On an average UAlbany day, many of us probably don't feel much contact with our surroundings. Our water comes from machines and spigots, our air arrives from ducts and windows, our food arrives in trucks, and our weather just "arrives." All our waste products from an average UAlbany day somehow just go "away." It's easy to forget the important role your environment plays in everyday lives.
The Capital Region of New York State is an area rich with natural and cultural resources. Nestled within this diverse environment, the university is surrounded by the majestic Berkshires, Catskills and Adirondack Mountains; combined they hold the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi River.
UAlbany's Uptown Campus holds approximately 500 acres and has a wide variety of vegetation blanketing more than half of the area. The Uptown Campus was designed by renowned American architect Edward Durell Stone and is regarded as an important example of modernist architecture. The campus was described by author Thomas A. Gaines, in his book, The Campus as a Work of Art, as “one-of-a-kind.”
The Albany area is embedded in a whole system of wild and semi-natural areas. Water arrives from reservoirs in the heavily-forested Helderberg Mountains to the southwest. Rainwater runs off our rooftops and parking lots into our holding pond and drains into several creeks, which eventually transports the water into the Hudson River and out to sea.
Air is cleansed by many kinds of forests, small and large, including beautiful trees on campus. Wildlife of many varieties abounds and can be visible in and around the Capital Region. The campus itself is home to its own valuable ecosystem and is neighbor to the Albany Pine Bush, home of the Karner Blue Butterfly. Making a connection to and learning about the contributions of this natural world is an important component of environmental sustainability.
By action of the New York State Legislature, the bluebird, beaver, brook trout, sugar maple, rose, nine spotted lady beetle, bay scallop, eurypterid and garnet officially represent the state's birds, mammals, fish, insects, mollusks, trees, wildflowers, fossils and minerals. Learn more about New York State's symbols.
Climate change stands to alter the different climates of the world, including those in Albany and upstate New York. By reducing our carbon emissions we may be able to help mitigate the effects. Learn more about climate change using these resources: