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

Sustainable Practices in Central New York October 8 & 9, 2015

Thanks to everyone who attended the 2015 SURE Symposium and made it a success! We look forward to seeing you in 2016.

Program Overview

Join expert faculty, researchers, & practitioners from Syracuse and beyond as we explore Environmental Entrepreneurship, Sustainability Practices, Climate Action Planning and More!

See agenda below for more details!

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. Together, they form a unique collaboration providing world-class education and research on sustainable enterprise management.


Registration Fees:

Registration is now closed!

Professional: $90

Student: $25

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Please contact Katherina Searing for more information: kbsearing@esf.edu, (315) 470-6888.



Refunds, minus a $50 administrative fee, will be issued for requests received by Friday, September 25, 2015. Requests must be made by email to Jacob O'Connell at joconnell@esf.edu. Cancellations will not be accepted by phone; substitutions can be made at any time.


Who Should Attend

If you are interested in learning about science, policy, technologies and the growth of sustainability practices 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


Katherina Searing
(315) 470-6888

Program Format, Location, and Schedule

Date and Time

Topics & Speakers


Thursday October 8--Baker Laboratory 146, SUNY-ESF

4:00 - 4:25 PM


Baker 146, SUNY- ESF

4:25 - 4:35


Katherina B. Searing, Associate Director of Professional Education and Non-Credit Programs, ESF Outreach

4:30 - 5:15


Introduction by Dr. David Newman, Professor & Chair, Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management

The Emergence of Wind Energy in Colorado: Entrepreneurship, Social Movements, and Industry Evolution

Dr. Jeffrey York, Sustainable Enterprise Partnership's Fetner Fellow, Assistant Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship and the Shane Faculty Scholar at the University of Colorado Boulder.

How and why do environmentally beneficial industries emerge? Why does the adoption of new environmental technologies vary across regions and states? In these two studies, we show how the wind energy industry emerged due the co-evolution of entrepreneurial efforts, social movement organizations, and existing industries. Through a case study of wind energy in Colorado, we highlight how economic and ecological arguments can become hybridized over time to create legitimacy and adoption of new environmentally beneficial technologies.

5:15 - 6:00

Panel reflecting on Dr. York's presentation and what it means in Central NY

  • Dan Cowen, Program Manager for Sustainable Business Initiatives, CenterState Corporation for Economic Development
  • Terry Brown, Executive Director, Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship, Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University
  • Dr. Edward Bogucz, Executive Director, SyracuseCoE, and Assoc. Professor, Dept. if Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Syracuse University
  • Travis Glazier, Director of the Office of Environment for Onondaga County
  • Moderator: Dr. Cliff Davidson, Thomas C. and Colleen L. Wilmot Professor, Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Syracuse University
6:00 - 7:00 Reception in Baker Laboratory  
Friday October 9--Baker Laboratory, Room 408, SUNY-ESF

8:30 - 8:55 AM

Check-in & Breakfast

Baker Lab 408, SUNY- ESF
8:55 - 9:00 AM


Katherina B. Searing, Associate Director of Professional Education and Non-Credit Programs, ESF Outreach

9:00 - 10:00

I. Carbon Footprinting

  • Chris Carrick, Energy Program Manager, CNY RPDB
  • Sam Gordon, Director of Planning & Zoning, Town of DeWitt
  • Rebecca Klossner, Planner, Syracuse-Onondaga County Planning Agency
  • Dr. Richard Smardon, Distinguished Service Professor, SUNY-ESF
10:00- 10:30

Workshop: Carbon Footprinting

Participants will analyze Carbon Footprint examples and explore their own organization utilizing the methods and examples given by the panelists

10:30-10:45 Break  
10:15 - 11:45

II. Climate Action Planning

  • Chris Carrick, Energy Program Manager, CNY RPDB
  • Dr. Neal Abrams, Associate Professor, SUNY-ESF
  • Professor Paul Crovella, Instructor, SUNY-ESF
  • Dr. Richard Smardon, Distinguished Service Professor, SUNY-ESF
11:45 - 12:15 PM

Workshop: Climate Action Planning

Participants will evaluate Climate Action Planning and the technologies and approaches described by the panelists for their own organizations


Networking Lunch


III. Environmental Entrepreneurship: The Creative Use of Sustainable Energy (CUSE)


Lunch Keynote: Dr. Jeffrey York on Environmental Entrepreneurship

Introduction by Todd Moss, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship & Faculty Director, Sustainable Enterprise Partnership

How, when, and why do some firms and individuals create markets, opportunities and services that reduce economic degradation and create economic profits? Do entrepreneurs offer an alternative to corporate social responsibility, charity, and government regulation solutions? Using economic, sociological, and psychological perspectives this talk will explore this question. We will explore examples from research in green building and renewable energy to understand the potential role of entrepreneurs in addressing daunting environmental problems.

1:40-1:50 Break  

Case Studies: Environmental Entrepreneurship

  • Michael Johnson, General Manager, Johnson Brothers Lumber Company
  • Joseph Brown, President & CEO, Roth Global Plastics
  • Mark Donnelly, Executive Director & Andrew Radin, Recycling & Waste Reduction Director, Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency
  • Dr. Timothy Volk, Senior Research Associate, SUNY-ESF


3:30 Program Concludes  

SURE 2015 Organizing Team


Neal 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.


Paul 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.


Dr. Cliff Davidson

Dr. Davison is the Thomas and Colleen Wilmot Professor of Engineering at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY. He currently holds appointments in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and at the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems, and he is the Program Director for Environmental Engineering. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Engineering Science from California Institute of Technology. Following his PhD, he joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy where he served for 33 years. He joined Syracuse University in 2010. Davidson has written and edited a number of books, has over 100 articles in refereed journals, and was President of the American Association for Aerosol Research during 1999-2000. He is the Founding Director of the Center for Sustainable Engineering, a partnership among several universities led by Syracuse University. His research interests have varied over his career, starting with environmental pollutant studies in remote areas including the Himalayas, the Arctic, and several U.S. National Parks. Since the 1990s, he has studied the role of engineers in sustainable development as well as lay people’s perceptions of technology and their understanding of the environmental impact of their daily activities. He is currently investigating what engineering students know about sustainability as well as how to teach sustainability in engineering courses. He is also researching urban redevelopment for sustainability, for example, investigating the role of green infrastructure in helping to solve air and water management problems.


Todd W. Moss

Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Sustainability and the Faculty Director of the Sustainable Enterprise Partnership at the Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University. He earned his Ph.D. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from Texas Tech University in 2011, and previously served on the faculty at Oregon State University. Prior to his career in academe, he worked at Ford Motor Company in various product strategy and engineering assignments. He holds BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA, all from Brigham Young University. He and his wife Jenifer have been married for 17 years and are the joyful parents of three sons and five daughters.

Professor Moss's research interests focus on the intersections of entrepreneurship, innovation, and social responsibility. His most recent work addresses crowdfunding and the various types of value creation pursued by microenterprises. He research has appeared in journals such as Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, and Family Business Review, among others. He currently teaches graduate courses in sustainable enterprise and sustainability consulting.​


Richard 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.

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.

Newman David Newman, Ph.D.

David Newman is the Chair of the Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management and a Professor of Resource Economics and Policy at SUNY-ESF in Syracuse, NY.   He was previously Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. His primary research areas have been the economics of public policy related to timber supply and land use change.  He has authored or co-authored more than 50 refereed journal articles, two books, and two edited volumes in the general areas of returns to research in forestry, the economics of timber supply, the role of government policy in landowner decision-making, and forest taxation.  He has consulted on various forestry projects with organizations such as the World Bank, the USDA Forest Service, the World Wildlife Fund, the Agency for International Development, the US EPA, and others.  Since 2010, he has written the Forestry Foundations column for the New York Forester.  He has given lectures or served as a visiting scholar at several international institutions including the Chinese Academy of Forestry, the Swedish Agricultural University, the Finnish Forest Research Institute, Oslo University, the Colombian National Planning Department, and the University of Tasmania. 


Click here to download a .zip file (62.9mb) of the presentations from the SURE 2015 Symposium.