NTRES Faculty, Staff, and Student Awards

Please join me in congratulating the following CALS teaching, staff, and student awardees. (Note that Research and Extension awards are a separate process and are announced in the fall.) It’s awesome to see so many winning nominations this year from our department!

Carter Loftus, ALS ’14 (Natural Resources and Biology), and Devin McMahon, ALS ’14 (Biology, active in NTRES): Goldwater Scholarship

Michelle Baumflek: NTRES TA of the year

Nirav Patel: Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Core Biology Program – BIOG 1440

Darrick Evensen: James Slevin Assignment Sequence Prize from the Knight Writing Institute, the Gertrude Spencer Portfolio Award from the Knight Writing Institute, and the Cornell best student sermon award (top chosen from 18 student entries) about Deuteronomy and fracking

Shorna Allred: Kaplan Service Learning Award (one of two awards chosen from 40 entries)

Sarah Gould: SUNY Award for Excellence in Professional Service

Karim-Aly Kassam: CALS Diversity Award

Joe Yavitt: NACTA (North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture) Teaching Award

Thanks to Carter, Devin, Michelle, Nirav, Darrick, Shorna, Sarah, Karim, and Joe for the commitment that has led to this recognition.


Karim-Aly Kassam Awarded CALS Diversity Award

DNR Associate Professor Karim-Aly Kassam was nominated for the CALS Diversity Award, and was selected by the Diversity Committee to receive this award. This award recognizes members of the CALS faculty or academic staff who have made significant contributions toward creating and/or fostering a positive environment for people of diverse backgrounds by promote diversity within their teaching, research and/or extension program.

Kassam will be recognized at the Dean’s Awards Reception on April 22, 2013.

Dr. Kassam Elected Foreign Member (Academician) of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan

After 7 consecutive years of research in the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Professor Karim-Aly Kassam of Cornell University and Senior Research Fellow of the University of Central Asia was elected Foreign Member (Academician) of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan on December 12th, 2012. Professor Kassam was also appointed English Language Editor of the Journal of the Biological and Medical Sciences of the Academy.

The election followed Professor Kassam’s short presentation where he outlined the work of his research group, which includes young scholars from Central Asia, with indigenous communities at high latitudes (Arctic and sub-Arctic) and high altitudes (Mountains).  The president of the Academy,  who is a mathematician and the Vice-President, who is a biologist, as well as the Directors of the Institutes of Physics and Botany spoke in support of his interdisciplinary work. They described how he has linked climate change with food sovereignty, medicinal plants with conservation of plant biodiversity and health, sacred sites with ecological sustainability, and indigenous knowledge with science. They described how his work on bio-cultural diversity builds on pluralism.

This is not just an important milestone for Professor Kassam but for Cornell as a Land Grant University to the world.

To read the article in Cornell’s Sustainable Campus, go to: http://www.sustainablecampus.cornell.edu/blogs/news/posts/prof-kassam-honored-for-international-work-with-indigenous-communities

Emerging Issues Conference

Next month, the Ecological Society of America will host its second Emerging Issues conference, “Developing Ecologically-Based Conservation Targets Under Global Change.” The conference, conceptualized by Bernd Blossey and Laura Martin of DNR and Dov Sax of Brown University, will bring together one hundred ecologists, social scientists, conservation practitioners, and graduate students to (1) identify existing and novel conservation targets that are ecologically sound in light of rapid global change, and (2) develop a framework for assessing the inherent trade-offs, risks, and benefits involved in achieving those conservation targets. The ultimate objective is to provide science-based, practical decision tools for those charged with implementing conservation strategies throughout North America and internationally.

The conference will be held on February 27-March 1, 2012, at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV. The conference organizing committee also includes Cornellians Susan Cook-Patton (EEB), Ashley Dayer (DNR), Harry Greene (EEB), and Karim-Aly Kassam (DNR).

In 2007, the ESA Governing Board announced a new conference series to provide ESA members the opportunity to organize special conferences highlighting emerging, exciting ideas in ecology with the endorsement and support of the Society. The series, originally named the Millennium Conference Series and renamed the Emerging Issues Series, is intended to address high-visibility issues of wide interest in the science community. Organizers are encouraged to work across disciplinary boundaries, to engage compelling speakers, and to produce high-quality publications.