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Northern Forest Institute
Paul B.Hai

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Paul B. Hai
Associate Director
6312 State Route 28 N Newcomb, NY
 518-582-4551 ext. 104

In my role as Associate Director of the Adirondack Ecological Center I lead the Northern Forest Institute for Conservation Education and Leadership Training (NFI), which is based at ESF’s Newcomb Campus.

I am passionate about creating inter- and multidisciplinary programs using natural history and the process of science as the connective thread between disciplines. Exploring the interconnections between science, art, math, literature, history and technology, all while using the Adirondacks as an unparalleled outdoor classroom, is what inspires me to teach and to create new programs engaging students of all ages.

In particular, my educational areas of interest include:

  • The historic and contemporary tension between managing natural and human communities in the Adirondacks
  • The influence of the Adirondacks in United States environmental, public policy, and cultural history
  • The intersections of science, art, and the humanities
  • Creating leadership development and trek-based training programs building leadership capacity and skills for emerging and established professionals
  • Working to improve human diversity in natural science academic programs and careers, and in the Adirondacks more broadly

I have a strong commitment to reconnecting children, families and adults to nature, a commitment I infuse throughout my professional and personal work.  I am co-founder of Children in Nature, New York, and serve on the Grassroots Leadership Team of the national Children and Nature Network
In partnership with NYS DEC I co-founded the Hudson River Environmental Opportunities Network and am one of 4 co-founders of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative.

My connection to and passion for the Adirondacks runs deeply, and stems from my father’s family, who started spending summers camping on Lake George shortly after World War I.  I first came to the Adirondacks as a three-month old during our family’s annual two week camping trip on the islands of Lake George.  I spent two weeks each summer for the next 14 years amongst the islands of the Narrows and Lake George was as much my backyard as the small grassy one behind my childhood home in Rochester, NY.  

In addition to family trips, I was fortunate enough to spent 8 summers attending Adirondack Swim and Trip Camp (ASTC) on Jones Pond, near Paul Smith’s, an experience that took me by foot and paddle throughout this region of mountains and lakes, and led me to decide at a fairly early age the Adirondacks were the place I wanted to wake up in every day. 

Prior to moving to Newcomb in 2003, I spent 4 years living in Bolton Landing, working in Chestertown and Warrensburg before leaving the park for 6 years to live in Syracuse where I earned my masters and then began working for ESF.  I have been incredibly fortunate to have realized my dream of living and working (and now raising my own family) in the Adirondacks.

I live in Newcomb year-round with my wife, ecologist Stacy McNulty, also an Associate Director of the Adirondack Ecological Center, and our two daughters. 

Please contact me to discuss opportunities for programs, projects, internships, collaboration, and about anything related to the Adirondacks.