Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.83
Liaison Mark Lichtenstein
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2023

STARS v2.2

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Delaney Demro
Sustainability Planning & Institutional Alignment Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution:

There are many courses at ESF that align with the AASHE STARS definition of sustainability-focused “Immersive Experience” courses. Examples of some of these include:

- EFB 523, Tropical Ecology is a graduate level course in the Environmental Biology Department at ESF. The focus of this course is the immersive twelve-day field experience in Ecuador, with day trips to rainforest and other tropical ecosystems, followed by evening lectures by course instructors or local guest speakers at Tiputini Biodiversity Station. The course also examines various ecosystems along the altitudinal gradient of the Andes from lowland rainforests to near the snow line.

Learning outcomes include:
1. To investigate the biodiversity found in tropical ecosystems throughout the world
2. To study the interactions between biotic and abiotic factors in tropical environments
3. To consider human effects on tropical ecosystems and issues related to conservation of biodiversity and global climate change in the tropics
4. To use Ecuador as a model exemplifying broad principles of tropical ecology and resource management and conservation

- EST 690, International Environmental Policy Consultancy is a graduate level course in the Environmental Studies Department at ESF. This course is a group research practicum. This innovative, collaborative, applied course and practicum focused on environmental policy consultation at the global level. Students were linked via online technology with students in a parallel course other, international institutions (Wageningen University in the Netherlands and Van Lang University in Vietnam). Students engage in a semester-long, consultancy project with an international organization (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD) engaged in environmental policymaking. Client organization and topic may vary annually. Students learn group consulting skills including issue definition and stakeholder identification; proposal preparation, team building and leadership skills; data collection, analysis and interpretation; report writing and presentation skills. Students fulfill the client's Terms of Reference, producing and delivering contributions towards final, agreed-upon deliverables

- FOR 404, Ecotourism Abroad is an undergraduate level course in the Forestry Resources Management Department. This course includes five 1-hour lectures, plus a 9-10-day field trip. This service learning course introduces students to the field of ecotourism through a short-term study abroad program held during spring break. Students will travel to several ecotourism destinations within a selected country, meet with destination managers, and complete a service learning project related to ecotourism. Additional fees required to cover the cost of travel and lodging during the field portion of course.

- FCH 515, Methods of Environmental Chemical Analysis is a graduate level course in the Chemistry Department. This course serves as an introduction to sampling, analytical and quality control procedures necessary to obtain reliable ambient water quality data. All analyses will be performed on a single local aquatic system with the purpose of developing a final report characterizing the water quality of that system. Each week one student will travel to that aquatic system to collect samples for analysis. At the end of the course students compose a report on the environmental health of the aquatic system, given the results of their chemical analyses.

Website URL where information about the institution’s immersive education programs is available:
Additional documentation to support 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.