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Education Initiative

On-going project: Lake Ontario and Oneida Lake Education Initiative 

JoAnne Getchonis, David White and Lars Rudstam (funded by the Shackelton Endowment, Cornell Hatch grant, New York Sea Grant) 

Dan Rockefeller, left, with students and advisor Dave Chizonitti from Chittenango Middle School 

2015 was an active year for the program. Intern Dan Rockefeller developed a mapping system that can highlight land use, larger streams and rivers, as well as school districts within the Oneida Lake watershed. This tool will be added to the website for educator and public use. In addition, Dan worked on a project with area educators and students, funded by New York Sea Grant, building remote operated underwater vehicles (ROV’s) that can be used by the schools for stream/lake viewing and sampling. As part of the project, students built the ROV’s, engineering either a means to sample or to view underwater with the units. The culmination of the project was a competition at the NYS Fair where teams from both middle and high schools vied for the best times in an obstacle course. 

Plans for 2016 include a teacher training program and to design a scientific survey on the experiential learning portion of the program. Additional collaborations with watershed cooperative extensions are anticipated. 

On-going project: Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program

Angela Fuller, Lars Rudstam, Daniel Decker, Annie Scofield, Cat Sun, Rena Borkhataria (University of Florida). (funded by the Doris Duke Foundation) 

This grant from the Doris Duke Foundation provides stipends for 4 to 5 Cornell students interested in conservation and diversity. The students are provided summer stipends for two summers, the first with a research program (in 2015, 3 interns were at Shackelton Point and 2 interns at Arnot Forest), and the second summer with a conservation organization. During the year, the scholars meet each second week with a graduate student mentor (Cat Sun for the 2014 cohort and Annie Scofield for the 2015 cohort). They also take a one credit class with leadership training and diversity issues in the conservation field. We received three more years of funding for this program in 2015 and therefore anticipate a new cohort of scholars in 2016, two of which will be at CBFS.