Dr. Ross R. Conover

"Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf" -Aldo Leopold

Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology

Department: Natural Sciences

Program: Fisheries & Wildlife Science



I arrived at Paul Smith’s in 2015 and now that I’m here, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. With a lifelong passion for the great outdoors, I’ve never experienced a community that makes me feel more at home than Paul Smith’s College.  My career endeavors have focused on understanding how nature functions, protecting Earth’s natural resources, and helping others understand how nature functions so they are more effective at protecting these resources.  My research interests revolve around applied ecology with an emphasis on avian ecology and behavior, reproduction biology, conservation biology and restoration ecology.  My current scientific research endeavors include  life-history tradeoffs in high elevation songbirds, avian use of roost boxes, and the indirect effects of domestic cats on nesting songbirds (Conover Ecology Lab).

Interests & Activities

Fortunately, there is much overlap between my professional and nonprofessional lives.  My “nonprofessional” life has been inundated with a plethora of backpacking excursions, canoe/kayak trips, nature-based travel, cross-country skiing, sustainably foraging for wild edibles, snowshoeing, endless naturalizing and hobbies such as vermicomposting, raising runner ducks, and home brewing. In addition, periods of my life have been partially dominated with fishing, ping pong, home improvement, disc golf (check out the BarkEater Disc Golf Course), baseball, football, wiffle ball and most anything else that involves competition.


Academic Background

  • 2009 PhD Animal Ecology, Iowa State University
  • 2005 MS Biology, Mississippi State University
  • 2000 BS Wildlife Biology, Unity College

Courses Taught

  • Ornithology (BIO364)
  • Herpetology (BIO366)
  • Intro to Fisheries and Wildlife Management (FWS101)
  • Wildlife Management (Capstone; FWS470)
  • Intro to Wildlife Management (FWS105)
  • Natural Resource Management Capstone (NRS 495)
  • STEM Research



Email Me!

Pickett Hall, 212
(518) 327-6344

Chriney, the Happy Australian Shepherd!