What We Do

For more than thirty years, our team of scientists has been investigating the complex interactions that govern the natural world. Their objective findings lead to more effective policy decisions and increased environmental literacy.

Founded in 1983, the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies is one of the world’s leading independent environmental research organizations. Areas of expertise include disease ecology, forest and freshwater health, climate change, urban ecology, and invasive species.

Studies by our scientists have been instrumental in informing the Clean Air Act, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and environmental management practices throughout the Northeast, including the Hudson River, New York’s Catskill and Adirondack forests, and the watershed of Baltimore, Maryland.

Hallmark projects include studies of the impact of acid rain on forests and freshwater ecosystems, unraveling the relationship between biodiversity loss and emerging infectious diseases, and tracking how climate change influences the spread of invasive species.

The Cary Institute’s Goals:

  • Advance understanding about the structure and function of ecological systems.
  • Provide the scientific knowledge needed to solve environmental problems.
  • Enhance the ecological literacy of students, decision makers, and the public.
  • Train the next generation of ecologists and resource managers.

Freshwater Health

Monitoring the quality of our streams, lakes, and rivers.

Infectious Diseases

Illuminating how environmental conditions shape disease risk.

Urban Ecology

Studying how cities can be designed to be resilient and sustainable.

Invasive Species

Understanding how invasive species impact our forest and freshwater resources.

Climate Change

Preparing for the future, from extreme weather to species shifts.



Innovating practices that balance human needs with ecosystem health.

Outreach & Education

Educating decision makers, teachers, students, and the general public.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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