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Syracuse, ESF Announce Partnerships with Initial Focus on Water and Environment
Syracuse University and the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) today announced plans to strengthen collaborations between the two institutions in areas of shared research strengths and strategic priorities.
The plan builds on a number of longstanding existing partnerships between faculty, students and staff of the two institutions in areas relating to research, student organizations and administrative operations. The new effort calls for an initial investment in collaborative projects focusing on water—an area of mutual strategic interest for both institutions.
“The challenges of the world today increasingly demand solutions informed by multiple perspectives, disciplines and areas of expertise,” says Syracuse University Chancellor and President Kent Syverud. “Some of the most urgent of these challenges relate to water, energy and the environment, and Syracuse University and ESF both have outstanding faculty with a passion for research in these areas. This partnership will generate even greater opportunities for us to pool our expertise and resources in ways that magnify the real-world implications of faculty scholarship and advance our shared academic goals.”
Syracuse University supports a number of research and teaching initiatives relating to water, the environment and energy, including a graduate-level training initiative—the Education Model Program on Water-Energy Research (EMPOWER)—launched in 2016 with $3 million in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The interdisciplinary program focuses on research relating to water and energy cycles—combined with mentoring, field experiences, training in science communication, and interdisciplinary coursework—to better prepare students for careers in energy, environmental consulting, government, nonprofits and academia.
ESF President Quentin Wheeler says, “The collaboration draws on the impressive strengths of two great institutions to confront some of the most pressing issues facing society. This relationship will accelerate the pace of scientific discovery, enrich the learning environment for students and amplify the positive impact we are having on the immediate and long-term prospects for water quality and sustainable solutions.”
ESF, which is designated as one of two lead institutions in a SUNY-wide water research initiative, participates in the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science. Within the last decade, its 25-plus water-affiliated faculty have collaborated to secure a large NSF facilities grant to improve aquatic laboratory facilities, offered an annual interdisciplinary graduate seminar in hydrology and biogeochemistry, and developed an undergraduate minor.
As part of the new agreement, Syracuse University will expand its participation in the New York Great Lakes Consortium, a multi-institution collaboration currently administered by ESF. Active engagement with the consortium is expected to open up additional grant opportunities for research by Syracuse faculty and provide competitive funding support for student scholarship.
“The faculty, staff and students of Syracuse and ESF together form a rich brain trust that offers great potential for the future of each institution,” says Cathryn Newton, who as special advisor to the Chancellor and provost for faculty engagement has been working to identify potential areas of collaboration in support of the University’s Academic Strategic Plan.
Both institutions will work with their water groups to further develop collaborative projects in research as well as field and lab education in water. This may include support for proposal development or resubmittal, consideration of infrastructure and instrumentation collaborations, and other opportunities. Submissions are invited especially for projects that already have initial results and are ready to move to the proposal phase and for proposals in need of revision or additional data.
In addition to spurring water-related research collaborations, the two institutions will strengthen partnerships in the area of sustainability and will pursue a visiting speakers initiative designed to bring scholars together across both campuses. More information on those initiatives will come at a later date.
While initial collaborations will focus on water, sustainability and a visiting speaker series, it is anticipated that new themes for collaboration will emerge on an annual basis. Toward that end, Newton, in coordination with Syracuse University Provost Michele Wheatly and Chancellor Syverud, will appoint a Syracuse Advisory Committee on Collaborations with ESF to serve in an advisory capacity and propose themes for future consideration. A similar group will be formed at ESF for faculty there.
These advisory groups are expected to be appointed by mid-February and to convene shortly after that. Faculty members interested in serving on the Syracuse University committee, proposing a theme for collaboration or otherwise getting involved in this effort should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Syracuse University
Founded in 1870, Syracuse University is a private international research university dedicated to advancing knowledge and fostering student success through teaching excellence, rigorous scholarship and interdisciplinary research. Comprising 11 academic schools and colleges, the University has a long legacy of excellence in the liberal arts, sciences and professional disciplines that prepares students for the complex challenges and emerging opportunities of a rapidly changing world. Students enjoy the resources of a 270-acre main campus and extended campus venues in major national metropolitan hubs and across three continents. Syracuse’s student body is among the most diverse for an institution of its kind across multiple dimensions, and students typically represent all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Syracuse also has a long legacy of supporting veterans and is home to the nationally recognized Institute for Veterans and Military Families, the first university-based institute in the U.S. focused on addressing the unique needs of veterans and their families. To learn more about Syracuse University, visit http://syracuse.edu.
The College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), founded in 1911, is at the forefront of confronting the challenges of the 21st century. ESF educates tomorrow’s leaders, explores new possibilities and inspires the public to engage in creating a better future. ESF is unique among institutions of higher learning in its singular focus on environmental discovery, learning and sustainability. The college has developed innovative programs in a broad range of academic areas, all of which focus on the environment. They include biology, chemistry, engineering, management, design and planning. ESF offers degrees ranging from the associate’s degree to the doctor of philosophy. ESF students leave the college equipped to pursue careers aimed at improving the quality of life in an ever-changing world. To learn more about ESF, visit www.esf.edu.