e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

ESF College Foundation Honors Professor


SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A dendrologist on the faculty of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) has received a $1,000 award from the ESF College Foundation.

photo of Dr. Donald J. LeopoldDr. Donald J. Leopold of Syracuse is the recipient of the first Foundation Award, which was established to recognize excellence in teaching, mentoring and research. The $1,000 is earmarked for use in his teaching or research pursuits.

Leopold has been a member of the ESF Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology for 14 years, and last year was named a Distinguished Teaching Professor by the SUNY Board of Trustees. He teaches dendrology, freshwater wetland ecosystems and Adirondack ecosystems.

In 1997, Leopold discovered a 450-year-old pine tree in Madison County that researchers believe might be the oldest tree growing in Central New York. He was leading a group of students through the state's Nelson Swamp Unique Area in Madison County and came across an eastern white pine tree estimated to be 450 years old, making it the oldest living tree of its species on record.

Leopold's research focuses on forest and wetland ecology. In the last five years, he has worked on research grants totaling almost $1 million. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Kentucky and his doctorate in forest ecology from Purdue University. He joined the ESF faculty in 1985.

Leopold's work has been widely published. He is the co-author of the recently published Landowner's Guide to State-Protected Plants of Forests in New York State.