DNR Professor Marianne Krasny part of Cornell’s Massive Open Online Courses in 2015

Over the course of the past year Cornell University initiated four Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). MOOCs are different than typical online courses because they are open to public access and are not limited in the amount of students they can reach.

Dr. Marianne Krasny, Professor and Director of the Civic Ecology Lab in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, has been involved with the growing MOOC program at Cornell and is teaching the course Civic Ecology: Reclaiming Broken Places, which will cover human interaction with ecological systems and provide service learning opportunities.

“If you look at them as ways that people who are motivated can learn at their own pace and what they’re interested in, I think they’re effective and serve a role there,” Krasny says. The excitement expressed by Krasny is shared by professors from various other institutions as well. Many hope that the MOOCs will provide lots of new opportunities to students who might not have otherwise been able to take traditional courses.

To learn more about Dr. Marianne Krasny’s work with MOOCs, check out this article.

Dr. Jim Lassoie Receives Excellence in College and University Teaching Award For Food and Agricultural Sciences

This weekend marked the 127th Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Annual Meeting. This year, the APLU awarded two national winners, six regional honorees, and two new teacher honorees. These awards are presented to honor the awardees for their “scholarship, exemplary pedagogy and personal dedication” as well as their “innovative teaching methods and service to students.” The teaching awards are sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and APLU. The awards provide stipends of $5,000 for the national winners and $2,000 for regional and new teacher honorees to assist the awardees in improving teaching at their universities.

Dr. James P. “Jim” Lassoie, International Professor of Conservation and member of the Cornell University Department of Natural Resources, was one of the six individuals to receive the 2014 Regional Teacher award as part of the Excellence in College and University Teaching Awards For Food and Agricultural Sciences. In addition to the excellence demonstrated by Dr. Lassoie in the aforementioned areas, he was specifically selected for his work with the “design and development of 13 different interdisciplinary courses covering a variety of subjects including agroforestry, conservation, eco-agriculture, environmental sciences, and sustainable development.”

Congratulations, Dr. Lassoie, for this incredible achievement!

For more information about Dr. Jim Lassoie’s accomplishments and the award, please check out the links below.
CALS article
APLU article

Dr. Tom Gavin Teaches at National Taiwan University; Lecture and Teaching Opportunities Available

Dr. Tom Gavin, Professor Emeritus, just returned from Taiwan, where he spent two weeks teaching at National Taiwan University (NTU) at the invitation of his former student, Hsiao-wei Yuan. Hsiao-wei is now Chair of the Department of Forestry and Resource Management, where Tom taught a short course on Current Topics in Conservation Biology; about 17 students took the course, most of them grad students in wildlife biology.

In addition, Tom went on numerous field trips with the class and with grad students to visit their projects. He visited sites where conflicts arise between land use, mainly agriculture, and conservation of biodiversity on Kinmen Island, Neidong National Forest, and numerous locations near Taipei. He also had a small reunion with students from a course he helped lead two years ago, and he attended a dinner of Taiwanese business and university leaders who were all Cornell alumni. He also paid a courtesy visit to the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, who he first met in 2012. There are many opportunities to lecture or teach at NTU, where they encourage foreign scholars to spend time at this excellent university.

If interested in learning more about this very user-friendly experience, please contact: Dr. Thomas A. Gavin, 607-272-4081 or email tag1@cornell.edu.