rain garden top


  • Presentations by experts on the future of green infrastructure in our state andregion
  • Panel discussions on strategically advancing green infrastructure, and current barriers and opportunities
  • Gathering of leaders and professionals interested in green infrastructure applications and tools
  • Field trips to local green infrastructure projects

The 2010 Central New York Green Infrastructure Symposium, hosted by SUNY-ESF and the Environmental Finance Center at Syracuse University, provided a focused discussion and gathering of leaders, professionals, researchers, government officials, and others who wished to learn more about advances in green infrastructure applications and regional workforce development. Experts and specialists on the local to regional level shared their insights into the growth of green infrastructure (GI) andrelated workforce development, and discussed current opportunities and barriers in the field.

This program is being reviewed for professional certification hours for engineers (PDHs), architects (CEUs), and landscape architects (LUs). For a taste of the topics addressed at this gathering, please view the symposium presentations (pdf files)and the program agenda.

Attendee Feedback

“Great symposium; I hope this will be the first of many!”

“Wonderful conference…I am definitely attending next year—with additional staff from our firm.  Thank you very much.”

“This was a great event!  Please do it again!”

Program Agenda

Wednesday, November 17th 2010

Wednesday, November 17th  Program Speaker
8:00-8:30 Registration, breakfast  
8:30-9:00 What is green infrastructure?

Dr. Sam Salem, Ph.D., PE, CPC, LEED AP

Professor, Construction Engineering and Management Civil and Environmental Engineering, Syracuse University
9:00-9:10 Opening remarks

Joanie Mahoney, Onondaga County Executive

9:10-9:45 Featured speaker Julie O’Neill
Executive Director
Buffalo-Niagara Riverkeepers
9:45-10:00 BREAK  
10:00-10:45 Local Codes and Ordinances using EPA Water Quality Scorecard Tamara Mittman, US EPA
10:45 - 11:30 Rainwater Harvesting Roundtable: Aimee Clinkhammer, Syracuse Center of Excellence
11:30 - 12:00 EPA rule making update Tamara Mittman, US EPA
12:00-1:00 Lunch  
1:00-2:00 Green Infrastructure Public Engagement Panel Moderator: Lindsay Speer

Concurrent Sessions:

  1. Green Innovation Grant Program
  2. Stormwater Rate Structure

Suzanna Randall NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation

  1. Khris Dodson, Environmental Finance Center
2:30-2:45 BREAK  

Concurrent Sessions I

Track 1: Strategies for Design and Implementation of GI I

Track 2: Lessons in GI Demonstration Projects I

Track 3: Community Engagement

Concurrent presentation sessions allow program participants to choose topics in green infrastructure most directly related to their professional interests. Participants may select a track to attend, and may attend a different track in the second concurrent session.
3:45- 4:00 BREAK  

Concurrent Sessions II

Track 1: Strategies for Design and Implementation of GI II

Track 2: Lessons in GI Demonstration Projects II

Track 3: Technological Approaches to Observing and Monitoring GI

Concurrent presentation sessions allow program participants to choose topics in green infrastructure most directly related to their professional interests.
5:00-6:00 Hors D'Oeuvres and cash bar  

Thursday, November 18th 2010

Convener: Ted Endreny, Ph.D., P.E., P.H., Professor in the Department of Environmental Resources Engineering at SUNY-ESF. Dr. Endreny is actively involved in research and development of green infrastructure systems and water resources management on the SUNY-ESF campus and through Central New York.

8:00-8:30 Registration, breakfast  
8:30-8:45 Welcome and introduction

Virginia Williams, Project Manager, SUNY-ESF Outreach

Ted Endreny, Ph.D., P.E., P.H., Professor, Department of Environmental and Resources Engineering, SUNY-ESF.

8:45-9:15 Featured speaker Dr. Dave Nowak, USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station
9:15-9:30 Introduction of presenters Dr. Ted Endreny, Virginia Williams, Project Manager, SUNY-ESF Outreach
9:30 -11:00

Presentations on Growing Green Infrastructure in New York State and Central New York

The growth and needs of green infrastructure at the state, local, and academic levels

11:00-11:15 Break and presenting questions  

Audience and Panel Discussion Questions

Green infrastructure industry jobs, growth, and needs


  • Current barriers and challenges to green infrastructure
  • Current successes of green infrastructure
  • Growth of green jobs related to green infrastructure

Moderator: Ms. Meredith Perreault, Onondaga Environmental Institute


12:00-1:00 Lunch  
1:00-4:30 Tours: Field trips to local green and grey infrastructure projects, including the Near Westside of Syracuse, 515 Tully Street, the Syracuse Center of Excellence, Midland Regional Treatment Facility, and the SUNY-ESF Campus  

GardenPresenters and Speakers

Convener: Ted Endreny, Ph.D., P.E., P.H., Professor in the Department of Environmental Resources Engineering at SUNY-ESF. Dr. Endreny is actively involved in research and development of green infrastructure systems and water resources management on the SUNY-ESF campus and through Central New York.

Ted's early experiences with water include creek walks with his family, fly fishing with his grandfather, and riparian wetland journeys with his dog. Ted received a B.S. in 1990 at Cornell University in Natural Resources, a M.S. in 1996 at North Carolina State University in Biological and Agricultural Engineering, and a Ph.D. in 1999 at Princeton University in Civil and Environmental Engineering. From 1990 to 1992 Ted served as a Peace Corps volunteer with the Honduran Forest Service working in the Capiro-Calentura National Park and Guaimoreto Lagoon Wildlife Reserve, and from 1992 to 1994 Ted worked as a research associate at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, DC. Ted became a member of the SUNY-ESF faculty in 1999, and was licensed as a Professional Engineer and Professional Hydrologist in 2002. Ted was trained by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in flood mitigation design in 2002 and by the Fish and Wildlife Service in fluvial geomorphological assessment and restoration in 2003. Ted teaches courses in Engineering Hydrology & Hydraulics, Ecological Engineering in the Tropics, River Form and Process, Open Channel Hydraulics, Hydro-Meteorology, and Graduate Research Methods, as well as provides regular graduate seminar series and guest lectures. Ted's research uses field instrumentation, laboratory hydraulic experiments, and computational modeling to examine coupled ecological-hydrological restoration of watershed and river systems, considering water quantity and quality. Support for this research has been awarded by agencies such as NSF, USDA, EPA, HUD, DoEd, and UNESCO.

BJ Adigun, CH2M Hill. BJ is a native of Washington DC and is in his 2nd year of involvement with Onondaga County’s Green Infrastructure program. In his current role, he supervises Onondaga County’s new “Save the Rain” initiative to improve the environment and help Onondaga Lake by developing green infrastructure solutions throughout the Onondaga Lake watershed. The “Save the Rain” program will also focus on educating the public and providing resources on why “green” is so important to our community.

Prior to his work with Onondaga County, Bj spent 6 years at SUNY Upstate Medical University as their Director of Community Affairs for the new Golisano Children’s Hospital. During his tenure at SUNY, he worked as a member of the Pediatric management team and developed a comprehensive marketing and strategic business plan for the children’s hospital. He also participated in work on several operational committees at SUNY.

Margaret Bryant, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at SUNY-ESF in the Department of Landscape Architecture. For the past 20 years, Dr. Bryant has practiced land use and environmental planning in a variety of contexts including regional planning offices in Massachusetts and Virginia; engineering consulting on environmental consequences of transportation and water resources planning in the Southeastern U.S.; and university-based planning outreach at the University of Georgia, University of Massachusetts, Virginia Tech, and SUNY-ESF. She has been a professor of landscape architecture for 10 years and has continued planning practice through projects with local governments concerning park and open space planning, watershed planning, green infrastructure planning, and active living (urban design to promote physical activity).

Karen Engel, Green Infrastructure Coordinator, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Karen has been, among other things, instrumental in catalyzing a state and region wide discussion on green infrastructure. Ms. Engel Grew up in Albany County, NY. She Received a B.S. in Resources Management from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 1975. She Worked for the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in various titles in different State Parks in the Central Region from 1975 -1982. She took extended Leave of Absence, eventually becoming a stay-at-home mom to three daughters. During this time, she volunteered for The Nature Conservancy and the Bluebird Society; and served then (and again now) on the Board of Directors for the Schoharie Land Trust. She earned federal "Red Card" certification as a wildlands fire fighter and was on a New York State crew dispatched to fires five times from 1996 to 2002. After that, she returned to State service in 1994 as a Fish & Wildlife Technician at the Wildlife Pathology Unit of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in Delmar. Later on, she received a permanent appointment as a Forester in DEC's Central Office to work on the 1998 Ice Storm response. After that, she transferred to the Stamford Regional office in 2000 to work on the Real Property Tax Law 480a. In 2002, she transferred back to Central Office as a Biologist with the Hazardous Waste Site Evaluation UnitofDEC's Division of Fish & Wildlife. In 2004 she was promoted back to the Division of Lands and Forests in the Forest Preserve Section, later transferring to the State Lands Section to head Conservation Easements. In 2007, Karen was promoted to Urban & Community Forestry Program Manager, where she was introduced to the concept of Green Infrastructure at a US Forest Service workshop. That reframing of natural systems to promote their recognition as critical life-support systems resonated, and with that vision, she garnered over $1,000,000 in federal grants for projects in New York State, and brought GI to DEC. She transferred to the Office of Environmental Justice, in 2008, as NYS DEC's Green Infrastructure Coordinator, and now leads a Green Infrastructure Workgroup in DEC comprised of representatives from other Divisions and every Region. She currently serves on the steering committee of the federal Green Infrastructure Community of Practice, and works with partners on federal and statewide GI initiatives.

Matt Marko, Vice President, CH2M Hill. Matthew Marko is a New York State licensed Professional Engineer, an American Academy of Environmental Engineers Board Certified Environmental Engineer, a Vice President with CH2M HILL, and Past President of the American Society of Civil Engineers Syracuse Section. In 2008 Mr. Marko was appointed by the New York State Governor to serve as Trustee for the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He’s active with NY AWWA’s Program Committee, as well as the NY Water Environment Association’s Sustainability Committee. He’s a graduate of SUNY Buffalo, and also studied abroad at the University of North London. He is currently Onondaga County’s Program Manager for CSO Abatement through Green Infrastructure

Edward M. Michalenko, Ph.D. serves as President of the Onondaga Environmental Institute (OEI).  The OEI is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to public education, scientific research, planning and restoration of the environment. Dr. Michalenko is currently administering several grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to OEI for the revitalization of Onondaga Creek, habitat enhancement and non-point source pollution control to Onondaga Lake, and water quality monitoring and public education on behalf of the Onondaga Nation.  He received a doctoral degree from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) at Syracuse, NY in 1991.  Dr. Michalenko has performed research on the effects of chemicals in the environment including the Solvay wastebeds, which form the western shore of Onondaga Lake; and mollucsides used to control zebra mussels in industrial cooling waters, sewage sludge additions to strip-mined reclamation sites, and supplemental wood preservative applications to utility poles in Adirondack wetlands.  He conducted the first basewide Ecological Risk Assessment of a military installation at Cape Canaveral Air Station, FL, and designed and implemented the first ever field monitoring program of an aerially applied pesticide for non-agricultural purposes.  Dr Michalenko has co-authored five books and over 40 technical publications on environmental fate and effects of chemicals for the USEPA, National Library of Medicine, and the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry.  He also held adjunct faculty positions at ESF and Syracuse University, where he has taught courses in ecology, the American environmental movement, environmental science, and environmental education for teachers.

Dr. Michalenko is also the Town Supervisor of Dewitt NY.  Dewitt is a suburb community of Syracuse, NY with a population of about 25,000.  Dr. Michalenko designed Dewitt’s tiered Solid Waste Removal System that promotes recycling and waste reduction, helped establish a Town Park at Fiddler’s Green along Butternut Creek, and serves as a founding Director of the Fiddlers Green Park Association.  He is actively pursuing alternate energy technologies for Town facilities, acquisition of parklands and greenspace, development of a Town wide recreational trial system, and the formation of conservation overlay districts and flood control strategies along Butternut and Ley Creeks.

Tamara Mittman is an Environmental Engineer with the US EPA Office of Wastewater Management, Water Permitting Division.  Tamara provides technical assistance to the NPDES Municipal Stormwater Program, and is currently working on the development of the proposed stormwater rule.

Tamara has a Masters degree in Geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a B.A. in Environmental Engineering from Harvard College.  She has worked with the Parks and People Foundation in Baltimore, MD, the Alameda County Water District in Fremont, CA, and Redwood National Park near Arcata, CA. She can be reached at, US EPA Office of Water, Water Permits Division, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004, 202.564.1093.

David Nowak, Ph.D. Project Leader, USDA Forest Service, Northeast Station. Dr. Nowak's research focuses on investigating what makes up the vegetation in cities and town and what environmental or ecosystem services this vegetation provides to local and regional populations. The research initiates field studies and develops computer models to assess the urban forest structure, functions, and values for urban areas across the globe. One of the research goals is to integrate urban forest ecosystem services (e.g., air quality improvement) within various environmental regulations (e.g., Clean Air Act). Tools are also being developed to aid in management and planning decisions to sustain urban forest health and services. Long-term monitoring programs are investigating how and why urban forest change through time so better management plans can be developed to sustain this important resource.

Julie Barrett O'Neill is the Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER.  A native of WNY who gained familiarity with the water as a rower, Julie joined Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper in 2001 as the organization's first permanent staff person.  Under her leadership the organization has grown to a staff of 18 and is currently adding more.  RIVERKEEPER’s recent project accomplishments include the Niagara Power Project Environmental Settlement, Niagara River Greenway Plan adoption and a first ever projected $60 million sediment clean up agreement with the US EPA.  In 2006, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper was recognized by US EPA Region 2 with its highest citizen organization award.  In 2005, Julie was recognized as the Erie County Environmental Citizen of the Year.

Julie attended the University of Buffalo as an undergraduate, receiving a degree in Environmental Studies.  She then continued on to the University of Iowa to receive her Law degree and a Masters degree in economic development.  She lives in Buffalo in a recently remodeled "green" building with her husband and three children. Julie can be reached at Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, 1250 Niagara Street, Buffalo, NY 14213,, 716-852-7483

Suzanna Randall, Green Infrastructure Coordinator, NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation. Ms. Randall was appointed Green Infrastructure Coordinator in August 2009.  Prior to joining the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation, Ms Randall worked on the Philadelphia Water Department’s Sustainable Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Program and was the Environmental Planner for the Stormwater Plan Review and Incentives Program.  Ms. Randall began her career in water related planning in 1998 at the Samoa Water Authority as a US Peace Corps volunteer.  Since then she has worked in the public and private sector in water and environmental planning.  She holds a Masters of Science in Planning from the University of Arizona and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College. Ms. Randall is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

O. Sam Salem, Ph.D., PE, CPC, LEED AP. Yabroudi Chair of Sustainable Civil Infrastructures Professor, Construction Engineering and Management at the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University. He received his PhD at the University of Alberta, Canada in Civil & Environmental Engineering. His research interests include Infrastructure Systems and Management, Asset Management, Green Infrastructure and Sustainability, Lean Construction, Accelerated and Fast Track Construction, Safety and Health Engineering, Risk Management, Life Cycle Cost Analysis, Artificial Intelligence and Automation, Trenchless Utility Installation, Heavy Equipment Management.

Timothy R. Toland, RLA, ASLA, LEED-AP, Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at SUNY-ESF. A native of Caledonia, New York, he holds an Associate’s Degree in Landscape Development (1992) and a Bachelor’s in Plant Science (1994) from SUNY Cobleskill, as well as a Master’s in Landscape Architecture (1998) from SUNY-ESF. Joining the department in 2005, Mr. Toland is a versatile teacher leading several courses, including planting design, construction materials, graphics (hand and digital), as well as a number of design studios. Acknowledging the varied scope of contemporary landscape architecture, his courses provide a mix of aesthetic, theoretical and technical discussions to give students a broad working knowledge. Project exercises are intended to give students a rigorous, hands-on experience with the content.

As a LEED-Accredited Professional, he incorporates issues of sustainability in all of his course work to aid student’s understanding of the complexities of environmentally sensitive design. His scholarly pursuits seek to identify the synergies between various human and natural systems, attempting to understand and optimize their performance to reduce environmental impacts while meeting design goals. The objective of his research is to provide design professionals with tools that will allow them to make informed decisions throughout the design process.

While in practice, Mr. Toland worked as both Project Manager and designer for a wide variety of municipal, institutional and private projects. He has experience in campus planning and design, transit and urban planning, large scale master planning, greenway planning, streetscape design, site planning and detailed design, and garden design. His current practice is service-based for SUNY-ESF, playing a key role in the development of a comprehensive master plan that will guide development for the institution for the next 15 years. He serves on numerous committees for building projects around campus, and has begun to work with outreach programs to assist in the implementation of green infrastructure in Syracuse neighborhoods. These outreach projects seek to meet the dual goals of stormwater management and community revitalization.

Symposium Presentations

Wednesday, November 17

Dodson: What is Green Infrastructure?
Mittman: Local Codes and Ordinances using EPA Water Quality Scorecard
Mittman: EPA rulemaking update

Concurrent Sessions: 2:00-2:30

Randall: Green Innovation Grant Program
Dodson: Stormwater Rate Structuring

Break Out Sessions: 2:45-3:45

Session 1: Planning

Ettinger & Toland: Less In – Less Out: Steps to Sustainable Design, Installation and Management Of Landscape Plantings
Fishman & Liberman: Conservation Planning for Green Infrastructure: A ‘Green’print for Sustainability
Stack: Ecological Performance Standards

Session 2: Case Studies

Thomas: Porous pavements, green roofs, bioretention: Case studies of the selection and design of urban retrofit GI for
projects funded by Onondaga County’s Green Improvement Fund
Vail: Rain Gardens at Vassar College: A Water Quality Assessment

Session 3: Community

Barnhill: Public Perception of Green Infrastructure
King & Kanfer: Engaging Community Members in the Design, Implementation and Care of Neighborhood Green Infrastructure
Peng et al.: Map-Based Modeling of People’s Knowledge, Perception and Willingness to Participate in Green Infrastructure
Alternatives to Traditional Storm-Water Management: A Case Study in Syracuse

Break Out Sessions: 4:00-5:00

Session 1: Planning

Slack: Regional Planning for Green Stormwater Retrofits
Garin: Storm Water Management and BMPs as Utilized by the Staten Island Bluebelt
Williams: Growing green infrastructure through workforce development

Session 2: Case Studies

Lee: Hunter’s Point South – A Pilot of Green Infrastructure in NYC
Reidy: Innovation in CSO Reduction: Implementing Passive and Active Distributed Infrastructure

Session 3: Community

Ning Sun: Multi-period Calibration of the U.S. EPA SWMM 5.0 Model within a GLUE Framework to Estimate Stormwater
Flow Reductions in a Fully Spatially-distributed Urban Sewershed of Syracuse, NY
Iorio: Tree Filter Systems for Sustainable Stormwater Management
Toland et al.: Natural Plant Communities as Green Roof Templates

Thursday. November 18

Nowak: Assessing Urban Green
Engel: Green Infrastructure
Bryant: An Idea Whose Time Has Come
Michalenko: Growing from the Ground up for a Global Perspective on Green Infrastructure and Sustainability
Mahoney: Save the Rain Program

Related Programs

SUNY-ESF Outreach hosts many education programs that serve the needs of professional audiences, community residents, government personnel and students. Programs of similar interest and topical content to this Green Infrastructure Symposium include:


Growing Green Infrastructure in CNY is presented in partnership with the Environmental Finance Center at Syracuse University.

For further information about Central New York's Green Infrastructure Symposium, or other green infrastructure initiatives at SUNY-ESF, please contact Virginia (Ginny) Williams, Project Manager at SUNY-ESF Outreach at (315) 470-6818.

This program is made possible, in part, by support from the New York State Department of Labor through Central New York Works.