DURHAM, N.C. — William Schlesinger, dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke, is stepping down.

Schlesinger recently accepted the position of second president and director of the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y. Duke hired Schlesinger for the Nicholas School post in 2001.

While at Duke, Schlesinger helped create the Nicholas Institute, which was launched in Washington, D.C. in 2005. Schlesinger also was actively involved in the building of a new facility at Duke that came about through a $70 million gift from Pete and Ginny Nicholas of Boston, Mass. in 2003.

A leading researcher as well in the field of global environmental change, Schlesinger was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2003.

Duke: www.duke.edu