Professor Stedman appears on WSKG to discuss Macellus Shale

Prof. Rich Stedman (along with Susan Christopherson, Brian Rahm and Darby Kiley) was a guest on WSKG Community Conversation (a live call-in show guest hosted this week by Susan Arbetter of Albany Now) on November 29.  The discussion focused on—what else—Marcellus Shale development and the Supplementary Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) in particular.

Life at DrTom’s

Thomas A. Gavin, Professor Emeritus, retired from DNR in 2008.  Originally referred to by his students as DrTom, he now spends time writing blogs, which can be found at  His writing covers almost every topic, although natural history and organisms are a constant theme.  He is also active on Facebook, where he describes himself as a Facebook slut, at  He has located and friended hundreds of former DNR students on Facebook, so it a good place to find discussions relevant to this field.  Earlier this year, DrTom published a digital book titled “Life at DrTom’s: Mostly humorous anecdotes by a mostly retired Cornell professor”.  The promotional site for his collection of short essays is  He is also active on the Conservation Advisory Council in Danby, NY.

DrTom will be giving a lecture for the CAPE Lecture Series (Cornell Association of Professors Emeritii) on Dec. 8, 10:30am in the Boyce Thompson Auditorium titled “My life as a field biologist: from deer to digital book in 40 short years”.


Youth Development and Bird Conservation in NY State

Out on the Bronx River with Rocking the Boat students, observing Blue Jays, Red-tailed Hawks, Belted Kingfishers, and more!

DNR student Lilly Briggs, in collaboration with her advisor Dr. Marianne Krasny and Dr. Nancy Trautmann, Director of Education at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, has undertaken a Land Grant Fellowship project this fall to support both youth development and bird conservation in New York State. She hopes to blend the ecological, social, and educational goals of citizen science and civic ecology by giving youth an opportunity to study birds and participate in bird-focused citizen science initiatives such as eBird (, as well as engage them in bird-related civic ecology projects ( To achieve these goals, she is using the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s “BirdSleuth” curriculum ( to teach youth about bird identification and the significance of citizen science, and is then going beyond the curriculum by helping to facilitate civic ecology activities that can specifically benefit birds, such as tree-planting, bird-box building, invasive species removal, and more.

Thanks to fellow student Alex Kudryavtsev, Lilly has connected with an organization called Rocking the Boat. Based in the South Bronx, Rocking the Boat (RTB) “uses boats to help young people challenged by severe economic, educational, and social disadvantage develop into empowered and responsible adults” ( She has been to RTB twice this fall to teach students about bird identification and entering data into eBird, and will go again in December to help them build tree swallow boxes. Lilly has also met with the afterschool coordinators of Jefferson County Cornell Cooperative Extension, and due to their interest in and enthusiasm for her project she has scheduled a return visit in February to facilitate a BirdSleuth/Civic Ecology training workshop for approximately 20 educators.

Lilly would like to thank the College of Agriculture and Life Science for the Land Grant Fellowship funding that has enabled her to pursue this initiative, as well as Marianne and Nancy for all of their guidance and support in conceptualizing and realizing the project.

Stefanie Hufnagl-Eichiner Recent DNR Grad Student Graduate

Stefanie Hufnagl-Eichiner, Ph.D., recently graduated from the Department of Natural Resources and started a post doc position at the Department of Geography at the University of Passau in her native Germany. Steven Wolf, Associate Professor in DNR at Cornell, was her faculty adviser for her Ph.D. work. Hufnagl-Eichiner researches environmental governance through regional marketing in conventional and alternative agri-food systems in Germany and Austria. She teaches empirical research methods and a comparative course on agri-food systems in Europe and the Americas to students in the fields of Geography, Cultural Studies and North American Studies. She plans to set up a recurring exchange of students and scholars through field trips and study-abroad opportunities between the University of Passau and Cornell University in Ithaca, where she almost naturalized. If you are interested in collaborating, please send a note to

Here are some relevant links:

Stefanie Hufnagl-Eichiner’s official website:

The University of Passau:

Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy

Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy Adds
Interactive Capabilities to Enhance Scholarly Articles
Teamwork with U.S. National Library of Medicine enables readers to engage with SSPP articles

November 21, 2011 (Bethesda) – As part of a parallel mission to enhance scholarly communication, editors of Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy (SSPP) and the U.S. National Library of Medicine worked together to transform two SSPP articles from traditional static documents into self-contained, multimedia-rich interactive publications.  They are the debut pieces in SSPP’s initiative to create articles that engage and respond to the reader.

The 2008 SSPP article, A modest proposal: global rationalization of ecological footprint to eliminate ecological debt by Brian Ohl, Steven Wolf, & William Anderson and 2011 article, Using Q-methodology to identify local perspectives on wildfires in two Koyukon Athabascan communities in rural Alaska by Lily Ray can be viewed using a web-based application called Panorama Lite developed by the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, an R&D division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.  This visualization and analysis tool enables readers to display and explore figures, illustrations, charts, tables, video and images, transforming fixed, scholarly articles into dynamic publications with interactive capabilities.

SSPP’s interactive articles allow the reader to go beyond the printed page and into author-provided data to derive new relationships and analyses and then, export the material for scientific research. This refreshing take on the data and statistical tools enhances understanding of the content and establishes a platform for deeper analysis of material in tables and charts.

For more information about Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy, please access To learn more about Panorama Lite, visit


Amy Forrester
Managing Editor
Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy

DNR graduate student to work on House Natural Resources Council

Jillian Cohen, a PhD candidate in DNR, recently earned a Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy fellowship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  The Knauss fellowship matches highly qualified graduate students with hosts in the legislative and executive branch of government located in the Washington, D.C. area.  Cohen will spend a year working for the House Committee on Natural Resources, under the guidance of Ranking Minority Member Edward Markey.  The committee considers legislation about American energy production, mineral lands and mining, fisheries and wildlife, public lands, oceans, Native Americans, irrigation and reclamation.  Cohen will be serving on the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs.
Here are some relevant links:

Cornell Maple Program

The Cornell Maple Program and its campus-based specialists have been given a national award on Oct. 26.

Brian Chabot, former director of the program; Stephen Childs, director; Michael Farrell, northern maple specialist and director of the program’s Uihlein Field Station; and Peter Smallidge, New York state extension forester and former director of the program have each been awarded the North American Maple Syrup Council’s inaugural Richard G. Haas Distinguished Service Award. They are being recognized for their outstanding research and outreach in support of maple syrup producers.

Peter Smallidge will also be awarded with the Technology Transfer Award from the Society of America Foresters for ForestConnect. ForestConnect, which launched in 2007, provides web-based seminars about woodlot management. Produced 11 times a year, the series has 2,300 registered users with more than 100 people watching each seminar live.

Read more about these programs here.

ClimAid report released

The NYSERDA ClimAid report on climate change impacts in NYS was released to the public yesterday! Many people within DNR contributed to this joint effort between Cornell, Columbia University, and Hunter College. The report was funded by NRSERDA.

Several articles were written about it, including an article in the New York Times. It can be expected to initiate some climate change related activities at the state government level. Congratulations to everyone who contributed!

Click here to view the full story covered by the Wall Street Journal.

Surf clam population in Long Island Sound

Associate professor in DNR, Matt Hare, has been studying the surf clam population in the Long Island Sound. The results were unexpected.

The well-known northern variety (S.s. solidissima) can be found in the Sound, which is a major harvesting area. The lesser-known southern variety (S.s. similis) can also be found there. This discovery was made last year and could potentially impact the clamming industry’s yields.

Research is now being done to try to figure out how and when the southern variety came to the Sound, since it prefers warm-weather. Hare is also seeing whether hybridization is happening between the two subspecies and whether there are other populations of the southern variety (S.s. similis) in the area.


Associate professor in DNR, Shorna Broussard Allred,  extension associate Gretchen Ferenz, and extension specialist Keith Tidball are also working on projects in New York City.

Tidball is helping to lead research of the MillionTreesNYC project. This initiative is focusing on planting a million trees across the five boroughs of New York City in 10 years. The project involves 100 researchers and practitioners, partnering with the David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

Broussard Allred and Ferenz are a part of the Urban Forestry Community Engagement project, which focuses on education residents in areas of Brooklyn about the importance of trees.


Read more about projects in NYC  in CALS News.

Current Updates in the Human Dimensions Research Unit

The Human Dimensions Research Unit (HDRU) at Cornell University strives to expand the understanding of academicians, students, and natural resources agency staff about the human behavioral aspects of natural resource management and policy. We work to develop fundamental understandings of human behavior associated with resource management and to apply concepts and empirical findings to real-world, contemporary problems of management.

Professor Dan Decker, director of HDRU, is currently co-chair for an international human dimensions conference, organizing a plenary session for that conference, and is serving with HDRU Senior Research Associate Bruce Lauber  as co-editor of an associated special issue of the Human Dimensions of Wildlife journal. The conference will take place in Breckenridge, Colorado, September 24-27, 2012 and is a cooperative effort  between Cornell University and Colorado State University. The conference theme is “Contributions of Human Dimensions to Adaptive Capacity for Fish and Wildlife Conservation.

Dan Decker is also currently involved in multiple outreach workshops for fish and wildlfie professionals. He has worked with Cindi Jacobson (MS and PhD from Natural Resources)  John Organ (both with US Fish and Wildlife Service), as well as Chris Smith (Wildlife Management Institute) to develop a third workshop in their series at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference on “Transforming State Fish and Wildlife Agencies.”   The 2012 workshop is focused on Perspectives from Outside the Tent Looking In:  Enhancing State Wildlife Agencies’ Impact on the Future of Wildlife Conservation.”  The objective of this workshop is to identify challenges and opportunities for collaboration in wildlife conservation and strategies leading to effective wildlife resource governance.   The workshop focus is on how potential conservation partners (NGOs, federal and local governments, etc.) for State Wildlife Agencies see the direction of needed state agency transformation.  Dan is also planning a series of workshops for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on “Thinking Like a Manager,” “Implications of the Public Trust Doctrine for State Fish and Wildlife Agencies” and “Human Dimensions integration in Fish and Wildlife management through Impact Management.”

Associate Professor Richard C. Stedman, associate director of HDRU, was recently awarded (as part of the Cornell Cooperative Extension team) the David J. Allee and Paul R. Eberts Community and Economic Vitality Award for work related to Marcellus shale.

Rich Stedman is also the Cornell University representative on a National Science Foundation proposal: People, water, and climate: Predicting change, response, and adaptation in socio-ecological systems (Water Sustainability & Climate).  If successful, HDRU would be involved in a basin wide study of linkages between ecological and social change, which fits nicely with current Army Corps and Great Lakes Fisheries projects.

Associate Professor Shorna B. Allred, associate director of HDRU, is involved in multiple workshops and webinars including a Cornell Cooperative Extension Workshop that held October 14 titled “Fostering Community Engagement in Urban Forestry: A Practical Toolkit for Educators.” Others include “Ties to the Land Workshops” and webinars and Climate Atlas Webinars with Cooperative Extension Associates Kristi Sullivan and Gary Goff.

Other ongoing HDRU projects (a sample) include:

  • Increasing the Effectiveness of Fish Consumption Advisories in the Great Lakes States
  • Building Local Capacity for Environmental Resources Conservation in the Face of Change
  • Assessing Agency Capacities to Manage Fish and Wildlife Health
  • Developing knowledge to manage economic, health, and safety risks of wildlife for individuals and communities in New York
  • Human dimensions knowledge to manage wildlife habituation in national parks
  • New York State Woodland Owners and Their Interest in Woody Biofuels

A more comprehensive review of 2010 projects and activities in HDRU can be found in the HDRU Annual Report. Current HDRU publications can be found here.