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.

Aims and Actions in Urban Ecology

Last spring, Cornell’s very own Marianne Krasny, a professor in the Department of Natural Resources, and Kevin Prattassistant professor of architecture, teamed up with Michael Hensel, professor of architecture at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, to give a highly informative presentation on urban ecology at the Hans and Roger Strauch Symposium. Video footage of their presentation is available below!



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

Announcing Dan Decker as Chair of the Department of Natural Resources

We are very pleased to announce that Professor Dan Decker has agreed to become the next Chair of the Department of Natural Resources, effective July 1, 2013, for a three year term. Please join with us in congratulating Dan on this new appointment!

Dan brings to the position a record of strong scholarship and administrative experience (including previous service as department Chair).


Please also join us in thanking Marianne Krasny for her dedicated service as department Chair. Marianne will continue her valuable work in the NTRES community, such as with the EPA’s National Environmental Education Training Program, with her graduate students and colleagues in the Civic Ecology Lab, teaching online courses for outside Cornell audiences, and work on a book currently under review and an eBook just underway.

Marianne Krasny, department Chair 2007-2013


Alumni Highlight: Tim DePriest

Former Department of Natural Resources MS student, Tim DePriest, is now working at the NYS DEC in Buffalo as an ecologist focusing on conservation, improvement, and restoration of fish and wildlife habitat in the highly urbanized Niagara River Corridor. Tim is working mainly on giving guidance on large scale habitat improvement projects for the New York Power Authority in operating the Niagara Power project, planning and implementing habitat projects to complete with NYPA funding, serving as a chair on a committee that gives funding for local non-for-profits, universities, and local governments for ecologically research and restoration, and pursuing land acquisition for conservation and public access.

Tim has also been teaching as an adjunct instructor at the University of Buffalo (SSC 441: “Wildlife and Wildland Management”) stemming from his goal to be an educator from his MS work with Marianne Krasny.

Visit  the website that describes some of his work and has information on funding for projects here:

Cornell Biological Field Station Advisory Committee Meeting

The Cornell Biological Field Station (CBFS) Advisory Committee met on September 5, 2012.  Cornell members of the committee include Marianne Krasny, Dan Decker, Bill Fisher, Sarah Gould, Rebecca Schneider, Nelson Hairston, Max Pfeffer, and Peter Paradise.  External members are John Farrell (SUNY ESF), Jim Johnson (USGS) and Doug Stang (NYS DEC).  The CBFS leadership team (Lars Rudstam, Randy Jackson, JoAnne Getchonis, and Brian Young) presented an overview of the previous year’s projects as well as a look at current and future projects and goals. Peter Paradise, Director of Facilities for CALS Facilities and Operational Services, reviewed building projects on the CBFS campus.  Highlights included  research being conducted on Oneida Lake and the Great Lakes.  Detailed information on the CBFS program ( and the annual report for 2011 ( are available on the web.


CBFS Summer 2011 Staff and Students

Keith Tidball, Marianne Krasny, and Josh Cerra Work Towards Sustainable Urban Development

In the Special Edition August 2012 newsletter of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) Cities Biodiversity Center, some of our very own members of the DNR were featured. A section of the newsletter discusses the first international Urban Biosphere (URBIS) workshop that is geared to bring together community interest groups, NGOs, researchers, and institutions from around the world to work towards sustainable urban development. The first workshop was in Jerusalem, using it as a model for city-regional planning. This unique workshop allows for the communication and collaboration across countries to work together.

Krasny talking with some colleagues.

From our very own Cornell University, Josh Cerra and Marianne Krasny were part of a team of scientists who brought knowledge and research to facilitate the progression of social-ecological systems in

Tidball at the URBIS workshop in Jerusalem.

regards to urban landscapes. Keith Tidball outlined the sophisticated development of URBIS and the successful practices already in place in Jerusalem and the results of the first URBIS workshop.


 Click Here to see the newsletter!



DNR and Cornell Faculty Attended Rio+20

With support from the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, four Cornell faculty—Josh Cerra, Keith Tidball, Katherine Bunting-Howarth, and Marianne Krasny—contributed to the Rio+20 meetings as well as the ICLEI World Congress and ICLEI Urban Nature Forum in Belo Horizonte leading up to Rio+20.  Below is a short summary of their participation. The Cornell presence was noted and made a difference.

They all participated in:

  1. Urban Nature 2-day conference in Belo Horizonte
  2. ICLEI World Congress  (a parallel event)—Belo Horizonte
  3. Rio+20—various meetings and presentations as below.

In addition, Keith Tidball is part of the core team from ICLEI, Cornell, Stockholm Resilience Centre, and City of Jerusalem that prepared the Urban Biosphere (URBIS) designation system, which was signed on to by about 50 cities at the ICLEI side events and endorsed by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Finally, Keith organized the entire Cornell delegation’s participation.

Below is a list of specific Cornell contributions.

KEITH TIDBALL—Two presentations and core team member, URBIS

Tidball, KG. History of the Urban Biosphere initiative. ICLEI Urban Nature Forum. Belo Horizonte, Brazil. 14 June 2012.

Tidball, KG. Greening in the Red Zone. Cities and Biodiversity Outlook Workshop. Rio+20 meetings. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 18 June 2012.

KATHY BUNTING-HOWARTH—participant in three RIO+20 events and panelist in third event

Panelist: U.S. Side Event at Rio +20

Putting Words to Action: Implementing the Rio +20 Fisheries Recommendations

Participant: Global Oceans Day at Rio +20 (sponsored by the Global Oceans Forum and IOC-UNESCO) (a parallel event)  –below from attached draft agenda

ParticipantAdvancing Sustainability through Communication and Collaboration, (an official UN side event hosted by the University of Colorado)

Participant. Oceans at Rio+20: Toward Implementation of the Rio Ocean Commitments  (an official UN side event hosted by International Coastal and Ocean Organization, Secretariat of the Global Oceans Forum)

JOSH CERRA—one presentation

Cerra, J. Urban biodiversity: The contribution of science. ICLEI World Congress. Belo Horizonte, Brazil. 15 June 2012.

MARIANNE KRASNY—three presentations

Krasny, ME. Environmental Education and Social-ecological Systems Theory. ICLEI Urban Nature Forum. Belo Horizonte, Brazil. 14 June 2012.

Krasny, ME. Resilience, Learning, and Environmental Education. ICLEI World Congress. Belo Horizonte, Brazil. 16 June 2012.

Krasny, ME. Urban landscapes as learning arenas for sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Cities and Biodiversity Outlook Workshop. Rio+20 meetings. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 18 June 2012.