Sustainability Workshops

Under the sponsorship of SU Showcase, students have been able to earn credit for hands-on workshops about sustainability on campus and in the local community.

Spring, 2014

SOL 300 Verdant Compound (Now called WILDER Compound)
A series of weekend workshops on urban farming and self-reliance. Students attend an initial session on Feb. 1 and a final session on May 3, plus two Saturday workshops selected from a series of six throughout the semester. 1 credit. Check out the WILDER Compound blog.




Fall, 2013:

Waste Watchers
Students suit up to learn about waste issues at SU

On Sept. 19-22, a group of intrepid SU students learned about local and global waste issues and then did a hands-on audit of a day’s worth of waste collected from SU academic buildings and residence halls.


SOL 300: Biodiversity and Art

With the assistance of ESF biologist Joelle Chille and SU artist Andrea Buckvold, students observed and recorded the diversity of life forms in parks near campus, researched their roles in the local ecosystem, and produced nature journals to display on campus.




Students learned from local experts about the many facets of Onondaga Lake, and then created a puppet performance by the lake to express the connection between SU and Onondaga Lake. More info:  Students engage with Onondaga Lake (NewsHouse report)

SOL 400/CLB 400 The Creative Climate


Students in The Creative Climate produced posters and information sheets to raise awareness among the campus community about climate disruption. Posters focus on such topics as climate and food, climate and water, climate and air quality, and climate and transportation.


SOL 300 What’s on your Plate? A Food Action Workshop (November, 2012)

This was a chance for students to learn about a host of efforts to promote local food and food security in Syracuse. We met with experts from the Food Bank, the Regional Market, and Syracuse Grows, attended a lecture by Marion Nestle, and developed proposals for action.

SOL 300/CLB 400 Plastic Impact (February, 2013)

Students in Plastic Impact worked with visiting artist Mark Povinelli and VPA instructor Andrea Buckvold to create an installation on the Quad about the problem of plastics in the ocean. Plastic waste gets into the food chain and concentrates toxins, with dire effects on marine life.
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SPRING, 2014 Course Details

Verdant Compound
SOL 300 – M013-SEC(82994), Instructor Susannah Sayler. Instructor’s permission required.

First meeting February 1 1pm-4pm; followed by participation in 2 of 6 workshops 11 am – 4 pm on following dates: February 8, 22; March 8, 22; April 5, 19. Culminating event on May 3.
Course description:
The Verdant Compound workshop series for Spring 2014 will bring students from the University and the local community together to collaboratively build a hub for learning about sustainability and cultivating self-reliance. Through the construction of a geodesic greenhouse, growing food, building an earth oven, learning bike repair, building bike-powered phone chargers and gaining expertise in online community building, this series is an incubator for cultivating self-reliant, sustainable communities.

Admission to class is application based. Contact Prof Sayler ( First class is mandatory. Thereafter students choose 2 of the 6 workshops for a 1-credit course.