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SUNY ESF Hosts Inaugural Career Exploration Event with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Commissioner Basil Seggos

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Sept. 12, 2023 – The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is hosting its first-ever DEC @ ESF Day on Friday, Sept. 15. The day-long event is designed to provide students with insight into career paths within the various facets, divisions, and programs of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

“ESF and the DEC enjoy a longstanding and important relationship, with both of us working directly toward improving our world,” said ESF President Joanie Mahoney. “As the College educates and trains environmental leaders, the DEC provides a multitude of career pathways for our graduates to pursue their passion for the environment. This collaborative effort not only nurtures the next generation of environmental stewards, but strengthens New York state's commitment to a greener and more resilient future.”

The day begins at 9:45 a.m. with a welcome from ESF President Joanie Mahoney, followed by a conversation in Gateway Center with NYS DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos on his journey into the environmental space, information on the NYS Environmental Bond Act, and what continued and additional opportunities he sees for ESF students and alumni.

“The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) is the premier environmental science institution of higher learning in the country,” said Seggos. “DEC is proud to partner with ESF President Joanie Mahoney to strengthen and grow the College’s capacity to nurture the next generation of environmental stewards to bolster progress building a safer, stronger, more sustainable and resilient for state. DEC Day at ESF offers an excellent opportunity to showcase all our agency has to offer students aspiring to pursue careers in the growing fields of conservation and environmental protection.

The day’s schedule also includes:

11:15 a.m. - 3 p.m. | Quad

NYS DEC representatives will be available to talk about their professional roles, career paths, and opportunities for graduates.

11:15 a.m. - Noon

  • Two concurrent “Day in the Life” presentations: Lands and Forest | Gateway Center

Hear from staff in the Division of Lands and Forest and how their work cares for and enhances New York’s lands, forests, and natural resources.

  • Education and Public Engagement | Baker 408

Hear from outreach specialists on how they engage with and educate the public on their various programs.

Engineering Meet and Greet | Patio Tables by Moon Library

12:15 - 1 p.m.

Opportunities at NYS DEC | Gateway

Come learn about civil service exams and how to apply for an internship, seasonal, or full-time job at the DEC. The ESF Research Foundation will also share their unique partnership with DEC and potential job opportunities.

1:15 - 2 p.m.

Two concurrent sessions:

  • Equity and Justice and the DEC | Gateway

Join representatives from DEC’s Equity and Justice team for a discussion on how they came to be a part of the DEC and the work they do to advance equity and justice in the agency.

  • A Day in the Life: Public Protection | Baker 408

Hear from both DEC Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Officers on what a day in their life entails, their journey into the public protection career path, and the steps you can take to do the same.

2:15 - 3 p.m.

Two concurrent sessions:

  • Journey into Sustainability | Gateway

Join Sue Fassler, ESF's Director of Sustainable Operations, as she leads a conversation with Brendan Woodruff about his journey into the sustainability field, DEC’s recently implemented sustainability plan, and how DEC is incorporating sustainability initiatives into their everyday operations.

  • A Day in the Life: Biologists and Wildlife Scientists | Baker 408

Hear from staff in the Division of Fish and Wildlife and the work they do to conserve and manage ecosystems, habitats, and species across New York state.

If you are unable to join President Mahoney and Commissioner Seggos in person, the opening conversation will be live-streamed.


The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is dedicated to the study of the environment, developing renewable technologies, and building a sustainable and resilient future through design, policy, and management of the environment and natural resources. Members of the College community share a passion for protecting the health of the planet and a deep commitment to the rigorous application of science to improve the way humans interact with the world. The College offers academic programs ranging from the associate of applied science to the Doctor of Philosophy. ESF students live, study and do research on the main campus in Syracuse, N.Y., and on 25,000 acres of field stations in a variety of ecosystems across the state.