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Communicating Science

Giving voice to science, for a better world.

Sharing our science and expertise is part of our mission.

We are committed to translating our discoveries beyond academic journals to managers, decision makers, media, and the public. Our scientists have a long history of advising state and federal agencies, providing testimony on leading environmental issues, and educating policymakers on topics such as freshwater pollution, forest pests, tick management, disease forecasting, citizen science, and biomasss energy.

Science for everyone.

We are all stewards of the Earth. Each person has the ability to make a difference. As such, Cary Institute is committed to engaging the public through environmental programming and content. By sharing our research through accessible stories, and hosting public lectures and interpretive walks, we are investing in ecological literacy for all.

The best science is not going to speed the pace of progress on environmental issues if the scientific community doesn’t take the time to communicate its findings clearly and articulately to the public.

William Schlesinger, President Emeritus

Talks, walks, and forums.

Our lecture series connects public audiences with environmental luminaries and leading ecologists. More than 100 speakers have presented at our Millbrook campus, including Bill McKibben, James Hansen, Terry Tempest Williams, John Holden, and Sylvia Earle. In 2020, we launched our virtual Cary Conversation series which engages audience members from around the world in environmental science and ecological issues. Recordings of all our talks are shared in our video library and are available on our YouTube channel.

Outdoor education programs, offered throughout the year, take advantage of our 2,000-acre campus. Science and Management Forums are offered in collaboration with regional partners, with the goal of connecting decision makers with current ecological science. Topics have included road salt, invasive species, flood management, and hydrofracking.

We also have a deep archive of podcasts which we invite you to explore.

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public programs


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Q+A questions asked

Science & the media

Our scientists make an extra effort to connect their research discoveries with journalists, so that wide audiences can benefit from their expertise.

Fostering these relationships is vital in today’s media landscape, where fewer and fewer reporters are dedicated to covering the environment. The current rise in anti-scientific attitudes makes this a particularly important time to bring science to broad audiences.

Cary is training future ecology leaders.

K-12 students

Our educators connect K-12 learners with hands-on ecological science through innovative schoolyard programs, onsite field trips, EcoDiscovery summer day camps, and our annual Data Jam competitions, which engage middle and high school students throughout New York’s Hudson Valley and in Baltimore, Maryland. 

The Mid-Hudson Young Environmental Scientist Program is a new a Cary-led mentoring initiative that allows local high school students to conduct advanced environmental research, with a focus on their home ecosystem. 

Undergraduate and graduate students

We host one of the longest-running Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Programs in the nation. Over the past 32 years, the National Science Foundation-funded program has allowed us to immerse more than 350 undergraduates in the Cary Institute’s ecological research community.

Each winter, we offer a graduate-level Fundamentals of Ecosystem Ecology course that examines key topics in ecology and teaches skills needed to succeed in an advanced research setting.

Many of our scientists have appointments at colleges and universities including Yale, Cornell, Princeton, Columbia, Bard, Boston University, and the University of Connecticut. They also advise graduate students from universities around the world.


Our Summer Teacher Institutes and workshops help educators deliver effective place-based ecology lessons to their students. We also offer a rich database of free online curriculum materials, many inspired by Cary science, which align with national and state standards for science education.