Jun 14, 2024  
2010-2011 Graduate Catalog 
2010-2011 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Research at SUNY Oswego

Oswego continues to actively participate in research, creative work, and other scholarly activities. The total funds requested during the past year was over seven million dollars. Despite declining federal support opportunities, the College was awarded over five million dollars in funded grants and contracts.

Center for Neurobehavioral Effects of Environmental Toxics


Begun in 1990, the Oswego Project is a large-scale, prospective, longitudinal study designed to investigate cognitive and behavioral changes in newborns an children who have been exposed to environmental contaminants.
The project currently tracks three groups of children that were born between 1991-92, 1992-93, and 1993-94. The design of the study was constructed with the goal of providing a data set that could be used to inform the population about the effects that exposure to PCB and other environmental contaminants have. With 199 children still participating, The Oswego Project is ideally suited to answer questions regarding eh effects of prenatal PCB exposure on child behavioral and cognitive development.
Since the birth of the children in the Oswego study, we have found repeated evidence of PCB-related neurotoxicity. These effects include PCB-related impairments on multiple behavioral and cognitive assessments, associations between PCBs and impulsive responding at multiple stages of development, and data which strongly suggests that the underlying mechanism of impulsive responding in PCB exposed children is impaired response inhibition (the inability to stop or inhibit behaviors that are no longer appropriate).
Over the years, the Oswego Project has come to believe that they may indeed be a common pathway for the effects of some of the most widespread contaminants in North America and the world. What comes from this is the knowledge that the true impact of environmental contaminants may be much larger than has been documented to date. The extensive database, large and representative sample, and treatment of variables that could potentially interfere with the accuracy of the results has created a research context that guarantees the successful investigation of low level PCB exposure on the behavioral and cognitive development of children.

Rice Creek Field Station


Rice Creek Field Station is an instructional and research unit of the College concentrating on all aspects of natural history, especially in the natural sciences and environmental education. The Field Station is located on approximately 300 acres of College property about two miles from the main campus and the shore of Lake Ontario. A variety of habitats, including open fields, mature forests, a 26 acre pond, and fields in several states of succession are represented on the Field Station properties.

The main building at the Field Station consists of two teaching laboratories, lecture room, collection storage, and an exhibit room-viewing gallery. The laboratories are equipped for work in both terrestrial and aquatic field biology. Small boats are available for use on ponds and streams, and a Boston Whaler for use on Lake Ontario. A pavilion provides shelter for outdoor group activities and a series of trails provides access to the various sections of the property.

The Field Station supports on-site research devoted to inventory, documentation, and evaluation of biological populations; analysis and description of habitats; and development of educational curricula and exercises. The facilities and resources of the Field Station are also available for off-site research focused on the biology, ecology, and environments of Oswego County and adjacent areas of the Lake Ontario Coastal Plain, the Oswego River Basin, and the Tug Hill Plateau.

The facilities of the Field Station are available to students and faculty of Oswego and to other qualified students, educators, and researchers.

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs


 The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) is responsible for the development, coordination and administration of Oswego’s sponsored research and scholarly activity programs. All proposals, grants, and contracts are managed through ORSP which serves as the representative for the SUNY Research Foundation. The Office is located in room 4, Penfield Library. ORSP’s primary objectives and functions include:

  1. Enhancement of the campus research climate including recognition and identification of research activities, publications, papers presented and other creative academic accomplishments;
  2. Improvement of departmental and interdisciplinary communications regarding shared research interests;
  3. Assistance to faculty and staff with the identification of funding sources;
  4. Assistance with preparation of institutional proposals;
  5. Negotiations, as necessary, for awarded research grants and/or contracts;
  6. Enhancement of the College’s ability to compete for available research support; and
  7. Fiscal administration of all funded projects in accordance with applicable policies and procedures.

The Environmental Research Center


The Environmental Research Center (ERC) is a specialized research unit of the College housed within the Department of Chemistry. The RC provides state-of-the-art analytical services for multi-disciplinary environmental, human health, and Great Lakes research projects. The ERC specializes in the analysis of congenerspecific polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), organochlorine pesticides, and “emerging” chemicals in a variety of environmental matrices. The RC has two environmental chemistry laboratories equipped with research-grade analytical instrumentation for sample preparation and the measurement of organic contaminants in the environment.

Recent studies conducted at the ERC have included: Great Lakes Fish Monitoring Program, Lake Ontario Air Deposition Study (LOADS), congener-specific analysis of PCBs in human placental tissues; reductive dechlorination of PCBs in an anaerobic bioreactor systems; analysis of native Alaskan foods; development of analytical methods or the determination/separation PCBs/PCTs in industrially contaminated sediments; and utilization of snapping turtles and zebra mussels as environmental biomonitors. Research funding is provided through collaborative grants from USEPA, ATSDR, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Novelis Corporation, NYS Great Lakes Protection Fund, Great Lakes Research Consortium, and World Wildlife Federation.

Opportunities exist for interested faculty and students to become involved in collaborative multi-disciplinary research projects. Highly qualified undergraduate and graduate students are supported with extramural research funding and environmental fellowships. Independent study and capstone research experiences are also offered for qualified students through the Department of Chemistry. The ERC is located in 310 Piez Hall. For additional information on ERC activities contact: Director, Environmental Research Center, Department of Chemistry.

The Institute for Interdisciplinary Educational Studies


The Institute for Interdisciplinary Educational Studies (IIES) is a research and development center and facility for the interdisciplinary study of teaching and learning in core curricula areas and education.

The IIES was established in 1980 through a grant from the National Science Foundation for the study of wait time in middle school science teaching. The laboratory has received grants from national, state and private foundations since its inception, with total external funding amounting to more than $2 million.

The IIES has developed into a comprehensive research facility for the interdisciplinary study of teaching and learning. Faculty members in biology, curriculum and instruction, office of learning services, elementary and secondary education, mathematics, chemistry, physics, technology, psychology, and science education have had grant support for their research through the Institute. In addition, the IIES staff members support the thesis research of many graduate students in childhood and adolescence education, counseling and school psychology.

The IIES is a unique enterprise. At SUNY Oswego, there are many programs that prepare teachers for lifelong careers in education. The IIES serves as a catalyst for interdepartmental collaboration for grants, colloquia, and faculty development activities. Currently, the central focus is on the improvement of instruction at the K-12 levels through Project SMART.