Making a Campus Forest


Get involved in an initiative for the afforestation of the UB North Campus.

Project description

The UB North Campus consists of a massive platform-megastructure surrounded by turf-grass, parking lots, and roads. Could UB do better? The UB Faculty Senate and Professional Staff Senate have established committees to find ways of improving our campus environment.

The committee’s objective this year is afforestation—the establishment of vital forest ecosystems on the campus. We are searching for:

  • precedents
  • investigating practical feasibility
  • considering alternative forestry plans
  • educating the UB community about our effort with articles or artworks
  • seeking funding by which UB can start
  • examining alternatives to surface parking
  • researching other related options

Would you like to join us? Junior and senior undergraduate students are eligible with permission of the instructor.

Project outcome

Through ongoing consultation with the instructor, you will prepare an intellectual product in service of campus afforestation planning. Generally, you will be expected to submit successive versions of your product, leading to ever higher quality. The product may be:

  • research paper on methods of forest restoration
  • an essay on forest literature and symbolism
  • a study of other college campus policies
  • a review of charitable foundations that support forestry
  • a study of SUNY-wide policies
  • a series of articles meant for newspaper or online publication
  • outcomes in the form of performance or public speaking
  • landscape-related art or  architecture relying heavily on living vegetation
  • curation of an exhibit 

If your proposed project is very much outside the instructor's area of knowledge, he may accept it upon on the condition that you and he can identify and involve an additional mentor.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment About a semester (3-5 months)
Start time Any time
Level of collaboration Individual projects and/or group projects of 2-3 students
Benefits Academic credit 
Who is eligible Juniors and Seniors

Core partners

  • Faculty Senate Committee on Campus Environment 
  • Professional Staff Senate Sustainability Committee

Project mentor

Ernest Sternberg


Urban and Regional Planning

126 Hayes Hall

Phone: (716) 829-3671


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  • Check out these two photomontages by Prof. Sara Svisco on a North Campus forest
  • Activities will likely include reading about the basics of ecology and silvics (e.g. from The Once and Future Forest: A Guide to Forest Restoration Strategies), as well as researching efforts made on other campuses and speaking with experts and librarians for references. Please contact the project mentor for further guidance before beginning.