e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

The Ranger School Offering Associate in Applied Science Degrees (A.A.S.)

Visit the Ranger School

Information meetings may be scheduled throughout the year.    

Visit Information

Open House

Saturday, April 22, 2023
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Click here to Register!

Virtual Ranger School Information Session


Areas of Study

The SUNY-ESF Ranger School in Wanakena, N.Y., offers students a unique educational experience in a spectacular natural setting.

The Ranger School confers the associate in applied science degree (A.A.S.) in three areas of study: forest technology, land surveying technology, and environmental and natural resources conservation. The Ranger School's one-plus-one plan allows students to complete their first year at the college of their choice, then spend their second year at The Ranger School. While many move directly into outdoor careers in the areas of conservation, forestry and surveying, some use their A.A.S. as a hands-on, experience-based step toward a bachelor of science degree, earned at ESF's main campus in Syracuse, N.Y.

dock and lake

Adirondack Splendor

Located in the heart of the six million–acre Adirondack Park, the 2,800-acre campus supports the field-based education that is a hallmark of The Ranger School experience. The main campus building houses state-of-the-art facilities, including classrooms, a conference room, and a dining facility. Additional facilities include a library, dry lab, computer lab with 24 stations, student residence rooms, and entertainment and recreation areas.


The excellent reputation of Ranger School graduates greatly assists them in their careers. Employment is common with local, state and federal forestry and land resource agencies, private forestry enterprises, and surveying firms. Positions most recently filled by recent graduates include:

  • forest ranger
  • forest technician
  • forest aide
  • timber inventory specialist
  • forest surveyor
  • forest engineering aide
  • survey technician
  • forest protection technician
  • forest research technician
  • tree service technician
  • urban park ranger
  • industrial surveyors
  • recreation technicians
  • arborists
  • wildlife intern
  • watershed stewards
  • nursery manager
  • forestry consultant
  • game commission intern
  • ... and more!

seal -- the ranger school 1912, state university of new york college of environmental science and forestry

About the Ranger School

Since established in 1912, The Ranger School has trained over 4,000 students and earned a national reputation for excellence. The program is administered by and is an integral part of the SUNY ESF Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management. This unique model of a single professional faculty offering all levels of study from technical through postdoctoral emphasizes the teamwork approach to forest resource science and management espoused by the faculty.

Because The Ranger School is situated within a forest, some applicants may mistakenly believe the experience is one of forest lore and wilderness survival. We emphasize that the curricula demand high-quality academic achievement. Program completion requires concentrated and consistent study. Classes are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday with classroom and laboratory or field time equally divided. The intensity of the program normally requires a minimum of 70 hours a week of evening and weekend study, daily classes, and laboratory/field exercises. Several short trips are made during the year in connection with courses in dendrology, silviculture, forest management, forest recreation, wildlife ecology and surveying.

Ranger School Mission Statement

We produce skilled, resilient graduates trained in the measuring, monitoring, utilization and protection of natural resources, for the benefit of society and the sustainability of the global environment.