- Native species conservation, restoration ecology, invasive species, and natural areas protection
- Conservation science
- Natural areas academic and recreational use
- Gorge natural and cultural history
I direct the natural areas program, which is responsible for a system of preserves spanning nearly 3,600 acres across 40 natural areas. These preserves encompass representative examples of all the natural community types and most rare plant habitats in the central Finger Lakes Region. They include one-third of the Cornell campus, including two iconic gorges, Beebe Lake, and a renowned wildflower garden.
I have a passion for helping safeguard our collective natural heritage and mentoring the next generation of conservation champions. To this end, I work with faculty, campus stakeholders, and other conservation organizations to learn about, protect, and manage these remarkable preserves. I educate students and the public on natural areas and conservation, both in and out of the classroom, by leading educational hikes, speaking on a broad range of environmental topics, lecturing for the Horticulture Section (SIPS) for Restoration Ecology, teaching at Cornell Adult University, and serving as house fellow for the Flora Rose House.
As a trained plant ecologist, I coordinate and collaborate on conservation-related research within our natural areas. I head our rare plant conservation efforts, including engagement with the Center for Plant Conservation, I lead the University’s deer management program, and co-chair the Campus Deer Management Program Committee. I am keenly interested in the safety of our visitors; as chair of the Cornell Gorge Safety Committee, I lead the University’s gorge safety programs. In addition, I am a member of the Campus Planning Committee, the university’s Wellness Advisory Committee, the Tompkins County Parks and Trails Network, and the Town of Dryden’s Rail Trail Task Force.
Pride of ownership award – City of Ithaca and Ithaca Rotary Club
Richard B. Fischer Environmental Conservation Award – Town of Ithaca
TOGO Award – Cornell University Community Relations
Lifetime Achievement Award – Illinois Native Plant Society