TEBBUTT | Decline and Fall: How to Enjoy One Despite the Other

Something unusual happened this weekend, right here in New York: On Saturday, September 23rd, after a summer that will be remembered for its fiery red skies, creeping heatwaves and sudden deluges, the autumnal equinox drifted in without incident.

Ithaca’s skies were draped in seasonable gray; the temperature hovered at 54.8°F (12.6°C), well within the 30-year average. A light rain dappled the earth as students wistfully remembered sunny mornings past.

That’s not to say there wasn’t any fanfare; autumn’s liveries are the richest of any season. The red maples (Acer rubrum) in Baker Court swapped green guises for their true vermilion. Up on North Campus, something moved in the canopy of Palmer Woods. With black-and-white body and head of glorious yellow Technicolor, a Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens) foraged for bugs and berries among the leaves. Every fall, this little traveler rides the north-westerly winds from Canada to Mexico to wait out the snow. Watching all of this unfold like clockwork, you’d be forgiven for thinking that all is right with the world; that the system works.

Spotlight on NTRES 2100: Introductory Field Biology

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.

BARAN | Climate Change Needs Alternate Perspectives

Every time a debate about climate change arises around me, I grind my teeth and waver. Should I add my opinion? Will others hear my perspective and denounce me as ignorant? Sometimes they do, but I usually speak my mind anyway. I tell them about an alternative perspective that is constantly weighing on my mind: are humans even obligated to try to mitigate climate change?

WEISSMANN | Far Below Cayuga’s Waters

The first time I went scuba diving, I saw nothing but mud. The last time I was diving, I hovered just above the ocean floor as hungry sharks fed on our “chumsicle” — a frozen mass of fish designed to attract the finned creatures. Last fall, a friend of mine enrolled in Cornell’s Open Water Scuba gym class. After an Oscar-level performance of puppy-dog eyes and some well-timed Jaws jokes, I agreed to take the class alongside him. I was terrified; who breathes underwater for fun?