Chancellor King Announces SUNY ESF Adirondack Summer Experience for New York City High School Students

July 25, 2023

SUNY ESF's New Timbuctoo Climate Science and Careers Summer Institute Provides an Educational Path to Environmental Science Careers

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Brooklyn, NY – The State University of New York Chancellor John B. King, Jr. announced the launch of the Timbuctoo Climate Science and Careers Summer Institute, an innovative summer program created by the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry to provide an educational path to environmental science careers. SUNY ESF is bringing 48 New York City high school-aged students to the Adirondacks and Syracuse throughout three two-week sessions in July and August, which will offer them classroom and field experiences this summer.

The Adirondack Park is positioned to play a vital role in Governor Kathy Hochul's efforts to combat the effects of climate change, which is having a significant impact on the ecosystems of the park. The immersive Timbuctoo Institute introduces students from urban areas to climate science while addressing issues of environmental and social justice through the lens of climate change.

New York State Senator Zellnor Myrie, Assemblymember Michaelle Solages, and the state's Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus worked closely with advocates such as Aaron Mair, who leads the Adirondack Council's "Adirondack Forever" campaign, in championing ESF's funding request for $2.1 million. This funding was approved in the SFY2022-23 Enacted Budget to establish the opportunity for high school students in partnership with the City University of New York's Medgar Evers College (MEC).

SUNY Chancellor King met with the students while they attended their first field experience at the Newtown Creek Alliance in Brooklyn.

"Students want to engage in important topics that impact our society, like climate action, and SUNY is leading the way by helping every student find their place on our campuses and introducing them to excellent academic programs coupled with hands-on experiences that will allow them to pursue their dreams," said SUNY Chancellor King. "SUNY ESF is world renowned for its environmental science programming and research and is committed to advancing diversity in environmental science-related fields and inspiring more environmental stewards. My thanks go to Governor Hochul for her focus on climate action and to Senator Myrie, Assemblymember Solages, and the BPHA Caucus, as well as Aaron Mair and the many advocates and ESF faculty and staff who delivered resources to make these life-changing opportunities possible for NYC students."

ESF President Joanie Mahoney said, "While immersed in nature and learning about environmental science, we hope the experience helps students make connections to the natural world around them and sparks passions for careers they may not have previously considered."

Senator Zellnor Myrie said, "I'm thrilled to see the launch of the Timbuctoo Institute, which will expose young people from New York City to both the Adirondack's incredible natural treasures as well as the region's role in the early civil rights movement. In this way, we are creating the next generation of climate and environmental justice leaders for our state. I'm grateful to SUNY and ESF leadership and my BPHA Caucus colleagues for making this program a reality."

BPHA Caucus Chair Assemblymember Michaelle Solages said, "We are thrilled to champion the Timbuctoo Climate and Careers Institute, a program that embodies our commitment to empowering youth of color and diversifying career opportunities. By partnering with SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and CUNY Medgar Evers College, we are offering high school students from New York City access to green spaces and green careers in the Adirondack Park. This initiative reflects our dedication to creating inclusive and sustainable pathways for the next generation of environmental leaders. By supporting programs like this, we can foster a deeper appreciation for the Adirondack Park's significance and promote environmental conservation among all communities. Congratulations to the inaugural class and to everyone who contributed to making this vision a reality. We look forward to expanding upon this historic investment."

New York's Adirondack Park was a cradle of the early civil rights movement, dating back to the mid-1800s. Timbuctoo specifically, which sits outside of Lake Placid, was the site of an early Black suffrage settlement, one of eight known settlements in the Adirondacks that enabled 3,000 Black men to meet the property requirements granting them the right to vote in New York. This history of opportunity at Timbuctoo is honored and celebrated by creating a modern Timbuctoo pipeline to empowerment. The Timbuctoo pipeline will connect youth to opportunities at the intersection of climate science and green careers, preparing them for the threats and opportunities of the 21st century.


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.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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