Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.69
Liaison Careen Arsenault
Submission Date March 8, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Cornell University
PAE-21: Sustainability in Continuing Education

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 7.00 / 7.00 Amanda Kittelberger
Communications Manager
Land Grant Affairs
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Does the institution offer continuing education courses that are focused on or related to sustainability?:

Number of sustainability continuing education courses offered :

Total number of continuing education courses offered:

Does the institution have a sustainability-related certificate program through its continuing education or extension department?:

A brief description of the certificate program:

The Cornell School of Hotel Administration offers a Certification in Hotel Properties Management and Sustainability. This certification focuses on sustainability in hospitality management by interweaving the key topics such as financial management and facilities operations to create a comprehensive knowledge base for the hotel manager.The four-course certification will focus on creating economic value and success in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges. The four courses in the certification are: Hospitality Facilities and Sustainable Hotel Management; Creating Shared Value in Hotels: Beyond Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility; Project Management for the Hospitality Industry and the participant’s choice of either Operations Analysis for the Hospitality Industry or Thinking Like a Financial Manager.

More information is available at http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/industry/executive/spotlights/revenue.html

Cornell University utilizes the Cooperative Extension Education System to extend educational programs to citizens all across New York State. Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) programs are planned with an interest in long-term community and personal sustainability. CCE provides high-value educational programs and university-backed resources that help solve real-life problems, transforming and improving New York families, farms, businesses and communities. Programs related to integrated pest management, invasive species, youth education enrichment, adapting agricultural practices in the face of climate change, family nutrition and budget balancing, and community planning are examples of non-formal educational initiatives connected to Cornell’s interest in motivating sustainable practices. http://cce.cornell.edu/sustainability/Pages/default.aspx

Specific Cooperative Extension certificate programs include:

Master Gardener http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/education/mgprogram/

Master Composter

Northeast Beginning Farmers Trainings – Small Farms Program

Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition

Additional programmatic examples are described below:

Adapting Bio-control Strategies on Conventional Vegetable Farms, Cornell Vegetable Program (Western NY) - Fresh Market Vegetables
Green and red pepper production is a highly profitable vegetable crop for western NY growers. In a demonstration setting, bio-control strategies were used releasing beneficial insects in greenhouse and later in pepper fields. Yellow marigolds were used to draw pests away from crop plants. Beneficial insects were released in the marigolds. As a result beneficial insect populations flourished. Pest populations in transplants were reduced. Several sprays were eliminated and the grower reported saving tens of thousands of dollars in production costs with no loss in profitability. http://cce.cornell.edu/learnAbout/Documents/AnnualReports/CornellVegetableProgram.pdf

Emerald Ash Borer Education in Wayne County, Wayne County
In the fall of 2010 Wayne County was added to the NYS DEC list of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) quarantine counties. Without understanding the specific threat to ash trees, regulations, quarantines, and options for control consumers could have unnecessary loss of treasured landscape trees, or loss of substantial income from their woodlots. Community presentations were conducted by EAB team members at 10 locations in Wayne County. The presentations provided consumers with information about the Emerald Ash Borer, its impact on ash trees, ash tree id and EAB infestation symptoms and treatment options, and replacement trees to plant should they lose or decide to remove ash trees. Additionally Master Gardeners and Master Forest Owners are kept current with Cornell recommendations so they are able to answer consumer questions while on the hotline or at woodlot visits. http://cce.cornell.edu/FeatureStorys/Pages/EmeraldAshBorer.aspx

Master Gardener Project - Keuka Lake School Children’s Garden, Yates County
Today, 16% of children are overweight. In our mobile and technology driven society, children are disconnected from our natural environment. Master Gardeners worked with over 200 children throughout the school year to introduce them to horticultural concepts and experiences. Life skills taught included: planning a garden; starting seeds indoors; preparing soils for planting; planting over a dozen vegetable, flower, and berry varieties; learning about and examining the various bugs and insects that inhabit the garden; proper watering; and weeding the garden. Students practiced management tactics to enhance a healthy community and improved availability and access to fresh fruits and vegetables. http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/education/mgprogram

Seneca GR&EEN (Generating Recycling and Energy Education Now), Seneca County
The amount of recycling in the county stands at just under 2,000 tons annually. By contrast, Seneca Meadows Landfill, which is located in the county and is the destination landfill for much of the northeast, takes in 6,000 tons of trash a day. In response to the need for more education and information in regards to recycling, Seneca County, in addition to other recycling education efforts, launched Seneca GR&EEN (Generating Recycling and Energy Education Now), a teen peer recycling education program. The program recruited 14 students from 3 different school districts who were trained in the areas of recycling and solid waste management issues, energy education, teaching strategies and techniques, climate change, and civic engagement/responsibility. In the first 6 months (May-October, 2011) after their training the Seneca GR&EEN educators taught over 1,500 of their peers the "how to” of reducing, reusing, and recycling as well as sharing information on energy consumption, conservation and alternative energy sources. Students have presented to the County Board of Supervisors and organized events for America Recycles Day including Plastic Bag recycling contests in which over 30,000 plastic bags and wraps were collected over a two week period to be recycled. According to the county, the tonnage of recycled materials collected in the 1st nine months of the year is already above the previous record for an entire year. http://senecarecycles.org/senecagreen.html

Adopting a Positive, Practical, Lifestyle for Eating Series (APPLES), Oswego County
According to the Oswego Counts, County Wide Services Needs Assessment of 2010, 25.7% of adults in Oswego County are obese. The leading cause of death in Oswego County is diseases of the heart. Maintaining a healthy weight and engaging in a more active lifestyle has shown to decrease obesity a contributing factor in heart diseases. The Oswego County Nutrition Program Educators delivered the APPLES programs at Harbor Lights, a day treatment agency and at the Salvation Army to individuals that have limited resources and receive food stamps. The lessons included: Learning how to prepare and store, food safely, feeding families well-balance meals by eating a variety of healthy food options based off the MyPyramid, learning how to read nutrition fact labels in order to shop for healthy food options, learning how to make healthier food choices on a budget using available food resources such as WIC, learning tricks in order to cut calories, fat, sugar, and sodium form homemade quick, easy and affordable meals, and learning fun physical activities that the whole family can do. Participants who completed the 6-week APPLES program reported improvements in the following knowledge and skill practices based on exit behavior checklists and food recall reports: 89% improved in meal planning, price comparison, and using a grocery list; 100% of participants showed improvement in one or more nutrition practices; 89% more often thought about healthy food choices when deciding what to feed their families. Half the participants increased the variety and amounts of vegetables served to their families daily; 67% more often used Nutrition Facts on food labels to make food choices; and 78% followed recommended practices, e.g., thawing and storing protein foods properly.
Food Safety Workshops For Farmers, Lake Ontario Fruit Program
With the passage of The Food Safety Modernization Act and the impending release of the FDA produce safety regulation early in 2012, farmers are concerned about mandatory food safety requirements. A primary concern is to get smaller, more diversified farms with limited resources in compliance. From December 2010 through March 2011, 6 sets of 2-day food safety trainings were conducted across the state. Of the six sessions, we had a total of 128 people attend representing 68 farms. Over 95% of growers who attended the informational session in day 1 felt it would be to their advantage and therefore attended day 2 and to begin to write their own individual farm food safety plan. About 20-35% of those who attended the workshops underwent and passed a 3rd-party audit and received USDA-GAPs certification or a similar 3rd-party certification from another certifying organization within one year. Therefore the farms can keep their markets and even expand into others due to 3rd-party food safety audit certifications. http://www.fruit.cornell.edu/lof/

4-H Tech Wizards in Buffalo, Erie County
Buffalo City School District ranks 668th out of NY State’s 682 school districts, increasing the need for need opportunities to build strong skills outside of their school setting. The 4-H Staff at Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County connect hands-on science and technology opportunities to students at seven sites in the Buffalo City School District. Mentors from the community work with students on projects like geospatial science, entomology, kitchen chemistry, wind energy, and climate change. The program has engaged 120 youth and more than 100 mentors during the first 9 months of the program. School attendance for youth involved in Tech Wizards jumped from 8% to 24% between the 2nd to 3rd quarters. http://nys4hsuccess.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/4-h-tech-wizards-mentoring-project-overview-successes-and-lessons-learned/

Energy Awareness at 4-H Camp, Ontario County - 4-H Camp Bristol Hills
Although there has been much press and public discussion about the need to conserve energy and better utilize our energy resources, tangible education . for becoming aware of energy use, conservation, and the cost of energy as a financial and environmental have not been consistently presented to youth. The NYS 4-H Camp Program developed an "Energy Awareness at 4-H Camp" program in 2010 where Counselors in Training participated in an information gathering needs assessment and environmental evaluation related to energy use. CITs identified facility enhancements completed at 4-H Camp including: replacing bulbs in selected lodges with energy efficient alternatives, starting a camp compost pile, replacing older appliances, enhancing groundwater drainage and labeling light switches. CITs also involved over 1000 staff and campers in a range of educational activities including Green Days to increase awareness of recycling and water consumption, harvesting natural light, checking bathrooms for running water and lights left on, and announcing a "Green Fact of the Day." Due to their involvement in the Energy Awareness at 4-H Camp: 84% of campers agreed to turn off the water while brushing their teeth. 75% of campers agreed to turn off lights when they were not in use. 79% of campers agreed to unplug appliances when they are not in use. http://cce.cornell.edu/EnergyClimateChange/Pages/EnergyConservationandEfficiency.aspx

Financial Management Education, Stueben County
Recent census information indicates 14% of NY residents are below federal poverty levels. Financial Management Education workshops, one-on-one sessions with individuals or families, and work with trained financial volunteers assisted residents in meeting basic financial needs and improving their strategies to reach their financial goals. Of the 596 participants, 88% indicated that they had improved their financial behaviors either by increasing savings, decreasing debt, tracking spending or creating a new spending plan. http://cce.cornell.edu/Nutrition/Pages/FinancialManagement.aspx

Stronger Economies Together
Cornell Cooperative Extension educators facilitated an in-depth Stronger Economies Together curriculum in three regions of NYS: Central Adirondacks, Northern NY, and the Southern Tier. The initiative’s goals is to help rural communities/counties to work together as a regional team in developing and implementing an economic development blueprint that builds on the current and emerging economic strengths of their region. The class participants, who represented multiple community connections, developed action plans to create sustainable regional economies. http://srdc.msstate.edu/set/
Municipal Planning and Managing Potential Impacts from Natural Gas Development: Practical Steps Local Governments Can Take
This presentation was offered throughout the Southern Tier region and is posted to the Natural Gas Resource Center website. Sponsored by Cornell University/Cornell Cooperative Extension Marcellus Shale Team in partnership Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations and their key partners. The educational event was for elected officials, planning staff, planning board members, and community task force members. The presentation reviewed key issues that will need to be addressed by municipalities that are seeking to monitor the issues, minimize or avoid negative impacts, and take advantage of any potential benefits. Municipalities are facing a complex array of possible effects and issues. Awareness, fact gathering, and planning in the face of uncertainty are important elements of community preparation. http://breeze.cce.cornell.edu/p1japgezsvq/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal

Rust to Green NY
Rust 2 Green is an Action Research Initiative borne out of the USDA Hatch proposal entitled From Rust to Green Places and Networks: Mapping a Sustainable Future for Upstate NY This project officially launched in January 2010 and has spent the last two and a half years primarily working with Utica, NY, and associated partners primarily in Oneida County and adjoining Herkimer County.
Rust to Green (R2G) was motivated by the desire to foster a radical paradigm shift from Rust-to-Green networks in some of New York’s most at-risk communities and make Cornell faculty and students in Landscape Architecture, Education and Natural Resources, as well as Cooperative Extension proactive partners in advancing sustainable communities. It heeds the call for action by the Brookings Institution’s Restoring Prosperity: The State Role in Restoring America’s Older Industrial Cities (2007). Brookings identifies seven NY industrial cities, among 64 nationwide, that are well positioned to reinvent themselves in the coming decades due to their significant urban legacies and assets –their building stock, civic and neighborhood institutions, universities, transportation, sewer and water infrastructure, and parks and open spaces to name a few.

In action, Rust to Green uses participatory processes to engage academic and community partners in collectively identifying problems and needs and the specific action steps that can be taken to address them. Such an approach and process is consistent with the fundamental concepts of sustainability: public engagement, transparency, ecological democracy and “green governance”. Through this approach Rust to Green aims to promote a sustainable green narrative and contribute to re-branding New York’s rust belt communities. Its problem and action-based approach turns the focus towards visible and tangible actions that meet identified and emerging needs.

Year the certificate program was created:

The website URL where information about sustainability in continuing education courses is available :

The bulk of our continuing education sustainability courses are delivered through the Cornell Cooperative Extension System located in all counties across the state. The "courses" documented here are non-credit instructional activities that take various forms including local workshops, guided tours, field demonstrations, and public meetings. Topical areas include global food security and hunger, climate change, sustainable energy, food safety, childhood obesity and nutrition and youth, family and communities. The source of this data is our internal annual program activity reporting system.

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.