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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

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Cornell and global researchers are finding ways to control disease-carrying aquatic plants in Senegal by turning the flora into inexpensive compost or livestock feed – and helping the economy.

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The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets identified the invasive pest in Romulus, New York, following reports from Cornell’s New York State Integrated Pest Management Program.

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