Anna Poslednik ’21 and Nick Diaco ’21 are passionate about their research. Poslednik’s interest in ecology stemmed from her exploration of the diet of an invasive fish species, while Diaco’s research on polymer chemistry began after a life-changing summer experience.
In the beginning of his career at the reserves, Hamilton built a laserdisc, which he called a “data management system before the internet.” The device, which employed interactive touch screen technology, stores and plays video, audio, and data.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology conservation scientist Dr. Ken Rosenberg led an international team of 12 scientists in an analysis of decades of data on bird population — and the conclusion is disturbing. In the last 50 years, one in four birds in North America has disappeared. Pesticide use and loss of habitat to farmland are some of the most significant contributors to the decline in bird populations, according to Rosenberg. Although scientists have known for a long time that certain bird species were threatened by human activities, this study reveals that these issues apply to birds of nearly all species. “Seeing this net loss of three billion birds was shocking,” Rosenberg said.
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced its 214 new members on April 17, an honor distinguishing leaders across disciplines. Members on the list include former First Lady Michelle Obama and author Jonathan Franzen, as well as two Cornellians — Prof. Stephen Ceci, human development, and Prof. Kelly Zamudio, ecology and evolutionary biology.
“There are 8,001 frog species known to science, 501 declining plus 90 extinct is 6.5 percent of that diversity. The human population is 7.7 billion people. If you were to take 6.5 percent of the human population that would be 455 million people, more than the population of the US. That’s the impact,” Zamudio said.
The course does not follow the typical prelim and final schedule; instead, students have several species identification quizzes scattered throughout the course of the semester. For these exams, students often roam the Cornell Botanical Gardens, identifying different types of trees.
The “Mighty Mekong” River, which winds through Southeast Asia, is slowly ceding its might in “one of the most over-engineered places on earth,” argues Brian Eyler, who studies this phenomenon, in his latest book.
“Media tends to be so focused on consumers that it typically erases the narrative of industry, and we are seeing plastic production continuing to increase while we, globally, do not have the capacity to manage plastics at the same pace,” Jorgensen said.