March 13, 2017

AEM Professor Remembered as ‘Cherished Friend to All’

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Prof. Gregory Poe, applied economics and management, passed away at his residence over the weekend, according to the University.

Before he started working at Cornell, Poe served in the Peace Corps and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

Poe taught environmental and resource economics, and was involved in research and outreach programs focused on applied welfare and economics, non-market valuation, experimental economics and water pollution policy.

Matthew Utterback, M.S. candidate in AEM, who took Poe’s Master’s level Environmental and Resource economics class and was his Teaching Assistant, commented on Poe’s enthusiasm to teach students about the intersection of human action and the environment.

“His lectures and dialogue in class encouraged myself and other students to think outside the box of classical economic theory,” Utterback said. “He really pushed his students to think of real world scenarios and applications behind the economic equations.”

Utterback added that Poe always had a sincere appreciation and care for others, and was a prominent and well respected figure in his department.

“I will never forget about Greg’s half-cracked smile,” he said. “There was always an acknowledgement and familiarity, he always asked me how I was doing. He was always very sincere.”

Dave Ludwig ’17 called Poe a “light hearted, funny and engaging” professor who remained optimistic while teaching difficult material to his students.

“In environmental science, you get a lot of depressing predictions and pessimistic attitudes, but he had an optimistic outlook on the creativity and ability of people to solve environmental problems, which was refreshing,” he said.

In addition to his research, which focused on designing and implementing incentive programs to reduce emissions from nonpoint and point sources, Poe was also editor of the academic journal “Resource and Energy Economics.”

“Greg was a cherished friend to all,” said Interim Dean Ed McLaughlin in an email to Dyson students. “He loved human interaction and had a gift for asking the often uncomfortable but always pertinent question.”

Poe was also part of the executive management team of the Dyson School, serving as area coordinator for the Applied Economics and Policy Area of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business.

“His wry, frequently irreverent humor was one of the much anticipated and greatly appreciated features of Dyson faculty meetings,” McLaughlin said in the email.

“Greg was someone I considered a mentor and close friend, and I am grateful and thankful,” Utterman said. “I will forever hold him in my memory as Greg Poe, not just as the title of a professor in the applied economics department.”

Funeral arrangements at Bangs Funeral Home will be announced shortly, according to the University.

Support services are available to all members of the Cornell community. Students may consult with counselors from Gannett Counseling and Psychological Services by calling 607.255.5155. Students may speak with a peer counselor by calling EARS at 607.255.3277.

Employees may call the Faculty Staff Assistance Program at 607.255.2673. The Ithaca-based CrisisLine is available at 607.272.1616. For additional resources, visit