The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) has named Dr. Mariann Garrison-Johnston director of its Ranger School.
She is the first woman to lead the Ranger School, which is located in the Adirondack Park at Wanakena, on the shore of Cranberry Lake in the town of Fine, St. Lawrence County.
Garrison-Johnston has been a faculty member at the Ranger School since 2008. She assumes the position from Dr. Michael Bridgen, who served as director since 2013 and retired in June 2020.
Garrison-Johnston earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Idaho, and her bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University.
Before joining ESF, she was a research scientist with the Intermountain Forestry Cooperative in Idaho, where she performed directed research into regional forest nutrition and health issues in the inland northwestern United States.
Since joining the Ranger School, she has taught more than 600 students in topics such as forest ecology, natural resources management, insects and disease, wild-land firefighting and ecology, and soils.
Garrison-Johnston is an active member of the Society of American Foresters, having served as chair of the New York Society as well as on the national Certification Review Board, and is presently serving an elected term as regional representative for New England and New York to the national SAF Board of Directors.
ESF’s Ranger School offers students a unique educational experience in a spectacular natural setting. The Ranger School confers the associate in applied science degree 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, many also use their degree as a hands-on, experience-based step toward a bachelor of science degree, earned at ESF’s main campus in Syracuse, New York.