Cornell Wins 2013 Family Forest Education Award

Congratulations are in order! Cornell’s ForestConnect Program was recently announced as a joint winner, alongside the University of Georgia, of the prestigious 2013 Family Forest Education Award. The award is given to recognize an educational institution that has delivered the most effective education program that benefits non-industrial forestland owners in the United States. Cornell won under the award’s comprehensive category, which recognizes the regional impact the program will have.

More details about the ForrestConnect can be found here:

Life at Dr. Tom’s

Recently, Dr. Thomas Gavin of the Department of Natural Resources launched a new website, entitled Dr. Tom’s Natural History. Here’s what he had to say about his new site!

To all students of the natural world:

My hope is that this site will be interesting and useful to aspiring field biologists of all kinds—students of all levels from primary school to university, home-schooled children, and members of the general public who desire to learn more about our natural world.

If you’re interested in visiting his new site, here’s the link:

“Across the Spectrum: Resources for Environmental Educators”

A new book from the Civic Ecology Lab, Across the Spectrum: Resources for Environmental Educators, is now available online. Chapters are added twice annually, and topics focus on environmental education and learning. The book can be downloaded for free here!

Additionally, anyone interested in contributing a chapter focused on environmental education and learning to Across the Spectrum should contact Marianne Krasny at

Candice Hilliard and Lilly Briggs’ reports posted on Civic Ecology Lab website

Recently, Candice Hilliard and Lilly Briggs have had their reports added to the Civic Ecology Lab website. Their work can be read here on the Civic Ecology Lab web page, or can be accessed directly at the links below.

Candice Hilliard: Urban Environmental Education: Examples from the Denver Metropolitan Area

Lilly Briggs: Conservation in Cities: Linking Citizen Science and Civic Ecology Practices

Lilly Briggs works with Conservation groups in Guatemala

Community Cloud Forest Conservation (CCFC) is an NGO based in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. Its mandate is to help protect the cloud forest, and in keeping with this goal, it leads a Conservation and Agroecology Leadership Training (CALT) program for young Q’eqchi’ Maya women from cloud forest-dependent communities. Lilly Briggs has been collaborating with CCFC in two different capacities throughout 2013. Since the start of the fall semester, she has been conducting research on sense of place and the impacts of environmental education among the CALT program participants and their families. An ongoing collaboration that began prior to the fall has been working with CCFC to expand the reach of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s “BirdSleuth-International: Connecting Kids Through Birds” curriculum in Guatemala.

Keith Tidball and team help Joplin rebuild after Tornado

Keith Tidball, a senior extension associate with the Department of Natural Resources and associate director of Cornell’s Civic Ecology Lab, recently worked with a group of students from Drury University to help Joplin, Missouri recover from the effects of an EF5  tornado. Along with help from the US Forest Service and other organizations, the group built a Butterfly Garden and Overlook in Cunningham Park in Joplin. The park is designed to be a space for healing as well as education. The construction of the park was made possible through the TKF Foundation’s Open Spaces Sacred Places initiative which gave Tidball and his team a $585,000 grant. The money from the grant is also being used for a similar project, also led by Tidball, in New York City.

The full article about Keith Tidball’s work in Joplin can be found here!

Michael Farrell’s new book “The Sugarmaker’s Companion” now available!

Recently, Michael Farrell, the Director of the Uihlein Forest – Cornell`s Sugar Maple Research & Extension Field Station, released his new book The Sugarmaker’s Companion: An Integrated Approach to Producing Syrup from Maple, Birch, and Walnut Trees. The book is currently available for purchase, and has received excellent reviews from the sugaring community. More information from Michael about his book is available in the letter below.

Dear Fellow Maple Enthusiasts,

As many of you know, I spent most of my free time over the past two years writing a book on sugaring and I’m very pleased to announce that it is now available!

The Sugarmaker’s Companion: An Integrated Approach to Producing Syrup from Maple, Birch, and Walnut Trees contains a great deal of information on how to develop an efficient, profitable, and enjoyable sugaring operation. Some of you have already gotten a chance to review it and I hope more of you will have the opportunity to read it soon!

A couple of weeks ago I attended the annual meetings of the North American Maple Syrup Council and International Maple Syrup Institute – the compliments I received from so many leaders in the industry who had already read it were extremely satisfying! Getting such great feedback was a nice reward for devoting so much time and effort into writing the best book that I could for today’s sugarmakers.

Given the importance of online reviews, I’d be grateful if you would help spread the word and post a review on websites such as Amazon or share on facebook, twitter, personal websites, or any other social media outlets. Please also suggest that your local bookstore, library, or maple equipment dealer carry the book.

Chelsea Green Publishing is handling the vast majority of sales and distribution for the book, though I am also doing some limited sales and promotion myself. You can get a 35% discount by ordering direct from Chelsea Green’s online bookstore (until Nov. 22nd). Or for resellers, get a 50% discount if you order 10 or more copies by contacting Darrell Korener (

Please let me know if you have any questions and thanks very much for your support and encouragement!


Michael Farrell

Praise and Reviews

“Full-color images, along with charts and highlighted topics, make this book accessible to both the beginner and the experienced sugar maker. VERDICT: While the wealth of information may seem daunting to novices, this work is a required reference for those who are seriously exploring sugar making as a small-or large-scale business. Hobbyists will find innovative techniques and ideas to broaden their scope of knowledge.”—Library Journal

“InThe Sugarmaker’s Companion, Michael Farrell presents both a philosophical and a practical look at today’s tree sap and syrup industry. The book provides pertinent and useful information for both hobby and commercial tree tapping operations. In a changing industry that is heavily shadowed by tradition, Michael combines the old tested methods with up-to-date research and science.This comprehensive book looks at both the big picture and many of the small details. Even for non-sugarmakers, it will be an informative and enjoyable read.” —Gary Backlund, author ofBigleaf Sugaring: Tapping the Western Maple