Seven SUNY Campuses Partner to Offer System’s First Virtual Public Event

April 23, 2015

SUNY Experts Address the Impact of Severe Weather on NYS, Preparation for Future Incidents

Albany – Seven State University of New York campuses across the state today participated in the university system’s first virtual public event, which brought severe weather researchers, faculty, and students in seven regions together with emergency managers, not-for-profit executives, and government officials to review significant weather events New York has faced over the past year and what can be learned from them.

The event, Facing the Storm: Severe Weather Challenges Confronting New York State in the 21st Century, was offered in partnership by the University at Albany and the Rockefeller Institute of Government. Archived sessions from the event will be available at at a later date.

“SUNY has an unmatched capacity to tackle society’s greatest challenges on behalf of New York State by consistently talking, sharing, and collaborating among our campuses and fostering our partnerships in New York’s community, business, and governmental sectors,” said Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Today’s event exemplifies SUNY’s systemness. Thank you to the University at Albany and Rockefeller Institute for leading this important forum and to all of the campuses who participated for setting the bar high for future public events to be held state-wide.”

“Severe weather greatly taxes the energies and resources of government and agency workers, and a host of not-for-profit human service providers. We need better-informed preparation and response, and recognize that today’s collaborative event will bring us closer to that goal,” said Robert J. Jones, president, University at Albany. “UAlbany remains at the forefront of this issue as the host to the state’s new mesonet network and as the home to the nation’s first College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity.”

“Severe weather systems are no match for the SUNY system,” said Quentin Wheeler, president of SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. “This virtual public event demonstrates how the diverse expertise across the SUNY system can be mobilized to envision, with local emergency managers, executives, and officials, how we can forecast, prepare for, and be resilient to severe weather events. ESF partnered with the Syracuse and Oswego communities to participate in this timely SUNY event, including ESF alumnus, meteorologist and television personality David Eichorn. As a result of this event, we foresee greater collaboration between meteorology at SUNY Oswego and the atmospheric science and environmental programs at ESF.”

"From Tropical Storm Lee to Hurricanes' Irene and Sandy, severe weather events have a considerable impact across the state, including New Paltz," said SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian. "This forum provides our students and employees with an opportunity to understand severe weather, weather changes, and the subsequent changes on landscapes. The College is very pleased to partner with the University at Albany and the Rockefeller Institute of Government to engage with leaders in the academic, not-for-profit, and government sectors on these critical issues."

SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley said, "SUNY Oswego is delighted to partner in this important SUNY event. We take great pride in our meteorology program and in the faculty, students and alumni far and wide who work tirelessly to advance the state of the art in early warning and communication of potentially disastrous weather events."

"This program is especially helpful for emergency managers, nonprofit leaders and government officials in the North Country," said SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling. "From the ice storm of 1998 to Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Irene, we know firsthand the devastation these types of weather events can have. We're pleased to bring SUNY experts and others together for this statewide forum to raise our collective understanding of such matters and share our resources with this community."

SUNY Potsdam President Kristin G. Esterberg said, “This event showcases the power of SUNY to bring people together around critical issues. Severe weather events present tremendous challenges here in the North Country and throughout our state. SUNY Potsdam is proud to partner with the University at Albany and the Rockefeller Institute to host this critical discussion.”

Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, president of Stony Brook University, said, “Severe weather has greatly affected our entire state in recent years. Stony Brook University’s participation in this SUNY-wide partnership will further enhance our collective abilities to advance research in atmospheric sciences and the impact of severe weather on our campuses.”

About the University at Albany
Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany puts "The World Within Reach" for its more than 17,300 students. An internationally recognized research university with 118 undergraduate majors and minors and 138 graduate programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as criminal justice, information science, public administration, social welfare, business and sociology. With a curriculum enhanced by 500 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. Visit UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts.

About the Rockefeller Institute of Government
The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government is the public policy research arm of the State University of New York. The Institute conducts fiscal and programmatic research on American state and local governments. Journalists can find useful information on the Newsroom page of the website.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

Share this:


Holly Liapis
Email the Office of Communications