Barbara Knuth named Distinguished Member of National Society of Collegiate Scholars

Barbara Knuth was named a Distinguished Member of the Cornell University Chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS). This is a very special honor in which the National Office and chapter leadership nominate and award an individual for an honorary NSCS Membership to note their service, hard work, and dedication to the community.

Here are Knuth’s most recent invited presentations (2011-2012):

Knuth, B.A.  2012.  The value of social sciences for achieving the Sea Grant Mission.  Keynote Address.  Sea Grant Association Biennial Meeting, Girdwood, AK.  September 2012.

Knuth, B.A.  2012.  Expanding the reach of fisheries science and management through strategic social networking.  Plenary Address. 142nd Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, St. Paul, MN.  August 2012.

(Panel Discussion with Others) Knuth, B.A.  2012.  Secrets of Graduate Student Recruitment, Mentoring, and Retention.  State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Faculty Mentoring Colloquium.  Syracuse, New York.  January 2012.

(Panel Discussion with Others)  Knuth, B.A.  2011.  Structuring and Managing Interdisciplinary Degrees.  Council of Graduate Schools Annual Meeting, Scottsdale, Arizona.  December 2011.

Knuth, B.A., I. Biedron, and C. Simon.  2011.  Autocratic, Delegative, Participative, or Transformational:  What Type of Leader Are You, and Why Should You Care?  American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington.  September, 2011.

Triezenberg, H. and B. Knuth.  2011.  Workshop:  Best Management Practices – Social Conflicts.  Outreach workshop for the Bureau of Wildlife, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.  Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.  June 2011.

Facilitator and Presenter for Dean Dialogue:  Outcomes Assessment in Master’s and Ph.D. Programs.  Council of Graduate Schools Summer Workshop, Monterey, CA.  July 2011.

Knuth, B.A. 2011. A Global Assessment of Organic Contaminants in Farmed and Wild Salmon.  Nosanchuk Lecture Series, Ithaca High School, Ithaca, NY. March 2011.

Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Tioga County

EMERALD ASH BORER CONFIRMED IN TIOGA COUNTY

EAB Found As Part of DEC’s 2012 Trapping Program

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Tioga County has been confirmed by the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens confirmed today.   The EAB was found in a DEC-deployed trap two miles from the Pennsylvania border and six miles from the Chemung County border in the southwestern corner of Tioga County.  Chemung County and all of Pennsylvania are under state and Federal EAB quarantine.  A single adult EAB was found in one of the thousands of purple detection traps that are placed around the state this summer.

“With this year’s EAB detection trapping season rapidly coming to a close, we are working closely with our sister-agency, the Department of Agriculture and Markets and other stakeholders to examine the information derived from this year’s trapping to determine appropriate quarantine boundaries moving forward,” Commissioner Joe Martens said.

With the confirmation of EAB in Tioga County, New York now has 13 counties where EAB has been found.  Most of the infested areas are small and localized, while more than 98 percent of New York’s forests and communities are not yet infested.

Mark Whitmore, Forest Entomologist at Cornell University said, “Now is the time to plan and prepare for the economic impacts that homeowners, forest owners and communities will undoubtedly feel.  Everyone should know if they have ash trees, what they plan to do once EAB arrives.  This is especially true for municipal officials, where dead and dying ash trees on public property will expose local governments to significant damage, cost and liability.  Protective chemical treatment is possible for individual trees, however it is currently recommended to only treat trees that are within 10 miles of a known infestation.  Check the DEC website for maps of the infested areas.”

State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine said, “At this time, we are working with DEC to consider a quarantine configuration that makes the most sense given the continued spread of EAB in New York.”

The trap that detected the EAB beetle was deployed by DEC as part of the agency’s continuing Slow Ash Mortality (SLAM) efforts, which include monitoring uninfested areas for early-detection of signs of EAB presence.  DEC’s early detection trapping efforts are supported by APHIS, which also contracts with a New York forestry consulting firm to deploy additional EAB traps in other counties outside the existing quarantines.

Over the past several years, the purple traps have been deployed by DEC and APHIS statewide during the summer months to help detect any new infestations of the insect.  Following the confirmation in Tioga County, Mark Whitmore did an initial inspection of the area and has not yet identified any trees with signs of infestation. DEC staff will expand survey efforts over the next several months to look for any ash trees that may be infested to determine if this pest has become established in the area.

DEC’s SLAM strategy, to slow the spread of EAB within the state and its devastating economic and environmental impacts, encompasses a variety of approaches, including removing infested trees, defining and monitoring infestation boundaries more precisely and researching insecticides and organisms that kill pests.

The EAB is a small but destructive beetle that infests and kills North American ash tree species, including green, white, black, and blue ash.  Damage from EAB is caused by the larvae, which feed in tunnels just below the ash tree’s bark. The tunnels disrupt water and nutrient transport, causing branches and eventually the entire tree, to die. Adult beetles leave distinctive D-shaped exit holes in the outer bark of the branches and the trunk. Other signs of infestation include tree canopy dieback, yellowing and extensive sprouting from the roots and trunk. Infested trees may also exhibit woodpecker damage from larvae extraction.

The first detection of EAB in New York was in the town of Randolph, Cattaraugus County, in June 2009. Since then, infestations were later discovered in seven more counties in Western New York and five in the Hudson Valley. Twenty counties in New York are under state and Federal EAB quarantines. New York has more than 900 million ash trees, representing about seven percent of all trees in the state, and all are at risk from EAB.

Communities face particular risks, as ash is a common street and park tree; and green ash, in particular, has been widely planted as an ornamental tree in yards.  Efforts like DEC’s SLAM initiative can significantly delay the loss of ash trees and the subsequent costs for their removal and replacement.

In 2008, New York adopted regulations that ban untreated firewood from entering the state and restrict intrastate movement of untreated firewood to no more than a 50-mile radius from its source. This was implemented as a precaution against the introduction and spread of EAB and other invasive species because of the documented risk of transmission by moving firewood. After more than three years of outreach and education efforts about the risks of moving firewood and the state’s regulation, DEC is increasing its enforcement efforts to prevent the movement of untreated firewood into and around New York.  Because of the detection of EAB in Tioga County, DEC is asking for the public’s help in limiting spread of EAB by not moving ash logs, or firewood north or east out of Tioga County, to other counties not under EAB quarantine.

DEC urges residents to watch for signs of infestation in ash trees. To learn more about EAB and the firewood regulations, visit DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7253.html. Woodlot owners and municipalities can contact the nearest DEC Forestry Office, for technical assistance and forest management recommendations to prepare for the threat of EAB in their area.  Forest landowners can request a DEC Forester visit their woodlot and develop a free Forest Stewardship Plan.  This plan would address the landowner’s objectives and discuss how the arrival (or proximity) of the EAB could impact the owner’s forest resources.  Forest owners can schedule a site visit by contacting their local DEC Forestry office (for a listing of DEC Forestry offices, see: http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/27790.html).

To report signs of EAB, or ash trees showing symptoms of EAB attack, call DEC’s emerald ash borer hotline at 1-866-640-0652 or submit an EAB report on DEC’s website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/72136.html.

DEC EAB Release

Amy Lee Hetherington receives Richard A. Herbert Memorial Scholarship

Master’s/Ph.D. student in the Department of Natural Resources, Amy Lee Hetherington, received the 2012/2013 Richard A. Herbert Memorial Scholarship from the American Water Resources Association (AWRA). The goal of the scholarship is to enhance education in water resources. Amy’s research focuses on understanding climatic impacts on lake ecosystems.

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.

Justin Proctor’s Field Work with Golden Swallows in the Dominican Repulic

Justin Proctor, a Master’s/Ph.D. student, just finished up an exciting field season working with Golden Swallows in the Dominican Republic. Golden Swallows are endemic to the Dominic Republic and are listed as a threatened species due to unknown causes. Proctor spent three months studying their life history as well as creating a conservation project in the remote pine forests of Parque Valle Nuevo. Along with Argentinian Marisol Mata, Proctor recorded the reproductive behavior of the Golden Swallow and incorporated that into outreach and education programs. For the next three years, the project will involve collaboration between students and conservation initiatives to further expand the conservation project.

See Justin Proctor’s Field Report Here!

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.”

Suburban Coyote Syndrome

Behavior ecologist, Professor Dan Bogan, studied coyotes and their interactions with humans at Cornell University. He is currently a professor at Paul Smith’s College’s School of Natural Resources Management and Ecology and is participating in their Fisheries and Wildlife Seminars. On Friday morning, September 7, Bogan discussed his recent doctoral research at Cornell, called the “Suburban Coyote Syndrome.” A graduate of SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry,  Bogan also studied the survivorship and spatial ecology of carnivores such as coyotes and fishers during his master’s at SUNY Albany.

Bronx Teenagers Build Homes for Tree Swallows

Students at the Arturo A. Schomburg Satellite Academy in the Bronx, NY participated in a program in collaboration with the Rocking the Boat organization where they built and installed wooden boxes for tree swallows in Soundview Park. Rocking the Boat is a Hunts Point organization that holds nature programs and provides lessons for young adults on building boats. Chrissy Word, the director of Rocking the Boat, collaborated with a Cornell ornithology student in developing the bird house building activity. The group of students from Satellite Academy installed the wooden nest boxes along the Bronx River. These teenagers now have a new appreciation for nature after seeing numerous tree swallows enjoying their new homes. One student, Brandon Bermeo, 19, says, “Birds are part of nature… When you see a bird you can feel part of nature, too. You can get away from city life.”

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.