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


Sustainability is central to ESF's vision and mission, so naturally it extends into the research done on and off campus. Numerous faculty, staff and students engage in sustainability research. This is reflected in ESF's AASHE STARS report.

STARS tracks the percentage of college faculty and staff that engage in research and have a focus on sustainability research. This data was last collected in 2020 and showed an impressive 88% of respondents conduct sustainability research.

This research cuts across all academic departments at ESF and include many areas of sustainability research: composting, bioplastics, commuting, bicycle use, climate change adaptation, green buildings, life cycle assessment, habitat restoration, carbon footprinting, renewable energy, urban sustainability, ecosystem services, and socio-ecological system.

Much of this research can be applied to the campus to make it more sustainable and the Sustainability Division is always looking for ways to collaborate with researchers for campus improvements! Ideally, the ESF campus can serve as a living lab for interdisciplinary collaborations that makes ESF more sustainable, enjoyable, and unique.

The Gateway Center's green roof is one great example of sustainability research collaboration. Built on the top of a LEED Platinum new construction building, the Gateway Center's green roof is a unique mix of native plants that represents two rare ecosystems in New York State. The substrate and plants needed to achieve this were unconventional and were first researched in trial plantings on Illick Hall's roof. This gave researchers the data they needed to create a successful green roof that is unique and true to ESF and fit with the College's green building and sustainability goals. Even after construction, research on the green roof continues with monitoring of water balance, plant health, and other key metrics of performance.


Justin Heavey
Sustainability and Research Programs Manager