Karim-Aly Kassam Awarded CALS Diversity Award

DNR Associate Professor Karim-Aly Kassam was nominated for the CALS Diversity Award, and was selected by the Diversity Committee to receive this award. This award recognizes members of the CALS faculty or academic staff who have made significant contributions toward creating and/or fostering a positive environment for people of diverse backgrounds by promote diversity within their teaching, research and/or extension program.

Kassam will be recognized at the Dean’s Awards Reception on April 22, 2013.

Restoring New York Woodlands

Experts say that autumns could be mostly brown instead of the usual greens, oranges, and reds in 50 years from now if people don’t start paying more attention to what’s going on with the shrubs, bushes and saplings in the forest. Deer are a major problem eating most of the good quality saplings, leaving the lower grade and not-so-pretty varieties of trees such as American beech. There are also invasive species such as buckthorn, honeysuckle and multiflora rose, that crowd out the native, “prettier” species.

A survey of foresters by Cornell’s Cooperative Extension in 2010 suggested that 70 percent of the state’s woodlands are not regenerating in a healthy and diverse way. There are ways to deal with invasive species and deer, too, if controversial. However, the real problem is overcoming what the study’s co-author Gary Goff calls “the Big Green Lie.” This “lie” is that people who see lots of greenery along New York highways think that everything must be fine, but in reality, it’s not.

This story was aired on the radio station WRVO in a short piece.

Click here to listen and read more.

Emerald Ash Borer Meeting with Marilyn Wyman and Mark Whitmore

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties Team Coordinator Marilyn Wyman held an on-site event on Wednesday to show participants how to identify Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and discuss the impacts and problems with infestation. Department of Natural Resources Forest Entomologist Mark Whitmore said you need to recognize the Ash tree before remediation can take place. He explained that something needs to happen fast because the region is at the bottom of what Whitmore called the “death curve.” The “death curve” is explained by EAB populations, as first seeing very little ash tree mortality and then a steep increase. Currently in Greene County, the mortality rate is low, but with evident signs of EAB presence.

Click here to read the full article!

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.

Steven Wolf Discusses Sustainable Development

DNR Professor Steven Wolf held a discussion entitled, “Sustainable development: Toward a new relationship between environment and economy.” Wolf focused on searching for new economic models to combat rising socioeconomic inequality and ecological unstainability, rather than the insufficient technological changes. He also discussed what people consider as “the good life” in examining the relationship between the economy, society, and ecology.


Rebecca Schneider Discusses State’s Response to Superstorm Sandy

DNR’s Rebecca Schneider recently participated in a panel discussion on anticipating the next superstorm, discussing New York’s response to Hurricane Sandy. The panel consisted of ecologists, academics, building experts, and insurance representatives. A consensus was reached that strict enforcement of building codes prevented extensive damage and injury during Sandy. Schneider explained that a trend with higher wind speeds will likely lead to more flooding along the coast.

Darrick Evensen and Prabudhya Bhattacharyya Awarded Gertrude Spencer Portfolio Honorable Mention

DNR graduate student, Darrick Evensen, and undergraduate, Prabudhya Bhattacharyya, have been awarded the Gertrude Spencer Portfolio honorable mention. This prize is awarded to a graduate student and his undergraduate student for outstanding achievement in the development of a portfolio of essays for a First-Year Writing Seminar. This Award is given in memory of Gertrude Spencer, recognizing a student’s growth in writing ability over the course of the semester.

Bhattacharyya’s portfolio in Evensen’s seminar, NTRES 1200: Environmental Risks in Our Backyards: Communication and Ethics, demonstrated constant improvement over a range of varied writing styles.  He showed excellence in analysis and writing in: a rhetorical analysis of Silent Spring, a critique of Thoreau’s moral philosophy, a press release (written as if from a government agency), a policy brief (written as if from a university faculty member), and a creative final project that included artwork conveying a political message about climate change, along with an interpretive essay.

Cornell’s Black Bear Project Featured on Television Segment “2 the Outdoors”

WGRZ TV Channel 2 based in Buffalo, NY did a story on their segment called “2 the outdoors” about Cornell’s black bear project with the DEC. They visited a bear den in the Southern Tier by tracking a mother with a radio collar and found her with four cubs. DNR graduate student, Cat Sun, is interviewed in the story. The mother was sedated so the four cubs could be removed from the den to meet wildlife professionals and students.

Click here to watch the video and read more about the den visit!

Sarah MacLean Wins SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence

DNR undergraduate Sarah MacLean has been awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. This award honors seniors who demonstrate integration of academic excellence in leadership, campus involvement, career achievement, community service, athletics, or performing arts. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell can only nominate 2 students. The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created 12 years ago to recognize the most accomplished students at each of SUNY’s 64 campuses across New York.

Laura Martin and Bernd Blossey Published in Oecologia

DNR graduate student Laura Martin and faculty Bernd Blossey recently published an article in Oecologia on how secondary compounds leached from plant litter affect larval amphibians.

Laura Martin was one of five graduate students selected to participate in a National Evolutionary Synthesis Center workshop on the evolutionary biology of the built environment. The working group brings together thirty biologists, architects, and anthropologists to develop a framework for a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of the species we most intimately interact with. It aims to better understand both how to prevent the extinction of beneficial species and to favor the evolution of lineages and species with beneficial attributes, whether those be ecological functions, health benefits or simply aesthetic value.

The article can be read at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00442-013-2624-9