SUNY-ESF gains national recognition for graduate program
2005 U.S. News and World Report rankings
By Erin Fitzgerald
The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry stands among the top graduate programs in the country according to the 2005 U.S. News and World Report's list of the top graduate programs.
ESF was ranked 36th in the environmental/environmental health category, along with Drexel University. The category was new in this year's report said Dudley Raynal, dean of graduate studies at SUNY-ESF.
"It is a real pleasure to be listed with such prestigious schools," Raynal said.
The graduate program ranked at SUNY-ESF is the environmental resources and forest engineering program, which consists of about 50 graduate students. That same program consists of about 80 undergrads, said James Hassett, the chair of the environmental resources and forest engineering program.
"I think this is something to be very proud of," Hassett said. "To only have six faculty members and still be on the same list as great programs such as MIT, Cal Tech, Berkley and Stanford? That is an accomplishment." Within the school, students are researching in the areas of water quality, applied hydrology, environmental problems, remote sensing and applications, Hassett said.
"Our goal here is to have our students do the research, publish their findings, and train for the future," Hassett said.
The environmental resources and forest engineering program is one of 12 areas of study in the graduate school at SUNY-ESF. Other areas include forest resources, environmental and forest biology, landscape architecture, paper science and engineering and forest technology.
SUNY-ESF was ranked directly behind Washington University in St. Louis, and directly before Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.
The environmental engineering profession is a small one, and therefore the inclusion of this category in the 2005 rankings is a step towards promoting the topic within the country, Hassett said.
"By just including this list, the visibility for such a program will elevate," Raynal said. "Hopefully, by being within the top 50 schools, the visibility of our own program will as well."
A banner on Illick Hall, the home of environmental and forest biology, promotes the graduate school's ranking to those passing, including sophomore environmental science major Chase Schuyler, who interacts with the graduate students who are teaching assistants.
"I definitely think this ranking will promote more students to come to this school," Schuyler said. "Personally, I'm hoping the recognition will help me get a better job when I graduate from ESF." Hassett said he is not sure the ranking will directly affect future attendance.
"I hope more students come," Hassett said, "But what I do that either way, we are better off being ranked than unranked."