The Finger Lakes Institute


The Finger Lakes Institute (FLI) at Hobart and William Smith is dedicated to research and the sharing of that research to consistently improve the health of the region. Located on campus, the FLI offers a variety of programs each semester. To learn more about the ways students integrate FLI into their educational programs, visit the FLI’s website.

Hanley Biological Field Preserve

Hanley Biological Field Preserve

The Henry Hanley Biological Field Preserve, located about 15 miles from campus, is a 108 acre site owned by the Colleges and operated by the Biology Department.

The gently sloping sanctuary has over 60 natural and man-made ponds. The major vegetation types include agricultural fields, deciduous forest, old field/scrub and a small stand of pines.

The preserve also hosts a wide diversity of plants and animals, including whitetail deer, coyotes, red fox, beaver, mink, muskrats, redtail hawks, great blue herons, green herons, Canada geese and many species of ducks.

The Richard A. Ryan Field Station is located on the preserve and serves as a base for conducting ecological research and as a classroom during rainy weather.

Seneca Lake

Seneca Lake

Physical Characteristics of Seneca Lake:
Length 34.5 miles
Greatest width (Dresden) 3.7 miles
Greatest depth approx. 630 feet
Area of lake 66.6 square miles
Area of drainage basin 714 square mile
Length of shore 75.4 miles

The various characteristics of Seneca Lake have always attracted people’s attention. At HWS, we have the privilege of using Seneca Lake and the other Finger Lakes as our natural laboratories.

Solar Farms

solar farms

Hobart and William Smith own two local solar farms that together are generating up to five megawatts of electricity and represent one of the largest state-supported installations for a New York college or university. The farms deliver 50 percent of the Colleges’ electricity and provide students with hands-on learning experiences.

Stern and Lansing Halls


Stern Hall, named for the lead donor, Herbert J. Stern ’58, LL.D. ’74, P ’03, houses the departments of political science, anthropology/ sociology, environmental studies, economics and Asian languages and cultures. Stern Hall provides 27,000 square feet of new academic space, including classrooms, research and seminar rooms, Asian languages and culture laboratory, a large classroom and a lab.

Lansing Hall was built adjacent to Eaton and Rosenberg Halls and completes the boundary of the Quad. With its modern exterior, Lansing contains many of the architectural elements common in the older buildings on campus. The building was constructed to complete the renovation process of the Colleges’ science facilities.

The William Scandling

The William Scandling

The William Scandling, Hobart and William Smith’s steel heeled, 65 foot scientific research vessel, has access to various lakes, including Seneca, Cayuga and Ontario, for student and faculty classroom and research activities.

The vessel, berthed in Seneca Lake, is used regularly by multiple academic departments and is fully equipped for sediment, water and biota studies. The equipment list includes radar, GPS, cellular phone, radios, depth finders, MicroBT, CTDs, high-resolution subbottom profiler, side-scan sonar, current meters, temperature loggers and computers.