Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 48.09
Liaison Andrew Riley
Submission Date April 18, 2024

STARS v2.2

State University of New York at Morrisville
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Bill Mitchell
Energy & Sustainability Manager
Facilities
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution:
1. The SUNY-Morrisville Environmental Sciences Department is known for the immersive pedagogy employed throughout its entire program. Class concepts and competencies are taught in a truly hands-on, infield manner, in which students prepare themselves for future careers by using the skills and knowledge they will require, by collecting and analyzing geospatial and biometric data, enacting land management for conservation, controlling invasive species, or applying real-time adaptive resource management.

2. The capstone of both the Sustainable Resource Management B.S. and the Environmental and Natural Resource Management B.Tech. is ENRM 470 Internship in Environmental & Natural Resource Management. This is a 15-credit hour, 600 contact hour internship required to graduate in the Environmental and Natural Resource Management Bachelors program. Students are placed in full-time positions with government agencies, NGOs, or private firms across the nation in the environmental conservation and sustainability fields. Each student produces a proposal which outlines the goals and objectives for their internship, developmental projects they will conduct, and the outcomes they will achieve. The experience is summarized in a written analysis of their experience and an oral report to faculty and peers.

3. Drs. Sauer and Livengood teach ENRM350 Tropical Ecology I which is a field course in which students actively experience the wildlife, agriculture, fisheries, and unique ecosystems of Florida, and gain comprehensive insight into tropical ecology and conservation concepts and case studies of conservation biology. In addition, students gain extensive experience in the field methods and techniques used by managers and researchers to study terrestrial and aquatic natural resource ecology and conservation in tropical regions. The focus of this course is an immersive 7-day field experience in Florida with trips to springs, state parks, national wildlife refuges, aquariums, tropical fish farms, and diverse aquatic ecosystems. In this course students are introduced to the flora and fauna of the unique ecosystems of Florida such as everglades, springs, coral reefs including travel to the southernmost point of the United States.

4. They also teach ENRM351 Tropical Ecology II which is an immersive field course where students actively experience the wildlife, agriculture, fisheries, and unique ecosystems of the Caribbean tropics, and gain comprehensive insight into tropical ecology and conservation concepts and case studies of conservation biology. In addition, students gain extensive experience in the field methods and techniques used by managers and researchers to study sustainability in regions of the tropics. This immersive field experience utilizes a field base with trips to coral reefs, mangroves, blue holes, and diverse aquatic ecosystems. In this course students are introduced to the flora and fauna of the unique ecosystems in the Caribbean such as mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds and participate in active research and data collection.

5. Required for horticulture students, HORT 440 Horticulture Business Internship is a supervised, professional experience appropriate for an entry-level position in a horticultural business or related field. Prior to the start of the internship, the student must develop and submit an internship proposal that includes contact information, job description, goals, objectives, activities, and outcomes for the internship. The student, sponsor and faculty advisor must agree to the written plan in a signed contract. The on-site experience is about 15 weeks or 600 hours in length. In addition to agency supervision, each intern is advised and monitored by a faculty advisor on a regular basis. Final course requirements include: portfolio, journal, interim reports, mid-term assessment, supervisor evaluation, summary report and oral presentation.

6. HORT 206 Sustainable Landscape addresses the principles and practices of sustainable landscapes and the current policies & guidelines used to achieve them. Prof. Adam Olinski focuses on soils; water & energy conservation; biodiversity; permeable pavement; native plant species; alternatives to invasive plants; and construction material selection.

7. Every year, Horticulture Profs. Hennigan and Olinski and their students operate the NOFA Four Seasons Farm, which has held USA organic certification since 2016, supplies produce throughout the year to the on-campus Seneca Dining Hall and Morrisville’s Copper Turret Restaurant, and also manages a community supported agriculture (CSA) system. Its abundant crop supply also allows the farm to run a seasonal farm stand and helps sell crops to local businesses. The farm continuously experiments with new practices to increase its crop production. The farm supplies more than 5,700 pounds of produce from nearly 50 varieties of fruits and vegetables annually. There also are nearly a dozen different varieties of produce simultaneously grown in the farm’s high-tunnel greenhouse.

Website URL where information about the institution’s immersive education programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
https://www.morrisville.edu/explore/programs/environmental-conservation
https://catalog.morrisville.edu/course-listings/enrm/
https://catalog.morrisville.edu/course-listings/ensc/
https://catalog.morrisville.edu/course-listings/natr/
https://catalog.morrisville.edu/course-listings/hort/
https://www.morrisville.edu/facility/four-seasons-organic-farm

A special thank you to Dr. William Snyder – Professor, Natural Resource Conservation, SUNY Morrisville for spearheading the collection of this data.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.