Keith Tidball named USDA visiting scholar!

Congratulations to Keith Tidball for being named as a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) 2014 visiting scholar!

Tidball is a senior extension associate in the Department of Natural Resources, as well as a state program leader of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s New York Extension Disaster Education Network. His nomination as a visiting scholar will give him the opportunity to work with various federal agencies and international programs to help spread information about disaster education and recovery.

“It’s a great honor to be selected for this opportunity, and I am looking forward to the challenge of better integrating the climate change discourse within USDA/NIFA and other federal agencies, and the preparedness and disaster response discourses,” Tidball said.

The full article relating to Tidball’s nomination can be found here!

Trading Zones in Environmental Education- new book authored and edited by DNR staff

A new book titled “Trading Zones in Environmental Education” has been released with Marianne Krasny and Justin Dillon as the editors. It features chapters written by Marianne Krasny, Shorna Allred, Rich Stedman, Keith Tidball, and Arjen Wals of the Department of Natural Resources.

To see details and to order a copy of the book, click here.

Book synopsis:

Environmental educators often adhere to a relatively narrow theoretical paradigm focusing on changing attitudes and knowledge, which are assumed to foster pro-environmental behaviors, which, in turn, leads to better environmental quality. This book takes a different approach to trying to understand how environmental education might influence people, their communities, and the environment. The authors view changing environmental behaviors as a «wicked» problem, that is, a problem that does not readily lend itself to solutions using existing disciplinary approaches. The book as a whole opens up new avenues for pursuing environmental education research and practice and thus expands the conversation around environmental education, behaviors, and quality. Through developing transdisciplinary research questions and conceptual paradigms, this book also suggests new practices beyond those currently used in environmental education, natural resources management, and other environmental fields.

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!

Making an “EDEN” Bigger Difference

In the wake of disaster, Keith Tidball, Department of Natural Resources at Cornell, played a big role in making  a difference for those affected by natural disasters in the New York area. Keith Tidball is a state coordinator for the New York Extension Disaster Education Network (NY EDEN), which is a Cornell University based program designed to assist NY residents prepare for, survive, and recover from sorts of calamities. Better yet, the NY EDEN program is directly run through the Cornell Cooperative Extension, which utilizes information from Cornell, such as the “effects of post-storm salinization on farmland to the potential hazards of having untold gallons of milk wash into rivers from flooded Upstate dairies”. Furthermore, NY EDEN’s work helped with evacuation and recovery procedures in the aftermath of last year’s Hurricane Sandy. For more information on Tidball’s work and NY EDEN program, be sure to read this article here!

Greening in the Red Zone- Now Available

Greening in the Red Zone: Disaster, Resilience and Community Greening a book edited by Keith Tidball and Marianne Krasny is now available for purchase through the Springer website.

Here is the description of the book from Springer:

  • Makes a first foray into the intriguing and potentially important field of “greening”
  • Paints a comprehensive picture of how greening might be useful after major disasters
  • Gathers renowned experts and practitioners from around the world

Creation and access to green spaces promotes individual human health, especially in therapeutic contexts among those suffering traumatic events. But what of the role of access to green space and the act of creating and caring for such places in promoting social health and well-being? Greening in the Red Zone asserts that creation and access to green spaces confers resilience and recovery in systems disrupted by violent conflict or disaster. This edited volume provides evidence for this assertion through cases and examples. The contributors to this volume use a variety of research and policy frameworks to explore how creation and access to green spaces in extreme situations might contribute to resistance, recovery, and resilience of social-ecological systems.

This book takes important steps in advancing understanding of what makes communi­ties bounce back from disaster or violent conflict. The authors’ findings that creating and caring for green space contributes positively to recovery and resilience add to the toolkit of those working in disaster and conflict zones. W. C. Banks, Director, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, Syracuse University

Greening in the Red Zone is a highly relevant book. At a time when society is more separated than ever from the natural world, it offers additional reasons why our ongoing experience of nature is essential for the human body, mind and spirit. This book is both instructive and inspiring. S. R. Kellert, Tweedy Ordway Professor Emeritus, Senior Research Scholar, Yale University

This is a fascinating book that greatly elevates our understanding of how the perspective of humans as an integrated part of nature may contribute to the resilience discourse. I warmly recommend this book to anyone interested in how we may prepare ourselves for an increasingly uncertain future. T. Elmqvist, Department of Systems Ecology and Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University

Greening in the Red Zone is an important contribution to science and security policy and practice. This edited volume provides unique and novel approaches from a participatory, transparent, ecosystem-based perspective that puts those affected by disasters and conflict into positions of empowerment rather than weakness and dependency. This book is an interesting and timely contribution. C. Ferguson, President, Federation of American Scientists

Keith Tidball to design, build, and research “healing spaces”

Keith Tidball is co-principle investigator on a project to build Open Spaces Sacred Places (OSSPs) in Joplin, Mo., and New York City. “The OSSPs will be nodes on the landscape where people can connect to values [of natural elements for healing after a disaster], and these places will become portals where people can reconnect with nature,” said Tidball.


The “Landscapes of Resilience” project recently received a $585,000 National Open Spaces Sacred Places award. This five-year grant will go towards building and studying healing spaces for residents recovering from the May 2011 Joplin tornado and Hurricane Sandy.

For further reading, please see this article from the Cornell Chronicle.

Keith Tidball Keynote Speaker at Horticulture Society of New York’s Healing Nature Forum

Department of Natural Resources Senior Extension Associate, Keith Tidball, recently presented as the keynote talk at the Horticultural Society of New York‘s annual Healing Nature Forum: Planting the Seeds of Health and Sustainability (formerly The Horticultural Therapy Forum). His presentation was entitled Nature and Green Spaces: Sources, Sites, and Systems of Resilience and Other Re-words. This forum focused on information that integrates programming, policy-making, and fundraising with non-profits, social services, healthcare industry, and community groups. Therapeutic horticulture can improve the body, mind and spirit through passive or active involvement.

Keith Tidball Featured in Two Articles in PeriodiCALS

Keith Tidball is featured in two articles on the fourth page of the Spring 2013 PeriodiCALS, the College of Agriculture and Life Science’s Magazine. The first article discusses “Greening in the Red Zone,” how outdoor recreation and nature can help war veterans and other trauma victims. These activities can include fishing, hunting, planting trees, gardening, and solitary time outside.

The second item features a quote from Tidball in an article about the responses to Superstorm Sandy. The article talks about Cornell Cooperative Extension’s rapid response and mobilization to help reduce the impact of the hurricane. CCE and the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) were well-equipped with a system-wide set of standard operating procedures and had resources available for those affected by the storm.


To read both articles in full, click here to download the Spring 2013 PeriodiCALS.

CCE Responsiveness to Hurricane Sandy in EZRA Magazine

In EZRA Magazine’s Winter 2013 edition, Volume V, No. 2, Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) was highlighted for its rapid response to assist the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Its New York Extension Disaster Education Network (NY EDEN),, made resources available to farmers, businesses, and communities. DNR’s Keith Tidball is the State Coordinator and Senior Extension Associate for NY EDEN.

Click here to read the article in EZRA Magazine.

Keith Tidball Represents NY EDEN at NCSE 2013 National Conference

On January 15-17, 2013, DNR’s Dr. Keith Tidball presented at the National Council on Science and the Environment (NCSE) National Conference. This year the topic was Disasters And Environment: Science, Preparedness, And Resilience. Tidball represented the New York Extension Disaster Education Network, NY EDEN, and collaborated with National EDEN Chair Rick Atterberry, National EDEN Homeland Security project leader Steve Cain, National EDEN web manager Pat Skinner, and National EDEN immediate past chair Virginia Morgan White. NY EDEN members discuss and submit recommendations to Congress, the White House, and other federal and state government institutions on establishing community resilience through extension programs.

The Disasters and Environment Conference  discussed the increased frequency of natural disasters and why decision-making in the science and technology world must work to develop communities that can better prepare and respond to these environmental disasters. There were more than 1,200 leaders from government agencies, emergency response, scientific, policy, conservation, and business communities, who will transcend boundaries to create new strategies and initiatives.