Professor, Natural Resources and the Environment
Professor, Department of Global Development
Shorna Allred is a Professor at Cornell University in the Center for Conservation Social Sciences, Dept. of Natural Resources and the Environment. She also holds a joint faculty appointment with the Dept. of Global. Development and in the Southeast Asia Program. Dr. Allred was the recipient of the 2018 Engaged Scholar Prize.
Dr. Allred, a native Texan and first generation college student, earned her Ph.D. from Oregon State University and her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Penn State University. Allred began her academic career at Purdue University in 2001 and joined the Cornell University faculty in 2007. She is also the Associate Director of the Center for Conservation Social Sciences and a member of the Graduate Fields of Natural Resources and Global Development.
Dr. Allred's research and outreach program at Cornell focus on understanding human attitudes, motivations, and behavior related to natural resource conservation and management. Her main interests center on how social science can facilitate community-based approaches to planning and management while enhancing the resilience and sustainability of communities both locally and abroad.
Dr. Allred is passionate about engaging students in community-based work and leads a global service learning program, Global Citizenship and Sustainability, that is focused on indigenous community resilience. She works in Southeast Asia in Malaysian Borneo and recently spent her sabbatical investigating flood resilience in Bangkok, Thailand. Her teaching focus at Cornell is on community-based research methods in natural resources, global service-learning, environmental justice, and community organizing for the public good.
In her spare time Dr. Allred enjoys spending time with friends and family, learning about cultures of the world, reading historical fiction and poetry, exploring the outdoors, and her new hobby of playing the ukelele.
- 2009-Present, Associate Director, Center for Conservation Social Sciences
- 2016-Present, House Professor-Dean, Alice Cook House
- 2016-Present, Visiting Professor, Universiti of Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)
- 2018-Present, Core Faculty Member, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University
- Ph.D., Dept. of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Forest Social Science, Oregon State University, 2001
- M.S., Dept. of Ecosystem Science and Management, Natural Resource Education, Pennsylvania State University, 1997
- B.S., Environmental Resource Management, Pennsylvania State University, 1994
Conservation social science
Awards & Honors
- 2019: SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service
- 2018: Engaged Scholar Prize, Cornell University, Office of Engagement Initiatives
- 2018: Exemplary Designation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award for Rust to Green initiative
- 2015: New England Cottontail Conservation Award, Dept. of Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- 2015: Career Leadership Award, Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP)
- 2015: Legacy Planning for Forest Landowners Outreach Program, Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP), Silver Award
- 2013: Family Forests Education Award, Forest Connect Team Award; awarded by National Woodland Owners Association (NWOA) and National Association of University Forest Resource Programs (NAUFRP)
- 2013: Kaplan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellowship in Service-Learning
- 2013: Engaged Learning and Research Faculty Fellow
- 2006: Top 40 Young Professionals of Greater Lafayette (for community-based work)
- 2002: Honoree, Natural Resources and Environmental Management Program of the Cooperative Extension System
- 2000: Search for Excellence Award - Leadership in Educational Programming, Oregon State University Extension Association
Shorna B. Allred's research program blends human factors and natural sciences to improve resource management and conservation. The goal of her research program is to develop a fundamental understanding of human behavior for the purposes of improving resource conservation and management. An understanding of human social, political, and psychological processes will enhance our ability to conserve and manage our natural resources and encourage an open and informed exchange of ideas.
Select Research & Outreach Projects
Stories of Black Rural Land Stewardship and Legacy in the Northeast
We will use narrative inquiry to document and disseminate success stories and to gain a northeast regional perspective about the issues facing African-American landowners, opportunities for stewardship and legacy, strategies to combat land loss, and incentives for becoming landowners.
R2G CEP is a 2-year project (2018-20) seeking to learn how university students and the Utica and Binghamton, NY communities have experienced and been affected by participating in Rust2Green. It is a systematic, intentional inquiry being collaboratively led and undertaken by a team of Cornell and R2G Utica and R2G Binghamton representatives. Guided by mutually agreed upon university and community goals, R2G CEP is using approaches - including theory of change pathway modeling and concept mapping, for example–that invite and broaden inclusion and participation, and that also further and strengthen R2G’s relationships across university-community and Binghamton-Utica geographies. Overall, in keeping with R2G’s underlying approach, R2G CEP is participant-driven and grounded in inquiry and reflection. Learn more about the R2G Collaborative Evaluation Project and Leadership. Funded by Faculty Research on Engagement Grant from Engaged Cornell).
Integrating Climate, Crop, and Cloud Computing Data in the Caribbean to Improve Drought Resilience
Drought in the Caribbean, like in many other parts of the world, can trigger a collision of demands on water resources. For example, food and energy production both rely largely on rain-fed water supplies; municipalities and tourist resorts—which sustain a large portion of many local economies—depend on both surface and groundwater supplies. In the near future, rising sea levels will mean that existing aquifers will face increased rates of saltwater intrusion. This threat to the groundwater supply is exacerbated further during times of drought when aquifers are pumped more aggressively to meet freshwater demand. Adding to these challenges, global climate model simulations tend to agree that even low levels of global temperature increase will prompt circulation changes that reduce precipitation and increase evapotranspiration rates in the Caribbean. A changing climate will require a constellation of adaptation strategies to be implemented across the Caribbean, and many other parts of the Majority World. These strategies will include changes in the types of crops that are planted and the time of year when they are grown, governmental and intergovernmental policies to ensure a reliable and nutritious food supply will be available for future generations, and technological innovations to improve resilience. (Funded by grant from the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability with Toby Ault-PI, Allison Chatrchyan, Danielle Eiseman, and Dimitris Herrera).
Indigenous Resilience in Borneo
This collaborative project examines the cultural resilience of the Penan in Long Lamai around issues of environmental protection, sustainable development, and indigenous people. Cultural resilience work focuses on the threatened aspects of culture such as language, beliefs and knowledge of indigenous and tribal peoples and considers how cultural background (i.e., culture, cultural values, language, customs, norms) helps individuals and communities overcome adversity. In January 2018, we utilized copies of 217 photos from the Hedda Morrison collection in Cornell’s Rare and Manuscript Collection (RMC) to conduct ethnographic interviews with the Penan in Long Lamai. The Hedda Morrison photos were taken in the 1950’s and depict features of the nomadic life such as hunting, preparing sago, making baskets from rattan, making of blowpipes and poison darts which were used in hunting, and huts that the Penan constructed in the forest. This rich collection of photos was a way for us to collect stories of the nomadic life and document the traditional ecological and cultural knowledge that is being lost. The goal of the research is to use the photos to 1) preserve and document traditional knowledge and culture of the Penan, 2) learn how the core values of the Penan can be furthered through preserving indigenous knowledge and 3) Explore opportunities for community-based technological solutions to enhance cultural resilience. We are working with the Cornell Library to digitize the historical photographs and create a digital portal that would provide worldwide access to high quality digital copies of the Penans of Sarawak photos and metadata, organized along a timeline of significant cultural shifts. The digital portal will allow us to collate the ethnographic metadata we have collected for researcher access and also for outreach and education with classes and those seeking to learn about the Penan. (Funded by grants from Engaged Cornell and Cornell University Library with support from Universiti of Malaysia Sarawak).
Place-Based Oral Histories of Resilience in Uniontown
This project explores environmental justice in America through the lens of structural inequality. A partnership between Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice (BBC) and Cornell University opens up a pathway for student learning about the histories and structures that gave birth to the environmental injustices of today. Every community has a right to clean air, land, and water, yet poor communities and communities of color disproportionally bear the weight of environmental pollutants. This project investigates the root causes of environmental injustice by examining history, policy, and the environment. Teaching and outreach activities involve a documentary film screening, community discussions facilitated by BBC, a new environmental justice course, and service-learning trip that Cornell students will work alongside community organizers in Alabama’s Black Belt region to promote both learning and action. The research activities focus on documenting the history of community organizing through the historical perspectives of community members, exploring place-based narratives of environmental justice and culture in Uniontown, and utilizing stories as a way to help build community power and resilience. (Funded by grant from Engaged Cornell).
Understanding and Informing Family Forest Owner Decisions of Intergenerational Land Transfer to Ensure Working Forested Landscapes
In January 2015, the Family Forest Resource Center was awarded a $499,380 grant (PI, Paul Catanzaro, UMass) from the Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities program of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to understand and inform family forest owner decisions of land transfer. This four-year grant is centered on the Northeast U.S. and comprised of four northeast universities: University of Massachusetts, University of Maine, University of Vermont, and Cornell University. Due to an aging landowner population, in the coming years, almost half of the family forest owners (FFOs) in the U.S. will be deciding the future of their land. In other words, they will be deciding to convert it to another use, parcelize it, conserve it, etc. These decisions will be the most important determinants of the viability of working forests, because forest cover loss and parcel size reductions eliminate or lessen forest management opportunities. Stabilizing the forest land base by stemming the tide of conversion and parcelization is critical to ensuring a future of viable and competitive working forested landscapes. This integrated grant involves both research and extension. Research is based on landowner interviews and mail surveys to better understand how family forest owners make decisions about the future of their land. The findings from this research will inform regional extension programs that use peer network and train-the-trainers approaches to help inform family forest owner decisions. By working to stabilize the land base in this way, this project will assist in maintaining a viable forest industry, and, ultimately, vibrant rural communities.
- Allred, S.B. 2020. Cultural contributions to community resilience in Borneo. Cornell Undergraduate Research Board Humanities Mini-symposium, Cornell University, Ithaca NY, October 28, 2020.
- Allred, S.B. 2020. Exploring Community Resilience Across Space and Time. A 2020 View of Climate Change, Trustee Council Advisory Meeting, Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, Panel Presentation, Cornell University, Ithaca NY, October 9, 2020.
- Mouillesseaux-Kunzman, H. and S. Allred. 2020. Riverine Flooding in Binghamton, NY: Rallying the Present and Preparing for the Future in the Context of the Past. Accelerating Adaptation Practice in New York State. Ithaca, NY March 5, 2020.
- Harris, R., Kuo Somchanhmavong, A. and S.B. Allred. 2020. Service-learning sharing session workshop. Universiti of Malaysia Sarawak, Kuching, Malaysia, January 16, 2020.
- Georgakakos, C. B., Cerra, J., Allred, S. B., Williams, K., Walter, T., LoGiudice, E., & Smith, G. 2019. Cross-disciplinary learning in environmental engineering and landscape architecture. AGUFM, 2019, ED44A-06. San Francisco, CA, December 9-13, 2020.
- *Allred, S. 2019. Community-Focused Interventions for Successful Conservation of Natural Resources. SUNY Cobleskill 7th Generation Lecture Series. Cobleskill, NY, October 10, 2019.
- Allred, S. 2019. Meridian Diplomacy Forum: Countries of the Mekong. Panelist: Leveraging tourism for sustainable ecological development and cultural heritage. Washington DC, June 6, 2019.
- Namain, S., Allred, S. and R. Stedman. 2019. Topophilia vs. Biophilia: An investigation of the predictive power of place attachment and environmental identity on place-protective behaviors. International Symposium on Society and Resource Management, Oshkosh, WI, June 4, 2019.
- Allred, S. 2019. Is Sustainable Development Possible? Research, Teaching and Engagement at Cornell. Thought Leader Panelist at the Asia Pacific Leadership Conference. Bangkok, Thailand, March 30, 2019.
- Allred, S. 2018. Community Cultural Perspectives on Resilience: Rust2Green Binghamton. 2018 Community Development Institute: Flood Risk and Community Resiliency. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, October 12, 2018.
- Cerra, J. Walter, T., Broussard Allred, S., Williams, K., LoGiudice, L., Smith, G., and C. Georgakakos. 2018. Preparing for practice: Introducing cross- disciplinary collaboration for students pursuing for professional careers. Connecting Research and Teaching Conference, Center for Teaching Innovation (CTI) and the Cornell University Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CU-CIRTL), Ithaca NY, May 21, 2018.
- Allred, S. 2018. From Binghamton to Borneo: Engaged Learning Across Space and Time. Cornell Academics and Professors Emeriti Lecture Series, Ithaca, NY, May 17, 2018.
- Allred, S. 2018. Exploring Indigenous Community Resilience with the Penan of Malaysian Borneo. Gatty Lecture Series, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, April 19, 2018.
- Allred, S. and Thorn, K. 2018. Discussing Climate Change with Agriculture and Natural Resources Audiences: Professional Perspectives. USDA Climate Learning Network, April 12, 2018.
- Allred, S. and A. Bartel. 2017. Preparing Students for Engagement. Office of Engagement Initiatives, Engaged Cornell Workshop Series, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, March 20, 2018.
- Allred, S. 2018. Application of Social Science to Landowner Behavior. NYC Dept. of Environmental
- Protection, Riparian Buffer Initiative, Kingston, NY, Feb. 22, 2018.
- Allred, S. 2018. Exploring Indigenous Community Resilience in Long Lamai: Results from Participatory
- Research. Research Seminar at the Institute of Social Informatics and Technological Innovation (ISITI), University of Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Kuching, Malaysia, January 5, 2018.
- Allred, S. 2018. Global Citizenship and Sustainability: UNI-COR Partnership for Indigenous Community Resilience. Presentation at University of Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Kuching, Malaysia, January 4, 2018.
- NTRES 4000-Global Sustainability: Community-Based Research Methods in Southeast Asia
- NTRES 4001-Global Citizenship and Sustainability: Service-Learning Borneo
- NTRES 4002-Community-Based Engagement and Analysis
- UNILWYL 1450-Toxic Inequality: Environmental Justice in America
- UNILWYL 1404: Cook Conversations: Bridging Self, Community, and World
As an advisor for the ESS (Environmental and Sustainability Sciences) undergraduate student body, Dr. Allred helps guide promising individuals through their years' coursework and research and career development. Dr. Allred also advises McNair Scholars and runs a summer internship program with Rust to Green Binghamton. Beyond the classroom, she also serves as the Alice Cook House Dean through which she heads the intellectual program.
Dr. Allred is happy to support students in writing letters of recommendation for funding, graduate, career, and other opportunities. When requesting letters of recommendation, please closely follow the guidelines by completing all the steps below. This ensures that Dr. Allred has both the supporting information and time needed to write a strong letter of recommendation that is tailored to the particular opportunity to which you are applying. During the busy times of year when letters are due (e.g. October and November for example), Dr. Allred may be writing upwards of 30 letters so having the detailed information organized for each student is extremely helpful in managing the process of letter submission and ensuring that all letters are cogent and submitted on time. Also, be mindful of submitting requests for letters during times that Cornell is on break as those are times that Dr. Allred usually reserves for conducting fieldwork abroad and also spending time with family. Please use her out-of-office reply as a guide to her availability during these times.
- Request the letter of recommendation at least 2-4 weeks in advance; a month is preferred if this is the first time I am writing a letter of recommendation for you.
- Provide a few bullet points summarizing your motivation and interest related to the job, school, or funding opportunity to which you are applying.
- Provide a few bullet points about how you feel your research, coursework, or other experience with her is related to the opportunity to which you are applying
- Send her your updated resume or C.V. (curriculum vitae)
- List the exact due date and time due (e.g. December 6th at 11:59pm)
- Provide details about the program that you are applying to (a link to the funding opportunity or program is fine)
- Ideally, all of the above information will come in a single e-mail so that I have all the information in one place.
- Send her an e-mail reminder 2 days before the due date.
- If you are requesting multiple letters of recommendation to various programs or funding opportunities, please send an e-mail listing all the programs, due dates (date and exact time), and submission instructions.
Current Graduate Students
Gloria Blaise, M.S. '20, Ph.D. '23
M.S. Research Interests: Community development and ecological restoration via community-based agroforestry programs
Thesis title: Trees for Livelihoods: Effectiveness of Community-Based Agroforestry on Land Cover Change and Agroforestry Adoption Behavior in Haiti
Charles Tebbutt (PhD candidate)
Aalayna Green (PhD candidate)
Francine Barchett (PhD candidate)
Neelia Heath (MS)
Daria Ponstingel, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Researcher, Conservation and Land Use Program
Past Graduate Students
Francine Barchett, MPS '21
Research Interests: sustainability certification strategies in wildlife
Anna Brettman, MPS '21
Research interests: Disaster relief and response
Rex Ukaejiofo, MPS '20
Research interests: Examining Climate Adaptation Policies and Strategies in Agricultural Livelihoods in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo
Gretchen Worth, MPS '19
Research Interests: Community engagement and heritage conservation in under-served communities.
Jeffrey Wall, Ph.D '18
Ph.D. Research Interests: Ethnobiological dimensions of plant genetic resource value.
Thesis title: What Women Know that Men Do Not about Chestnut Trees in Turkey: A Method of Hearing Muted Knowledge
Sara Naiman, M.S. '17
M.S. Research Interests: The impact individuals' perceptions of the environment, community and sense of place have on environmental behavior
Thesis title: Understanding Support for Actively Managed Protected Areas: The Case of the Albany Pine Bush Reserve
Jennifer Fownes, M.S. '17
Thesis title: The Influence of Weather on Perceptions of Personal Experience with Climate Change Extreme Weather in New York State
Christine Moskell, M.S. '12 and PhD '16
PhD dissertation: Mixed-methods investigations of Community Engagement in Urban Environmental Stewardship
M.S. title: Towards Sustainable Urban Forest Governance: Strategies for Stakeholder Engagement in Tree Planting and Stewardship
John Vogel, M.S. '15
M.S. title: The Land-Use and Land Management Decision-Making of Exurban Landowners in the Adirondack Park and the Yellowstone Ecosystem
Ashley Dayer, PhD ' 13
PhD dissertation: Advancing The Study of Private Landowner Behavior: Understanding Early Successional Forest Habitat Management
Rachel Parks, MPS '13
MPS title: Encouraging Wildlife Habitat Management on Private Woodlands: New England Cottontail in the Hudson Valley of New York State
Andrew Roe, M.S. in Natural Resources '11
Thesis title: Private Forestland Parcelization in New York: Patterns, Drivers, and Effects
102 Fernow Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
srb237 [at] cornell.edu
Shorna in the news
- Department of Entomology
- Department of Global Development
- Natural Resources and the Environment
- Department of Global Development
- Natural Resources and the Environment