Steven Wolf Author of Chapter in New Governance and Sustainability Book

Steven Wolf, Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resources, is the author of Chapter 9,  “Temporal Dimensions of Governance: A Critical Analysis of Projects,” in a new book entitled Sustainability and Short-term Policies: Improving Governance in Spatial Policy Interventions, that grew out of collaborative thinking focused around project forms in governance.  Stefan Sjoblom of University of Helsinki has been the key leader of this effort, he edited this book with Kjell Andersson, Åbo Akademi University, Finland, Terry Marsden, Cardiff University, UK and Sarah Skerratt, Scottish Agricultural College – Edinburgh, UK.  The workshop at Cornell that was organized some years ago contributed to the network and the intellectual agenda. Wolf will spend two months in Helsinki with Stefan’s group this summer extending this effort. Further exploration of temporal dimensions of governance will be rewarding.


See details of the book at


In the words of the editors: “There has been a profound change within the sphere of government and societal regulation in recent years. Traditional hierarchical government has been challenged by new governance instruments relying on negotiations instead of command and control. Alongside this development there has been a change in the time-framing of politics and steering. Traditional politics implicitly has been based on stability and permanence while new forms of governance explicitly are based on just-in-time actions such as projects and issue-based collaborations in networks and programs.


This book analyses the implications of this shortening of time frames, focusing particularly on spatial policy interventions. Spatial policies have a special relevance when it comes to governance and new forms of societal steering. On the one hand, the local (geographical) level in politics is the principal battleground for the struggle between top down and bottom up approaches and aspirations. On the other hand, many of the most burning issues of our time require a global, strategic approach, for example, climate change, resource depletion, population growth are anchored in space and the physical world.


Whether and how short-term spatial approaches can achieve sustainable development outcomes is thus a critical question, and forms the focus of this volume. The book examines the characteristics of temporary policy measures across a range of rural, urban and regional contexts, in four continents: Europe, North America, Oceania and Africa. The outcomes and effects of these policies and interventions are analysed, particularly focusing on the tension between short-term interventions and long-term effects.”


Forest Regeneration Research Used in Letter to the WSJ Editor

Last weekend’s (November 3-4) edition of the Wall Street Journal had a 2-page article”America Gone Wild” by author Jim Sterba. The article was an extract from Mr. Sterba’s forthcoming (November 13th release) book “Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds” detailing the conflicts that have arisen in the Northeast over the last couple of decades when expanding suburbs have run into similarly expanding forest land and their concomitant wildlife denizens.

Jerry Michael, a MFO and CCE Broome (former) board president, noted the article didn’t mention the impacts of wildlife on forests and wrote a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal that references Cornell University research on forester perceptions of forest regeneration problems.

NYFOA is launching the celebration of their 50th Anniversary (2013) with a “Restore NY Woodlands” (RNYW) initiative which highlights the need to aggressively restore and regenerate NY’s degraded (or on such a trajectory) woodlands.  Managing barriers to the regeneration of NY forests, such as deer and interfering vegetation, are central to this initiative.

Click here to see the letter sent by Jerry Michael in the name of NYFOA.



Update: CIIFAD Seminar Series – Perspectives in International Development

On Wednesday, November 7, Jeff Milder, a DNR graduate (MSc 2005 and PhD 2010), spoke as a part of the CIIFAD Seminar Series on Perspectives in International Development. Dr. Milder gave his talk on “Mainstreaming Eco-Standards for Tropical Agricultural Commodities: Impacts and Implications.”

Dr. Milder is a visiting fellow in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University and Director of Research for EcoAgriculture Partners. He is currently leading the three-year (2011-2013) Global Review on the science and practice of ecoagriculture as part of the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative. He also directs EcoAgriculture Partners’ research on innovations in payment for ecosystem services, agricultural eco-standards, and integrated landscape planning. Previously, Dr. Milder conducted research on land use-biodiversity relationships in pasture-dominated agricultural mosaics of Central America, and in rural landscapes in the United States. Prior to joining EcoAgriculture Partners in 2006, he founded and managed the sustainable planning practice at Daylor Consulting Group, a design firm based in Massachusetts, USA. Dr. Milder holds MSc and PhD degrees in Natural Resources from Cornell University and a BA in Earth Sciences from Harvard University.

This seminar series is co-sponsored by the Departments of Crop and Soil Sciences, Natural  Resources, The Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and Food Systems and Poverty Reduction (IGERT).


Updated: Keith Tidball Gives Tips on How to Help Hurricane Sandy Victims

Keith Tidball, Cornell Cooperative Extension disaster education program director, advises those of the Cornell community to reach out to Hurricane Sandy victims by donating cash to meet their specific needs. Tidball, who works with the disaster-aid relief group National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) says we can help by donating cash through the group’s website. Donations will go toward specific needs in affected areas.

The Cornell Disaster Relief and Outreach website also has links to organizations where you can make donations.

Click here to read more about Tidball and get more tips on helping disaster victims.


Here is a WHCU 870 AM News Talk article link entitled CCE Providing Statewide Disaster Relief Effort
Please follow the below link to reach the page.


More recently, Tidball has explained in an NBC news piece  how elected officials are often frustrated with the lack of timely and sufficient help from outside institutions such as the Red Cross, as evident in Staten Island’s cry for help. Especially in New York City that has gone through so much, lessons from past hurricanes and the emergence of social media has significantly improved disaster relief efforts.

Click here to read more on Tidball’s advice and help for Staten Island on the NBC website.