McHugh secures federal funding for energy education projects

student works with computerA $300,000 federal earmark secured by Congressman John M. McHugh will fund projects and help create the Center for Energy Education and Economic Solutions on the SUNY Oswego campus.

The center is a collaboration of Oswego, Morrisville State, Cayuga Community College, the Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology and other development groups.

“With energy issues, especially in alternative energy, becoming increasingly important, we want to play a leadership role and the center will allow Oswego and our partners to do that,” SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley said. “This represents pooling resources, research opportunities and education to make tomorrow’s leaders more aware and engaged in energy issues.”

The three colleges and the IAGT have already partnered on a variety of efforts, and the funding allows the groups to coordinate and broaden their work, said SUNY Oswego Provost Susan Coultrap-McQuin. Since energy generation is a major industry in Central New York, the center also could play a key economic development role, she added.

“Especially with the increased interest in, and need for, alternative energy, this partnership will support economic development as well as promote energy independence,” Coultrap-McQuin said.

An educational emphasis will focus on identifying best practices in the energy industry and creating training modules on topics that could range from employing global-positioning technology for alternative-energy site selection to using biofuels for economic progress to mapping regional energy options and opportunities to optimizing use of methane digesters. In addition, an energy institute will be offered at SUNY Oswego for teachers this summer, she said.

The center will leverage the specialties of various partners and other groups depending on the project expertise required, Coultrap-McQuin said. Also, an advisory board will expand to include members of local industry and other entities interested in pertinent issues.

“We foresee this center being a coordinating body for submitting grant proposals for our existing partners or for new partners who may step forward and express an interest,” Coultrap-McQuin said.

For SUNY Oswego, the effort dovetails with President Stanley signing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, which pledged to promote sustainability and develop a long-range plan to reduce and ultimately neutralize greenhouse gas emissions on the campus. The center would also tie into the college strategic plan’s emphasis on developing solutions for problems facing the world.

“The partnership we’ve had with Morrisville, Cayuga Community College, the IAGT and our other partners has really been wonderful, and it helps us do things more successfully than we can on our own,” Coultrap-McQuin said. “This funding secured by Congressman McHugh will allow us to continue our work and to develop new projects in energy education and solutions.”

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PHOTO CAPTION: Energizing development—Congressman John M. McHugh recently secured a $300,000 earmark to fund projects and help create the Center for Energy Education and Economic Solutions on the SUNY Oswego campus. The center is a collaboration of Oswego, Morrisville State, Cayuga Community College, the Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology and other development groups. Previous collaborations include one between the IAGT and Oswego on geographic information system software, which SUNY Oswego student Wes Laurion is shown working on in Snygg Hall.

CONTACT: Provost Susan Coultrap-McQuin, 312-2290

(Posted: Jan 03, 2008)

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