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Welcome to the NFI

Through its efforts, the Northern Forest Institute seeks to:

  • Encourage and prepare leaders to include better information and apply science in the decisions they make
  • Elevate the awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding sustaining wilderness ecosystems, human communities, and economies in the Northern Forest
  • Inspire students to pursue science and leadership, equipping them to address the environmental challenges facing their generation and future generations
  • Strengthen the knowledge base that will inform the objective evaluation of environmental and land-use policy alternatives

Welcome to the NFI

The Northern Forest Institute for Conservation Education and Leadership Training (NFI) is a partnership between ESF, Open Space Institute, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS Adirondack Park Agency, Northern Forest Center, Adirondack Wild, Purdue University’s Department of Organizational Leadership and others. 

Adirondack Leadership Challenge

Spend three days in the beautiful Adirondacks where you will explore and fine tune your leadership skills during this unique leadership program.

2015 Trek : April 23rd - 26th

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! To register, email
For more information:

The first Adirondack Leadership Challenge in April 2014 hosted 13 individuals represented 8 colleges.

Ready to take the Challenge? Contact Lee Riddell at 315-214-2423.

Practical Ethics for Science and Forestry Professionals

This one-day workshop is open to land and wildlife management professionals as well as government and non-government environmental agency/organization personnel. This workshop satisifies 7 SAF credits. To learn more, visit our programs page.


The NFI is an initiative designed to function as a conduit for content provided to and drawn from diverse partners.  By integrating many disparate areas of academic and experiential expertise into one coordinated educational delivery system the NFI will work to improve education, research, management and public policy in the Northern Forest.

NFI is a multi-tiered, interdisciplinary program focused on professional audiences, students in college and secondary curricula, and the general public.  Faculty and staff from ESF and partnering organizations will bring rich experience to professional development, educational outreach and leadership training in conservation.

History and Future

In 1932, Anna and Archer Huntington donated 15,000 acres in the heart of the Adirondack Park to the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF).  This gift, known as the Huntington Wildlife Forest, was given to the College for research.  Today it has become the renowned Adirondack Ecological Center (AEC) at Huntington Wildlife Forest.

The new Northern Forest Institute for Conservation Education & Leadership Training is a place where ground-breaking research will engage natural resource managers, public officials, and new generations, putting science in the hands of the decision makers that will rise to meet the challenges facing the Adirondacks and the Northern Forest. This will require an investment of $13.5 million. About $10 million of that investment is already committed or anticipated to come from public sources and partners over the next several years. The balance of $2.5 million will need to come from individuals and private foundations.


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State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
1 Forestry Drive | Syracuse, NY 13210 | 315-470-6500
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