On May 12th, Paul Curtis received thanks from Jessica Williams, 6th Grade Teacher at Newark Valley Central School, for his collaboration with three 6th grade boys and recognition in the following article she submitted to the local Newark Valley newspaper:
Congratulations to 6th graders Collin Creeley, Riley Malone and Joshua Post! The boys placed 1st at the State level in a National science competition’s 6th grade division. eCYBERMISSION is a web-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics competition for 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade teams. Each team proposes a solution to a real problem in their community and then competes for State, Regional and National Awards. This type of ‘real world’ problem solving challenges students to explore how Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics work in the world.
Collin, Riley and Josh chose to explore the deliberate extermination of coyotes as these animals move into suburban and even urban areas of New York. The boys hypothesized that the killing of these animals was done out of ignorance and fear. They designed an experiment in which they measured children’s feelings of fear and tendency toward acts of violence against coyotes and then educated these same children about the animals in general. After the intervention (the education about coyotes) they found that students’ feels of fear and tendency toward aggressive behavior against the animals significantly dropped. This has interesting implications for wildlife management but also has broader reaching implications for human behavior in general.
In addition to a tremendous amount of reading related to the coyote population and what impact their deliberate extermination has on the eco-system, the boys also collaborated with internationally renowned coyote expert, Paul D. Curtis. Dr. Curtis serves as Extension Wildlife Specialist in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University. His applied research and extension programs have focused on reducing human-wildlife conflicts in agricultural and suburban landscapes. His work includes community-based wildlife management issues and public policy education. Dr. Curtis was a tremendous asset to our students and was a wonderfully supportive and encouraging guide and the students were so grateful for his input. The boys engaged in skype meetings with Dr. Curtis and communicated with him via email.
All three boys have received college scholarships for their 1st place win and are thrilled with their accomplishment.
In May, Angela Fuller received the Outstanding Professional Award, presented by the New York Chapter of The Wildlife Society. The award is made to a wildlife professional for outstanding professional accomplishments in the wildlife field in New York State.
Amy Heatherington received the CALS Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award on Thursday, May 8. Congratulations, Amy!
If you are free on Tuesday, May 6th from 3:30 to 4:30, this special seminar might be of incredible interest to you! Entitled “Constructing Collaboration and Dialogue – the Lower Mekong Public Policy Initiative (LMPPI) of Southeast Asia”, this seminar will be hosted by the renowned Dr. Rainer Asse, Ph.D. Asse’s associations include being the director of the LMPPI, Vietnam Program Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, and the Harvard Kennedy School. The seminar will take place in Fernow Hall G24, so if you are free, please make an effort to attend what will surely be an interesting and engaging seminar!
Amanda Rodewald, director of Conservation Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, was recently quoted on NPR on the topic of invasive Mute Swans. Rodewald says that the non-native swans have posed a threat to birds such as loons and least terns. Now that they have a growing presence in New York, they could potentially displace some of the few remaining black tern populations in New York state. While swans may be beautiful to look at, they are also extremely dangerous animals and their foraging habits are very destructive to underwater ecosystems.
Listen to the story or read more about this topic here!
Over winter break, fifteen students enrolled in the IARD class “Special Topics in International Agriculture and Rural Development” traveled to Intag, Ecuador, and worked closely with the local people to improve their community. The course concept came from a student, Martin Zorrilla ’13, who asked Prof. James Lassoie, Natural Resources, and Prof. Charlotte Jirousek, Fiber Science, to teach it. During the fall semester, students worked in teams to communicate with Intag locals and learn about the community, then applied what they had learned during their three week trip. While in Intag, students “remodeled a store, created a manual on soil improvement, planted trees, developed maps of rare species, and helped develop new tools.”
The students have created a gallery to showcase their experiences in Intag. It is dedicated in memoriam to Professor Jirousek, who suggested the gallery. The gallery will open on Monday afternoon at 4:30 PM, and is located in the Jill Stuart Gallery of the Human Ecology Building.
Read the complete article about this from The Cornell Daily Sun here!
Congratulations to Gary Goff for receiving the “Silviculture Leadership Award” from the Allegany Chapter of the NY Forest Owners Association (NYFOA) and the western NY Master Forest Owner (MFO) Volunteers. It was presented at the 17th Annual Rural Landowners Conference in Yorkshire, NY on March 1, 2014. The award recognizes 20+ years of service to educational programs that support the sound silvicultural management of private woodlands for wildlife and timber.
Goff has been a dedicated supporter of forest management and stewardship for over 35 years. He has contributed to numerous projects dedicated to maintaining NY and northeastern forests. Goff has served as the Arnot Forest Associate Director for Extension/Outreach, and has worked for over 21 years with the NY MFO Volunteers program. Through his work with the MFO Volunteer program, Gary Goff has been an exceptional and influential figure and has positively shaped the stewardship values of private forest owners throughout New York.
(Gary Goff holds his Silviculture Leadership Award)
Over the past few years, Michael Farrell has been working with Paolo Cugnasca, the managing director of Feronia Forests, and Cornell’s Food Venture Center at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva to develop an innovative maple water drink. Farrell is the director of Cornell’s Uihlein Forest in Lake Placid, and author of The Sugarmaker’s Companion, a book on sugaring. He became involved with the project when Cugnasca asked him for advice on how to utilize large forests areas without cutting the trees. Farrell suggested that maple sap be bottled and sold as a sweet and nutritious drink. The final product, Vertical Water, has the delicious taste of maple syrup and is nutrient rich. It will be on shelves in April!
More information about Michael Farrell’s work and Vertical water can be found here!
Congratulations to Melanie Moss for receiving the Wildlife Management Institute’s Administrative Excellence Award!
Melanie Moss received this award for her critical role in assisting the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and for the excellent support she provided to all associated parties, including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Cornell University. Ms. Moss has done an outstanding job, and has shown true dedication and service to all those that she works with.
Congratulations to Vanessa Constant for receiving the John M. Anderson Award for Excellence in Natural History at Shoals Marine Laboratory!
Constant is a graduating senior in the Department of Natural Resources, with a minor in Marine Biology. It is because of her continued commitment and exemplary academics that Constant was chosen to receive this award. She took her first class at Shoals Marine Lab during her sophomore year of high school, and has been involved with the Lab ever since. In addition to excelling in her courses and research work at Shoals and interning there over multiple summers, Constant has also served as a Marine Laboratory Alumni Ambassador.
The full article can be read here!