Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

The Cornell Local Roads Program was honored for their work supporting the local infrastructure across New York during a Nov. 5 ceremony celebrating research, extension and staff excellence at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The Cornell Local Roads Program, based in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, provides training, technical assistance and information to those responsible for the maintenance, construction and management of local highways and bridges in New York state. The team was honored with the Outstanding Accomplishments in Extension/Outreach team award.

The roots of the program go back to the 1920s, and an annual school for highway superintendents was created here in 1938. The team reaches large audiences through workshops, conferences and presentations given throughout the state. In 2017 they conducted 54 workshops on 14 topics for 1,087 participants.

They extend their reach through weekly web posts, a weekly digital newsletter and a quarterly print publication. Recent innovations include a smartphone app to help highway workers identify and manage roadside invasive species, and a Build a Better Mousetrap competition, which encourages highway departments to develop new ideas to enhance transportation and safety. 

"The team serves an important part of the CALS mission by supporting New York’s critical infrastructure — and I’m pleased to recognize its members for their truly outstanding contributions," said Kathryn J. Boor '80, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of CALS.

Members of the team include:

  • David Orr, director
  • Melissa Foley, program manager
  • Geoff Scott, technical assistance engineer
  • Adam Howell, communications specialist
  • Amanda Link, event coordinator
  • Barbara Lockwood, administrative assistant
David Orr accepts his award
David Orr receives his award from Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of CALS.

David Orr and Dean Boor

► Meet all of our 2018 Research, Extension and Staff Award winners

Keep Exploring

Tall white wind turbines on top of a mountain at sunset


Quadrupling turbines, U.S. can meet 2030 wind-energy goals
“The United States currently produces about 7% of its electricity from wind energy,” said Sara C. Pryor, professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. “This research shows that a quadrupling of the installed capacity of wind...
  • Atkinson Center
  • Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Environment
A small clear plastic chip with cords coming out of it


Physics tool helps track cancer cell diversity
A Cornell-led team took a novel, interdisciplinary approach to analyzing the behavior of breast tumor cells by employing a statistical modeling technique more commonly used in physics and economics. The team was able to demonstrate how the...
  • Biological and Environmental Engineering
  • Health + Nutrition
  • Medicine