Graduate Student Jill Cohen Lead Author on New England Climate Change Report

Graduate student Jill Cohen was lead author on a report for U.S. Representative of Massachusetts Ed Markey on climate change in New England. The report was released last week, and it was picked up by the huffingtonpost in their headlining article on the “Frankenstorm”.  Cohen also wrote an op-ed on Rachel Carson that was featured a few weeks ago.


Here is a link to the huffingtonpost front page:


Here is a direct link to the story that mentions our report:


And here is a link to the piece on Rachel Carson:


Michael Farrell Named the Henry II and Mildred A. Uihlein Endowed Director of New York Maple Program

On September 24th, Michael Farrell was named the Henry II and Mildred A. Uihlein Director of the Uihlein Forest of Cornell’s Uihlein Sugar Maple Research and Extension Field Station in Lake Placid, N.Y. The Uihleins have been partners in promoting the growth of New York State’s maple industry for the past 47 years, will their latest contribution endowing Farrell as the new director. Brian Chabot, former New York State Cornell Maple Program director, believes that the endowed director’s position is an excellent way to stimulate new research, education, extension, and community engagement.

Click here to read more about the new director, the Uihleins, and the Cornell Maple Program.


Angela Fuller Co-Organizer of Wildlife Symposium

Angela Fuller was co-organizer of a symposium on Core Competencies and Wildlife Professionals in a Changing World at the Wildlife Society Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon on October 14, 2012.


The symposium abstract is as follows:

What are core competencies needed by today’s wildlife professionals to be effective in a rapidly changing world, how are these taught or acquired, how do they relate to professional society certification criteria, and how do we know when students have mastered these competencies? While many of the fundamental relationships between wildlife and their habitats are similar to the days of Aldo Leopold, human settlement patterns, land use, technology, energy issues, attitudes of stakeholders, and expectations of students and employers have substantively changed the work environment. The College and University Wildlife Education Working Group and TWS Ad Hoc Committee on Certification join to review the historical context of what is expected of effective wildlife professionals across the dynamic spectrum of occupational categories and how educational institutions, agencies, and professional organizations can synergize to best meet future needs of society and the wildlife resource.


Check out to get more information about the Conference and all of the Symposia!

Dr. Dan Decker Awarded Aldo Leopold Memorial Award

Dr. Dan Decker was awarded the Aldo Leopold Memorial Award this past Monday, October 15. The award is described as follows:

Aldo Leopold Memorial Award

Following Aldo Leopold’s death in April 1948, The Wildlife Society established an award medal in his memory to recognize individuals who have demonstrated “distinguished services of undoubted significance to the cause of wildlife conservation.” It is our highest honor. We are proud to recognize Dr. Daniel Decker as the 2012 Aldo Leopold Memorial Award winner.

Daniel J. Decker

In Meine’s (1988) book: Aldo Leopold: His life and Work, Leopold is quoted as saying:

“One of the anomalies of modern ecology is the creation of two groups, each of which seems barely aware of the existence of the other. The one studies the human community, almost as if it were a separate entity, and calls its findings sociology, economics and history. The other studies the plant and animal community and comfortably relegates the hodge-podge of politics to the liberal arts. The inevitable fusion of these two lines of thought will, perhaps, constitute the outstanding advance of this century.”

In truth, we as a profession struggled for many years on how to understand and incorporate public opinion and their values into wildlife management without sacrificing the biological relevance of wildlife management. Traditional wildlife management focused on applied wildlife biology in all its evolving sophistication. But as been pointed out elsewhere, wildlife management decision-making has become as much a socio-political issue as a biological one. Managers are faced with publics that have become vocal about wildlife issues and now demand a full role in the decision- making process. Many of us in this room were not trained to understand, much less to cope with, these challenges. Yet the rapid ascent of Human Dimension in into a field of wildlife study at more than 55 universities and countless professional training programs attests to the devotion and tireless efforts of is champions in just a few short years.

This years’ winner of the Aldo Leopold Award is one of the most successful of these champions in recent times. He is an outstanding leader, who has guided us down the path of integrating Human Dimensions into our field in both in an effective, applied manner and to a compelling end.

This year’s winner grew up in his native Catskills of New York where his passion for wildlife was fueled by hunting deer and stalking wary waterfowl tucked away in the back waters along the Delaware River. He soon went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in wildlife ecology at Cornell University. He remained at Cornell, where he earned both a Masters and PhD degrees in wildlife by the mid-1980s.

Although his roots began in conventional wildlife sciences, he moved toward a human dimensions orientation because he believed that he would contribute more toward sustainable conservation decisions through this line of research and outreach than if he followed the traditional path. He was among the first and most productive wildlife scientists to recognize importance of the human dimensions. He has produced several hundred publications including numerous seminal papers and several first-time books in Wildlife Values and Human Dimensions; he put his written word into practical training by developing pragmatic workshops, which have been instrumental in helping state and federal agencies implement new knowledge into their management programs– something that has generated strong support from his governmental sponsors, as his strong letters of support for the Aldo Leopold Award illustrate.

His ties to Cornell proved deep, and despite short excursions elsewhere, it was at Cornell University that for over 35 years he has fostered his work in Human Dimensions in wildlife.  From 1982 to the present, he has been Co-leader or Director of the Human Dimensions Research Unit, a flagship research entity that has educated many wildlife professionals working in this area. Although the Human Dimensions Research Unit dates back to the early 1970s and has employed many fine scientists, the Unit’s trajectory of growth and impact in wildlife conservation and management since 1982 has been almost single-handedly fueled by this year’s recipient of the Aldo Leopold Award.  The Unit now consists of 27 faculty, staff and graduate students, is the leader in this arena of applied scholarship, and has earned an international reputation for training academicians, students and nature resource agency staff.

In his position at the Human Dimensions Research Unit, the recipient promoted applied research in the fields of conservation education and human dimensions, and translated research findings for resource professionals via publications, presentations, workshops, and with sabbatical leaves working directly with public agencies. His recent research and outreach efforts have positioned the wildlife management profession for greater relevance in the future, by tackling the human dimensions across a range of tough subjects, ranging from suburban wildlife to adaptive harvest management to local community-based management, to hunter retention, and wildlife habituation in National Parks.  It is these devoted efforts that has resulted in his long list of publications and produced a cadre of exceptional graduate student ambassadors who have carried on in the field.  His efforts across the board have been visionary and have challenged professionals to help them become better leaders, decision makers, and overall stewards in trust of the natural resources. And all these efforts occurred at the same time as holding positions such as Chairman in the Department of Natural Resources, Director of the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Director of the Office of Land Grant Affairs, and conducting research projects nationally and internationally.

Past awards bestowed on this year’s Aldo Leopold recipient attest to his unique contributions in the field of human dimensions. Among those are the Jack H. Berryman Institute for Wildlife Damage Management Award and the Daniel L. Leedy Urban Wildlife Conservation Award. He also has been recognized by The Wildlife Society. He was awarded the Wildlife Publication Award for his co-edited book, Wildlife and Society: The Science of Human Dimensions (2009), he was elected a Wildlife Fellow, he received the John Pearce Memorial Award from the Northeast Section of TWS, and Outstanding Wildlife Professional Award from the New York Chapter of TWS.  His service to The Wildlife Society has been no less outstanding. He moved through the ranks from Northeast Section President in 1988 to vice President to President of TWS from 2001 to 2005, a time of strain in The Society, when his leadership in thinking “outside the box” put us back on the road to success and left us with legacies such as the Wildlife Professional.

Significance of Wildlife Diseases

The Wildlife Society’s Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon took place this past Tuesday, October 16, where Dan Decker took part in explaining the significance of wildlife diseases in relation to One Health.

Diseases in wildlife have become a fast emerging global problem severely affecting wildlife conservation and management. Wildlife biologists play a critical role in disease ecology, using their expertise to maintain human health, agricultural health, and conservation efforts, as well as to understand the links between wildlife, livestock, and human pathogens.

The One Health philosophy is an interdisciplinary approach involving all species’ health, making wildlife a significant factor in improving global health. This gives wildlife professionals the opportunity to really take part in the integrating of One Health in disease ecology, conservation, and management.

Conservation Bridge Website

Natural Resources Professor Jim Lassoie and Ph.D. student Jamie Herring have created a website that connects current, real problems between students and conservationists around the globe. The website uses short videos created by Herring that allows the students to work directly with scientists who are trying to fix these problems. The relatively new model has already been acknowledged by education experts and funders. Students in areas from Ithaca to China are gaining a valuable education and experience with conservationists as well conservationists receiving research conducted by the students. The Conservation Bridge Website accomplishes the ultimate goal of allowing teachers to motivate students to understand the concrete significance of what  they are learning in the classroom.

Eventually, Lassoie sees Conservation Bridge as self-sustaining with contributors from around the world. Its innovation and practicality has already earned three competitive grants and a large interest in using Conservation Bridge from U.S. environmental science faculty members.


Check out the Conservation Bridge website !



Emerald Ash Borer Reaches Tioga County

In a news release from September 27th, the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed the detection of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Tioga County. EAB is an invasive beetle that bores holes into the trunks and branches of ash trees, disrupting the transport of water and nutrients, ultimately leading to the death of the infected tree. New York now has 13 counties with detections and infestations. Mark Whitmore, a forest entomologist at Cornell, conducted an inspection in the area of Tioga County after EAB was detected and found no sign of infestation just yet. Whitmore explains, “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.”


Details of EAB and its detection are described in the news release. You can also check out the NY Invasive Species Clearing House at Cornell University,, to help you identify ash trees on your property. Visit for more information and resources on these topics.


2nd Edition of Human Dimensions of Wildlife Management textbook published

The long awaited 2ndedition of the Human Dimensions of Wildlife Management textbook has been published!

Description from online sources: Wildlife professionals can more effectively manage species and social-ecological systems by fully considering the role that humans play in every stage of the process. Human Dimensions of Wildlife Management provides the essential information that students and practitioners need to be effective problem solvers. Edited by three leading experts in wildlife management Daniel J. Decker, Shawn J. Riley, and William F. Siemer, this textbook explores the interface of humans with wildlife and their sometimes complementary, often conflicting, interests. The book’s well-researched chapters address conservation, wildlife use (hunting and fishing), and the psychological and philosophical underpinnings of wildlife management.

Human Dimensions of Wildlife Management explains how a wildlife professional should handle a variety of situations, such as managing deer populations in residential areas or encounters between predators and people or pets.

This thoroughly revised and updated edition includes detailed information about • systems thinking• working with social scientists• managing citizen input• using economics to inform decision making• preparing questionnaires• ethical considerations

To order this book, click here.

Dr. Dan Decker Inducted into Port Jervis Hall of Fame

The Port Jervis School District is inducting seven of their graduates into their Alumni Hall of Fame, including Dr. Dan Decker. Decker has countless distinguished achievements in wildlife management and has had a positive impact on the community, earning him a well deserved place in the Alumni Hall of Fame. The Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes and honors former students, who receive plaques with their photograph and biography and are put on display at Port Jervis High School.

Click here to see an article about these awards.