Enhancing the Human Environment

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Promote the significance of public gardens and natural areas to human health and education

  • Christopher Dunn, Director of Cornell Botanic Gardens, oversees Cornell’s 3500 acres of botanical gardens, arboretum, and network of natural preserves, and promotes a mission of conservation and community engagement.
  • Sonja Skelly, Educational Director for Cornell Botanic Gardens, develops educational programming on the history and role of plants in human well-being
  • Don Rakow teaches and publishes on the design, history, and management of public gardens

Promote and optimize the growth of plants in urban and other developed settings

  • Nina Bassuk’s research program is focused on improving the quality of urban life by enhancing the functions of plants within the urban ecosystem
  • Thomas Whitlow’s research concerns restoration of ecosystem functions to cities and other human impacted landscapes

Provide horticultural resources for growers and producers of turf and ornamentals

  • Mark Bridgen, Director of the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center, focuses on new plant development, breeding, and propagation of herbaceous ornamentals and flowers
  • Bill Miller’s program addresses floricultural crop production and postharvest physiology, especially with flower bulbs
  • Frank Rossi’s research program addresses practical problems in turfgrass management with emphasis on environmental compatibility and economic feasibility

Promote garden-based learning for its restorative and educational potential

  • Lori Brewer works with CCE educators and Master Gardener Volunteers to promote successful gardening experiences for NYS households
  • Marcia Eames-Sheavly if focused on enhancing aesthetic appreciation of plants and promoting connection with plants through garden-based learning
  • Nancy Wells studies human relationships to the built and natural environment with a focus on the influence of school gardens on ecological literacy, fruit and vegetable consumption, and physical activity