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Northern Forest Institute
Environmental Philosophy Program

Dr. Marianne Patinelli-Dubay leads NFI’s program in Environmental Philosophy which supports and facilitates rich conversations across a range of disciplines.

Educational initiatives in this program are intended to bridge humanities content with HWF-specific field knowledge and experience in order to understand the impacts of ESF’s relationship between scientific research and the policy it advances. Particularly, to further a connection between theoretical philosophy/ethics and community relationships with an emphasis on the resolution of regional issues that arise from the impacts of science on human and non-human communities.

ESF partners with environmental agencies and industries including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Society of American Foresters and the Forest Stewards Guild demonstrating a longstanding commitment to the integration of practical ethics and decision-making within the forestry and natural resource professions.  

Custom Seminars for Secondary through College Age Students

By request and in consultation with visiting faculty, specialized seminars are designed to complement the field work, research and principal area of study of secondary through college level classes.  Topics have included:

  • Ecological Restoration and the Question of Values
  • Environmental Ethics and Encountering the Local Landscape
  • Risks and Benefits of a "New Wilderness Paradigm"  

High School teachers with a background in philosophy or related discipline are invited to consider teaching EST 296: Introduction to Land-Use Ethics (3CR).  This course is listed through ESF's Environmental Studies department and in partnership with ESF in the High School.

  • ESF in the High School

Contact Maura H. Stefl for more information.

Philosophers' Camp Revival: Grandly Simple

October 1 - 3, 2021

Join us for the 6th annual Philosophers' Camp!

An annual revitalization of the Philosophers' Camp, located in the landscape and tradition of the original gathering, draws on the expedition itself and its vibrant legacy. Our readings and conversations will be an opportunity to enter into the spirit of the original Philosophers' Camp by engaging in shared inquiry and discovery. In 1858 ten scholars left New England society for a sojourn in the Adirondacks. Seeking to reacquaint themselves with their wild surroundings they hunted, rowed, fished and camped. In a poem written to commemorate the excursion, Emerson names them freemen of the forest laws, and here they were also free of societal and professional boundaries. Thus liberated they fell naturally into a cross-disciplinary cadence that reflects the style of unity between self, other and world that has come to characterize the Camp and mark its intellectual significance.

Scholarships are available for current undergraduate or graduate students interested in participating in the Philosophers' Camp. Please submit a statement describing your interest, how your participation in the program will contribute to your academic preparation and career, your level of financial need, and what additional resources you will use to cover any remaining portion. Please submit your application to Marianne Patinelli-Dubay at mpatinelli@esf.edu. Scholarships will be announced June 1 of each year or until all scholarship money has been awarded.