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Randolph G. Pack Environmental Institute

The Randolph G. Pack Environmental Institute was established at SUNY-ESF in November 1995, based on funding from a generous gift by Virginia Pack Townsend, in honor of her father, Randolph Greene Pack, philanthropist and international forestry policy expert. The Institute supports and encourages the research and public service activities of the Department of Environmental Studies in the broad area of international environmental, natural resources, and conservation policy. Since its founding, the Institute has engaged in a wide variety of activities, incorporating activities launched prior to its inauguration. A key feature has been the large number of faculty participating in activities of the Institute, including scholars from across ESF, Syracuse University, elsewhere in New York state, the USA, and internationally.


The purpose of the Randolph G. Pack Environmental Institute is to enhance the ability of the Department of Environmental Studies to create and disseminate knowledge about environmental concerns of high public interest. Reflecting and strengthening our graduate program themes, the Institute seeks to advance scholarly and popular knowledge of key contemporary issues related to environmental policy and regulation. It focuses on how democratic public decisions affecting the natural environment are made, concentrating on topics such as public participation, environmental equity, and sustainable development. The Institute promotes these interests through encouraging research and service activities in community, state, national, and international venues.

The Randolph G. Pack Environmental Institute is affiliated with the Department of Environmental Studies at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) in Syracuse, New York. The Department of Environmental Studies launched its new master's programs in Environmental Studies in 2008, and participates in SUNY-ESF's interdepartmental Graduate Program in Environmental Science, and Environmental and Natural Resource Policy doctoral program. Departmental faculty specialize in a number of areas related to human interaction with the natural environment, including:

  • Environmental policy, sustainability & transformation;
  • Environmental communication and culture;
  • Urban environmental systems and planning; and
  • Water and wetland resource studies.

Please hear from some of our students:

Olivia Kurz

Mackenzie Case

Lauren Tarr

Grace Grimes

Weien Chen

Ashmita Das