Research and education are key components of the Pine Lake Institute’s mission.

Many student and faculty research projects are conducted at the Pine Lake Environmental Campus including study of: conservation biology and ornithology, microbial communities, stream ecology and invasive species, acid rain deposition, amphibian ecology, impact of recreational use of public lands on biological and ecological diversity, and entomological taxonomy.

Situated near the headwaters of the Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers in the western foothills of the Catskill Mountains, the Pine Lake Environmental Campus is a multi-use facility that includes a 5 ha spring-fed, kettlehole lake, alder (Alnus) bog, swamps, mixed coniferous/deciduous forests, open fields, the Charlotte Creek, and a river bottom flood plain. 

The Robert R. Smith Environmental Field Station serves as a research base for Hartwick students and faculty at the Hartwick College’s Pine Lake Environmental Campus. Robert V. Riddell State Park – at over 2,000 acres, the largest state park in the New York’s Central Region – borders the Pine Lake campus and offers boundless opportunities for research and exploration through a unique research partnership between Hartwick College’s Pine Lake Institute for Environmental and Sustainability Studies and Robert V. Riddell State Park.