PAUL CURTIS Collaborates with Newark Valley 6th Grade Students

On May 12th, Paul Curtis received thanks from Jessica Williams, 6th Grade Teacher at Newark Valley Central School, for his collaboration with three 6th grade boys and recognition in the following article she submitted to the local Newark Valley newspaper:

Congratulations to 6th graders Collin Creeley, Riley Malone and Joshua Post!  The boys placed 1st at the State level in a National science competition’s 6th grade division. eCYBERMISSION is a web-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics competition for 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade teams. Each team proposes a solution to a real problem in their community and then competes for State, Regional and National Awards.  This type of ‘real world’ problem solving challenges students to explore how Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics work in the world.

Collin, Riley and Josh chose to explore the deliberate extermination of coyotes as these animals move into suburban and even urban areas of New York.  The boys hypothesized that the killing of these animals was done out of ignorance and fear.  They designed an experiment in which they measured children’s feelings of fear and tendency toward acts of violence against coyotes and then educated these same children about the animals in general.  After the intervention (the education about coyotes) they found that students’ feels of fear and tendency toward aggressive behavior against the animals significantly dropped.  This has interesting implications for wildlife management but also has broader reaching implications for human behavior in general.

In addition to a tremendous amount of reading related to the coyote population and what impact their deliberate extermination has on the eco-system, the boys also collaborated with internationally renowned coyote expert, Paul D. Curtis.  Dr. Curtis serves as Extension Wildlife Specialist in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University. His applied research and extension programs have focused on reducing human-wildlife conflicts in agricultural and suburban landscapes. His work includes community-based wildlife management issues and public policy education. Dr. Curtis was a tremendous asset to our students and was a wonderfully supportive and encouraging guide and the students were so grateful for his input.  The boys engaged in skype meetings with Dr. Curtis and communicated with him via email.

All three boys have received college scholarships for their 1st place win and are thrilled with their accomplishment.


“Air dancer” scarecrows stop birds!

Paul Curtis, an associate professor for the Cornell Department of Natural Resources, and Heidi Heinrichs, a graduate student in the Department of Natural Resources, are working on a project to find economical solutions to keep birds away from fruit orchards. Curtis was inspired by the inflatable scarecrows used near fish farms and car dealerships, and decided to implement the idea into New York fruit orchards. Together, Curtis and Heinrichs are gathering data to see if these “dancing” scarecrows are more effective at driving off birds than other methods.

More information about their project can be found here!




(an “air dancer” scare crow implemented at a fruit orchard)


Dr. Paul Curtis contributes to “All About Birds” article

A recently published article on The Cornell Lab of Ornithology blog “All About Birds” features the insight of Dr. Paul Curtis, the Extension Wildlife Specialist in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell, as well as Dr. Ken Rosenberg, who is the Director of Conservation Science at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. The article addresses the drastic population increase of Canada Geese, the problems with this increase, and what management techniques can or should be implemented. The article can be found here!

Laura Mortelliti Wins Roosevelt Wild Life Station at SUNY-ESF Best Student Poster Award

DNR undergraduate, Laura Mortelliti, won the Roosevelt Wild Life Station at SUNY-ESF Best Student Poster Award for her poster on her research on terns at the 69th Annual Northeast Fish & Wildlife Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY. This annual event attracts over 500 natural resources professionals in the fields of wildlife biology, fisheries and fisheries management, information and education and law enforcement. The event provides opportunities for education, discussion, and exchanging of ideas. Highlights include: over 50 workshop sessions, keynote speakers, poster displays, and social networking events.

Laura is one Paul Curtis‘s advisees and treasurer of the The Wildlife Society student chapter.  She is completing a senior honors thesis with Dr. Curtis using the common tern data from her internship at the Cornell Biological Field Station.  Laura has worked on waterbirds at Oneida Lake with Dr. Curtis and Elizabeth Craig for the past two summers.

Gaby Roman Nominated for Excellence in STEM Teaching by Undergraduates

DNR undergraduate, Gaby Roman,was nominated by Dr. Linda Rayor for her contributions as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) Teacher from the NSF-Noyce Scholarship Program. Gaby Roman is one of Paul Curtis‘s advisees who is very interested in environmental education.  She borrowed deer hides, skulls, and antlers for youth programs concerning deer biology and management  at local schools.

Article on Forest Regeneration in Cornell’s Small Farms Quarterly

DNR’s Paul Curtis, Gary Goff, and Jay Boulanger, recently published an article in Cornell’s Small Farm Quarterly Spring 2013 issue. The article discusses the difficulty in forest regeneration with the overabundance of white-tailed deer. They explain that the deer will selectively browse and remove tree seedlings up to 6 feet tall, making it hard for young trees to successfully regenerate. They explain the key components for successful forest regeneration, challenges to regeneration, and potential solutions.

Click here to read the full article.

The Wildlife Society Cornell Student Chapter Facebook and Blog

The Wildlife Society Cornell Student Chapter (TWS) now has a Facebook group! Check it often for the most recent wildlife event updates on workshops, field trips, conferences, etc. The Facebook Page will be the main venue this semester for alerting the club about upcoming wildlife experiences in an effort to reduce listserv-overloading. If you read about an event and want to attend, leave a comment! TWS hope to encourage member collaboration and carpooling.  


TWS also has a blog! Please check it for the club calendar at the bottom of the page, links to organizations, current events, articles, discussions, job opportunities, Cornell-based projects, videos, Member Spotlights, etc. We hope this blog can act as a discussion place for club members. Feel free to initiate discussions on any of the posts or email Laura (lmm268) or Iswari (in38) with posts you’d like to add to the blog. Let them know about any job or internship opportunities or events you want to advertise via the blog.