The Biology Department’s Bachelor of Arts degree provides broad training in biology including advanced electives related to ecosystem sustainability. The program allows students to conduct faculty-mentored research projects or internships with local environmental agencies. Faculty expertise in sustainability includes Conservation Biology, Ecosystem Restoration, Climate Change Biology and Aquatic Biology. The Department also offers a Master of Arts in Biology which trains students for advanced research, professional employment, or study at the Ph.D. level.
Dr. Christopher Pennuto, Professor of Biology and Research Associate for the Great Lakes Center, is the Director for the Western New York office of the Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM), which is located at Buffalo State's Great Lakes Center. PRISM coordinates invasive species management actions in the eight western New York counties by providing educational workshops; facilitating communication among public, private, and governmental agencies; monitoring for invasive species; training citizen scientists as part of a surveillance network; and assisting in eradication efforts. PRISM's goal is to protect, improve, and restore local aquatic and terrestrial resources.
Among its several degree programs -- including Geology, Earth Sciences and Earth Science Education -- Buffalo State's Department of Earth Sciences and Science Education offers a minor in Environmental Science as well as Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees in Great Lakes Ecosystem Science, in conjunction with Buffalo State's Great Lakes Center and Geography and Planning Department.
The Enviromental Science minor is designed to give students a broad base of knowledge in the various natural science disciplines that compose environmental science. It provides students with the background necessary to understand and evaluate complex environmental issues. The program also provides an understanding of the interrelationships of the physical, biological, and human dimensions of the environment.
The Great Lakes Ecosystem Science program prepares graduates to provide leadership in addressing a wide range of problems and issues related to the management of resources within the Great Lakes and surrounding watersheds.
Buffalo State's Engineering Technology Department offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology: Smart Grid. Smart Grid techology applies computer-based remote control and automation to electricity delivery systems, significantly improving energy efficiency. Graduates of the Smart Grid option in Electrical Engineering Technology at Buffalo State are prepared for careers in this growing, sustainable field.
Through its programs in Geography and Urban and Regional Analysis and Planning, Buffalo State's Geography and Planning Department addresses environmental conservation, management and assessment, as well as issues relating to sustainable facilities and transportation.
In one initiative, Buffalo State students collect data about streams in the Niagara River watershed under the direction of Kelly Frothingham, associate professor and chair of the Geography and Planning Department. Frothingham serves on a technical advisory committee for the community-based organization Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, which uses the data to help guide watershed management activities in the Niagara River Greenway.
The Center for Southeast Asia Environment and Sustainable Development is a focal point for existing campus efforts to promote sustainable development in Southeast Asia. Its mission is to improve the understanding of complex environmental and development issues facing Southeast Asia by fostering multidisciplinary, international collaboration in research, education, and capacity building. The center works with Southeast Asian universities, government agencies, NGOs, and the private sector in its initiatives to develop effective environmental planning and management solutions to environmental problems.
The Geography and Planning Department offers Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees in Great Lakes Ecosystem Science, in conjunction with the Great Lakes Center and the Earth Sciences and Science Education Department. It also offers a minor in Meteorology and Climatology with a focus on applied experiences.
The Great Lakes are the largest system of accessible freshwater on Earth: these inland seas contain about 20 percent of the world's supply of fresh water. Bounded by eight states and one province, over 30 million people live within the watershed, including more than one-tenth of the U.S. population and one-quarter of the Canadian population.
The mission of the Great Lakes Center at Buffalo State is to improve the quality of the environment by providing the best possible science to decision-makers concerned with the health and sustainability of resources, with a primary focus on the Great Lakes and their watersheds. This is accomplished through high quality research, informed and current graduate and undergraduate education, and dissemination of information to the public through outreach.
The Great Lakes Center is in a unique position to provide research and education opportunities to people who are living on and being impacted by Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The center has a research facility located on the waterfront, a fleet of boats, and field equipment that it can use to help answer questions about the ecological processes and patterns acting on the system.
The center offers Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees in Great Lakes Ecosystem Science, in conjunction with the departments of Earth Sciences and Science Education, and Geography and Planning.
The Hospitality and Tourism Department is involved in a number of sustainable activities. The department recently completed a two-year Environmental Protection Agency grant that included a partnership with the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning. Faculty and students worked with the county to develop a certification assessment for the hospitality industry, conducted “green” audits to determine the status of various components related to energy efficiency, made recommendations for improvements, and finally, helped hotels, restaurants, and tourism agencies to implement these recommendations. As a part of this grant, the department also developed a new topics course entitled “Sustainability in Hospitality Management.”
Along with these efforts, the department’s culinary laboratory, Campus House, is engaged in a number of environmentally conscious practices, including establishing the proper procedures for disposal of cooking oil, composting and arranging with a community action organization with an urban farm to use the compost, and donating edible excess food to a community organization for homeless youth.
The department’s academic home, Caudell Hall, will be under renovation until summer 2016. The two-year building rehabilitation will create a number of efficiencies in equipment and systems that will result in cost savings and opportunities to provide environmental instruction. One planned innovation is the use of a food waste decomposition system that can reduce waste by 80 percent.
In cooperation with the History, English, Anthropology, Political Science, Economics and Finance, Psychology, Geography and Planning, Biology, and Earth Sciences and Science Education departments, the Sociology Department houses a minor in Environment and Society. The program offers an opportunity for comprehensive interdisciplinary study of "human-environment" interactions, providing students with the skills to think holistically about environmental problems and solutions.
Buffalo State's Office of Undergraduate Research facilitates student-faculty collaboration that examines, creates and shares new knowledge or works in ways commensurate with practices in the discipline. Undergraduate research is an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned in class in order to to solve real-world problems, as well as to learn things that you might not typically cover in class.
In recent years Buffalo State's annual Student Research and Creativity Celebration -- which allows undergraduate and graduate students in all academic disciplines to present their preliminary and completed research and creative activities --has included student-faculty research focused on sustainability in manufacturing, urban planning, architecture, interior design and fashion and textile technology. In addition, students have presented research on biodiesel fuels use, groundwater degradation and storm water run-off, and protection of freshwater wetlands.
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