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Environmental Studies Adirondack Semester

Exploring People and Place

The Adirondack Semester, offered during the fall term, is a unique opportunity for sophomore-level and above students to get outdoors and learn about the Adirondacks while taking co-registered courses in Ecology, Geology, and Writing: BIOL 211 Adirondack Ecology (pending approval for NW), GEOL 101 Environmental Geology (NW), and COMP 201 Writing Arguments.

The program integrates these courses through eight Friday field trips devoted to exploring and interpreting the region’s forests, mountains, and wetland ecosystems. Through applied learning field work and on-site writing, students develop skills for explaining interrelationships within the natural world. Students will also examine cultural beliefs about wilderness and how people experience it and express its various meanings. 

In the fall 2022 semester, the program will provide students with two Natural World courses, for their Pathways Gen Ed requirements, and a COMP 201 course with a DEI Diversity-Rich Attribute. The courses total 12 credits. Students who feel they can handle a larger academic load may register for additional courses outside the program provided that there are no time conflicts with the required Friday field trips. Students with questions about registering for the Adirondack Semester can contact Dr. Donald McNutt, Program Coordinator, at or at 267-2044. 

The Adirondack Semester’s courses for fall 2022 are

  • BIOL 211, Adirondack Ecology (pending approval for NW), Glenn Johnson, MWF 9:00-9:50 / Lab on Friday 11:00-1:50
  • GEOL 101, Environmental Geology (NW), Sara Bier, MWF 10:00-10:50 / Lab on Friday 2:00-3:50
  • COMP 201, Writing Arguments, Diversity-Rich Attribute, Donald McNutt, MW 2:00-3:40

Limited to 20 students.

[[{"fid":"31091","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"Adirondack Park Map","style":"float:right; height:163px; margin:3px; width:200px","class":"file-default media-element"}}]]The Adirondack Park

The Adirondacks is a 6-million acre landscape in northern New York with a mixture of public lands and wilderness alongside rural communities, farms and managed forests.  The Adirondack Park is the largest publicly protected area in the lower 48 United States, greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Park combined.  Nearly half of the Park  is“forever wild” Forest Preserve, which is public land belonging to all the people of New York State. Learn More about the Adirondack Park


Environmental Studies Program
SUNY Potsdam
44 Pierrepont Ave
Potsdam, NY 13676
(315) 267-2044
Dr. Donald McNutt, Environmental Studies Adirondack Semester Coordinator