A user submitted image of an unafraid bear moving through private property.

Citizen Scientists Lead Wildlife Conservation Effort With New App

Touchdown, Cornell’s unofficial mascot, is the only red bear in New York. But the state is home to at least 6,000 to 8,000 black bears, spread across all forms of terrain. Tracking all of them proves to be a significant challenge for New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation, the agency tasked with the welfare of these animals. However, the development of a new mobile app at Cornell, named iSeeMammals, could soon revolutionize how data about bears and their presence is collected. “We have approximately 200 research sites every summer across the Southern Tier, but we still can’t get everywhere.

Symbolic of the gender inequality in STEM, 1927's Solvay Conference on Physics featured only one woman, Marie Curie (bottom row; third from left)

New Study Offers Insight Into Gender Imbalance in Higher Education

Gender inequality in science, technology, engineering and math has been a long documented issue, but a new study coming out of the Cornell Center for the Study of Inequality offers encouraging evidence of avenues to bridge this divide. Dafna Gelbgiser, grad, and Kyle Albert, grad, found that green fields in higher education tend to bridge the gender divide in both STEM and non-STEM fields. Gelbgiser defined green fields as those that contribute to green jobs, which provide goods or have production processes that benefit the environment. Examples of such fields include environmental science and sustainability studies. Gelbgiser explained that both she and Albert were interested in studying green fields since they could track “what happens when a new field of study emerges in terms of gender inequality in those fields.”

According to Gelbgiser, green fields are unique because they do not have clear roots in other disciplines.

Fishermen inspect monofilament fishing lines on Lake Victoria’s shore.

Cornell Researcher Explains Effect of Human Illnesses on the Environment

Predictions of the likely effects of climate change are plentiful in scientific journals. Warnings of smog-engulfed cities, rising precipitation levels and the resultant changing landscape of diseases already seem to be realities in parts of the world. While the causes of such rapid change may be clear, one Cornell researcher believes that there is another avenue left to explore: the effect that human illnesses have on the environment. “A lot of the ways that we’ve thought about this in the past is by considering how the environment affects our health. In this study we examine the other side: how our health might affect the environment.

MALPASS | Clean Money

Environmentalists really seem to get a bad rap. I’m not talking about eco-terrorism or the occasional highly offensive PETA advertisement —  I’m talking about image. No matter who you talk to, liberal or conservative, their idea of an environmentalist always seems to be the peace-sign-throwing, carrot-munching, Yusef-Islam-AKA-Cat-Ste­vens-looking hippie. I suppose it’s partly our fault; after all, I do have a few tie dyes kicking around in my closet. But generally speaking it’s always the same story: someone brings up clean energy, and the politicians and public roll eyes because another old beatnik took a moment between blunt hits to talk about how we’re all connected to nature.

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Homo Sapiens: A Timely Film at Cornell Cinema

Homo Sapiens, showing at Cornell Cinema on September 6, opens with a drenching view of what Ithaca lacks: rain. Not the misty sort of showers that ironically serve to heighten the humidity but the real wet drops of purifying, sustaining rain. From this point, director Nikolaus Geyrhalter spans from one scene to another, each averaging about 26 seconds with a different naturalistic soundtrack of birds, bees, breezes, blizzards and beaches. Intermittent power outages — in which Geyrhalter cuts to black — provide the only pauses from one still life to the next. In its human-free view of the world, Homo Sapiens presents a powerful glimpse of our ethereal human legacy.

Ithaca Creates, Sustains Green Jobs

In an continued effort to develop energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly innovation, Ithaca is set to launch a multitude of new programs this summer directed at training workers in the local community.
According to Julia Mattick, director of the Tompkins County Workforce Investment Board, the Board will invest approximately $120,000 in 2009 to fund various programs meant to create and sustain green-collar jobs for Ithacans under the age of 24. The funding comes primarily from the federal government’s workforce investment act and stimulus bill, according to Mattick.

Nye Makes Surprise Appearance

For almost a week, Prof. Bruce Lewenstein, communication, tantalized his class, Communication 2850: Communication in the Life Sciences, with only the vaguest of details about a “super secret mystery guest.” Lewenstein would only say that the “mystery guest” was tall, thin and a Cornell alumnus.
“While I heard the gossip about his potential appearance, when he actually walked into the room I was so surprised,” Josh Helfgott ’11 stated in an e-mail. “He walked in wearing his trademark bow tie and smiled at the class. All I could do was smile. He looked just like he does on TV.” [img_assist|nid=37164|title=The Science Guy|desc=Bill Nye ’77 speaks to Communication 2850: Communication in the Life Sciences yesterday in Warren Hall.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]

Environmental Rights Priority

I’m sure that everyone has some mention of environmental rights in recent years. With growing concern for environmental protection, many have begun to adapt their lifestyles to limit damage to the earth. From hybrid vehicles to wind power, there is an ever-increasing focus on protecting the environment and limiting the pollution emitted by humankind. Our own Cornell University Sustainability Coordinator is in the process of developing initiatives to make the campus environmentally friendly.