Making a Campus Forest

R.

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 undergrads and grad students are eligible with permission of the instructor.

It is a three-credit seminar/practicum, with heavy emphasis on individual or group work.  During some weeks, students will hear from specialist guests, undertake individual research or creative projects, and present results to each other and to members of the Faculty Senate and Professional Staff committees. (This year we will not actually be planting trees, sorry.) Some weeks we will not meet in class but rather have one-on-one of small-group meetings on your projects.  Students may be required to upload their projects onto their UB ePortfolio and to strive to earn digital badges where possible.

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 Spring (with start of classes in Spring 2020)
Level of collaboration Individual projects and/or group projects of 2-3 students
Benefits Academic credit 
Who is eligible Juniors and Seniors
Support Funding is available after the completion of the preparation badge. See below.

Core partners

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

Project mentor

Ernest Sternberg

Professor

Urban and Regional Planning

126 Hayes Hall

Phone: (716) 829-3671

Email: ezs@buffalo.edu

Preparation

To engage with this project, you will work through a series of Project-Based Collaboration digital badges to guide your experience. These badges will:

  1. Guide you in setting your goals and intentions as well as gaining additional context,
  2. Enhance your collaboration with your mentor/partner,
  3. Support your reflection and help you integrate your learning with your academic and professional goals.

All students who wish to participate in a project on the Project Portal must first complete the Project Preparation Digital Badge. First, contact the project mentor to discuss availability and after you’ve received approval, you can start the Project Preparation Digital Badge.

Preparation guidance

Once you have registered for the Project Preparation Digital Badge, you will receive further instructions related to the activities you will need to complete. In addition, you will also complete the following preparation activities for this particular project:

  • 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.