SUNY Briefs – 02/17/2012


The chemistry lab at SUNY Canton exploded on Feb. 10, setting all of Cook Hall ablaze and forcing the school to close the campus and send students home for this week.

The explosion occurred just before noon; there were no reported injuries. Police are still unsure what caused the blast, but they said this week that arson has been ruled out as a possible cause.,



SUNY Potsdam held an open dialogue in which students could discuss racial issues Feb. 16.

The forum, co-sponsored by SUNY Potsdam’s Center for Diversity and Diversity in Action Coalition, was held so students of all different races could have the opportunity to discuss issues that directly affected them, specifically the local and national effects of racism.

More than 10 percent of Potsdam students identify themselves as people of color.


Stony Brook

A researcher at SUNY Stony Brook has determined that the biodiversity of fish in the Earth’s oceans is decreasing.

In an article called “Why Are There So Few Fish in The Sea?”, John Weins, an associate professor of evolution and ecology at Stony Brook, examined why oceans only contain about 25 percent of the world’s species even though they make up 70 percent of Earth.

Weins, along with a student assistant, examined this issue by looking at evolutionary trees based on molecular data and fossils, as well as ammasing a datatbase of all the ocean habitats populated by fish. Wiens believes that the extinction of so many fish species may be the reason for the lowered biodiversity.


Buffalo/Buffalo State


To create a workforce to address the shortage of “smart” electrical grids, SUNY Buffalo and Buffalo State have announced a joint project designed to train undergraduate and graduate students from both schools as part of a federally- funded program.

Courses will be offered at both schools, and will focus on teaching students how to work with electrical grids and make them more environmentally friendly.

The courses will be available online to interested students and industry personnel who wish to receive the training.



Starting this semester, SUNY Delhi will offer an associate degree in Integrated Energy Systems, after receiving approval from SUNY Headquarters and the Department of Education.

The degree will build on the school’s other fields including photovoltaic and alternative energies. Delhi met with officials from the energy industry to lay out a curriculum that would best be able to train prospective majors. Students will also learn about wind energy, back-up power sources and energy storage as part the new major.



A SUNY Albany professor has received a grant to study the effect of aerosol on cloud systems.

Dr. Qilong Min, a senior research associate and professor at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at SUNY Albany, received a three-year, $399,900 grant from the National Science Foundation to study how aerosols from desert dust, specifically in the Sahara Desert, affects climate change. Min’s research will examine clouds’ reaction to aerosol and how this process may determine Earth’s response to greenhouse gases.

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