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Clarkson University Establishes Institute for a Sustainable Environment

Clarkson University has established the Institute for a Sustainable Environment (ISE) and granted formal recognition to two of its interdisciplinary research centers, the Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science, and the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems.

"Formation of the Institute for a Sustainable Environment represents a natural evolution of the Center for the Environment in the development of Clarkson’s environmental research and teaching program as well as expanding Clarkson’s commitment to sustainability," said Clarkson Provost Thomas C. Young. "The Clarkson Center for the Environment has flourished since its founding in 1999 as a catalyst for interdisciplinary research by Clarkson faculty members and student scholars across a wide spectrum of environmental and alternative energy issues."

Philip K. Hopke, currently the director of the Clarkson Center for the Environment (CCE) and the Bayard D. Clarkson Distinguished Professor, will become the inaugural director of the new institute.

Although the CCE has offered graduate degrees at the master’s and doctoral levels in environmental science and engineering since 2002, transforming it into the Institute for a Sustainable Environment involves administratively assigning two undergraduate programs to the unit: Environmental Health Science and Environmental Science and Policy.

The faculty responsible for providing program-specific instruction for these curricula, Michelle Crimi and Alan Rossner, will have appointments commensurate with their commitment to the programs and to the Institute. Rossner, who has served as the director for these two undergraduate programs for many years, will continue to do so as an associate director of the new institute.

The Institute for a Sustainable Environment will also serve as an umbrella organization in which the Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science (CARES) and the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSES) will be housed.

The focus of CARES is to provide a better and more complete scientific basis for air quality management including the understanding of the sources, transport, and chemistry that give rise to indoor and outdoor exposure to air pollutants including noise, their potential health and welfare effects, and ways in which these effects can be reduced or eliminated.

CARES brings together the world-class expertise that is available at Clarkson, which is focused on air sampling and analysis, receptor modeling, atmospheric deposition, and the application of computational fluid dynamics to air pollution problems. CARES is also led by Hopke.

The Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSES) brings together Clarkson’s unique combination of faculty and scholars, who are conducting research in a wide variety of areas related to renewable and sustainable energy. CSES provides coordination and recognition by bringing together the significant critical mass of faculty and facilities required to garner national attention and build reputation and funding opportunities. The faculty members working within the structure of CSES strengthen the interdisciplinary ties that exist, provide new opportunities for faculty collaboration and create a visible presence that will help generate support for new projects.

Kenneth D. Visser of the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering is the director of CSES.

"We are excited by the formal recognition of these units and look forward to the increased educational and research activities that they will be generating in the near future," said Young.

Clarkson President Tony Collins thanked Young, Hopke and the faculty involved for their diligence in forming the institute’s working premise, saying, "The Institute for a Sustained Environment represents fulfillment of a foundational piece of our vision for academic excellence. Through this boundary-spanning entity and the collaborations that will follow, we are uniquely positioned to further stake a legacy to society that communicates our commitment to the environment and demonstrates our leadership in coupling coursework, research, administrative and extracurricular pursuits in engineering, science, business, health sciences and arts."

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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