Dr. Amanda Rodewald to chair EPA Science Advisory Board Panel

Dr. Amanda D. Rodewald who is the Director of Conservation Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as well as an Associate Professor for the Department of Natural Resources will be chairing an Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board (EPA SAB) Panel. The EPA SAB panel is for the review of the EPA draft report Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence. The outcome of the review will have critical effects, as it relates the jurisdiction of both the EPA and the Clean Water Act. Since the report has such important regulatory and economic impacts, it is already gaining the attention of Congress, the White House, and the public.

More information can be learned about this specific EPA SAB Panel here.

Two Students win EPA STAR Fellowships

Department of Natural Resources graduate students Darrick Nighthawk Evensen (Cornell DNR M.S. 2011) and Christine Moskell (Cornell DNR M.S. 2012) were each awarded an EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowship in the Social Sciences program area. According to the EPA, the goal of this fellowship is “to encourage promising students to obtain advanced degrees and pursue careers in an environmental field. This goal is consistent with the mission of EPA, which is to provide leadership in the nation’s environmental science, research, education, assessment, restoration, preservation, pollution prevention and sustainability efforts.” In 2012, over 1500 graduate students applied for 80 fellowships across 19 program areas

Christine (advisor: Dr. Shorna Allred) and Darrick (advisor: Dr. Richard Stedman) are both PhD students in the Human Dimensions Research Unit.

Here is a summary of Darrick’s research project, titled “Linking social representations of natural gas development to community sustainability in the USA and Canada“:

While unconventional natural gas development presents a potentially lucrative opportunity to bolster the US economy, support energy independence, and revitalize depressed regions, it also threatens community sustainability. Darrick will examine the influence of individual and community-level factors on actions that support sustainable development, thereby facilitating identification and assessment of actions communities can take to promote sustainability.

Here is a summary of Christine’s research project, titled “An Examination of Citizen Participation and Procedural Fairness in Large-Scale Urban Tree Planting Initiatives in the United States.”:

“Cities across the U.S. are planting millions of trees, and local governments are relying on residents to help maintain the trees. However, residents are not always consulted before trees are planted and thus, they may view the plantings as unfair due to the financial cost and physical burden related to tree maintenance. This research examines the relationship between residents’ perceptions of the procedural fairness of urban tree planting initiatives and their attitudes toward, and intention to steward, newly planted trees.”


Check out the article in the Online Cornell Chronicle at http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Nov12/EPAfellowships.html.

EPA Grant for “EECapacity” Project

The EPA’s Office of Environmental Education selected Cornell’s Civic Ecology Lab for a 5-year, $10 million grant. The “EECapacity” project links environmental educators through workshops, online courses and other means, and to create opportunities to exchange ideas, practices and resources.

Prof. Marianne Krasny is the project’s principal investigator.

“Through a series of workshops, EECapacity will bring educators together from traditional and nontraditional urban backgrounds to exchange ideas and resources, and form social networks. From there the project will see what innovative ideas emerge. ‘We are not going to dictate practices,’ said Krasny. ‘We want to create an exchange of ideas, and expect that the educators will come up with innovative practices and apply them in the world.'”

Read more about the grant and this innovative project here.