Environmental Interpretation

M.S., M.P.S. & Ph.D.

environmental interpretation

Environmental interpretation sharpens the cutting edge of communication among scientists and various public sectors. Graduate study enables students to explore interpretation / conservation education processes through application to specific projects in the natural sciences and science education.

Students pursue career pathways in natural resource agencies, in nature centers, museums, aquaria, botanical gardens and especially in the science classroom. The environmental interpretation program incorporates a 15,000-acre reserve in the heart of the Adirondack Park and an associated Adirondack Interpretative Center with trail system. Internships and partnerships with a variety of conservation-based programs are vital to the program. Students develop their course of study from a large palette of graduate courses in Environmental and Forest Biology.

Participating Faculty

  • Melissa K. Fierke;
    forest entomology, forest ecology, invasive forest pests, insect-tree interactions, tree defenses
  • Elizabeth Folta;
    natural history & interpretation, informal biology education, environmental education.
  • Donald J. Leopold;
    forest and freshwater wetland ecology, conservation, and restoration, peatland ecology and conservation, local and regional controls of species richness and rarity, dynamics of plant communities as affected by man and environment, management for unique communities and rare species, dendrology, native plants, restoration ecology, rare species conservation
  • Gregory McGee;
    ecology, management and restoration of forest ecosystems; STEM education
  • Rebecca Rundell;
    evolutionary biology, conservation biology, speciation, adaptive and nonadaptive radiations, biogeography, phylogenetics, systematics, Pacific island radiations and biodiversity conservation, land snails, marine/aquatic microscopic invertebrates
  • Stephen A. Teale;
    forest entomology, insect behavior, pheromones of forest insects, insect ecology, pest management, chemical ecology, evolution of pheromone communications
  • Alexander Weir;
    conservation mycology, fungal biodiversity and conservation, fungal-arthropod interactions, biology of parasites and symbionts, systematics and evolutionary biology of fungi, fungi and humans, biology of parasites and symbionts


Current Graduate Students in Environmental Interpretation

Only currently registered students appear—new student names are added at the start of the academic year.

Wendy Burgess
EFB Environmental Interpretation
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Kuehn

Tiffany Deater
Environmental Interpretation
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Weir and Turner

Jacqueline Howard

Jacqueline Howard
Environmental Interpretation
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Folta

Graduate Research Topic
New York State Parks and Augmented Reality: Exploring the relationship between visitor learning and sense of stewardship through augmented reality games at Green Lakes State Park and Clark Reservation State Park.

Thomas Mackey
Environmental Interpretation
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Folta
Undergraduate Institute: Colgate University

Previous Graduate Study: Boston College (Secondary Biology In)

Graduate Research Interests
My interests lie at the intersection of environmental justice and environmental knowledge. My research will focus on the relationship between race and modern American colonialism in urban, rural, and wilderness contexts.

Sara Velardi

Sara Velardi
EFB Environmental Interpretation
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Collins


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State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
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