SUNY Potsdam receiving grant from Alcoa to promote bioenergy initiative
POTSDAM -- SUNY Potsdam's Wagner Institute for Sustainability and Ecological Research (WISER) received a $38,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation to support its education and community programs this year.The grant supports an agro-ecological initiative engaging SUNY Potsdam students, North Country youth and community partners in creating sustainable solutions through hands-on, green technology applications and conservation efforts.
Faculty, staff and students from the college's Department of Biology and other academic backgrounds have been constructing pollinator gardens, a community food-security garden and vertical Tower Gardens® in the WISER Greenhouses and elsewhere, over the past year.
Plans for rain gardens and raised-beds with high tunnels are planned for the coming months. The participants gained valuable STEM skills while also improving access to healthy food and teaching others about bio-energy and natural resource management.
The Alcoa Foundation grant also expanded WISER's partnerships with school districts across St. Lawrence County, teaming up with the non-profit Green Bronx Machine, to provide project-based learning curricula, aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core standards. The WISER Center offers workshops for area teachers to support their professional development, in partnership with SUNY Potsdam's School of Education and Professional Studies and St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES.
"Alcoa Foundation is committed to making a positive and long-lasting impact on our shared environment," said Chrissy Moody, HR Generalist at Alcoa Massena Operations. "WISER provides educational opportunities to SUNY Potsdam college students, and also expands the learning opportunity to educators and students across the North Country. Through this partnership, students of all ages are learning about the benefits of green technologies and how to grow nutritious food through various types of gardens and urban farming."
For more information about the Wagner Institute for Sustainability and Ecological Research at SUNY Potsdam, visit www.potsdam.edu/academics/AAS/biology/wiser.\