Main content

Ryan W. Taylor

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

In addition to serving as an associate professor of environmental studies in the School of Natural and Social Sciences, Dr. Taylor is also currently the Department Chair of the environmental studies major

With a reputation as an international expert in wetland regulation, all environmental studies majors who pursue their degree concentration in environmental policy receive Dr. Taylor as their primary academic advisor. Likewise, Dr. Taylor also serves as the campus-wide faculty advisor for any Purchase student seeking to apply for accelerated acceptance into the nationally-ranked University at Albany-SUNY Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy BA/MPA program.

Students mentored by Dr. Taylor typically complete GIS-focused internships with local conservation groups, and regularly advance to graduate studies and rewarding public and private sector careers in a wide range of fields, including:

  • Environmental Policy
  • Urban Planning
  • Public Administration
  • Environmental Law
  • Outdoor Education
  • Hydrology
  • Geology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Natural Resource Management.

More About Me

Dr. Taylor is a true interdisciplinary academic.  Holding degrees in snvironmental science and environmental studies from some of the nation’s top natural resource schools, he has developed a broad perspective on contemporary environmental issues.  Through his unique application of both social and natural science research methods to his public policy studies, he has managed to acquire a comprehensive and multidimensional understanding of local environmental issues facing citizens across North America. 

In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Taylor has also enjoyed a successful and fulfilling revolving-door career as a public-sector environmental practitioner.  His understanding of the world as a linked socio-ecological system has allowed him to serve as an environmental planner, public policymaker, and natural resource manager for every level of government in the United States. 

Enthusiastic about his responsibility at Purchase College to coordinate a department focused on training the next generation of environmental professionals, he regularly brings his own real-world experiences into the classroom and makes every effort to expose his students to the types of practical challenges they will face as they pursue their environmental careers. 

In particular, Dr. Taylor specifically enjoys teaching students how to construct sophisticated environmental models using Geographic Information Systems.  Students who take Dr. Taylor’s classes report they enjoy his high-energy lectures and demanding assignments, and are challenged daily to grow in their understanding of both the physical and political world around them as they seek to find solutions to some of the world’s most persistent environmental problems.  

Research Interests

Areas of Expertise

Environmental Policy Implementation, Geographic Information Systems, Water Resource Assessment, Natural Resource Management, & Environmental Modeling.

Natural Science Research Interests

Wetland Characteristics & Restoration; Freshwater Hydrology; Fluvial Geomorphology; Riparian Habitat Evaluation & Restoration; Aquatic Resource Impact Analysis, Ecological Consequences of Beaver Reintroduction & Nonpoint Source Pollution.

Social Science Research Interests

Environmental Politics, Policy, & Law; Natural Resource Program Assessment; GIS in Natural Resource Management; Federalism & Intergovernmental Relations; Watershed Management & Planning; Local & Statewide Land Use Regulation, Nature Interpretation and Environmental Art .

Representative Courses

  • ENV 3880 - Junior Seminar
  • ENV 3700 - Natural Resources
  • ENV 3640 - Watershed Science & Lab
  • ENV 3300 - Environmental Regulations
  • ENV 3150 - Geographic Information Systems
  • ENV 3153 - Advanced GIS Lab
  • ENV 3030 - Environmental Policy
  • ENV 2720 - Geology & Lab
  • ENV 2300 - Physical Geography
  • ENV 2260 - Art & the Environment
  • ENV 1500 - Intro to Environmental Science
  • FRS 1030 - First-Year Seminar


Taylor, Ryan W. Wetlands Protection: The Forgotten Agenda.” Widening the Scope of Environmental Policies in North America: Towards Blue Approaches. Palgrave, series in Governance, Development and Social Inclusion in Latin America. Gustavo Sosa-Nunez (editor) (Forthcoming).

Taylor, Ryan W., and Heather Saunders. ”The Art and Environment of Embedded Librarianship.” College and Undergraduate Libraries. 21.2: 145-154, 2014.

Taylor, Ryan W. Federalism of Wetlands. London: Routledge, 2013.

Inwood, Hillary, and Ryan W. Taylor. “Creative Approaches to Environmental Learning: two perspectives on teaching environmental art education.” International Online Journal of Environmental Education. 2.1: 65-75, 2012.

Taylor, Ryan W. Wetlands Demystified (2nd Edition). Seattle: Environmental Outreach and Stewardship Alliance, 2009.

Taylor, Ryan W. Wetlands Demystified (1st Edition). Seattle: Northwest Environmental Training Center, 2008.

Taylor, Ryan W.  Evaluation of the Intergovernmental Relationships between State and National Government Agencies in Wetland Regulatory Units. Corvallis: Oregon State University, 2006.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  Endangered Species of Illinois  (Ryan W. Taylor, Editor).  Springfield: Illinois Department of Natural Resources,  1999.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  Illinois’ Wetlands (Ryan W. Taylor, Editor).  Springfield: Illinois Department of Natural Resources,  1999.

Taylor, Ryan W. and William McClain A Field Guide to the Wetlands of Illinois (2nd Edition). Springfield: Illinois Department of Natural Resources, 2000.

Taylor, Ryan W. and Douglas Abderhalden.  Nationwide Survey of State Wetland Regulatory Programs. Springfield:  Illinois Department of Natural Resources,  1997.

Exhibitions / Performances


The Value of Professional GIS Certification in the New Millennia . NY State GIS Association, GIS Regional User Group – Annual Meeting.  Purchase, NY (2016).

Experiments in Sustainable Collaborative Online International Learning. SUNY COIL Center Annual Meeting.  New York, NY (2015)

The socio-ecological consequences of beaver resurgence in New York City’s Watershed. Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences - Annual Meeting.  New York, NY (2014)

Educating Tomorrow’s Geospatial Professionals. NY State GIS Association, GIS Regional User Group – Annual Meeting.  Purchase, NY (2013).

The Art and Environment of Embedded Librarianship. 9th Columbia University Libraries Symposium. New Models of Academic Collaboration. New York, NY. (2012).

Using Art to Frame Environmental Discussions. Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences Annual Meeting. Burlington, VT. (2011).

Evolving GIS Curriculum. NY State GIS Association - GIS Regional User Group Meeting.  White Plains, NY (2011)

Environment is Everything: Art & the Environment at Purchase College. The Royal Conservatory of Music. The Arts for Social and Environmental Justice Symposium.  Toronto, Ontario.  (2010).

The Influence of State Wetland Regulations upon the Section 404 Program. Association of State Wetland Managers. Annual Meeting. Williamsburg, Virginia.  (2007).

The Unintended Consequences of State Wetland Regulations on the Administration of the Section 404 Program. Society of Wetland Scientists. Annual Meeting. Sacramento, California.  (2007).

 Surface Morphology Indicators for Assessing Riverine Wetland Condition.  Cline, Taylor & Kentula. Society of Wetland Scientists. Annual Meeting.  Cairns, Australia.  (2006).


Tipping, Bethany. & R.W. Taylor. 2014. The Effects of a Fluctuating Beaver Population. Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students.   San Antonio, TX.

Koval, D., Kim, J.K., Kraemer, G.P., Yarish, C. & Taylor, R.W.   2014. GIS Modeling of Aquiculture Sites in Long Island Sound for Nutrient Bio-extraction. New England Estuaries Research Society.  Brown University.  Providence, RI.

Taylor, Ryan W. 2011. Bathymetric Study of Putnam Lake: an integration of GPS, SONAR, and GIS interpolation technologies. NY State GIS Association, GIS Regional User Group – Fall Meeting.  Westchester Community College, Pleasantville, NY.

Taylor, Ryan W., K. Barrett & Johnson.  2010. Rye Nature Center Welcome Map. 25th Annual New York State GIS Conference. New York State GIS Association.  Lake Placid, New York.   

Taylor, Ryan W. 2003. Social Impediments to Effective Communication about Risks Associated with Salmon Carcass Placement. Joint Campus Conference for Environmental Sciences. Portland State University. Portland, Oregon.   


Everyplace is somewhere. So why isn’t your class there too?  Purchase College Teaching & Learning Technology Day.  Purchase College, Purchase, New York (2015)

Site Host. New York State GIS Association, GIS Regional User Group - Spring Meeting.  Purchase College.  Purchase, New York.  (2012-2015).

Educating indispensable geospatial professionals for the 21st  century. North East Arc User Group annual Meeting. Panel Discussion Moderator.  Saratoga Springs, NY.  (2011)

GIS Based Resources for the Classroom. Purchase College, Bridges Program.  Instructor.  7th Annual National Science Foundation Pedagogy Workshop.  Purchase, New York. (2009).

Wetlands Demystified! Environmental Outreach and Stewardship Alliance. Lead Instructor.  Designed a 3-day professional wetland delineation/restoration/management workshop. Portland, Oregon.  (2009).

Wetlands Demystified! Northwest Environmental Training Center.  Lead Instructor.  Designed a 3-day professional wetland delineation/restoration/management workshop. Portland, Oregon.  (2008).

The Structure of Wildlife Habitat. Oregon State University – Extension. Guest Speaker.  Presented at the 2-day Backyard Wildlife Workshop. Ashland, Oregon.  (2005).

Understanding Illinois’ Wetlands. Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  Co-Instructor.  Presented at the 3-Day Illinois ENTICE Educator In-Service Program. Peoria, Illinois.  (2000).



COP-15: The Constitutional Case for a Federal Solution. National Teach-In on Global Warming.  Panel Discussion.  Purchase, New York. (2009)

Stream Morphology Indicators as Predictors of Riparian Vegetation Community Type. Purchase College Chapter of Sigma Xi.  Featured Guest Lecturer.  Purchase, New York. (2008)



Taylor, Ryan W. This summer’s fish kill got you down? Don’t blame the beaver… at least not entirely. Friends of the Great Swamp Newsletter.  Volume 12, Issue 3.  Fall 2011. 

Taylor, Ryan W. Are Dams of the Great Swamp’s Resident Beavers Altering the Ecosystem? Friends of the Great Swamp Newsletter. Volume 11, Issue 3.  2010.