Updated: Keith Tidball Gives Tips on How to Help Hurricane Sandy Victims

Keith Tidball, Cornell Cooperative Extension disaster education program director, advises those of the Cornell community to reach out to Hurricane Sandy victims by donating cash to meet their specific needs. Tidball, who works with the disaster-aid relief group National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) says we can help by donating cash through the group’s website. Donations will go toward specific needs in affected areas.

The Cornell Disaster Relief and Outreach website also has links to organizations where you can make donations.

Click here to read more about Tidball and get more tips on helping disaster victims.


Here is a WHCU 870 AM News Talk article link entitled CCE Providing Statewide Disaster Relief Effort
Please follow the below link to reach the page.



More recently, Tidball has explained in an NBC news piece  how elected officials are often frustrated with the lack of timely and sufficient help from outside institutions such as the Red Cross, as evident in Staten Island’s cry for help. Especially in New York City that has gone through so much, lessons from past hurricanes and the emergence of social media has significantly improved disaster relief efforts.

Click here to read more on Tidball’s advice and help for Staten Island on the NBC website.



The New York City Urban Field Station Seminars

The USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station is partnering with New York City Department of Parks & Recreation in presenting a quarterly research seminar series:


Greening in the Red Zone

Keith Tidball, Ph.D., Civic Ecology Lab, Cornell University

Access to green space is understood to promote human health, especially in therapeutic contexts among individuals suffering traumatic events. Less understood is how the act of creating and caring for such places plays a role in promoting neighborhood health and well-being within a larger social-ecological system. Researchers and practitioners from around the world have come together to explore this notion, and more specifically, the idea of “social-ecological resilience,” in a new collection of case studies, entitled, “Greening in the Red Zone.” The book’s co-author, Keith Tidball, will present excerpts from this work in an effort to explore the act of greening in promoting and enhancing human recovery, and perhaps resilience, in social-ecological systems disrupted or perturbed by violent conflict or other catastrophic disaster. Tidball will present the beginnings of an integrated research and policy framework to explore how access to green space and the act of creating green spaces in extreme situations might contribute to resistance, recovery, and resilience of social-ecological systems.


Cultivating a System of Stewardship

Erika Svendsen, Ph.D., NYC Urban Field Station, U.S. Forest Service

Many urban environmental groups have grown less content to participate in urban environmental planning through traditional means of public participation, preferring the “hands-on” role of a civic steward. While stewardship still includes neighborhood clean-ups and plantings, in a growing number of instances, it has grown to include formal rule making, technical expertise, fiscal management, and design over a broad range of urban open space sites. Increased activities and engagement have created a highly diverse group of urban stewards, personalities, and projects. Svendsen will present findings from recent studies that include new stewardship group dynamics and reveal actions by individual volunteers that operate within a larger, urban social network. Svendsen’s presentation will shed light on the range of environmental stewardship groups and individual actions emerging from different social ecologies and human motivations. In order to strengthen mechanisms of individual-neighborhood resilience, Svendsen argues for understanding stewardship as a social-ecological system and to cultivate the capacity of different types of stewardship groups across the urban landscape.


When: Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: CUNY School of Law Faculty Lounge, 2 Court Square, 3rd Floor, Long Island City, NY 11101

Space is limited. Please RSVP, or request additional information at UFS.seminar@parks.nyc.gov

Update: Nature Helping Returning Warriors

Dr. Keith Tidball’s current project to understand how and why nature and participating in outdoor activities helps war veterans make a smooth return back home is well underway. This past Thursday, Tidball held his first two-hour forum with war veterans at the Carthage American Legion in the Fort Drum area where he introduced his research goals to the volunteers as well as connected on a personal level with them and their stories. Tidball also had the volunteer veterans create collages of how they felt nature was helping returning soldiers.

Tidball discusses his project and the details of the forum.

The first year of the program is concentrating on acquiring foundational information and general ideas for the project, the second year will involve personal interaction, and the third year will be mostly analysis and making conclusions. Tidball has hopes to make his research available for the U.S. Department of Defense in about 3-5 years.

War veteran volunteers put together their ideas on how nature helps returning soldiers.

The project originated from a three-year Military Families Civic Ecology program where Tidball studied the benefits of family and community interaction with nature, where he found that soldiers, especially, were benefiting.

Tidball explains that soldiers “are a national treasure just like parks and wildlife … and we need to think of how they overlap for the well-being of the national treasures themselves.”

Dr. Keith Tidball Leading Military and Outdoors Project

Returning soldiers have participated in outdoor programs such as fishing and gardening to help them in their transition home from war zones including Afghanistan and Iraq. Working with Cornell’s Cooperative Extension in Jefferson County, Dr. Keith Tidball is looking at how being outside and taking part in outdoor activities eases the transition home of army veterans from war.

Tidball explains, “We know already that lots of soldiers come back, men and women, saying they can’t wait to get back out into the outdoors.” He hopes to discover what their motivations are and what gets them excited to take part in outdoor activities that may help them in their homecoming and “heal the wounds of war.”

Cornell hosted two meetings today for local war veterans to share their outdoor healing experiences and answer a few conversational questions from Dr. Tidball.

Keith Tidball, Marianne Krasny, and Josh Cerra Work Towards Sustainable Urban Development

In the Special Edition August 2012 newsletter of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) Cities Biodiversity Center, some of our very own members of the DNR were featured. A section of the newsletter discusses the first international Urban Biosphere (URBIS) workshop that is geared to bring together community interest groups, NGOs, researchers, and institutions from around the world to work towards sustainable urban development. The first workshop was in Jerusalem, using it as a model for city-regional planning. This unique workshop allows for the communication and collaboration across countries to work together.

Krasny talking with some colleagues.

From our very own Cornell University, Josh Cerra and Marianne Krasny were part of a team of scientists who brought knowledge and research to facilitate the progression of social-ecological systems in

Tidball at the URBIS workshop in Jerusalem.

regards to urban landscapes. Keith Tidball outlined the sophisticated development of URBIS and the successful practices already in place in Jerusalem and the results of the first URBIS workshop.


 Click Here to see the newsletter!



DNR and Cornell Faculty Attended Rio+20

With support from the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, four Cornell faculty—Josh Cerra, Keith Tidball, Katherine Bunting-Howarth, and Marianne Krasny—contributed to the Rio+20 meetings as well as the ICLEI World Congress and ICLEI Urban Nature Forum in Belo Horizonte leading up to Rio+20.  Below is a short summary of their participation. The Cornell presence was noted and made a difference.

They all participated in:

  1. Urban Nature 2-day conference in Belo Horizonte
  2. ICLEI World Congress  http://worldcongress2012.iclei.org/  (a parallel event)—Belo Horizonte
  3. Rio+20—various meetings and presentations as below.

In addition, Keith Tidball is part of the core team from ICLEI, Cornell, Stockholm Resilience Centre, and City of Jerusalem that prepared the Urban Biosphere (URBIS) designation system, which was signed on to by about 50 cities at the ICLEI side events and endorsed by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Finally, Keith organized the entire Cornell delegation’s participation.

Below is a list of specific Cornell contributions.

KEITH TIDBALL—Two presentations and core team member, URBIS

Tidball, KG. History of the Urban Biosphere initiative. ICLEI Urban Nature Forum. Belo Horizonte, Brazil. 14 June 2012.

Tidball, KG. Greening in the Red Zone. Cities and Biodiversity Outlook Workshop. Rio+20 meetings. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 18 June 2012.

KATHY BUNTING-HOWARTH—participant in three RIO+20 events and panelist in third event

Panelist: U.S. Side Event at Rio +20

Putting Words to Action: Implementing the Rio +20 Fisheries Recommendations

Participant: Global Oceans Day at Rio +20 (sponsored by the Global Oceans Forum and IOC-UNESCO) (a parallel event)  –below from attached draft agenda

ParticipantAdvancing Sustainability through Communication and Collaboration, (an official UN side event hosted by the University of Colorado)

Participant. Oceans at Rio+20: Toward Implementation of the Rio Ocean Commitments  (an official UN side event hosted by International Coastal and Ocean Organization, Secretariat of the Global Oceans Forum)

JOSH CERRA—one presentation

Cerra, J. Urban biodiversity: The contribution of science. ICLEI World Congress. Belo Horizonte, Brazil. 15 June 2012.

MARIANNE KRASNY—three presentations

Krasny, ME. Environmental Education and Social-ecological Systems Theory. ICLEI Urban Nature Forum. Belo Horizonte, Brazil. 14 June 2012.

Krasny, ME. Resilience, Learning, and Environmental Education. ICLEI World Congress. Belo Horizonte, Brazil. 16 June 2012.

Krasny, ME. Urban landscapes as learning arenas for sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Cities and Biodiversity Outlook Workshop. Rio+20 meetings. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 18 June 2012.

WWIAF Field & Stream “Heroes for a Day”

From Keith Tidball’s blog, Tidball@Cornell

As part of his Federal Formula Funds study Returning Warriors : A Study of the Social-Ecological Benefits of Coming Home to Nature, Keith Tidball recently participated in the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation‘s habitat restoration activities at Camp Hackett in northern Wisconsin.  This activity was recognized by Field & Stream’s Hero for a Day project and was filmed by the Field and Stream crew to be highlighted here.

Local news media also covered the event.  See the below links:



My photographs from the event can be found here:


Keith Tidball participates in international URBIS workshop

Jerusalem, Israel recently hosted a 2 day workshop on URBIS – Urban Biospheres, a collaborative program among partners such the Cornell DNR Civic Ecology Lab, the Stockholm Resilience Center, ICLEI, UNESCO, and others.   Keith Tidball was among thirteen international experts in ecology, biodiversity management and community engagement, who convened with over 50 key local professionals to produce strategies for moving forward with an urban biosphere concept that transcends municipal boundaries and is based on cooperation in the region. Their work, using Jerusalem as a case study, is currently being summarized for presentation at the Rio+20 Summit in June. The following are reviews of the workshop and two pieces on the symbolically important swift (apus apus) including a short film documenting the Annual Welcome Ceremony for the Swifts at the Western Wall, which concluded the workshop events:

Landscapes of Resilience NOSSP Planning Grant Proposal FUNDED

Keith Tidball and his team have been awarded a National Open Spaces Sacred Places planning grant. The TFK Foundation, which awarded the grant, is a private nonprofit that funds accessible urban green spaces.

The mission of the TKF Foundation is to provide the opportunity for a deeper human experience by supporting the creation of public greenspace that offers a temporary place of sanctuary, encourages reflection, provides solace, and engenders peace.

Learn more about TFK and NOSSP on their website: http://www.opensacred.org/

Congratulations to Keith and his team!