Brendan Kelly

Previously a forester for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation where he enjoyed a very diverse experience, Prof. Kelly teaches many of the forestry (Introduction to Forestry and Natural Resources, Forest Ecology, and Practices of Silviculture) related courses within the Environmental Sciences programs as well as riparian and wetland related topics. 

As the coordinator of forest management operations across SUNY Morrisville's over 800 acres of natural resource areas, he instructs Natural Resources (Heavy) Equipment Operations with Mr. Seth Carsten (Aside: Woods Sports Coach) so operations with the college's skidder, log loader, and other items are directly utilized with the students in a hands-on applied environment. 

While he is often found in the woods, Prof. Kelly enjoys learning about many aspects of the natural world besides forests.  Recently, he attended a camp hosted by the Audubon Society on Hog Island, Maine.  The Sharing Nature: An Educator’s Week camp for environmental educators from around the nation allowed Prof. Kelly to explore coastal geology and seaside ecology, as well as other subjects taught by peer professionals.  As Prof. Kelly greatly enjoys teaching about, sharing, and exploring nature he also advises a student club, the Conservation Tri-Society with Dr. Sarauer.  Members of this club travel to conferences and diverse field sites outside of regular classes to expand their learning and connections with professionals in the American Fisheries Society, Society of American Foresters, and The Wildlife Society, as well as others.

An Eagle Scout, Prof. Kelly assists the camp that gave him his start as an environmental educator in high school where he was first a summer camp counselor-in-training and then as a summer camp ecology/conservation counselor.  He returned after graduating high school for one summer season as the camp’s Scoutcraft director.  For several years now he has volunteered at the camp assisting with facility management and environmental educational programming, including guiding cross-country skiing (Prof. Kelly got his start cross-country ski racing as a member of the SUNY Morrisville Nordic team while a student at SUNY Morrisville.) and snowshoe outings with fellow volunteer staff.  

Prof. Kelly is most proud of working with his students to gain them experience within the expansive field of natural resources.  Examples of this include working with partner agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service managing habitat areas, removing invasive plants, or doing bathymetric surveys.  Another example includes enabling students to get experience in environmental interpretation and camp/facility management at events.  For instance, by working with partner commercial organizations like Clinton Tractor and Implement Company he has enabled SUNY Morrisville students to teach scouts about heavy equipment, utilizing excavators with scouts at the controls in a hands-on environment.  He also gets his students behind the scenes at industry and agency sites, such as with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to allow students to consider potential careers.

A great concern to Prof. Kelly, as he enjoys sharing nature, is trying to include all communities that benefit from our natural resources as voices in the management of our natural resources.  Consequently, he is always on the lookout to find student leaders willing to connect with underserved communities.  If you have ideas on how to do this he is willing to listen!  

A SUNY Morrisville alum with an A.A.S. in Natural Resources Conservation.  He continued his education at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and after working in the broad field of environmental and natural resources management he then went on to the University of New Hampshire where he obtained his M.S. and was the Woodlands and Natural Areas Manager.  Prof. Kelly hold a Firefighter I – NFPA 1001 (1992) Certificate and is a Society of American Foresters - Certified Forester.