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May 2013 Grads gather for pictures.  The Sustainability Studies Program is committed to helping prepare our graduates for careers with internships and research opportunities during their studies.  This hands on experience better prepares them for positions upon graduation.

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Commencement May 17, 2013

Many students decorated their caps with personal messages to share with family and friends.


 Students and faculty celebrating special awards at the Sustainability Reception.  This certificate was for outstanding independent research work done on the effects of acid rain on earthworms.


Trip to Clearwater Festival !
Dr. Hutner with her summer class, SUS 350: Utopia, Dystopia & Activism at the Clearwater Festival in upstate NewYork, June 2013. 


Dr. Hutner and students take part in demonstrations with wind and solar energy.  The trip is part of her summer class each year, students say that the experience is really meaningful and helps them not only with their studies, but about understanding environmental activism in general. 


Sustainability Studies Students at our Earthstock Table, 2013.  The campus wide festival is held every year in April to celebrate Earth Day.











Tara Linton,an EHI major and SUS minor, participated in Study Aroad in Madagascar. Hhere are wild Ring Tailed Lemurs that were arms length away in the grasslands of Islao National Park.


madagasacar tree

 After staying in the rainforest for a few weeks, she visited grassland, desert and the coast, this tree is estimated at over 1,000 years old.  



Jamie and Tara, both EHI majors at the summit of Ranomafana National Park.  They will be graduating this year, and we wish them all the best !

roof before









The Stony Brook Heights is a rooftop farm that was created last year by the Department of Family Medicine & Sustainability Studies on the fourth level of the Health Sciences Center @ SBU.   It began as a somewhat neglected plot receiving little or no attention.


roof harvest 

Shortly over a year later, with the hard work of the many people involved, faculty, staff and students, the garden now yields a wonderful bounty of fresh, organic produce. 



roof fundraiser

 The fundraiser in 2012 celebrating the success of the inititiative and included many dishes prepared by top local chefs using the vegtables and herbs from the garden.  To learn more about the project, please visit their facebook page at:

grads 2012The May 2012 Graduates Celebrate ! 









Getting ready to enter the stadium with the
many other 2012 graduates, Rebecca proudly carries our banner. 

caroline cap.jpgA Reason to Celebrate ! 


Biodegradable Graffiti was one of the art installation projects Professor Marc Fasanella had his class produce to celebrate Earthstock 2012, this is powdered cocoa stenciled on plexiglass, that will wash away in the rain. 



A student with his completed all natural art installation.  Each student was given the medium of mulch and recent landscaping cuttings to produce a project. 


A striking example of the daily waste of "to go" containers at just one dining location.  Efforts are underway to reduce waste by choosing paper plates, or carrying in reusable bags.


The 2011 Winter Graduation of the Sustainability Studies program.  A special reception hosted by the University Alumni Association gave the graduates and their families a warm send off.  Several of the alums will go on to graduate school and others are pursuing ew careers in areas related to "green" jobs.

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Alums Martha Weller, Adam Meier, Ricky Greening, and Caroline Dwyer take part in a panel discussion as  part of the Earthstock Festival. They spoke about their entrance into green careers and going on to graduate school, reflecting on how their education in Sustainability Studies at Stony Brook helped prepare them for the next step in their journeys.




Students are given the opportunity to conduct independent research under the supervision of a faculty member.  Such projects can then be submitted for campus wide events such as the Undergraduate Research Poster session hosted by URECA each spring semester.  These skills are a perfect foundation for graduate program study.                  

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Professor Hoffmann teaches a Systems an Modeling Class where students will learn to use simulation software that facilitates the visualization, formulations, and analysis of systems.  Some of the systems studied include: population,economic, and chemical models.


Nicole is a Coastal Studies Major.  Her recent trip to Franz Joseph Glacier which is located within Westland National Park of the South Island in New Zealand. The glacier is the steepest and fastest retreating of its kind in the world that is commercially guided today.  She experienced a thrilling 5 hour traverse, fixed with crampons, from the beautiful glacier valley up the terminal face, nearing the summit.


Nicole said, "The sights I witnessed that
day will forever be a life changing memory.
Although my stay in the country was relatively short lived, the ability to explore the dynamic terrain of the beautiful countryside will be forever remembered".



Professor Bowman leads a field trip in a Marine Wetlands Preserve in Brooklyn, NY.  Courses such as this "Restoration Ecology" include a study of the rationale, principles, practices, and legal, social, economic, and ethical issues associated with restoring the structure and function of degraded ecological systems. 


The Former Director of the Sustainability Studies Program, Dr. Martin Schoonen, representing the program in the May 2011 Commencement Ceremony.


Recycling and Reincarnation art exhibit highlights how art can be represented from found objects.



Undergraduate students participating in laboratory experiments acquire hands on experience enhancing their research skills.  The role of chemistry in the development of alternative energy sources, remediation technologies, and eco-friendly products is highlighted.


Field trips are part of some of the classes in the curriculum in our five majors and six minors. Here, Professor Cassidy leads a group of students at Hubbard County Park, during a session of "Sustainability of the Long Island Pine Barrens" course. Hands on learning is a unique aspect of many of the courses in the programs.


Stony Brook students studying abroad in Madagascar.  Here they are spending the day with local school children and talking about the tropical rain forests that are part of the local habitat.











An artwork installation on campus created by students in the "Enviromental Writing and the Media" in the spring 2011 semester.  Students are encouraged to use what they have learned in their multidisciplinary studies for such projects.


Students building a water collection shed at the campus Organic Micro Farm in spring of 2011.  The project is managed entirely by students and all members are volunteers, planning is done in conjuction with the campus Environmental Club.  Adam and Nick were involved in many projects outside their required coursework.  A message from Adam on his acceptance into a selective summer internship program that he credits to participation in our program:
Adam's message 


Graduating senior Martha Weller with family members at the departmental graduationreception, May 2011.  Martha owns and manges her own environmental landscaping company, "Garden Environments".  The company focuses on exercising environmental integrity and responsibility in design.  Martha incorporates  her experiences with Eco-Aesthetics into her design work.

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Dr. Marc Fasanella curates an Environmental Art Exhibit on campus, Fall 2011.  Dr. Fasanella is a faculty member of the Sustainability Studies Program, and specializes in Art, Design & Eco-Aesthetics.  Included in the show were  works from faculty, staff, and students.


Deanna Lally, who is minoring in Sustainability Studies is seen here with her design of a vertical garden at an environmental art exhibit. She is working on a patent with Dr. Marc Fasanella, her mentor for the project and curator of the exhibit.



Sustainability Studies is proud to participate in the planning of Earthstock, the campus annual weeklong celebration of environmental awareness at Stony Brook University. Pictured here from left, Rasheed Lucas, and Tom Bruno- Winner of the 2013 Environmentalist of the Year Award.
Congratulations Tom !


 Students with the local community members during the Winter 2013 Costa Rica course in Renewable Energy.


Students visited sustainable energy sites in Costa Rica, and worked on their capstone projects in the field.


There was some time set aside for recreation on the trip also - students enjoyed white water rafting and zip lining.











Dr. Sharon Pochron, SBU, and Ms. Kimberly Barbour of Cornell University Cooperative Extension work with students on weaving eel grass mats to restore a natural living enviroment for fish and shellfish in local coastal waters.  This class is part of the Ecosystems and Human Impact program, students gain hands on learning experiences in identifying and troubleshooting environmental issues.  


Students working on this restoratoion of the natural environment will see their efforts in action, the woven patches of grass will be installed and covered with sand and rocks to recreate the habitat.  Students can major, or minor, in Ecosystems and Human Impact which includes many multi-disciplinary courses.


Gordian Raacke of Renewable Energy Long Island, and SBU Alum Ricky Greening, were chosen to present for the Climate Reality Project, part of a 2011 initiative created by former Vice President Al Gore. The project focuses on Climate Change, and what people can do from a local to a global perspective to create and maintain sustainable living practices. 

may2011.jpg   Members of the first graduating class of Sustainability Studies students from Stony Brook University.  Students majored and minored in Ecosystems and Human Impact, Environmental Design, Policy & Planning, Environmental Humanities, Coastal Environmental Studies, and Sustainability Studies. Our graduates will be going on to graduate school or entering the workforce into a growing  market for "Green Sector" jobs. 


 Kim Tucker, our banner bearer carrying our flag in the University Commencement ceremony. Kim graduated with honors, and recently sent us this message about her experience in the Environmental Humanities Major - and the work she has gone on to since graduation.  Kim's Message


Fall Classic !  The Sustainability Studies faculty - student whiffle ball game brought out some fans and all enjoyed the terrific weather.  Students are encouraged to participate in activities outside the classroom, enhancing their campus experiences.  Many students join clubs and other recreational programs.

davidviana2.jpgEDP Student Working for the Community:
David Viana, (center) EDP student at Stony Brook University is the President of the Baldwin Civic Association, and he was one of the leaders in a recent community action to encourage smart growth and building in the town.  He and others voiced the opinion that the community needs mixed use development, a walkable downtown area and green designs to enable a thriving business district.  He was quoted as saying in Newsday " We have a vision, we have been waiting for 15 years to see development done, we want to do it right".  Click here to read the whole article.

David is an Environmental Design, Policy, and Planning major, with a minor in Environmental Studies.  His passion for public advocacy is supported in his studies, some of the work he has completed include:  Theories of Urban Settlements, The Built Environment, and American Environmental Politics.  David is working with one of his instructors, Dr. Donovan Finn on a Hurricane Sandy Research Grant, that will survey environmental damage on Long Island.  David is an outstanding student, and a valued member of the Sustainability Studies community.

worm.jpgStudents working on Independent Research:

Dr. Sharon Pochron, a member of the Ecosystems and Human Impact instruction team is supervising independent student research in the Sustainability Studies Earthworm Ecotoxicology Lab. Our students investigate the effect of acid rain on earthworm biomass, the effect of Roundup on earthworm body mass and survival, and the ability of plants to transport Roundup into soil at levels high enough to harm earthworms. Our students also study earthworm life history, measuring how long it takes for a earthworm cocoon to hatch, how long it takes an newly hatched earthworm to reach adulthood, and how long earthworms live.  Using space in the Life Sciences greenhouse, students work in groups to develop and run their own research. All projects produce a poster for URECA and Earthstock. Results from appropriate projects are published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Some of the students made a videos for PBS, click here or here to view tow of them! 


matt barney.jpgSustainability Studies Student Studies Abroad: 

My name is Matt Barney and I am currently a senior majoring in Business Operations and minoring in Sustainability Studies. After I graduate this May I plan on going to to work for the business side of the international fashion industry. I made the decision to go study abroad in Florence, Italy during the Fall 2013 semester based on a desire to experience something that was different from the average mold of spending four consecutive years on the same college campus. Florence was the ideal choice for me to take classes that taught me all about the marketing and management of European businesses as well as embrace the Italian lifestyle. Italy can be a surprisingly sustainable country, finding a drying machine or even an air conditioner is very rare and obviously a big culture shock but they are simply not needed. Every window sill is set up to hang clothing easily outside that will dry in a few hours, and the narrow streets provide a constant shade that prevents sunlight from coming through apartment windows during hot summer days. During the winter months, the Italians only get to use their heat for a certain amount of hours every day and resort to just wearing more layers around their homes. Lastly, finding food with preservatives in it is next to impossible as fresh food is brought into the markets daily. This is a welcomed treat when it comes to the great taste you get out of your cooking but does require frequent trips to the store when the expiration date is only a few days after you buy it. Of course I also took advantage of seeing the sites around both Italy and the rest of Europe and at the end of my trip I had visited 7 different countries and over 20 different cities. I made some life long friends while I was there and I wholeheartedly recommend it to any student who is looking for a little adventure in their lives.  Matt is minor in our program and some of his classes include: Economics and Sustainability, American Environmental Politics, and Special Topics in Sustainability.

rebeccaAlumni Spotlight: Rebecca Kusa, Environmental Humanities Alumni

Right before graduation I went online and set up an account with the Student Conservation Association. Shortly afterward, I found out that I was accepted for a fellowship position as an environmental educator/naturalist/park ranger in Minnesota. Since August 27th, I have been working out here at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

I am so lucky to spend everyday in the field leading and teaching visiting school groups. I am working alongside park rangers, naturalists, environmental educators, teachers and other members of the Fish and Wildlife service on a daily basis. Since August I have been mist netting, trail clearing, have removed invasive plant species and helped show children to love, discover, and respect the natural world around them.  The picture here shows me working on the important Duck Banding Project, where each duck is affixed with a uniquely numbered aluminum leg band after its species, sex, and age are recorded for tracking purposes. Along with being an important biological tool, the banding program also offers unique outreach opportunities at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center.

If someone asked me where I would be six months after graduation, I would never have thought about saying Minnesota. But it turns out that this has been an amazing experience and I couldn't have asked for anything better to do for a start with my EHM degree. I am able to teach and help communicate natural beauty, science, and conservation to the general public (from pre-k to retirement homes) at a truly unique learning center in the heart of the prairie pothole region.  Helping connect people with nature by teaching them to learn and care for the natural world around them, is exactly what environmental humanities is all about.  I am really excited with my great start to working after leaving campus, and that's my story so far :)   Rebecca

Amy Sotofenbergamy s Winter 2013 Graduate:

On Stony Brook Hospital’s rooftop farm last summer, senior Amy Stofenberg grew radishes. Using compost made on campus, the Ecosystems and Human Impact major performed a research experiment to test the efficacy of the Stony Brook compost versus commercial compost. She planted half of her crop in each mixture. “The radishes didn’t grow very well in the Stony Brook compost,” admits Amy, who received a Sustainability Studies Summer Undergraduate Research Award to fund her study. “Now I’m sending my soil samples up to Cornell’s Nutrient Analysis Lab in Ithaca to find out what the problem was.”   She reported her findings to a panel of faculty in Sustainability, the Faculty Student Association, and directors of the Farm.  She said it was among the most rewarding research she has engaged in to date.  Upon graduation she will begin an internship in a national park through the Student Conservation Association, where she can explore her interest in outdoor education. That internship will take her through the summer. After that, she’s not sure what her direction will be. All she knows is that it will involve being outdoors and have something to do with growing plants. Click here to see the full interview with Amy.  

gabby.jpgSustainability Studies Student featured in "Pathways" Publication:
Gabriella Carvajal who is an Eco-Systems and Human Impact Major, has written an essay in Pathways:  The Official Publication of the NYS Outdoor Education Association, on her work with the Marine Meadows Program, which among their many initiatives retores eel grass to areas on Long Island.  Please click here to read her essay.  Gabby is currently working on research with other students and Ecosystems and Human Impact instructor and mentor, Sharon Pochron.
Great Job Gabby !  




Ecosystems and Human Impact Spotlight

I am Kerri Mahoney, majoring in Ecosystems and Human Impact and minoring in Geospatial Sciences at Stony Brook. I plan to graduate in May of 2014. I conduct research with several other undergraduate students under the mentor-ship of Dr. Sharon Pochron. We tested the effects of acid rain on earthworm biomass. Our findings will be published later this year. I recently won the vice president of clubs and organizations position in the undergraduate student government elections. In this position I will be responsible for education over 160 clubs on USG policies and procedures. I am also a teaching assistant for the Ecological and Social Dimensions of Disease class taught by Dr. Pochron. I plan on pursuing a career in epidemiology, I would like to focus on the effects of environmental toxins on human health. In order to become an expert in my field I hope to receive my PhD in the future.



Celebrating Earthstock 2013 -Alumni Panel Discussion
From left:  Jason Rubin, Lindsey Shields, Kim Tucker, John Botos, Rebecca Kusa. 

Rebecca Kusa,Environmental Humanities BA, Graduated May 2012.  After graduating a year ago with a degree in EHM, Becca has been busy putting her skill-set to good use. She has been working in an Environmental Education Fellowship through the SCA and the USFWS in Minnesota. Since returning home, she applied to, and was accepted for, a seasonal position working with the Nature Conservancy on Shelter Island as a Conservation Education / Stewardship Assistant. She will begin classes for a Master’s degree in Marine Conservation and Policy with SoMAS at Stony Brook in Fall of 2013.

John Botos,Environmental Studies BA, CER Grad Certificate,Graduated May 2013. 
John Botos is the Executive Director of the Peconic Institute. The Institute is a new not-for-profit organization focused on sustainability and resiliency within the Peconic region and beyond located at the Stony Brook Southampton Campus, where John began his studies in Sustainability. He serves on the Energy & Sustainability Committee for the Town of East Hampton, and the Advisory Committee for the Education & Government Access Channel for the Town of Southampton. John is dedicated to creating internships for SBU students, and is passionate about his commitment to the Institute.

Jason Rubin,Environmental Design, Policy, & Planning BA, Graduated May 2012. 
Jason is currently working at EMSL Analytical a laboratory based in Carle Place that focuses on asbestos, mold, and heavy metal testing and analysis.   In his position he works with asbestos testing as well as doing preparation work for larger studies. He is planning to attend the University of South Florida's Global Sustainability Program with a focus on the business aspect of green technology. Jason is enthusiastic about his future goals and opportunities in positions related to sustainability and the environment.

Kim Tucker,Environmental Humanities BA,Graduated May 2011. Kim is currently a Legislative Aide to Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker, who represents the Sixth District of Suffolk County which encompasses most of the Town of Brookhaven. She is responsible for resolving community and constituent issues and managing the legislator’s public schedule. The legislator sits on the Soil and Water Conservation District Board, she and her staff are concerned about protecting Long Island’s groundwater. Kim assists senior level administrators working with groundwater specialists to develop educational materials for the community about protecting this vulnerable natural resource.

Lindsey Shields,Environmental Design, Policy & Planning BA, Graduated May 2012.  Lindsey is a Zoning Coordinator with IVI Assessment Services where she works with a team in conducting Due Diligence work. She contacts municipal officials across the country to determine how their city-specific development regulations are applied to certain sites, and whether that site is in compliance with the regulations. Lindsey reads and analyzes Zoning Ordinances to prepare Municipal Information Summary Reports (MISRs), which is an analysis of the local Zoning Code. She is certified as N.Y.S. Asbestos Inspector, a first step in the process of training to conduct larger Phase I Environmental Site Assessments.

Celebrating Earthstock 2012 -Alumni Panel Discussion alumni panel

Four of the Sustainability Studies Program alums came back to join the current students in celebrating the campus festival of Earthstock in April 2012, for the First Annual Earthstock ALumni Panel Discussion.  They participated in a  panel hosted by the department, and moderated by the Career Center, on what they have been doing since graduation.  Students were encouraged to ask questions, and were interested in the variety of the careers.  From left:  Martha Weller is owner and operator of a landscape design company, Adam Meier is working at a not for profit environmental organization, Ricky Greening is assistant director at a Long Island wildlife rescue center, and Caroline Dwyer is planning to move to North Carolina to attend graduate school at U.N.C. in the fall.

This special event was part of the week long celebration at SBU that recognizes the importance of stewardship of the environment, and education to raise awareness about sustainable practices and ways of living.  Sustainability Studies thanks our alums for their ongoing support of our program, and wishes them all the best as they continue to strive toward their goals.

 One of the students who attended the session reflected on the experience- Bryan Guthy, a Sustainability Studies minor had this to say:

I attended the Earthstock Alumni panel discussion -I thought the discussion was great and the alumni gave me a good sense of the direction that I can go in after graduating from Stony Brook. I was always in the mindset that when looking for jobs it was all about interviews and sending my resume around while filling out applications. But the alumni talked about how their careers evolved from the volunteer and internship work that they were involved in while still in college.

I am a business major with sustainability minor so entrepreneurship and starting up my own business has always interested me along with environmental issues. I liked what Martha had to say about her own entrepreneur experience. She said that entrepreneurs and business managers are completely different things. Being an entrepreneur is more about creating new ideas and breaking out of the mold to do what you want with your business. I also have a landscaping background so seeing her talk about how she used her experience to start up her own business and run it the way she wanted was very inspiring.

All of the alumni stressed the importance of getting an internship and doing volunteer work that interests you to get started in your career. Both Adam and Richard began as volunteers and were eventually hired by their current employers. Adam is working at the Garrison Institute and Richard at a wildlife rescue center, which both seem like cool jobs to me. It was interesting to hear about their gradual progression from volunteers to full time employees, I always thought that most volunteer work in the environmental field was strictly that, volunteer work. Most things seem to be independent work and not for profit organizations. But both Adam and Richard turned the volunteer work that they were passionate about into their careers. I really hope to follow in similar footsteps one day.  

After going to this discussion I realized that I really have to get out to the Career Center and start looking for cool internships and volunteer opportunities that interest me. I always thought of internships as just a good resume builder and unpaid work experience, but now I realize that the contacts that I make through them and the work I do may lead directly to a full time job and possible career opportunity. I am definitely glad I attended this event because I got some good advice out of it…and the free cookies were good too.

Alumni Spotlight: Caroline Dwyer- Chancellor's Award Winner  

caroline medalHello! My name is Caroline and I am a recent graduate of the Sustainability Studies Program at SBU, having received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Design, Policy and Planning with a Minor in Sustainability Studies. This spring, I have been spending my time working as I plan the next step of my education- graduate school!  The Sustainability Studies program provided me with a strong background in my chosen field, urban planning, and, last fall, I applied to some of the top graduate programs in this area of study. I have currently been accepted to graduate programs at the University of Virginia, CUNY Hunter College, MIT and UNC- Chapel Hill. I do not doubt for a moment that my time with the Sustainability Studies Program provided me with an opportunity to effectively compete with other applicants to these very prestigious programs. After great consideration, I have chosen to join the Department of City and Regional Planning at UNC- Chapel, a program that is consistently ranked within the top-ten graduate planning programs in the nation.

In my opinion, the strengths of the Sustainability Studies Program include a “systems approach” to environmental problem solving, ample opportunities for students to pursue independent research, an engaged faculty with diverse areas of expertise, strong and thoughtful curriculums within all of the majors and minors (including courses in the practical application of cutting-edge software) and a strong community of like-minded students. I am certain that these program benefits greatly added to the strength of my graduate school applications, making my resume stand out in a way that others did not.

During my time in the program, I had the opportunity to research topics including: environmental factors in the collapse of the Hohokam civilization in the southwest United States; effects of current and historical social stratification on land use patterns in Eastern Suffolk County; the “cult” of the American suburban lawn and its effects on the environment, salient social and land use issues in the Norfolk, VA metropolitan statistical area, waste management policies (with policy recommendations) in Suffolk County, Long Island and a thorough analysis of town-level comprehensive land use plans as a part of my “senior project” and with the assistance of a summer research grant from the Sustainability Studies Program.

If you are an individual that has an interest in pursuing an education in sustainability, I would not for a moment hesitate to recommend the Sustainability Studies Program at Stony Brook University. I feel that I was amply prepared for my next steps, whether they had been to enter the work force or to continue my education, as I have chosen to do. The relevancy of this field cannot be overstated and being on the front lines of the movement, towards greater sustainability for all, is an opportunity to not be missed!      

Alumni Spotlight: Julia Hryvniak & Peter Priolo

Julia is currently working for Land Use Ecological Services as an Ecologist and Endangered Species Monitor on Fire Island.  She received a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from Stony Brook University, Southampton campus. Going on her 7th season gardening, Julia has learned the ways of organic gardening from reading gardening books to pioneering the Organic Garden at Stony Brook Southampton.  Peter also received his Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University Southampton where he studied Ecology and Sustainability. Peter's vegetable growing experience was gained by working at Biophilia Organic Farm and also at Cornell's Horticultural Research & Extension Center in Riverhead. Peter is currently a School Garden Coordinator for Slow Food East End thanks to the support of the Josh Levine Foundation. Peter loves working with the land and enjoys birding, phenology, foraging for edible plants, and participating in citizen science programs like Monarch Watch and the Lost Lady Bug Project (which led to the discovery of the thought-to-be extinct nine spotted ladybug). 

Our Mission: To provide organically grown food to our community, contribute to good health of the people and our environment, and create habitat for wildlife & beneficial insects.

What we do: We grow organic produce on one acre of land in Center Moriches adjacent to a historic dairy farm. We have half an acre in production, and a quarter acre of various wildlife micro habitat. Besides vegetables, we have chickens, herbs, wildflowers, and are growing a variety of berries and beach plum. We offer a share of our harvest (CSA) to members of the local community and also sell at a farmer's market. We also will offer educational events for members and fans. Upcoming events will be listed on our blog

The Sustainability Studies Program wishes Julia & Peter all the best in their worthwhile endeavours.  The are making a difference and doing what they love, we are proud of the work they did while students, and all they have accomplished since !  To learn more about their CSA and Monarch Landing, please visit their webpage at:

 Alumni Spotlight: Richard Greening - Whats he doing now?


Richard Greening,Alum
Stony Brook University Graduate 2011
A Graduating senior Ricky received a degree of distinction; Summa Cum Laude, accepting the Directors Award for Academic Excellence.

I am currently working full time at the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center--which is where I worked while attending school--in Hampton Bays. Additionally, I am applying to approximately several graduate schools, including Stony Brook, to pursue a doctoral degree in Ecology, Evolution, and Evolutionary Biology. By this time next year I hope to be studying how anthropogenic impacts to the environment alter traditional patterns of disease in wildlife and how those changes ultimately impact human and ecosystem health, as well as economic systems. My other interests include restoration ecology and creating a meaningful system for making complex scientific information readily available and comprehensible for lay people. My first choice for school is Columbia University, but I am also looking into the Richard Gilder graduate school at the American Museum of Natural History, Rutger's, Princeton, Yale, Stony Brook, CUNY, and George Mason.

I just got finished with a four day conference (Student Conference on Conservation Science) at the American Museum of Natural History. The conference, run by the Center for Biodiversity Conservation, was spectacular and featured some cutting edge research projects. For those research or conservation minded students, these types of events might be a good primer to receive feedback on their research projects.

In addition to work and school related items,I am currently looking for grants that would enable me to build a net-zero carbon footprint home, hopefully somewhere along the east end of Long Island. This would be a rewarding next step in my commitment to sustainability and my education.

Alumni Spotlight: Nick Zanussi reflects on his time at SBU:

nickNick Zanussi, Alum
Stony Brook University Graduate 2011
Major: Environmental Studies with a concentration in Ecology
Minor: Ecological Systems and Human Impacts

My time as a student in Stony Brook University’s Sustainability program included working on independent research and gaining extensive knowledge of Environmental Science. I worked with many faculty members and staff to design the Idiosyncratic Eco-Dwelling, an eco-house that can be used either as a relief dwelling or a residence. I was fortunate enough to have a mentor assist me with many different topics and was able to build a symbiotic relationship with him. Professor Marc Fasanella was my mentor, and it proved to be an invaluable experience. His willingness to oversee my research was critical in my success. 

During my time at the university, I was responsible for the Organic Micro Farm and Garden managed by the Environmental Club. We grew many different varieties of crops and educated individuals in organic gardening. The Micro-farm will be run by a great group of students who will continue the tradition and ensure its productivity. 

The extensive knowledge I gained in my sustainability studies classes helped me obtain employment in the environmental science field. I worked as a Coastal Steward for the Town of Southampton Trustees protecting and implementing conservation plans for endangered species of coastal birds and plants. Immediately after I graduated in May 2011, I worked at Suffield Academy, an independent school in northern Connecticut, teaching biology to middle and high school students during the school’s summer program. I am currently working for Nature’s Classroom as an Outdoor Environmental Educator to middle school students.   I am grateful for the experience and knowledge I gained through Stony Brook University’s Sustainability Program. I am confident that it will enable me to become a successful environmental scientist.

Julie Schipper, Internship Summary, Department of Transportation- Bike Program

julie sch.

This past summer, I was an intern for the N.Y.C. Department of Transportation. I worked in the bike department promoting sustainable transportation throughout the city. This experience helped me realize my passion for work in this field. It gave me the opportunity to use what I have learned in many of my EDP classes and apply them to real situations. For one project, I was sent out into the field to take pictures of citizens utilizing different bike lanes throughout the city. I traveled throughout all five boroughs and became increasingly interested in the planning of bike lanes. Due to this project, I am now writing a research paper and presenting a presentation on the planning of bike lanes for the Environmental Design Project class.
My involvement in this internship was helped greatly by my EDP studies. Due to the variety of classes I had to take, I was able to complete all tasks asked of me. I found myself more prepared for this internship than some of the other interns from other schools. When deciding on which internships I wanted to apply for, I spoke with one of my advisors who pointed me in this direction. Without his help, I would have not applied for this specific internship and had the great opportunity that I did. I believe this work I completed during this internship will eventually help in finding a career in this field.  

  Environmental Art Exhibit catalog  - Stony Brook University, Fall 2011 semester 

Please click on this link to view the catalog from the show.  It was curated by Marc Fasanella, of the Environmental Humanities Major, and features works of current students, alumni, and professionals in the field of eco-aesthetics.

About Green Careers after graduation: 

Green Careers: The Direction of Jobs and the Economy in the Present and Future

Our society is rapidly adapting to the new realities of an interconnected world that faces environmental challenges, population growth, and dwindling non-renewable resources. New careers have emerged and others have been redefined in the context of these new challenges. Careers focusing on conservation of ecosystems and their biodiversity, working with industry on the implementation of alternative energy resources, designing and building greener communities, and developing new policies and incentives for consumers to make greener choices are just a few examples of career paths that are seeing rapid growth and expansion.

Minimizing the use of resources while lowering cost is an important incentive for businesses, all levels of government, and individuals to innovate and operate more sustainably. To achieve this, there is a need for skilled analysts, consultants, educators, advocates, planners, and policy makers. Many of these jobs did not exist several years ago and this “green” sector of the economy is expected to continue to grow. For example, the Federal government has estimated that occupations in clean energy and sustainability will grow by an impressive 52% between 2000 and 2016. By contrast, other careers are projected to see an increase of only 14% in this same time period.

Green job salaries will be competitive with those in other areas of the economy and higher in areas of greater demand. The NYS Department of Labor is working with Stony Brook University to look at the future of "green" jobs- more information on this initiative can be found at :

There is a fast growing body of data in this area and detailed information can be found at:

Some specific examples of “green” and sustainable career opportunities are:

  • Town /County/ State Planning and Land Use Environmental Consulting
  • Green Marketing Representative Preservation & Stewardship Manager
  • Green Architecture and Construction Renewable and Alternative Energy
  • Environmental Education Energy and Efficiency Auditors
  • Eco-Tourism and Travel Recycling and Waste Reduction
  • Governmental and Regulatory Administration Innovation and International Aid
  • Ecosystem and Ecological Restoration Natural Resource Management
  • Non- Profit Advocacy Organizations Public Policy & Health
Sustainability Studies Program    W0511 Melville Library     Phone: (631) 632-9404

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