Lecturer, School of Integrative Plant Science
Through both my roles as the Director of Natural Areas for the Cornell Botanic Gardens and a Lecturer in the Department of Horticulture, I work to further our understanding of natural systems, environmental sustainability, and natural resource conservation, management, and use.
I lead the Garden’s natural areas program, which is responsible for the protection and management of a system of preserves spanning nearly 3,600 acres across 40 natural areas. The natural areas conserve representative examples of all the natural community types and most rare plant habitats in the central Finger Lakes Region, and are stewarded to support Cornell's and the Botanic Gardens' educational missions. The holdings include one-third of Cornell’s iconic campus landscape, including two massive gorges, scenic Beebe Lake, and a renowned wildflower garden. I lead the organization’s native biodiversity conservation efforts, while facilitating compatible educational, research, and recreational uses across these outdoor classrooms.
As lecturer in the School of Plant Science, I teach a 400-level course, “Restoration Ecology,” that draws on concepts from ecology, hydrology, soil science, field biology, and conservation biology and applies these in both principle and practice to the rapidly evolving field of restoration ecology. Through lectures, reading, and discussion, site visits to reference and active restoration sites, and real-world class projects, students learn and practice skills needed to develop and implement restoration projects and plans for a variety of situations.
I chair the Cornell Gorge Safety Committee, co-chair the University’s Deer Management Committee, am a Fellow at the Flora Rose House, and serve on the University’s Committee on Student Health and Safety, Wellness Advisory Committee, and Campus Planning Committee. Working to save the threatened and endangered native plants of the United States by supporting evidence-based measures to prevent extinction, I am a conservation scientist with the Center for Plant Conservation. I also serve as an advisor to the City of Ithaca’s Parks, Recreation, and Natural Areas Committee, am a member of the Tompkins County Parks and Trails Network Committee, and hold an appointment to the Dryden Rail Trail Taskforce, where we are working to convert an abandoned railroad bed to create a continuous 16-mile trail.
For Cornellians, access abounds within Cornell Botanic Garden’s Natural Areas and Gorge Trails, though care should be taken when strolling and hiking. For starters, walkers should take note that a section of the Cascadilla Gorge Trail, between...
The university will be sending letters in the coming weeks to notify local municipalities and neighbors of the ash abatements. The latest removals are part of phases 2 and 3 of Cornell’s Emerald Ash Borer Action Plan to manage thousands of on-...