Download the Request for Proposals/Instructions Here

Fill out the online application form here (deadline March 16, 2020)



Syracuse University considers its facilities and operations to be seamlessly integrated with the academic and research mission of the institution. A portion of the savings from energy efficiency and sustainability projects is set aside to fund academic research, student projects, and course development that can further engage the campus in addressing climate change and sustainable systems. The Campus as a Lab for Sustainability (CALS) program has funded 11 projects since January, 2016.


CALS Sponsored Projects

2019-2020 Awards

  • Prof. Lisa Olson-Gugerty (Public Health) Bee Orange, Honey Bee Project
    •  ABSTRACT: Honeybees are a unique group of pollinators. They sip nectar to fuel their flight and they actively gather large amounts of pollen to feed themselves and pollinate local plants and vegetation.  Their contribution as a pollinator helps support one-third of the world’s food production as well as the reproduction cycle of hundreds of bee friendly plants.  This in turn benefits the local ecosystem and cultivates biodiversity.  Unfortunately, North American beekeepers are experiencing high colony loss due to a variety of diseases, use of pesticides, and the reduction of pollinator friendly and native plantings. To help bolster the local ecosystem and biodiversity, we are proposing to establish honeybee hives on Syracuse University grounds, offer educational workshops on beekeeping for the University and local communities, and support bee friendly initiatives throughout the area.
  • Prof. Louise Manfredi (School of Design) and Prof. Seyeon Lee are creating a learning environment enforces the ideas of reduce, reuse and recycle
    • ABSTRACT: Printing and prototype fabrication are a vital facet of design education. These physical products which consume vast quantities of materials are key to evaluating ideas, and training students to effectively communicate design intent to their professors and future clients. Despite the University’s initiatives for campus-wide sustainability efforts, waste generated from repeated design iterations is still a big problem in studio culture. In the School of Design (SoD), material reuse strategies are underdeveloped, and unclear or absent disposal guidelines are problematic.

Read their report here.

  • Prof. Jeongmin Ahn (Engineering) is creating a revised integrated anaerobic digester and fuel cell power system
    • ABSTRACT: The objective of this proposal is to deliver a proof-of-concept integrated anaerobic digester with flame-assisted fuel cell that can convert municipal and agricultural waste into heat and electricity efficiently and inexpensively. The unit will be used as an educational tool for the undergraduates and graduates to integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through hands-on, real world sustainable energy generation in the classroom. The research plan focuses on understanding and replicating the parameters in the field for digesters utilizing agricultural and municipal waste to enable research and development of a combustor and fuel cell that are inexpensive, durable and commercially viable.
  • Prof. Baris Salman (Civil and Environmental Engineering) is creating a hands on course composnent on Smart Stormwater Management
    • ABSTRACT: Recent developments in wireless sensor technologies, data analytics tools, cloud computing, and smart infrastructure design have reached to a point where deployment of these transformative technologies for real-time stormwater infrastructure monitoring, management, and smart decision-making is more easily achievable. The main goal of this proposal is to develop course components on Smart Stormwater Management to enhance our students’ exposure to these critical advancements. The hands-on course components will be designed primarily to enhance the educational opportunities offered in “CIE 639/ECS 636: Sustainable Development and Infrastructure Management”, which is a graduate-level class offered by the primary investigator (PI), Dr. Baris Salman. Students will be involved in constructing a sensor network on south campus drainage networks featuring both green and gray infrastructures. The sensor network will comprise of wireless sensors that can measure and record various characteristics (e.g., velocity and flow, water quality, water level, etc.) of the stormwater in the drainage systems. An electronic tablet will be used to collect the data from different wireless sensors. Students will use smart Product Lifecycle Management (sPLM) platform to store, analyze, and interpret the collected data. These hands-on components will be supported by other educational activities, such as analyzing stormwater drainage network, generating digital brochures, and communicating efforts and findings trough presentations. It is anticipated that the proposed work will have a considerable impact in raising the human capital (improvements in students’ skills, knowledge, retention, satisfaction). This project can also be used as leverage in securing future research grants on smart infrastructure management.

2018-2019 Awards

  • Prof. Don Carr (School of Design) and ESF Student, Andrew Lunetta, to build tiny home prototype on campus
  • Prof. Jeongmin Ahn (Engineering), to design a safer, more efficient, low cost battery for electric vehicles
  • Engineering student Caitlin Eger, to use emerging geophysical technologies and drones to map near-surface campus hydrology to determine locations on campus that would benefit from green stormwater infrastructure installations or retrofits.
  • Prof. Philip P. Arnold (Arts and Sciences), to develop two day workshop that aim to develop curricular materials on their sustainability learnings

2017-2018 Awards

  • Engineering students Alex Johnson, Yige Yang, and David Zheng, to evaluate the water and energy performance of the Syracuse Center of Excellence green roof;
  • Prof. Bess Krietemeyer (Architecture) and Jason Dedrick (iSchool), to map the lighting on campus and assess its effectiveness at providing illumination and safety;
  • Prof. Tarek Rakha (Architecture) and Prof. Selem Velipasalar (Engineering) to test drone technology for measuring heat loss from buildings on South Campus;
  • Professor of Practice Svetoslava Todorova (Engineering), for a student engagement project about water and energy use in residence halls;
  • Legal writing professor Emily Brown (Law), to create a public database of legal summaries of Federal laws and proposals related to climate change.

2016-2017 Awards

  • Prof. Steve Chapin and Prof. Peter Wilcoxen, for an electric vehicle lab;
  • Prof. Amber Bartosh and Prof.. Mark Povinelli, for a virtual reality simulation about energy awareness;
  • Prof. Jeongmin Ahn, to research membrane technology to reduce GHG emissions;
  • Grad student Kristina Gutchess, to evaluate water and salt runoff on campus;
  • Prof. Jason Fridley and Prof. Doug Frank, to study carbon cycling in plants;
  • Grad students Hugh O. Burnham and Adam Fix, to develop an oral history of climate activism at SU