Woods and pond in Oneonta 1

Paul Smith's College

Paul Smith's College


7833 New York 30
Paul Smiths, NY 12970


[email protected]



Built on a longstanding Adirondack tradition, forestry education at Paul Smith’s College equips students with a foundation of technical, field-based and applied education that combines theory and practice. Bachelor’s degrees are offered in three concentrations:

  • Ecological Forest Management prepares students for positions with government forestry agencies, forestry consulting firms and non-governmental organizations.
  • Forestry Operations is a fit for students interested in working for forest-products companies or running their own forest-products firm.
  • Forest Biology is ideal for students who plans to continue to graduate school and specialize in a field such as forest ecology or forest entomology.

All forestry graduates complete a rigorous curriculum that also includes coursework in communications, liberal arts and sciences to develop an ethic of citizenship and a current mix of marketable professional skills. It’s easy to switch between concentrations during the first year.

Learn more here


Surveying Technology

Surveying is the science and practice of measuring our physical earth to obtain highly accurate results. Obtain the knowledge, technical skills and professional predisposition necessary to succeed in this rapidly changing profession. Through a hands-on combination of classwork, fieldwork and a professional internship experience, you’ll learn to:

  • Prepare maps and drawings utilizing standard surveying methods and technology
  • Stake out surveys for construction projects
  • Plan and conduct land subdivisions
  • Research and prepare boundary maps and surveyor’s reports in compliance with legal requirements.
  • Communicate, reason and interact in a professional manner

An overwhelming majority of our students find work – and at competitive salaries. Professionally experienced faculty with backgrounds as licensed land surveyors, GIS/GPS managers and experts in natural resources management provide students with access to a thriving job-placement network. Careers in surveying are typically available with engineering firms, government agencies and large landowning companies.

Learn more here


Arboriculture & Landscape Management

Aboriculture and Landscape Management at Paul Smith’s College can lead to an exciting career in the green industry. Both in the classroom and in the field, your primary emphasis will be on the science of arboriculture and tree health, including best practices in tree surgery and care. Graduates are employed as tree surgeons, city arborists, landscape managers and plant health care specialists throughout the United States. Some start their own businesses while many work with established tree care companies, landscaping firms and tree nurseries. This associate-degree program is also a great pathway to a bachelor’s degree in parks, recreation and facilities management.

  • Learn how to properly plant, fertilize and prune trees in the landscape
  • Become familiar with common diseases and insects, as well as appropriate management strategies
  • Gain experience caring for the campus landscape – an integral part of the college’s identity

Successful management of natural resources is increasingly complex, demanding a wide range of skills. Students receive a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training in the areas of arboriculture, landscaping and plant propagation. Our graduates build a solid foundation to perform as trained technicians and managers for the planning, planting, and maintenance of trees and shrubs in the urban environment.

Learn more here


Natural Resources Conservation & Management

Learn to work in a multifaceted management environment that integrates the ecological, social, cultural, political and economic dimensions of natural resources management. Graduates of the program will be able to:

  • Provide leadership to communities as they adapt to changing economic conditions while maintaining ecological integrity
  • Implement best practices in strategic planning, development of organizational missions and design and implementation of evaluation/monitoring programs
  • Apply principles of sustainability to solve problems across political boundaries
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration and public participation around resource-based issues
  • Create and maintain effective working partnerships under a range of socio-economic conditions

Learn more here


Parks & Conservation Management

Community enjoyment of our outdoor environment is central to maintaining a healthy quality of life. However, meeting the needs of society while also conserving our land, water and air can be a precarious balance. Learn how to effectively strike this balance in a place where students, faculty and staff share a deep connection to the natural world. Our campus at the heart of the 6-million-acre Adirondack Parks is a unique natural, social, economic and political backdrop for exploring these often-intricate relationships. Managing spaces such as public parks, planned neighborhoods and recreational facilities requires a broad skill set and sensitive approach. Graduates of this bachelor’s-degree program will be able to:

  • Employ best practices in natural resources conservation and stewardship
  • Interpret important issues in a way that makes them accessible and actionable to the general public
  • Analyze the interrelationships among recreation consumers, environmental ethics and the natural environment
  • Develop and implement management plans that employ ethical considerations, leadership models, motivation techniques, team leadership and self-managed team concepts
  • Conduct social research for assessment, planning and evidence-based decision making

In addition to intense exploration of the Adirondacks – a place that played a pioneering role in the nation’s recreation industry – students have significant opportunities to study abroad. Traditionally dominated by the public sector, the parks and recreation industry is also attractive to private companies operating resorts, lodges and shared-living communities, driving job opportunities in this field.

Learn more here


Environmental Studies

Students who are fascinated by the interactions between human society and our natural world thrive in this bachelor’s-degree program, where crucial natural-science concepts such as climate change and globalization are explored through a variety of lenses. Political science, economics, art, literature, philosophy, ethics and sociology are all applied. You’ll learn:

  • What it means to possess a personal sense of place
  • Fundamentals of social sciences, natural sciences and humanities
  • How to respond effectively to environmental problems and how to encourage effective responses from others

Our highly experiential coursework focuses on understanding and addressing the complex environmental problems faced by our society, such as climate change, globalization, invasive species, loss of biodiversity, energy, pollution and population pressure. Graduates are well-prepared for careers in environmental advocacy and environmental education, as well as work in environmental organizations and agencies, writing and public relations, environmental policy and law, and teaching and graduate study.

Learn more here