Carbon Standards have Economic Benefits

Nearly all U.S. regions stand to gain economic benefits from power plant carbon standards that set moderately stringent emission targets and allow a high level of compliance flexibility, according to a new study co-authored by Charles Driscoll, University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, as a project of the Science Policy ExchangeRead more about carbon standards here.

Biologists look at Climate Change effects on grasses

A team of biologists in the College of Art and Sciences is taking a long look at how climate change may shift the way the green grasses grow. Jason Fridley, associate professor of biology and co-founder of the Climate Change Garden at the University, is part of an international research project that has been examining the effects of warming climate on plant life in Northern England for more than 20 years. Read article.

Success in Spreading Sustainable Materials Management Practices

Twenty students from various majors gave presentations on their projects developed during the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Stewardship Program. The Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center (Syracuse EFC) organized the semester-long program which also included an intensive training series, where students learned about SMM concepts and practices (including Reduction, Reuse, Recycling, and Composting), youth engagement, and SMM education. Students were mentored through the process by Syracuse EFC members, and joined forces with a community organization, such as Syracuse Grows: Community Gardening and Urban Agriculture, SPCA, Syracuse Regional Market, local schools, and others to implement their newly developed programs which recommended specific ideas to improve sustainable practices and even cut costs. Students also forged relationships with members of NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and NYS Association for Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling. Project topics ranged from youth environmental education, urban gardening and food recovery, establishment of composting programs to creation of an environmental awareness blog. Students demonstrated their ability to really make a difference, even as a single individual, using a systemic approach. Each created positive change within our community and impacted views on the use of natural resources and environmental protection. For more information visit EFC’s website or Facebook page.

Student Digital Sketchbooks: POWER ENERGY CLIMATE

On Tuesday, April 5th, students across New York state joined a national dialog about our energy future. The goal was to promote discussions on climate actions needed to meet US commitments made in Paris. The core of the Sketchbook Dialog included Architecture students sharing in-progress Energy in the Landscape design projects as part of Susan Dieterlen’s Studio|Next: Building the Post-Carbon city, and Design students from Dianna Miller’s industrial design course. Students presented their work one-to-one or in small groups from laptops and tablets.
Following the student event, State level climate actions were highlighted via a webinar streamed from UAlbany. Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York State and member of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet, and Jared Snyder, Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Air Resources, Climate Change and Energy at the Department of Environmental Conservation, gave presentations and engaged in dialog with students.
The webcast can be viewed here.
Professor Dieterlen is working on an online repository for student work in progress. Please take a look and feel free to provide constructive feedback to students. This website is also serving as a pilot for future digital reviews of student work, so if you have any input on it, positive or negative, please email Prof. Dieterlen at

Student project competes at Clinton Global Initiative University Conference

Project S C I  Team Photo
Pictured above are Jannatulmawa Mizan, Aerospace Engineering ’19, Jezrel Sabaduquia, Information Management and Technology ’19 and Yue Yun (Mindy) Zhu, Pre-Med ’19

Project S.C.I. (Sustainability, Creativity and Innovation) is a start-up environmental protection and S.T.E.M. education global initiative that seeks to improve waste management at the Syracuse University campus while benefiting the local community of elementary school students. First, our team will collect plastic bottles and cans at campus residence halls. To encourage college students to participate and recycle, we will introduce a points-based competition between the living communities where there will be a reward for the winner. Second, the bottles and cans will be sterilized and taken to a local elementary school where our S.T.E.M. volunteers will teach young students (ages 9-12) how to build model airplanes. We will encourage students to be creative by adding their own spin and introduce them to the foundations of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at an elementary level. With this hands-on workshop, we hope to inspire these young students to pursue their passions and interests and provide a fun and interactive learning experience. Lastly, after students build model airplanes, we will organize art shows where we will sell the models along with a photo and a short story of the student who built it and profits will be donated back to fund their education. With our global initiative, we not only seek to improve waste management on campus by creating an interactive recycling process but also inspire younger students in the local community to follow their passion through creativity and innovation. Read SU News article.
Project S C I  Logo

FLINT: Water+Pipes+Lead

Flint, a city of about 100,000 in southeastern Michigan, is known as the birthplace of General Motors and for subsequent Rustbelt decline. Two new words define the city nationally: lead poisoning. Contamination of the municipal water supply and a shocking list of resulting health problems are a product of uniquely toxic chemistry, politics, and power within the region and the state. However, aging infrastructure and social inequality, problems shared by many other American cities, were also key ingredients in this disaster, prompting the question of whether this could happen elsewhere, and how to prevent it.
Over 100 people turned out in person and by webinar to join Congressman Dan Kildee, US House of Representatives, Telisa M. Stewart, Assistant Professor, Upstate Medical University, and Paula C. Johnson, Professor, Syracuse University College of Law.
The session chair and organizer was Susan Dieterlen, Research Assistant Professor, Syracuse University School of Architecture, Faculty Research Fellow, SyracuseCoE.
Watch the dynamic discussion about the water crisis and larger issues of environmental justice here.

Syracuse University Pledges to ‘Act on Climate’

Syracuse University joins 318 colleges and universities representing over 4 million students by demonstrating their commitment to climate action.
This White House initiative, American Campuses Act on Climate Day of Action, was a part of important global efforts leading to a historic and ambitious, Paris Agreement. Campuses across the nation stepped up to demonstrate their dedication to act now to avoid irreversible costs to our global community’s economic prosperity and public health. Syracuse University stands to play a role in securing a low carbon future, and to accelerate the transition to renewable energy.

Student Led Forum

People’s demand can take politics away from this issue, which is the greatest of our time.

On Thursday evening, discussions of the upcoming Climate Talks took place in Maxwell Auditorium where students and faculty members informed each other. In 2015, France will be hosting and presiding the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), otherwise known as “Paris 2015” from November 30th to December 11th.
The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), or COP21, will be held from November the 30th to December the 11th, 2015 on the Paris-Le Bourget site, bringing together around 40,000 participants in total – delegates representing each country, observers, and civil society members. It is the largest diplomatic event ever hosted by France and one of the largest climate conferences ever organized.

Countries are taking a non-binding bottom up approach, developing ambitious plans to reduce Co2 emissions. The momentum to achieve these goals is already in place in each of the individual participating countries. Students asked about the role of subsidies, the oil and gas industry as well as social justice impacts of climate change and how these issues will be addressed through the conference. Other influences such as the Pope’s encyclical, Naomi Klein’s work, and the role of indigenous people on the issue of climate were discussed.

The panelists included graduate student, Mike Petroni, joint Maxwell and ESF; Sherburne Abbott, Sustainability Science and Policy; Bob Wilson, Geography and Peter Castro, Anthropology.
The moderator and a student panelist, Rianne Parker, is a senior in mechanical engineering and student panelist, Sawyer Cresap, is a senior in policy studies and political science.
To learn more about real time plans coming in from around the world visit MIT’s Climate interactive.

Bob Wilson made an eloquent call for action to students to act now as citizens, begin to populate these events to learn more, as well as use them to mobilize like minded groups for change.

The results of these climate talks will be known when the keeling curve stops its upward trajectory.