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.
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(Gary Goff holds his Silviculture Leadership Award)

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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!

The mute swan is a common invasive species in North America. While these swans are often protected because of their beauty, their aggressive nature and extreme consumption of underwater vegetation can be extremely harmful to native species. Paul Curtis, associate professor and Extension Wildlife Specialist in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, recently weighed in on the issue of mute swan control. The full article can be read here!

The National Woodland Owners Association (NWOA), in cooperation with the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs (NAUFRP), presented Cornell’s Forest Connect program with the annual FAMILY FORESTS EDUCATION AWARD at the 2013 Society of American Foresters (SAF) national convention in Charleston, South Carolina on October 23rd, 2014.

Congratulations to everyone involved in obtaining this achievement

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Top row from (left):  Peter Smallidge, Gary Goff, and Diana Bryant
Bottom row (from left):  Kristi Sulivan and Shorna Allred

Before the end of last year, Paul Simonin, a PhD candidate in Natural Resources at Cornell, was featured in an article published by the Seattle Times. Simonin is a fisheries ecologist, and recently did work in rural Indonesia to learn more about small-scale coral reef fishing in various communities there. Simonin not only had a research role within the project; he had also helped facilitate the trip for the Seattle Times to come to Thailand. The project itself looked as fun as it was informative! To read more about Simonin and his project, click the following link!

Article: http://apps.seattletimes.com/reports/sea-change/2013/dec/21/food-for-millions-at-risk/

Congratulations to Keith Tidball for being named as a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) 2014 visiting scholar!

Tidball is a senior extension associate in the Department of Natural Resources, as well as a state program leader of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s New York Extension Disaster Education Network. His nomination as a visiting scholar will give him the opportunity to work with various federal agencies and international programs to help spread information about disaster education and recovery.

“It’s a great honor to be selected for this opportunity, and I am looking forward to the challenge of better integrating the climate change discourse within USDA/NIFA and other federal agencies, and the preparedness and disaster response discourses,” Tidball said.

The full article relating to Tidball’s nomination can be found here!

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