Barbara Knuth Named to Inaugural Class of American Fisheries Society Fellows

Prof. Barb KnuthBarbara Knuth, Ph.D., of Cornell University, was named as a Fellow of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) at the society’s 145th Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon. Knuth was part of the inaugural group of Fellows named under the new AFS program that designates as Fellows of the Society certain members who have made outstanding or meritorious contributions to the diversity of fields that are included in the American Fisheries Society. Contributions include, but are not restricted to, accomplishments in leadership, research, teaching and mentoring, fisheries resource management and/or conservation, and outreach or interaction with the public.

“We wanted to honor AFS members who are recognized by their peers as distinguished for their outstanding and/or sustained contributions to the discipline,” said AFS Past President Donna Parrish, who presided over the ceremony. “The Fellows program will help make outstanding AFS members more competitive for awards and honors when they are being compared with colleagues from other disciplines and support the advancement of AFS members to leadership positions in their own institutions and in the broader society.”

Knuth is a professor of Natural Resource policy in the department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, and serves as Dean of the Graduate School and Senior Vice Provost overseeing undergraduate admissions, financial aid, and the university registrar. Her research focuses on the human dimensions of fisheries management, specifically risk communication and management associated with chemical contaminants in fish. She served as president of the American Fisheries Society in 2004-2005.

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Founded in 1870, the American Fisheries Society (AFS) is the world’s oldest and largest fisheries science society. The mission of AFS is to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science and promoting the development of fisheries professionals. With five journals and numerous books and conferences, AFS is the leading source of fisheries science and management information in North America and around the world.

Trading Zones in Environmental Education- new book authored and edited by DNR staff

A new book titled “Trading Zones in Environmental Education” has been released with Marianne Krasny and Justin Dillon as the editors. It features chapters written by Marianne Krasny, Shorna Allred, Rich Stedman, Keith Tidball, and Arjen Wals of the Department of Natural Resources.

To see details and to order a copy of the book, click here.

Book synopsis:

Environmental educators often adhere to a relatively narrow theoretical paradigm focusing on changing attitudes and knowledge, which are assumed to foster pro-environmental behaviors, which, in turn, leads to better environmental quality. This book takes a different approach to trying to understand how environmental education might influence people, their communities, and the environment. The authors view changing environmental behaviors as a «wicked» problem, that is, a problem that does not readily lend itself to solutions using existing disciplinary approaches. The book as a whole opens up new avenues for pursuing environmental education research and practice and thus expands the conversation around environmental education, behaviors, and quality. Through developing transdisciplinary research questions and conceptual paradigms, this book also suggests new practices beyond those currently used in environmental education, natural resources management, and other environmental fields.

Laura Martin awarded an NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant

Laura Martin has received a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant from the NSF Science, Technology, and Society program. The grant will be supervised by Clifford Kraft and Sara Pritchard (STS), and will support Laura’s research on the relationship between ecological science and environmental management in the postwar United States.

Ecologist taking radiation readings from a crab, Bikini Atoll, 1964.

Phil Silva’s Work featured in the New Yorker

DNR PhD student Phil Silva’s work developing metrics for outcomes of community gardening in NYC has been featured in a short article in the New Yorker. This is related to Phil’s PhD work developing monitoring protocols to measure impacts of civic ecology practices and to his long-standing collaboration with the Public Lab for Open Technology and Science.

There are over 700 community gardens in NYC alone—this means from the outreach point of view over 700 small pieces of land where we can teach about the environment and the coupled nature of social and ecological processes. Although there are also formal parks in the City, community gardens are much more accessible and also more readily enable active participation in stewardship, an important means of learning.

Click here for the article

Greening in the Red Zone- Now Available

Greening in the Red Zone: Disaster, Resilience and Community Greening a book edited by Keith Tidball and Marianne Krasny is now available for purchase through the Springer website.

Here is the description of the book from Springer:

  • Makes a first foray into the intriguing and potentially important field of “greening”
  • Paints a comprehensive picture of how greening might be useful after major disasters
  • Gathers renowned experts and practitioners from around the world

Creation and access to green spaces promotes individual human health, especially in therapeutic contexts among those suffering traumatic events. But what of the role of access to green space and the act of creating and caring for such places in promoting social health and well-being? Greening in the Red Zone asserts that creation and access to green spaces confers resilience and recovery in systems disrupted by violent conflict or disaster. This edited volume provides evidence for this assertion through cases and examples. The contributors to this volume use a variety of research and policy frameworks to explore how creation and access to green spaces in extreme situations might contribute to resistance, recovery, and resilience of social-ecological systems.

This book takes important steps in advancing understanding of what makes communi­ties bounce back from disaster or violent conflict. The authors’ findings that creating and caring for green space contributes positively to recovery and resilience add to the toolkit of those working in disaster and conflict zones. W. C. Banks, Director, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, Syracuse University

Greening in the Red Zone is a highly relevant book. At a time when society is more separated than ever from the natural world, it offers additional reasons why our ongoing experience of nature is essential for the human body, mind and spirit. This book is both instructive and inspiring. S. R. Kellert, Tweedy Ordway Professor Emeritus, Senior Research Scholar, Yale University

This is a fascinating book that greatly elevates our understanding of how the perspective of humans as an integrated part of nature may contribute to the resilience discourse. I warmly recommend this book to anyone interested in how we may prepare ourselves for an increasingly uncertain future. T. Elmqvist, Department of Systems Ecology and Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University

Greening in the Red Zone is an important contribution to science and security policy and practice. This edited volume provides unique and novel approaches from a participatory, transparent, ecosystem-based perspective that puts those affected by disasters and conflict into positions of empowerment rather than weakness and dependency. This book is an interesting and timely contribution. C. Ferguson, President, Federation of American Scientists

Alumni Highlight: Sarah Bellos

Sarah Bellos (DNR ’04, RPM) is president at Stony Creek Colors, a manufacturer of natural colorants from sustainable domestic plant resources.  Stony Creek Colors is working with pioneering textile dyehouses and manufacturers to introduce natural colorants into their fashion lines.  She works to build the sustainability and profitability of small and medium-size farms and forestry operations in the Southeastern U.S. through these value-added dye crops.   Bellos sees natural colorants as an ideal industrial crop for small farmers who may have difficulty accessing markets for other emerging sectors of the bioeconomy, such as biofuels, due to their size or access to resources.  According to Bellos, “Keeping productive land in agriculture depends on our society finding innovative ways to support American farmers. Development of new industrial crops such as natural colorants gives consumers options beyond buying fresh tomatoes at the farmers market to support U.S. growers, for example buying a pair of jeans made with American cotton and dyed with American Indigo. At the same time, we offer the opportunity for growers to choose a crop that may better fit their specific growing conditions, equipment, or labor.”  Indigo, for example, is a leguminous crop which fixes nitrogen, and is a nematode suppressant, making it a valuable addition to a diversified cropping system.  She welcomes potential DNR researchers interested in a Life Cycle Assessment comparing US grown natural colorants to synthetic (imported) dyes.

Bellos is also a partner in Southern Hues (, producing scarves dyed in the U.S. with “farmer grown color.” She lives on a small farm in Whites Creek, TN and occasionally blogs about life there at While an undergraduate at Cornell, Bellos was production manager of Dilmun Hill Student Farm, a member of Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, an Intramural Sports Supervisor and participated in Spring ’03 Cornell in Washington.  She is a Senior Fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program and was one of five better world entrepreneurs selected into the 2011 Wild Gift network.

Dr. Kassam Elected Foreign Member (Academician) of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan

After 7 consecutive years of research in the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Professor Karim-Aly Kassam of Cornell University and Senior Research Fellow of the University of Central Asia was elected Foreign Member (Academician) of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan on December 12th, 2012. Professor Kassam was also appointed English Language Editor of the Journal of the Biological and Medical Sciences of the Academy.

The election followed Professor Kassam’s short presentation where he outlined the work of his research group, which includes young scholars from Central Asia, with indigenous communities at high latitudes (Arctic and sub-Arctic) and high altitudes (Mountains).  The president of the Academy,  who is a mathematician and the Vice-President, who is a biologist, as well as the Directors of the Institutes of Physics and Botany spoke in support of his interdisciplinary work. They described how he has linked climate change with food sovereignty, medicinal plants with conservation of plant biodiversity and health, sacred sites with ecological sustainability, and indigenous knowledge with science. They described how his work on bio-cultural diversity builds on pluralism.

This is not just an important milestone for Professor Kassam but for Cornell as a Land Grant University to the world.

To read the article in Cornell’s Sustainable Campus, go to:

DNR receives large grant from EPAs Great Lakes National Program Office

DNR faculty Lars Rudstam and associate Jim Watkins teamed up with the Center for Great Lakes Studies at Buffalo State College (Drs. Alexander Karatayev and Lyuba Burlakova) to study lower trophic levels (benthos, zooplankton, mysids, algae) in all of the Laurentian Great Lakes from Lake Superior to Lake Ontario.  Funding is through EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and is for five years.  In addition to monitoring lower trophic levels on annual research cruises with EPA’s Lake Guardian, the research team will study the deep chlorophyll layer that is increasing in importance in the lakes, the ecological role of mysid shrimps, the detection of invasive species, and the use of indices of biotic integrity.  Of importance is also improved connection between lower trophic level assessment and fisheries management across the basin.  Two technicians and two graduate students at Cornell and one technician and a graduate student at Buffalo State will team up with the PI in this new initiative.  This work is a continuation of DNR and the Cornell Biological Field Station’s (CBFS) leadership in assessing and researching lower trophic levels in the Great Lakes; work that started with the collaborations between Bob O’Gorman at US Geological Survey and Ed Mills at CBFS almost 30 years ago.  We are building on a firm foundation.

Lake Champlain Sea Grant workshop: Alewife and rainbow smelt interactions in Lake Champlain

On Friday, January 11, Lars Rudstam, Pat Sullivan, and Paul Simonin led a workshop focused on rainbow smelt and alewife dynamics in Lake Champlain. Rainbow smelt are native to this lake, but alewife became established over the past six years, raising many questions as to how the lake’s ecology and fisheries may subsequently change. A simulation model was used at the workshop which allowed participants to consider the effect of alewife on rainbow smelt, and how various biophysical changes in the lake may affect the future distribution and abundance of rainbow smelt and alewife in Champlain.