Marianne Krasny becomes a blog contributor for the Huffington Post

Congratulations to Dr. Marianne Krasny for becoming a contributor to the Huffington Post blog. Krasny is a Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Director of the Civic Ecology Lab at Cornell. She received this blogging position as a result of the Public Voices Fellowship.

Krasny’s first Op-Ed piece, 7 People Who Care for Nature and Community, was published early this week. In her post, she discusses seven influential people who have made positive environmental changes in their communities.

Read the full blog post here and stay tuned for more articles from Dr. Krasny in the near future!

Guest column in The Hill by Amanda Rodewald

Department of Natural Resources Associate Professor Amanda Rodewald recently had a guest column published in The Hill, an insider Washington, D.C. newspaper. Rodewald is also director of conservation science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, faculty fellow at Cornell University’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and a Robert F. Schumann Faculty Fellow. Her column, “National and environmental security, two sides of the same coin”, discusses the complex relationship between climate change and national security. Rodewald argues that “One of the most important things we can do to meet our national security objectives and advance political stability, human health, economic development and peace around the world is to recognize — and act in ways reflecting this — that a healthy planet is a critical part of the policy equation.”

Read Rodewald’s full article here!

Mary Fisher receives Distinguished Student Researcher Award

Congratulations to Mary Fisher for receiving the School for Field Studies Distinguished Student Researcher Award!

Mary Fisher is a Natural Resources major with a minor in Marine Biology. She is currently working on her honors research with Dr. Matthew Hare and is looking forward to attending graduate school this coming fall.

“I have always wanted to contribute to research for conservation and management, and became convinced that I wanted to do so in marine ecosystems after my experiences at Cornell’s Shoals Marine Lab and at SFS,” said Fisher.

Fisher was selected for the School for Field Studies (SFS) Distinguished Student Researcher award based on her research project Ecological Knowledge in a Data-Deficient Fishery: Using FEK to Explore and Quantify Long Term Changes in the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) and Caribbean Spiny Lobster (Panulirus argus) Fisheries of South Caicos, the Turks and Caicos Islands. Her work plays a key role in the SFS Center for Marine Resource Studies’ Five-Year Research Plan by addressing one of their key research questions: “What is the present status of commercially and ecologically important marine organism stocks?” Fisher’s research suggests that some inshore fisheries may be more heavily exploited than previously thought, which has profound implications for TCI fisheries management.

For her research, Fisher conducted interviews with fishermen on South Caicos, in the Turks and Caicos Islands, in order to collect local ecological knowledge (LEK) on the Caribbean spiny lobster and queen conch fisheries. These are two of the largest fisheries in the Turks and Caicos, yet there are gaps in historical fisheries data and many challenges facing current fisheries management. Through these interviews, Fisher was able to record fishing effort and landings data from the 1950s – 2014 and to construct a map of intensive use harvest areas for each species throughout that time period. The fishermen not only proved to be a valuable source of qualitative and quantitative information indicative of the past and present states of the South Caicos fishery, but also provided well-informed opinions on major causes of depletion and potential future directions for management.

Fisher’s SFS DR advisor Dr. Edd Hind says that her work is “the first semi-quantitative fishers’ knowledge study of its kind in a developing world context and has a large chance of making an impact.”

Biographical information, research summary, and photo courtesy of and written by Mary Fisher. Additional information obtained from the SFS website

(Mary Fisher, below)