“Nancy and I have lived next to the Arboretum for 45 years, and we are thankful every day for the serenity it offers and the connections to nature that the Cornell Botanic Gardens bring to the students, residents, and visitors of our community.”
We came to Ithaca for two years, while I was telecommuting to Boston and Nancy was getting her M.S. in Natural Resources at Cornell. By a stroke of good fortune, we found a home in Forest Home next to the Botanic Gardens, and ever since have never felt a desire to be anywhere else for long. My career began with degrees in physics and geology, eventually leading to a PhD in geotechnical engineering at Cornell and registration as a professional engineer and geologist. My interest in children and STEM education, however, eventually led me to take a position with the Sciencenter in Ithaca, where I helped facilitate the construction and development of the museum by 4,000 volunteers in several phases over two decades. My experience there led me to the importance of two themes: early childhood development and protection of our environment. Since retiring, I have been conducting research and teaching courses in psychology at Cornell, with a focus on community relations and the early childhood roots of adult environmental attitude and behavior.
For both Nancy and me, it is a pleasure to give back to Cornell Botanic Gardens through financial support and volunteering as stewards for several trails in the CBG Natural Areas. As part of that work, I have raised funds and spearheaded the renovation of the suspension footbridge at Flat Rock, which connects the Arboretum with 20 miles of trails across Fall Creek.