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Overall Score 73.03
Liaison Mark Lichtenstein
Submission Date June 7, 2016
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STARS v2.1

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 8.00 / 8.00 Scott Shannon
Associate Provost & Dean, Graduate School
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Total number of graduates from degree programs (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, certificates, and other academic designations):

Number of students that graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Percentage of students who graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the institution level (e.g. covering all students)?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the division level (e.g. covering particular schools or colleges within the institution)?:

A list or brief description of the institution level or division level sustainability learning outcomes:

Sustainability is central to ESF’s mission. Broad sustainability learning outcomes are taught to all students across the institution, and degree programs build on that foundation to fulfill more specific sustainability learning outcomes in different disciplines. At the institutional level, broad sustainability learning outcomes taught to all students include:

-An understanding that sustainability begins with an obligation to meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
-An understanding of the basic functions of natural and social systems.
-An understanding and quantification of the limitations of nature’s capacity.
-An understanding and ability to develop solutions through the integration of social, economic, technological, and environmental systems.

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the program level (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, degrees, diplomas, certificates, and other academic designations)?:

A list or brief description of the program level sustainability learning outcomes (or a list of sustainability-focused programs):

Examples of Sustainability Learning Outcomes in ESF Degree Programs:

Aquatic and Fisheries Science - Bachelor of Science

Aquatic and fisheries science is the study of aquatic ecosystems to increase scientific understanding and to apply basic ecological principles to their management, thereby sustaining them for multiple uses. Aquatic science professionals study and manage valued natural systems for seafoods, drinking water, recreation, transportation and aesthetics.

Example Outcome -- Demonstrate understanding of economics and natural resource management principles and techniques (e.g., assessment, intervention, evaluation, and policy development), and appreciate the complexity of natural/human systems wherein management is applied

Bioprocess Engineering - Bachelor of Science

The first and only program of its kind in the Northeastern United States, this program seeks to train engineers who will work in the emerging bioprocessing and biofuels industry to produce energy and related chemical products from renewable resources. The program focuses on the use of - sustainable renewable biomass to replace petroleum in chemicals, pharmaceuticals, energy and industrial productss in a sustainable manner.

Example Outcome -- Knowledge of the environmental and resource management concerns facing the industry

Biotechnology - Bachelor of Science

The bachelor of science degree in biotechnology prepares students to tackle environmental, natural resource, agricultural and medical problems through training in molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, genetic engineering and related biological disciplines. The curriculum emphasizes the basic sciences with a strong foundation in biology, chemistry, calculus, and physics that prepares students for upper-level biology and chemistry courses, but encourages elective breadth in the social sciences, humanities, and environmental studies.

Chemistry - Bachelor of Science

In pursuing a bachelor of science in chemistry, students first receive a strong foundation in analytical, physical, organic and inorganic chemistry before selecting one of three options leading to the degree: biochemistry and natural products, environmental chemistry, and natural and synthetic polymer chemistry. Many Chemistry students are drawn to ESF because of the department's focus on using our varied specialties to find ways to improve our world: finding better ways to generate energy; discovering new, useful natural and synthetic materials; making better use of our natural resources; finding new medications and ways to deliver medicines; and understanding natural processes and the impacts of human activities on our environment.

Example Outcome -- A sound understanding of the fundamental chemical principles, underlying theories, and applications of one of the departmental specialties (biochemistry/natural products, environmental, polymer)

Conservation Biology - Bachelor of Science

Conservation biology is the application of science to conserve the earth's imperiled species and ecosystems. Conservation biologists seek ways to integrate biological perspectives with social, economic, legislative and political ones to achieve conservation goals. The courses associated with this major reflect the interdisciplinary and holistic nature of conservation biology. After obtaining a foundation in basic science communication, and general education subjects, students learn the evolutionary and ecological forces that have generated the patterns of biodiversity around us, through courses in organismal biology, evolutionary and systematic biology, population biology, ecology and ecosystem science. An introductory course in conservation biology and one in problem solving in conservation biology familiarize students with the dimensions of the current biodiversity crisis and the management tools available to mitigate for it. These, in combination with a selection of advanced courses in conservation biology, a senior synthesis and an internship or research experience in conservation biology, cover the breadth of biological, social, political, and economic aspects of the biodiversity crisis.

Example Outcome -- Specify context-appropriate actions needed to protect and restore biological diversity; that is, endangered species recovery, designating ecological reserves, ecosystem restoration, captive breeding, population management, invasive species management, interfacing with in the policy-making process, educating others, and combinations thereof

Construction Management - Bachelor of Science

The construction management degree prepares students for management careers in the construction industry with additional focus on sustainable construction management. Environmental issues are incorporated within the program by addressing workplace safety, environmental impact evaluation, and codes concerning structural, fire, and hazardous material requirements. Emphasis on environmental and personal safety includes asbestos mitigation, noise pollution, air monitoring and sampling techniques. Energy efficiency in buildings is studied based upon the New York state energy conservation code and federal guidelines. Legal and social aspects are integrated into the program in the later stages.

Example Outcome -- Awareness of contemporary issues in construction management such as sustainable development, as well as economic, political, social and global issues

Environmental Biology - Bachelor of Science

The curriculum for the bachelor of science degree in environmental biology is built around a core of required courses that provides a general education, a background in the principles of biological and physical science, and an orientation to natural resources and other environmental concerns. Environmental biology is the broadest of the seven biology majors at ESF, covering topics from molecules to ecosystems to regional landscapes, but nearly all the courses in the specialized areas are also available as electives.

Example Outcome -- Demonstrate basic knowledge of the ecological relationships of organisms in natural and human-dominated environments at local to global scales, and apply it to interpreting issues in their profession and in daily life

Environmental Education and Interpretation - Bachelor of Science

Environmental Education teaches people of all ages about the natural environment, so that they can make informed decisions on how to care for it. Interpretation is a communications process that reveals meanings and relationships about natural, cultural, historical, and recreational resources. The courses associated with the undergraduate major in Environmental Education and Interpretation reflects the interdisciplinary and holistic nature of this subject area. Students become well grounded in natural sciences and in the skills specific to communication and informal education. This major seeks to integrate training in organismal biology, including a required field component, with in-depth training in the literature and context of natural history and a suite of environmental interpretation offerings. Students gain work experiences through a professional internship, where the recently acquired knowledge and skills in this arena can be applied. Where most people in the environmental education and interpretation fields have a background either in science or in education, the ESF program provides skills in both.

Environmental Resources Engineering - Bachelor of Science

The departmental mission is to engage in teaching, research and service to advance environmental resources engineering practices and meet the needs of the world. Students receive a well-balanced education, including courses that allow students to see the social, economic, and environmental impacts of engineering practice, fundamental engineering and environmental engineering courses, and specialized courses that capture the breadth of their field of study.

Example Outcome -- An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability

Environmental Science - Bachelor of Science

The curriculum in the bachelor’s degree program provides a strong foundation in the sciences and introduces students to the interdisciplinary breadth of environmental science through a selection of core courses dealing with the geographical, physical, social and living environments. Students have the flexibility to satisfy their core requirementssolar boat by completing courses in biology, chemistry, ecology, geography, engineering, forestry, environmental studies and other areas of study. College-wide general education requirements provide additional opportunities for students to complete courses in the arts, humanities and social sciences to develop a broader context for personal and professional growth.

Example Outcome -- Demonstrate knowledge of methods of renewable energy generation and ways of increasing efficiency of energy use as well as an understanding of energy markets especially in relation to renewable energy

Environmental Studies - Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies program has a broadly interdisciplinary approach and has been carefully designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of environmental affairs. In the pursuit of these objectives, we bring together scientific, philosophical, theoretical, and practical perspectives on a range of environmental concerns. This program prepares students with the knowledge and experience to work towards an ecologically sustainable and socially just world. It provides opportunities for community engagement, valuable hands-on internship experiences, and multiple destinations for a semester of studying abroad.

Example Outcome -- Demonstrate an integrative approach to environmental issues with a focus on sustainability

Forest Ecosystem Science - Bachelor of Science

The Forest Ecosystem Science degree is based on a vision that combines professional competency in forest management skills with an enhanced understanding of ecological sciences. Students interested in this program typically are drawn to natural settings and environments, enjoy nature, and want to understand how forested ecosystems work. Experiential field learning is combined with learning concepts and skills in the classroom and laboratory on ESF's Syracuse campus.

Example Outcome -- Explain and interpret the relationships among flora and fauna including the biological and physical requirements of different plant and animal species within a forested ecosystem

Forest Health - Bachelor of Science

Forest health is a multidisciplinary and collaborative field of study that involves the understanding, monitoring, and protection of the world's forest resources. A solid foundation in forest health requires expertise in many disciplines including, but not limited to, plant pathology, entomology, ecology, dendrology, mycology, silviculture, and forest management. The curriculum provides a solid foundation in mathematics and the physical sciences (chemistry, physics) followed by courses focusing on forest trees and their requirements, the basic ecological principles that shape forest ecosystems, and the management of these ecosystems. Other required courses introduce students to the identification and impact of biological agents of disease and physical damage, and to the methods by which these are monitored.

Example Outcome -- Apply knowledge of the past to recognize present & future threats to the world’s forests

Forest Resources Management - Bachelor of Science

Today's forest resources management program is based on a clear vision that combines professional competency with a strong foundation in the biophysical sciences, humanities, and social sciences to meet society's needs for forest managers.With 25,000 acres of College forest lands as teaching and research laboratories, ESF provides many opportunities to meet student needs for experiential learning. The forest technology program at ESF's Wanakena campus prepares students for careers in field forestry and is a route to the forest resources management program that emphasizes field practice. Internships with forest-based organizations in the private, public and nonprofit sectors amplify these hands-on experiences. Practical experience is combined with learning concepts and problem solving and critical thinking skills in the classroom and laboratory on ESF's Syracuse campus. The educational outcomes of the forest resources management degree program are among the best anywhere in North America.

Example Outcome -- Evaluate tradeoffs among biological sustainability, economic feasibility, and social acceptability with respect to alternative forest management plans

Landscape Architecture - Bachelor of Landscape Architecture

The Department of Landscape Architecture offers three degree programs designed to educate students to contribute in varied ways to society and the wise use of land and landscape. Each provides a basis for students to establish career directions in the profession of landscape architecture.The large and diverse faculty offer not only a wide range of foundation courses necessary for professional preparation, but also four strong areas of study that encourage in-depth exploration in ecological design and planning, community design and planning, and cultural landscape conservation.

Example Outcome -- Be able to consider, assess, and incorporate a broad range of natural factors and processes, including climate, ecology, geology, soils, hydrology, and physiography into design and planning of the land

Natural Resources Management - Bachelor of Science

The Natural Resources Management program is structured to introduce students to a wide range of renewable natural resources (soils, water, vegetation, wildlife, recreation), while maintaining substantial flexibility for student-centered learning in understanding and managing natural systems. It is based on a vision that combines professional competency in management skills with a strong foundation in the social and biophysical sciences.

Paper Engineering - Bachelor of Science

The academic programs in the department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering (PBE) emphasize fundamental engineering science and engineering skills pertaining to chemical engineering with specialization in the pulp, paper and allied industries, and the bioprocess and chemical industries. The department’s educational programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels are committed to preparing students for leadership roles in the paper and bioproducts industries.

Paper Science - Bachelor of Science

The academic programs in the department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering (PBE) emphasize fundamental engineering science and engineering skills pertaining to chemical engineering with specialization in the pulp, paper and allied industries, and the bioprocess and chemical industries. The department’s educational programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels are committed to preparing students for leadership roles in the paper and bioproducts industries.

Sustainable Energy Management - Bachelor of Science

The Sustainable Energy Management (SEM) program is structured to introduce students to a wide range of energy markets and resources (fossil fuels, electricity, renewable and sustainable energy resources) while maintaining substantial flexibility for student-centered learning in understanding and managing energy systems. This major will expose students to views from a variety of disciplines as they wrestle with a wide array of issues related to current and future energy supply and use.The Sustainable Energy Management program develops professional skills that employers tell us are the most important traits they look for in new employees. These traits are developed through a broad base of classes in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, communication, and quantitative and qualitative problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Wildlife Science - Bachelor of Science

Wildlife science is the application of ecological knowledge in a manner that strikes a balance between the needs of wildlife populations and the needs of people. The focus is applied ecology, and students engage the environmental challenges associated with managing wildlife, ranging from endangered species to overabundant populations. Students obtain background in the basic sciences (math, chemistry, physics), then learn the basic ecological principles and evolutionary forces that affect wildlife and their associated habitats. Course work then addresses the assessment and management of wildlife resources as well as the biology and natural history of various taxonomic groups. Students are advised to enhance career opportunities via taxonomic proficiency with one or more plant or animal groups, special skills such as GIS, and practical working experience as an intern, volunteer, or paid employee of a conservation agency.

Example Outcome -- Explain and predict wildlife habitat requirements and population dynamics, and their drivers of change, especially in relation to human activities

Do course level sustainability learning outcomes contribute to the figure reported above (i.e. in the absence of program, division, or institution level learning outcomes)?:

A list or brief description of the course level sustainability learning outcomes and the programs for which the courses are required:

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.