|Submission Date||Feb. 12, 2016|
AC-9: Academic Research
Assoc. Dir. Sustainability
Number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff engaged in sustainability research:
Total number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff engaged in research:
Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that include at least one faculty or staff member that conducts sustainability research:
The total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that conduct research:
A copy of the sustainability research inventory that includes the names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:
Names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:
See complete list on our web site
A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the research inventory:
A manual search through all campus faculty web pages was initially conducted using key words from the Earth Charter. A draft inventory was prepared and sent to each department for review for accuracy and completeness.
A brief description of notable accomplishments during the previous three years by faculty and/or staff engaged in sustainability research:
Green Data Center: This multi-disciplinary program involving Profs. Pier Marzocca (Mech.Engrg.), Ajit Achuthan (Mech.Engrg.), Kerop Janoyan (Civil Engrg.), Jeanna Matthews (Comp. Sci.), Stephen Bird (Pol. Sci.), Martin Heintzelman (Econ.), Joseph Skufca (Math), and Lei Wu (Elec. Engrg.), combines engineering, public policy, and financial studies. It addresses several important energy policy, economic, and operational concerns related to a NYSERDA funded engineering project that develops the concept of "Green Data Computing Centers." It addresses challenges associated with both the migration to a cloud computing infrastructure, and the use of distributed and alternative electricity generation, with a specific focus on renewable energy sources. The concept is to make use of a distributed network of data centers to make this high-energy-demand technology more energy-efficient and cost-effective than current methods. If successful and deployed on a larger scale, this project could bring significant energy savings to an industry that can consume one megawatt of electricity at times of peak operation.
Wetlands Restoration Ecology: Clarkson researchers are monitoring the effectiveness of public-private partnership programs for wetland restoration and conservation. Aspects of this research include assessment of wetland-associated biodiversity, water quality, and ecosystem services of restored wetlands on private agricultural land (Drs. T. A. Langen, M. Twiss; Bio.), landowner satisfaction and valuation of participation in wetland restoration programs (Dr. J.R. Welsh, Soc. Sci.)), and the impact of wetland restoration on private property values (Dr. M. Heintzelman, Econ.). The objective of this research is to help the National Resource Conservation Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and other conservation agencies be more affective at meeting wetland conservation objectives in agricultural landscapes.
Woody Biofuels: Prof. P.K. Hopke (Chem. Engrg.) A. Rossner (ISE) and T.M. Holsen (Env. Engrg.) have been studying advanced combustion systems for woody biomass for their thermal efficiency and emissions. Clarkson has installed a 150 kW high efficiency, low emissions boiler in the Walker Center to study wood pellet combustion. This team has also conducted studies at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY on their 500 kW boiler as well as measuring the emissions from the combustion of switch grass pellets in conjunction with SUNY –Canton. The Walker Center boiler is being further modified to include thermal storage and innovative particle control systems to study system optimization and thereby minimize fuel input and emissions.
Energy Education: Efforts to promote energy literacy, which is a citizenship understanding of energy that includes broad content knowledge as well as affective and behavioral aspects, will move us toward a more sustainable energy future by empowering people to make objective energy-related decisions and actions throughout their daily life. With a deeper and broader understanding of energy, people are more likely to adopt behavioral changes that will effectively contribute toward energy conservation and efficiency, and are more likely to embrace technological changes in the way our society harnesses and consumes energy. The research efforts of Dr. J. DeWaters (Engrg.) and Prof. S. Powers (Inst. Sus. Env.) focus on improving our understanding of how energy education can improve energy literacy among pre-college students and young adults. Effective educational programs are important at any age, but are particularly valuable for pre-college (K-12) students, since energy-related awareness and values are largely formulated during childhood. To that end, a variety of educational modules have been developed to teach students about energy resources, energy systems, and environmental impacts. Recent efforts, with funding from NASA and additional expertise of Prof. S. Dhaniyala (Mech. Engrg.) enabled broadening the effort to include global climate change. The energy and climate modules are disseminated through teacher training workshops, which deepen their scientific content knowledge and provide them with materials, information, and a networked support system that enables them to deliver quality programming in their classrooms. Quantitative energy literacy and climate literacy questionnaires, also developed at Clarkson, have been used in a variety of applications to assess the status of energy and climate literacy and identify educational needs among pre-college and college age students. The instruments also provide a means to measure the broader impacts of educational programs, and in this way the research contributes toward creating and improving energy education programs that help improve students’ energy and climate literacy.
The Smart Housing Project includes faculty from all schools and 6 departments. This project has several grants to increase the efficiency of campus apartment residences through building energy modeling and motivating behavior change. (Depts include Pol. Sci. Psych., ISE, CEE, ChE, ECE, math)
The microgrid project has several grants and is working closely with the Village and other area institutions on research and implementation of a microgrid for resilience during extreme weather events or other major disruptions. (Depts include ECE, CS, Pol. Sci, Business)
The website URL where information about sustainability research is available:
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.