Alfred State Hosts Sustainability Conference

Nearly 75 sustainability professionals from as far as California converged on Alfred State for “Innovations in Technical Education to Advance Sustainability,” bringing with them ideas and best practices from their own experiences. The conference, sponsored by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Corning Inc., and BP, also featured partner presenters from the Sustainability Education and Economic Development (SEED) Initiative, Advanced Energy Training Institute, and the Community College Alliance for Sustainability.

Debra Rowe, PhD Mitchell ThomashowThe opening address was given by Dr. Debra Rowe, president of the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development and professor of energy management, renewable energy technology, and psychology at Oakland Community College in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Rowe remarked that “Every job is a green job. … Every job is a sustainability job” as businesses and institutions across the country make decisions to find more sustainable, cost-saving ways to operate. Dr. Mitchell Thomashow, director of the Second Nature Presidential Fellows Program and former president of Unity College in Maine, delivered the second keynote address regarding the nine elements of a sustainable culture, adding that “Anyone can be a teacher of sustainability. Everyone is a role model.”

In addition to the two keynote addresses, the conference featured 22 other panel discussions or presentations, including discussions on implementation of sustainability curricula and programs at other institutions, the role of college farms, sustainability in construction/deconstruction techniques, sustainability initiatives in coal country, working with high schools on renewable energy programs, game design/creation/play for teaching sustainability principles, monitoring of renewable energy systems, and more.

View photos of the conference.