Amanda Rodewald Addresses Threat of Bird Extinctions

In a recent editorial piece for The Hill entitled “Avoiding the path to zero”, Amanda Rodewald addressed the ever-present threat of bird extinctions. Amanda Rodewald is the director of conservation science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, faculty fellow at Cornell University’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, an associate professor in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, and a Robert F. Schumann Faculty Fellow. In her editorial, Rodewald looked at four grand species of grouse which are already suffering from extremely low population sizes. She emphasized the point that while extinctions (such as that of the passenger pigeon) may seem unlikely with modern ecological knowledge, we are closer to that precipice than we may think. In light of the recently issued State of the Birds report, Rodewald identified five major ways to help save America’s bird populations:

  1. “Fully fund key bird conservation legislation, such as the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act.
  2. Increase the price of the Duck Stamp to $25 as supported by Ducks Unlimited and other conservation groups.
  3. Sign the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels treaty that endorses bird-friendly ocean fishing.
  4. Support successful conservation programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Migratory Bird Joint Ventures and State and Tribal Wildlife Grants.
  5. Keep promises made in the Farm Bill by appropriating amounts authorized for conservation.”

(List taken directly from “Avoiding the path to zero” by Amanda Rodewald)

Please read the full article written by Amanda Rodewald here: “Avoiding the path to zero”

For more information about Rodewald’s work with The Hill check out this link!

Welcome new ESS students!

This year the Environmental Science and Sustainability (ESS) major welcomed its largest and most diverse class yet. A total of 97 students joined the ESS major this academic year.

The ESS Class of 2018 consists of 73 students from 14 US states and six countries. Approximately half of the class of 2018 is from New York State, 30 students are from 13 other states (CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IL, MA, MD, MI, NC, NJ, PA, TX) and 11 students are from five other countries (Canada, China, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan). Additionally, 24 transfer students from 23 different colleges joined the ESS major this year. Most students transferred from colleges within New York State, but students also transferred from 10 different states (PA, IL, CT, NJ, FL, WA, AL, VA, CA, MA) and one other country (China).

The incoming students thoroughly enjoyed themselves during the ESS orientation program. They had the opportunity to meet with other ESS students during a luncheon. “The older students in ESS were very nice,” said one student, “and they answered all my questions!”

Afterwards, new students went to meet their advisors and learn more about the ESS program. The new students had a great time getting to know their professors and advisors. They were excited to have the opportunity to meet their professors before the start of class, and to see who they would be taking classes with in the future.

“I think the thing that stuck with me the most about orientation was the passion and enthusiasm that every faculty member who spoke to us possessed,” said Emma Dietz, Class of 2018, “their excitement was inspiring, and really made me feel lucky to be spending my next four years at Cornell.”

“Meeting my professors really stood out for me,” said Hailey Aleman, “not only were future professors there, but some I would be working with on the first day of classes!”

Abby Kawola said, “The camaraderie among all the professors was nice to see. You could tell how passionate they are about their fields of study and it made me excited to learn from them!”

Overall, ESS orientation was an exciting moment for students and faculty alike, and we are thrilled to welcome so many new students to the major!

Welcome to Cornell and ESS!
ESS Class of 2018

Crowdfunding project for Cornell Plantations Intership Program

This summer 11 Cornell students had the opportunity to enrich their academic experience and gain valuable career skills through the Cornell Plantations Internship Program.  They’ve now launched a crowdfunding project to raise $10,000 by  Sept. 30 for next summer’s program Please check out this link crowdfunding.cornell.edu/plantations for even more information!

Student-Centered

The Plantations Internship Program is open only to Cornell University undergraduate and graduate students. While most interns are majoring in horticulture, plant sciences, natural resources, or landscape architecture, Plantations also encourages applications from anyone who wants to learn more about plants, conservation, or environmental sustainability.

Learning and Experience-Focused

Each intern sets individual learning goals for their summer experience—and our  mentors on the Plantations staff are committed to making sure that we achieve them. We are considered to be members of the Plantations staff and work closely with their professional gardeners, conservators, and educators to meet our goals while advancing Plantations’ mission.

Wide-Ranging Experience

Plantations offers internships in education, horticulture, and natural areas, plus a position in marketing and communications. To provide all of us with a broad overview of what it takes to run a public garden and manage a system of natural areas, Mondays are reserved for field trips and special learning opportunities as a group. Some of our favorite Learning Mondays were “Bog Day” with Plantations’ field botanist; stonework and heavy equipment operations with the landscape construction team; GIS mapping with the plant records specialist; integrated pest management and greenhouse production work; and pruning and tree maintenance with the master arborist. We also had workshops on botanical illustration and digital photography.

“Earn While You Learn” 

Unlike many internships in the corporate sector, the Plantations internships are paid, full-time positions for a 12-week period each summer. The current cost of the program is $5,500 per intern, which includes the student’s wages, program expenses for field trips and group workshops, equipment and materials, and the coordinator’s salary.

Why We Need Your Help!

Plantations has funding for 6 positions with income from permanent endowments and annual commitments from generous donors, and has funded additional positions each year with money from unrestricted Annual Fund gifts. (Thanks to special one-time grants, they were able to offer 11 positions this summer.)  But with rising costs and increased pressure on the general operating budget, Plantations needs to raise $10,000 in order to be able to offer at least 8 internships in summer 2015. Your gift—at any level—will help us reach our goal and ensure funding for 2 internships next year.  Please give now!