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Wolfie Visits the Sustainability Studies Program
Taking a few minutes away from cheering on the athletic teams at SBU, the campus mascot, Wolfie came to visit Sustainability Studies and was part of a raising awareness campaign for campus sustainability practices, including the bike share program, and recycling shown here at left. Sustainability is a core value on the SBU campus, and we are continuring to develop new partnerships with many student groups including the Environmental Club, and Office of Campus Sustainability.  For more information about their many programs and initiatives, please visit their webpage at : http://www.stonybrook.edu/sustainability/    


What are the ethics behind factory farming? What are the ethical implications? Sustainability Studies welcomed Dr. Cassuto to give a special lecture focusing on the environmental implications while defining those implications through the lens of animal law. Environmental law and environmental ethics are interwoven and animals are part of the environment. Environmentalism and environmental law must do more than react to the pollution that animal mistreatment generates; it must address the mistreatment itself. No ethical system could do otherwise.

Professor David N. Cassuto, Pace Law School A former professor of English specializing in literature and the en-vironment, Professor Cassuto has published and lectured widely on legal, literary, and environmental issues. He is also a frequent speaker on legal and cultural studies. Cassuto teaches in the areas of property, professional responsibility, animal law, water law, international comparative law, and legal and environmental theory. He directs the Brazil American Institute for Law and Environment (BAILE), a cooperative endeavor with the Getulio Vargas Foundation School of Law in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Professor Cassuto was a Fulbright Fellow at FGV Direito Rio, in Rio de Janeiro Brazil in 2010, is a visiting professor at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil, and is the Class of 1946 Distinguished Visiting Professor of Environmental Law at Williams College.   View his presentation by clicking here


Dr. Michael Dorsey visits Sustainability Studies Program 2/19/14
Dr. Michael Dorsey is an internationally recognized expert on global governance and sustainability. He presently works as the interim-Program Director for the Energy and Environment Program at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, based in Washington, DC.
From 2007 to 2008, Dr. Dorsey was a member of Senator Barack Obama's energy and environment Presidential campaign team. In July 2010 the US Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA) Administrator appointed Dr. Dorsey to the EPA's National Advisory Committee. He was reappointed in 2012.  

HHdorsey.jpgPictured left, Dr. Michael Dorsey and Director Heidi Hutner of Sustainability Studies Program at Stony Brook at the presentation. 
In 1992, under President George Bush, Dr. Dorsey served as a member of the U.S. State Department Delegation to the United Nations "Earth Summit." From 1994-96, he was a task force member of President Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development. In 1997, Dorsey was be- stowed Rotary International's highest honor, The Paul Harris Medal for Distinguished Service to Humanity. Dr. Dorsey is a "Full" Rome member.  Click here to see Dr. Dorsey's presentation.   

steingraber.jpgDr. Sandra Steingraber, noted author and lecturer presented a talk for The Humanities for the Environment Guest Lecture Series, sponsored by the Humanities Institute and the Sustainability Studies Program. Dr. Steingraber's talk was entitled "Chemical Exposure and Human Health", pictured here are Dr. Steingraber (left), and Interim Director of the Sustainability Studies Program, Dr. Heidi Hutner. 

Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., recipient of the Rachel Carson Leadership Award, has lectured before the parliament of the European Union, at various medical conferences, and on college campuses. A visiting scholar at Ithaca College, her most recent book is Raising Elijah: Protecting Our Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis, her previous books include Living Downstream: An Ecologist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment & Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood. She and her husband, Jeff have two children, Elijah and Faith.    summit 3.jpg

Long Island Smart Growth Vision Summit
On November 22, 2013 Professors Donovan Finn, Heidi Hutner, and James H Quigley accompanied a group of 19 Sustainability Studies students from SBU to the 2013 Vision Long Island Smart Growth Summit in Melville. Students spent the day attending sessions discussing smart growth, disaster response, downtown revitalization, mass transit, job creation and other pressing issues facing Long Island communities today.   Students in our program are encouraged to take part in hands on activities and experiences, helping to prepare them for positions in the workforce after graduation. 


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Stony Brook Sustainability Studies student Kendra Armstead
Addressing the challenges facing students and young professionals on Long Island; such as the lack of affordable housing and limited sustainable transportation options on one of the workshop panel discussions.  Kendra is an honors student in the Sustainability Studies major, focusing on areas of study including: global studies, gender issues and the law, and restoration ecology to name a few.  The Sustainability Studies Program has 5 majors and 6 minors that are interdisciplonary, and encourage students to engage in hands on study, research and activisim.    

turf3.jpgSustainability Studies Students work on Algal Turf Scrubber Research Project

Thomas Bruno, Thomas Kahl, and Ashleigh Grossfeld work together under their mentors' supervision -Professors Aubrecht and Hoffmann, students in ENV 321 (Chemistry for Environmental Scientists-Lab) are studying the use of algal turf scrubbers to treat nutrient-rich water and reduce eutrophication. This project is being conducted in the University Greenhouse which is made available to departments for ongoing research. 


brunoandrasheedEnvironmentalist of the Year: Tom Bruno
Tom Bruno, shown here on the right, with fellow ENV Club member, Rasheed Lucas.  Tom was honored as Environmentailist of the year on campus at Earthstick, 2013.  He reflected: The environment has been my greatest passion.   As I have grown and began to learn more about it and the importance of achieving sustainability I have been increasingly active in several initiatives.   I am very proud of my field of study in Coastal Environmental Studies and think that focusing on protecting and restoring these critical areas will be important in managing human development in the future. The coastal environment is very dynamic and for generations we have attempted to permanently change it and only recently it has become a major issue as to how to adapt.

My experiences in several initiatives on and off campus have deemed me deserving of the Environmentalist of the Year award for 2013.   For over a year I have volunteered for the Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island (CRESLI) in helping guide seal walks in Westhampton Beach.   I also created a time series map of the change in location of a sandbar that lies in Moriches Bay where the seals hauled out during low tide.   Last summer, I was employed by New York State Parks as an environmental steward in Montauk and protected Piping Plovers and other federally listed endangered and threatened species of birds and plants.  This past year I became Secretary of the Environmental Club and serve as an EcoLeader for the Office of Sustainability to implement sustainability initiatives on campus.   During Winter 2013, I went to Costa Rica to study renewable energy and went on countless adventures while learning there.   The study abroad experience provided me great knowledge and hands-on experience with renewable energy and how it could be implemented in the United States.  I also currently intern at Sustainable Long Island which is a non-profit working on an economic revitalization project in Long Beach. This summer I plan on interning at CT Fund for the Environment - a green infrastructure project.  Part of the project’s focus is on improving the water quality of Long Island Sound as well as helping coastal CT be more resilient to hurricanes.  sbc311.jpg

SBC 311 - Disasters and Society: A Global Perspective: Environmental Design, Policy, and Planning's Dr. Finn brought his Stony Brook Manhattan summer course SBC 311, Disasters and Society, to visit the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in Brooklyn on June 18, 2013 where they heard about the city's Hurricane Sandy response and recovery efforts, took a tour of the building, and met a number of disaster professionals to hear about their ongoing work and planning. Many thanks to OEM Deputy Commissioner for External Affairs Christina Farrell and the rest of the OEM staff for a very informative and enlightening morning.  This and other classes in the Sustainability Studies program offer students hands on experiences and opportunities that round out classroom instruction. 



Students working on local planning project:

Dr. Donovan Finn oversees his students in EDP 302 " The Built Environment" course doing a survey of Route 25A in Stony Brook.  This area across from the LIRR tracks and bordering on the campus has long been an ideal spot for mixed use building including housing, shopping, and dining.  Students are working with town officials and alumni from the Environmental Design, Policy, and Planning program to develop ideas for a sustainable development plan.

Hurricane Sandy Symposium - April 10, 2013
This symposium continued the discussion between academic and local communities of Long Island on the impacts of natural disaster, like Hurricane Sandy.  The panel reviewed issues such as the post storm impacts (what have we learned), hazard preparation and avoidance, what is possible from future events, and what are some of the political and legal issues of our efforts. The talks from distinguished guest speakers and an open discussion from a panel forum.  From Left: Dr. Michael Sperazza, Geosciences & Sustainability Studies organized the symposium, Dr. Martin Schoonen, Geosciences & Sustainability Studies, Dr. Charles Flagg, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Mr. Michael White, Counsel at Anthony E. Core PC, former director of the LI Regional Planning Council, Dr. Malcom Bowman, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Ms. Anne Siders, J.D., Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School. The panel taking questions from the audience.  The speakers were joined by Steven Englebright, State Assemblyman, and lecturer with Sustainability Studies. Faculty, Students, Staff, and Community members were welcome.











Queens Chronicle: Give residents more say in land use and planning. 

With the election of a progressive mayor and now the elevation of a progressive city council speaker in Melissa Mark-Viverito, New York has the rare and exciting opportunity to finally address the city's dysfunctional development process. Emulating the concept of participatory budgeting now used by several City Council members and long championed by the new speaker in which constituents get a binding say in how discretionary funding is spent, the city should begin reforms of its planning and zoning processes to better include local community input. Such changes could usher in a new kind of open, transparent and citizen-based democracy that confronts the equity issues the mayor and speaker hold dear, while simultaneously addressing very real sustainability and resilience needs.
The city's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure is an arcane bureaucratic scheme dating from the city's 1975 charter revision. It is a relic of another era. Like much of New York's planning and development process, ULURP is a reactive process. With no productive means to help shape them, proposed projects become contentious battles with residents on one side and developers, often with city support, on the other.Instead of a constructive dialogue, ULURP-mandated public hearings usually involve residents begging fruitlessly for someone to listen to community concerns. Speakers in any language other than English often don't even receive the courtesy of translation. Ultimately, projects are almost always approved anyway. Worse still, many residents only learn about a project once the fences go up and the bulldozers come in.
The process can be elitist, dehumanizing and counter-productive. It does not have to be this way. Projects can get built and profits made while community needs are met. The key is creating a process and framework for open dialogue, giving real power to communities and forcing developers to take part in mandatory public dialogues with binding community protections and benefits as a condition for project approval. Participatory planning is not new. It has been central to the profession since the 1960s and is the law of the land in cities like Seattle, a pioneer in this approach. It works by tapping local knowledge and expertise, providing a forum for open democratic deliberation and building consensus over sometimes deeply divisive issues. Participatory planning can also help address larger long-term neighborhood needs. New York is unique among major US cities in having no citywide comprehensive plan. It should. But though neighborhoods can develop their own plans, good plans require expertise and money. Community boards lack both.
The city should fund a full-time professional staff planner for every community board, facilitating analysis of development proposals and the ability to help draft and implement a local long-range plan. Plans and project approval also need a formal and mandated democratic process to follow. The participatory budgeting approach championed by the new speaker provides a good model, using open, transparent discussions about community needs coupled with tools to actually address them. The slogan of participatory budgeting is "Real money. Real projects. Real power." Participatory planning's motto might be "Real plans. Real policies. Real protections."
Participatory planning has a long history in New York City. Untold numbers of neighborhoods have created their own plans over the last 50 years from pro-active visions like the Green Agenda for Jackson Heights to mega-development counter-proposals like the Atlantic Yards Unity Plan. Today 10 communities in the city, from Staten Island to Far Rockaway, are using state storm recovery funding to develop plans, while in Corona, residents are using community-generated visions to generate support for more equitable development in Willets Point and nearby neighborhoods.
These community-driven processes should continue. But the city could develop its own parallel efforts. With the leadership of Speaker Mark-Viverito and her progressive colleagues, we also have the rare opportunity to expand the culture of participation to include land use, zoning and long-term planning. Every planner worth his or her salt knows that residents are the real experts on what their communities need. Good planning demands technical expertise but also the ability to listen closely and devise ways to turn broad community input into tangible and effective change. This is the city's next great challenge.  Click here to read an abstract on a recent grant award by Dr. Finn.
Donovan Finn is an urban planner, visiting assistant professor in sustainability studies at Stony Brook University, founding member of the Fairness Coalition of Queens and a Jackson Heights resident. 

PORTLAND, Ore. – May 15, 2013 – Stony Brook University student Richard Shelton has been selected as one of the nation's top rising young leaders in the sustainable energy sector by national non-profit organization Focus the Nation.  Twenty students from across the country have been selected for their dedication, passion, and unique contribution to advancing sustainable energy in America. The young leaders—five each in the categories of Technician, Innovator, Politico, and Storyteller—will meet for one week on August 11th, 2013 on Oregon's Mt. Hood at the ReCharge! Retreat to explore an area of the country where energy is accelerating towards renewables.
Participants will hike Elliot Glacier, which has experienced 60 percent snowpack loss since 1982; tour the Boardman Coal Plant, scheduled to close by 2020; experience The Dalles Dam, located on the Columbia River and producing hydropower since 1957; and visit Biglow Canyon Wind Farm, which powers 125,000 homes in rural Oregon. Upon returning home, ReCharge! Delegates put what they learn at the retreat to use on their campus and in their communities by promoting sustainable energy solutions.  Shelton is studying business management at Stony Brook and has been selected as a young leader in the Technician category. "[ReCharge! will] be an opportunity to learn valuable tools that I can bring back to my job as the project coordinator at Stony Brook University. There is a lot to be said about learning outside of the classroom or workplace and I think this would be an excellent opportunity to do so," says Shelton. 
Focus the Nation created ReCharge! in collaboration with The Center for Whole Communities to address the need for rising leaders to approach energy challenges with innovative ideas and fortitude throughout their careers. ReCharge! is made possible through sponsorship by Bonneville Power Administration, EDP Renewables, KEEN Footwear, and Portland General Electric.  Focus the Nation is the country's leading youth empowerment organization and supports rising leaders in launching careers that accelerate the transition to sustainable energy in all fifty states. Since 2008, the organization has helped more 300,000 young people engage in direct dialogue with business and elected leaders around energy solutions. For more information about Focus the Nation and ReCharge!, visit www.focusthenation.org/recharge or contact Sasha Tenzin at sasha@focusthenation.org.                                                                                                                                      

furey.jpgKathleen Furey, SUS alum is Education and Media Director of GMO FREE NY- (Genetically Modified Organisms)
Kathleen Furey, education and media director of GMO Free NY, has been busy criss-crossing Long Island, New York City and elsewhere in the state challenging GMOs and pressing for passage of the proposed law.  Crops using GMOs were introduced commercially in the United States in 1996. But "Americans are still dining in the dark," said Ms. Furey in a recent presentation in Sag Harbor, New York. Ms. Furey, a graduate of Stony Brook University's Sustainability Studies Department with a degree in environmental humanities, said that now in the U.S., 885 of corn, 90% of sugar beets and 93% of soybeans are grown using GMO. Some 80% of "bottled, boxed or canned foods in the U.S." contain GMO ingredients. And livestock feed "is comprised mostly of GMO corn and soybeans." GMOs "dominate the agricultural landscape" of America today, she said.  Read more about this topic at:

Media page: http://gmofreeny.net/inthemedia.html
Take Action page: http://gmofreeny.net/takeaction.htm 
4/30/13: "Will NY Be the First State to Require Labeling of GMO Food?" -- Huffington Post
4/28/13: "GMO Food--Banning or Labeling It. And Is it Kosher?" -- The Times of Israel
4/26/13: "Frankenfish" -- Sag Harbor Press

NBC video from space on decades of global change:  http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/09/18150228-time-lapse-map-chronicles-decades-of-global-change-as-seen-from-space#.UYzhdyyW9KY.gmail

clearwater.jpgStony Brook Student chosen as an SBU BLOGGER:  Check out her blog here: http://admissions.cc.stonybrook.edu/Blogger1/wordpress/?p=3951

I start this post with a question: What does the word "sustainability" mean to you? For you logophiles out there, the word is logically deduced to its roots: "the ability to sustain." Still stumped? For everyone else: "Sustainability" is based upon the fact that everything humans need for survival (food, water, shelter, etc) and health/happiness (clean air/water/land, animals, plants, etc) depends on our natural environment.  Erica Cirino, Marine Science Major, Environmental Humanities Minor.  

 Sustainability Studies Faculty are awarded NSF grant :  http://sb.cc.stonybrook.edu/happenings/facultystaff/sustainability-studies-faculty-receive-nsf-grant/

 Sustainability Studies and Chemistry faculty member Kate Aubrecht and Sustainability Studies faculty members Arlene Cassidy, Jim Hoffmann, and Jim Quigley were recently awarded a grant from the NSF Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science (TUES) program for their project "Development, Implementation and Assessment of Novel Inquiry-based Interdisciplinary Materials on Sustainability for the Chemistry Curriculum". They will work collaboratively to create learning materials for three courses that address the chemistry of environmental processes, environmental degradation, energy production and the connections between chemistry-related and non-chemistry-related aspects of sustainability, such as economics and policy. Students will conduct meaningful research in the laboratory course by evaluating the effectiveness of solar-powered algal turf scrubbers to remove excess nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients from streams and coastal waters, as well as the suitability of using the resulting algal biomass as fertilizer.   


Check out some postings on blogs for Dr. Heidi Hutner







USA TODAY article on College students flocking to sustainability degrees, careers:


New York Times article on Green Jobs:


greenlegos.jpgEnvironmental Stewardship and the Campus Community Stony Brook is at the vanguard of the sustainability movement. Our commitment to a green future is evident everywhere on our 1,400 acres: from reducing our carbon footprint, to advocating recycling and using recycled materials whenever possible, to promoting alternatively fueled transportation.   Please visit the below link for more information and campus initiatives.  http://www.stonybrook.edu/sustainability/


Articles and links about Sustainability:  








































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