Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Land Acknowledgement

Cornell University is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' (the Cayuga Nation). The Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' are members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign Nations with a historic and contemporary presence on this land. The Confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University, New York state, and the United States of America. We acknowledge the painful history of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' dispossession, and honor the ongoing connection of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' people, past and present, to these lands and waters.

This land acknowledgment has been reviewed and approved by the traditional Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' leadership.

Note: For pronunciation of the names of the original inhabitants of the Ithaca area, Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' is approximately Guy-yo-KO-no and Haudenosaunee is approximately Ho-di-no-SO-ni. Please also listen to Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' language teacher Steve Henhawk’s pronunciation in this video associated with his Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' language course at Cornell.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice in the Department of Natural Resources & the Environment

The Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (DNRE) is a diverse department of researchers, educators, students, and staff that seek science-based solutions to environmental problems and sustainable natural resource management. In our research, teaching, and extension work, we recognize that the acknowledgement and respect of all stakeholders’ perspectives is essential for achieving just and sustainable solutions to today’s environmental problems.

We acknowledge that within academia and the field of natural resources and the environment there has been historic and systematic oppression that continues to impact individuals to this day. In light of this, we strive as a department to 1) reflect on and address our own exclusionary practices and structures, 2) elevate the people and perspectives that are often dismissed, 3) support one another within and outside of our academic responsibilities, and 4) listen to and adapt to the needs of our community.

We recognize that diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice is a long-term endeavor that requires continuous dedication and resources. We are committed to creating a community where all members experience robust feelings of belonging and are provided with the conditions necessary for their personal, professional, and academic pursuits to flourish.

DEI Structures: Advisory Council

To ensure that we actively make progress towards these goals, we elected our first DEI Advisory Council consisting of faculty, staff, and students (graduate and undergraduate) in March of 2021.The DEI Advisory Council aims to uphold and contribute to the DNRE community’s shared commitment to DEI by 1) increasing transparency of DEI decision-making processes, 2) developing and implementing DEI initiatives, programs, and accountability structures, 3) providing a safe space for individuals to provide feedback on DNRE’s culture and DEI progress, and 4) adapting to evolving community needs.

The Council is an important preliminary structure as we continue to reflect critically on our culture, practices, and goals. They are currently tasked with 1) identifying the DEI needs within DNRE, 2) developing a DEI strategic plan with SMART goals and associated evaluative structures, and 3) continuing to promote DEI programming within the department.

If you have any questions about the DEI Advisory Council or its tasks please contact us at: dnre-dei [at] cornell.edu.

Current Council Members

  • Carl St. John (Graduate Student) - Co-Chair and Graduate Student Association DEI Officer
  • Dr. Nina Overgaard Therkildsen (Faculty) - Co-Chair and Department Leader of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Harmony Borchardt-Wier (Staff)
  • Deanna Kreinheder (Graduate Student)
  • Janelle Morano (Graduate Student)
  • Dr. Rebecca Schneider (Faculty)
  • Connor Tamor (Undergraduate Student)

Meeting Minutes

Recent DEI Council Meeting Minutes

Note: These documents can be accessed by any Cornell faculty, student, or staff with a valid login. If you are not currently part of the Cornell community and are interested, please contact dnre-dei [at] cornell.edu.

Beyond DNRE DEI Resources

Report a Bias Incident

If you have seen, heard, or experienced bias, you can make a report with the Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity using the Bias Incident Form:

The Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity is responsible for collecting and tracking all reported bias activity that occurs at Cornell University that could potentially impact our commitment to diversity and inclusion, including all reports made by faculty, staff, students, and visitors to the Ithaca, Weill Cornell Medicine, and Cornell Tech campuses.