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Major Research Initiatives

In this Section

Faculty members affiliated with the Institute are involved in various disciplines of environmental and sustainability research.  In addition, interdisciplinary teams of faculty are engaged in the major initiatives described below. 

Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science (CARES)
Integrated, multidisciplinary research applied to improve air quality management through better science and engineering.  The CARES facility and expertise has supported many major research initiatives.  Among them, the longest running record of historical air quality samples collected to assess radiation drift from Russian nuclear testing into Finland is being tested for black carbon and sulfates concentrations to help improve climate models.  Read more about this half a century of air quality data

Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSES)
The mission of the Center is to foster interdisciplinary research and education relating to energy systems for a sustainable future. These activities occur internally and through collaboration between Clarkson University and external partners. The Center focuses on excellence in technology and policy relating to sustainable energy research, development and education at local, national and international levels.

Clarkson’s Smart Housing research efforts are helping to establish how college students use energy and water resources and change their behavior in response to messages and feedback.

Clarkson BioMass Group (CBG)
An interdisciplinary group of Clarkson faculty and graduate students comprising the Clarkson Biomass Group (CBG) was formed to investigate and promote the conversion of dairy manure and other wastes into biogas in the North Country of New York State.  Biogas is typically about 60 %  Methane and 40 % Carbon Dioxide.  The gas can be burned to provide heat energy or to generate electrical energy, such as by a biogas-fueled engine-generator.  See the video: Clarkson's two-stage digester transforms food waste into energy and fertilizer

Great Rivers Center
The St. Lawrence River is the conduit through which the Laurentian Great Lakes flow to the ocean. The explicit mission of the Great Rivers Center (GRC) is to ensure that the quality of this freshwater resource is the highest possible. Water quality is defined by chemical purity, ecosystem health, and water ethics. To meet this task the GRC will be a focal point for creative multidisciplinary research, scholarly activity and community outreach.

Rivers and Estuary Observatory Network (REON)
Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, a subsidiary of Clarkson University, has created the River and Estuary Observatory Network (REON) to provide real-time watershed data for scientists, educators and policymakers to use for research, public education and policy development. Modeled after ocean observatory networks, REON provides continuous monitoring of physical, chemical, biological and atmospheric data from points in New York’s Hudson, Mohawk and St. Lawrence River watersheds via an integrated network of sensors, robotics, mobile monitoring and computational technology deployed in rivers. Continuous, systematic, comprehensive data from REON will allow for new insights into the movement of chemical or biological contaminants, protection of habitat for endangered fish species, and episodic weather events, among other critical information needed to guard public health.

Faculty from all Schools and the ISE conduct research that is related to sustainability.  This includes over 35% of the full time faculty equivalents.  Find out more about these research areas...


Jessica Hernandez and Lindsay Toot working under the C.A.M.P. Pre-Freshman program on Phosphate Sensors.