Joseph Gardella, professor and Larkin chair of chemistry at UB,
is a local pioneer in combining environmental education, research
and community activism.
UB has been a local leader in tackling today’s
sustainability issues and sharing our knowledge.
Gardella, professor and Larkin chair of chemistry at UB. For
nearly 20 years, Gardella has taken students in his Analytical
Chemistry of Pollutants class into neighborhoods across Western New
York where citizen groups are tackling environmental issues.
The students work with residents, visiting their basements,
backyards and playgrounds to gather scientific data using the same
analytical chemistry techniques employed by the U.S. Environmental
"What's special about Dr. Gardella is that he's researching,
publishing and working with students, but he's also adding this
extra element, bringing his expertise right into the
community,” says Cathy Burack, associate director of the New
England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE), which
honored Gardella with its Ernest A. Lynton Award for Faculty
Professional Service and Academic Outreach.
As director of UB’s Center for Educational Collaboration,
Mara Huber has worked to build a university partnership with local
schools and beyond.
Huber and several UB colleagues conducted a fact-finding mission
that has resulted in a program to improve educational and economic
opportunities and health services for girls in Tanzania’s
remote Mara region.
For the center, it’s about aligning resources with an
area’s needs to achieve the greatest impact. “There is
absolutely no reason why we can’t do great things together in
terms of making a difference in a sustainable way,” Huber
Founded in 1990 by Robert Shibley, dean of the School of
Architecture and Planning, the Urban Design Project seeks to make
better places and strengthen communities in a variety of ways
through the study and practice of urban design. The Urban Design
Project helped create the WNY Environmental Alliance and
Environmental Congress, which is working toward a broad-based,
comprehensive strategy and campaign to create a more
environmentally sustainable Western New York.
The UB Regional
Institute (UBRI) is a research and public policy division of UB
that provides objective analysis to drive crucial decisions for
public, private and nonprofit clients in the Buffalo Niagara
UBRI and what was then the Urban Design Project partnered on a $2
million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Sustainable
Communities Regional Planning Grant to develop a plan that
supports affordable, economically vital and sustainable
communities. The research team will develop a Regional Plan for
Sustainable Development for Erie and Niagara counties, focusing on
housing, food systems and climate action planning.