Steven Wolf Discusses Sustainable Development

DNR Professor Steven Wolf held a discussion entitled, “Sustainable development: Toward a new relationship between environment and economy.” Wolf focused on searching for new economic models to combat rising socioeconomic inequality and ecological unstainability, rather than the insufficient technological changes. He also discussed what people consider as “the good life” in examining the relationship between the economy, society, and ecology.


Alumni Highlight: Dana Shapiro

Dana Shapiro completed her undergraduate degree at Cornell in the Natural Resources Department. While at Cornell, Steven Wolf was Dana’s honors supervisor. After graduating from DNR in 2006, Dana  moved to Israel on a Fulbright scholarship, and eventually earned a Masters degree in economic geography from the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research. Her M.Sc. work looked at kibbutz business strategies to cope with rising transport fuel costs, and explored how collective structures can affect rural communities’ adaptive capacity. After completing grad school, Dana moved to the Big Island of Hawaii to work for a small, high-end beekeeping operation – Volcano Island Honey Company. She now works as a freelance rural development consultant, helping farms and cooperatives throughout Hawaii State. Some of her current projects include strategic planning for Whispering Winds Bamboo Cooperative on Maui, social marketing for Mauna Kea Tea, and helping develop a mobile slaughter facility for small-scale sheep and goat producers on the Big Island.


Steven Wolf Author of Chapter in New Governance and Sustainability Book

Steven Wolf, Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resources, is the author of Chapter 9,  “Temporal Dimensions of Governance: A Critical Analysis of Projects,” in a new book entitled Sustainability and Short-term Policies: Improving Governance in Spatial Policy Interventions, that grew out of collaborative thinking focused around project forms in governance.  Stefan Sjoblom of University of Helsinki has been the key leader of this effort, he edited this book with Kjell Andersson, Åbo Akademi University, Finland, Terry Marsden, Cardiff University, UK and Sarah Skerratt, Scottish Agricultural College – Edinburgh, UK.  The workshop at Cornell that was organized some years ago contributed to the network and the intellectual agenda. Wolf will spend two months in Helsinki with Stefan’s group this summer extending this effort. Further exploration of temporal dimensions of governance will be rewarding.


See details of the book at


In the words of the editors: “There has been a profound change within the sphere of government and societal regulation in recent years. Traditional hierarchical government has been challenged by new governance instruments relying on negotiations instead of command and control. Alongside this development there has been a change in the time-framing of politics and steering. Traditional politics implicitly has been based on stability and permanence while new forms of governance explicitly are based on just-in-time actions such as projects and issue-based collaborations in networks and programs.


This book analyses the implications of this shortening of time frames, focusing particularly on spatial policy interventions. Spatial policies have a special relevance when it comes to governance and new forms of societal steering. On the one hand, the local (geographical) level in politics is the principal battleground for the struggle between top down and bottom up approaches and aspirations. On the other hand, many of the most burning issues of our time require a global, strategic approach, for example, climate change, resource depletion, population growth are anchored in space and the physical world.


Whether and how short-term spatial approaches can achieve sustainable development outcomes is thus a critical question, and forms the focus of this volume. The book examines the characteristics of temporary policy measures across a range of rural, urban and regional contexts, in four continents: Europe, North America, Oceania and Africa. The outcomes and effects of these policies and interventions are analysed, particularly focusing on the tension between short-term interventions and long-term effects.”


Steven Wolf will be an ISS Faculty Fellow 2012-2015

DNR faculty member Dr. Steven Wolf will be joining Cornell’s Institute for the Social Sciences (ISS) as a Faculty Fellow from 2012 to 2015. This is part of a theme project on contested global landscapes.

Steven’s role statement:

My research and teaching on social relations of land emphasizes the resources, interests and accountability mechanisms that structure interplay among state, market and civil society actors in processes of conservation and economic development. I work primarily in agricultural and forested landscapes, and I focus on the tensions and the policy responses that emerge from various socioeconomic and environmental claims on land. I engage questions of environmental governance critically, as my work seeks to place these claims and policy responses in a social, historical and institutional context.  Within the ISS Contested Global Landscapes project, I will be conducting research on forest land tenure and payments for ecosystem services within agrienvironmental policy. The work will include studies in USA, the EU and China.  The empirical cases provide points of entry to questions of conservation finance,  institutional investments in land, and new roles for state actors in environmental governance.

Cornell Guani Fellowship in Conservation Biology

We are pleased to announce that the Guani Fellowship in Conservation Biology has been awarded to Justin Proctor. Justin’s MS/Ph.D. research will focus on breeding biology and community conservation of the Golden Swallow in the Dominican Republic. He will be supervised by David Winkler, the newest member of the Field of Natural Resources. Nominations for future Guani Fellowships will be solicited in the fall.

Evan Cooch, Cliff Kraft, Steven Wolf

Stefanie Hufnagl-Eichiner Recent DNR Grad Student Graduate

Stefanie Hufnagl-Eichiner, Ph.D., recently graduated from the Department of Natural Resources and started a post doc position at the Department of Geography at the University of Passau in her native Germany. Steven Wolf, Associate Professor in DNR at Cornell, was her faculty adviser for her Ph.D. work. Hufnagl-Eichiner researches environmental governance through regional marketing in conventional and alternative agri-food systems in Germany and Austria. She teaches empirical research methods and a comparative course on agri-food systems in Europe and the Americas to students in the fields of Geography, Cultural Studies and North American Studies. She plans to set up a recurring exchange of students and scholars through field trips and study-abroad opportunities between the University of Passau and Cornell University in Ithaca, where she almost naturalized. If you are interested in collaborating, please send a note to

Here are some relevant links:

Stefanie Hufnagl-Eichiner’s official website:

The University of Passau:

Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy

Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy Adds
Interactive Capabilities to Enhance Scholarly Articles
Teamwork with U.S. National Library of Medicine enables readers to engage with SSPP articles

November 21, 2011 (Bethesda) – As part of a parallel mission to enhance scholarly communication, editors of Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy (SSPP) and the U.S. National Library of Medicine worked together to transform two SSPP articles from traditional static documents into self-contained, multimedia-rich interactive publications.  They are the debut pieces in SSPP’s initiative to create articles that engage and respond to the reader.

The 2008 SSPP article, A modest proposal: global rationalization of ecological footprint to eliminate ecological debt by Brian Ohl, Steven Wolf, & William Anderson and 2011 article, Using Q-methodology to identify local perspectives on wildfires in two Koyukon Athabascan communities in rural Alaska by Lily Ray can be viewed using a web-based application called Panorama Lite developed by the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, an R&D division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.  This visualization and analysis tool enables readers to display and explore figures, illustrations, charts, tables, video and images, transforming fixed, scholarly articles into dynamic publications with interactive capabilities.

SSPP’s interactive articles allow the reader to go beyond the printed page and into author-provided data to derive new relationships and analyses and then, export the material for scientific research. This refreshing take on the data and statistical tools enhances understanding of the content and establishes a platform for deeper analysis of material in tables and charts.

For more information about Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy, please access To learn more about Panorama Lite, visit


Amy Forrester
Managing Editor
Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy

Integrating Ecological and Socioeconomic Monitoring of Working Forests

This is an interesting paper from the August 2011 issue of BioScience. Be sure to check it out!


Large-scale sell-offs of industrial timberlands in the United States have prompted public and private investments in a new class of “working forest” land deals, notable for their large size and complex divisions of property rights. These transactions have been pitched as “win-win-win” deals that provide social, economic, and ecological benefits. Despite hundreds of millions of dollars invested in these transactions, we found a paucity of evidence that their supposed benefits are being realized. Monitoring programs necessary to gather such evidence tend to be underfunded, short term, and focused on a limited set of indicators. The few projects with more comprehensive monitoring programs had long-term funding sources, formal mechanisms for incorporating data into subsequent management decisions, and combined multidisciplinary monitoring techniques. We propose that a relatively modest allocation of funds to monitoring could help assessand hopefully improvethe effectiveness of current and future transactions, to see if the promise of “win-win-win” is actually delivered.

BioScience6l: 631-637. ISSN 0006-3568, electronic ISSN 1525-3244. © 2011 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press’s Rights and Permissions Web site at reprintinfo.asp. doi:10.1525/bio.2011.61.8.10 August 2011 / Vol. 61 No. 8 • BioScience