Two Students win EPA STAR Fellowships

Department of Natural Resources graduate students Darrick Nighthawk Evensen (Cornell DNR M.S. 2011) and Christine Moskell (Cornell DNR M.S. 2012) were each awarded an EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowship in the Social Sciences program area. According to the EPA, the goal of this fellowship is “to encourage promising students to obtain advanced degrees and pursue careers in an environmental field. This goal is consistent with the mission of EPA, which is to provide leadership in the nation’s environmental science, research, education, assessment, restoration, preservation, pollution prevention and sustainability efforts.” In 2012, over 1500 graduate students applied for 80 fellowships across 19 program areas

Christine (advisor: Dr. Shorna Allred) and Darrick (advisor: Dr. Richard Stedman) are both PhD students in the Human Dimensions Research Unit.

Here is a summary of Darrick’s research project, titled “Linking social representations of natural gas development to community sustainability in the USA and Canada“:

While unconventional natural gas development presents a potentially lucrative opportunity to bolster the US economy, support energy independence, and revitalize depressed regions, it also threatens community sustainability. Darrick will examine the influence of individual and community-level factors on actions that support sustainable development, thereby facilitating identification and assessment of actions communities can take to promote sustainability.

Here is a summary of Christine’s research project, titled “An Examination of Citizen Participation and Procedural Fairness in Large-Scale Urban Tree Planting Initiatives in the United States.”:

“Cities across the U.S. are planting millions of trees, and local governments are relying on residents to help maintain the trees. However, residents are not always consulted before trees are planted and thus, they may view the plantings as unfair due to the financial cost and physical burden related to tree maintenance. This research examines the relationship between residents’ perceptions of the procedural fairness of urban tree planting initiatives and their attitudes toward, and intention to steward, newly planted trees.”

 

Check out the article in the Online Cornell Chronicle at http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Nov12/EPAfellowships.html.

CALS Land Grant Graduate Fellowships

DNR graduate student Christine Moskell has been selected to receive a two-year Land Grant Graduate Fellowship from CALS. Four fellowships were awarded this year. Christine  was selected primarily because her “active engagement in extension programming was well-planned and had identifiable and measurable goals.”

According to Christine:  “My research and extension project will focus on the development of engagement strategies and educational outreach tools for increasing residents’ participation in urban tree planting and in the post-planting maintenance and stewardship of trees. My research and extension project aims to enhance the coordination between local government, non-profit organizations, cooperative extension, and residents for urban forest management so that the environmental, health and community benefits provided by urban trees can be sustained.”

Congratulations!