I am developing a plan to balance undergraduate student population in biological engineering and environmental engineering majors for Fall 2010.
I am implementing a plan to raise overall quality of biological engineering majors, established in 2008.
I teach biochemistry and molecular biology laboratory and lecture classes to Cornell undergraduate and graduate students. Many of the students who take these classes are biology majors, and many of them continue on in their studies later to become doctors, veterinarians, or scientists.
To help educate New Yorkers and others about genetic engineering in plants, I have presented lectures, co-authored a discussion guide and served as a resource for discussion of this issue among farmers, consumers, policymakers and the public.
We have striven to take the mystique out of engineering science and show our clients how they can adopt interesting techniques to improve their pesticide application methods. We have shown how to reduce pesticides in apples and grapes by 30 percent and how to penetrate thatch in turfgrass and get better anthracnose control. We have shown all airblast sprayer operators how to target their sprayers properly to avoid drift onto neighboring properties. We have instructed all new employees of Cornell University who will apply pesticides.
Organic agriculture has come to the forefront as an important opportunity for all farm sectors, across the country. Through our efforts, we have increased the research and extension support of these producers. We have identified strategies and developed grower tools to improve production and reduce environmental impacts of organic vegetable, grain and dairy systems in the Northeast U.S. A new initiative has focused on understanding the community supported agriculture model for impacts on consumer behavior and health awareness.
We are studying the patterns of attack by a community of insect herbivores on plants; the work involves field biology, chemical ecology, genetics, and entomology. Our basic research involves milkweed plants, nearly 120 species from North America (and 20 from South America), which grow in various habitats and are attacked by a specialized community of insects. Some of the work is evolutionary in terms of quantifying phylogenetic patterns associated with the evolution of specialization (in insects parasites) and other work is more ecological, based on community interactions.
The goal of my research program is to identify and evaluate multiple strategies than can be integrated to control weeds in vegetable and fruit crops. The strategies may be traditional (chemical, mechanical) or more unusual (cover crops, natural products, weed biology/ecology, crop rotations). The intention is to develop methods of ensuring continued production of healthy foods while maintaining economic sustainability for growers and the safety of the food supply and environment.
In this newly funded National Science Foundation research project, the goal is to enhance understanding of the nature of science and evolutionary concepts, as well as to motivate all children to learn more about science.
The Fossil Finders project uses research-based practice to support teachers in engaging children in classrooms across the country in an authentic investigation of Devonian fossils in order to enhance learning about evolutionary and earth science concepts, inquiry, and the nature of science.
The Erasing Boundaries Symposium convened an interdisciplinary group of 60 faculty to hear 24 selected papers. The symposium asked: How can we overcome boundaries created by our own pedagogical strategies, professional education, disciplinary autonomy, and academic curricula in service to communities and academic service learning?