For nearly four decades, Dr. Joe Makarewicz has worked at the intersection of scientific research and its real-world application to improve the quality of life for communities around Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes. As a limnologist, his research on the region's ecosystems has made an important difference in the management of one of our most precious resources — water. By identifying the sources of pollution that threaten it, and implementing programs to improve and protect its quality, Dr. Makarewicz and his students have impacted the lives of thousands of New Yorkers.
He has also earned the rank of SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, the highest tribute conferred by the State University of New York, for "consummate professionalism, groundbreaking scholarship, exceptional instruction and breadth and significance of service" in recognition of his many accomplishments and contributions to the College and beyond.
For students, he believes that hands-on research experience is critical and something that distinguishes the College's Environmental Science undergraduate and graduate programs. "Our students are allowed to work with us; it's an important contextual opportunity to work with faculty and be active in the field."
One such avenue for students to work with Dr. Makarewicz is the Summer Undergraduate Research Program, funded by the Brockport Foundation, which provides students with stipends (the College provides free housing) so that they can engage in full-time research during the summer break. This invaluable experience gives students a new perspective on research and helps to shape their career choices.
Although Dr. Makarewicz has received many awards and millions of dollars in research support, he takes particular pride in what his students do when they graduate. They work as ecologists, environmentalists, and watershed scientists in environmental organizations, state and federal agencies, national laboratories, consultant firms across the nation as well as in higher education. From the Nature Conservancy, to the USDA and EPA, from New York State's Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC), to the Florida Department of Environmental Conservation, from Paul Smith College to Genesee Community College, Brockport graduates distinguish themselves by identifying solutions that make the world a cleaner, healthier place to live.
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