Founder of Cornell EcoArts, Davidson has an interdisciplinary teaching and research-based art practice grounded in the ecological arts. Her expeditionary field-based artwork investigates topics in climate change, natural resource use, and ecological memory. Anna teaches at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Trained as an artist and a scientist, she holds an MFA in visual art and a PhD in plant science from UC Davis and has published in both the art and science domains. Anna exhibits nationally and internationally and has participated in artist residencies including the Arctic Circle, Djerassi, Tropical Lab-Singapore, and was an Artist at Sea on the Atlantis research vessel funded by the National Science Foundation. As a recipient of a Research Grant in the Arts from the National Endowment of the Arts, she studies the value of integrating art in environmental field courses. Her current project focuses on the Mohawk River Watershed in NY. Anna is a Fellow of Cornell’s Atkinson Center for Sustainability and a Faculty Fellow for the Einhorn Center for Community Engagement. Anna lives in Upstate, NY with her husband and two children, Talis Hawk and Winona Moon.
Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant, Cornell DNRE
I am a graduate student working with Dr. Davidson to study the value and impact of integrating art into environmental field courses in the upstate New York region. My research looks at scientific and artistic identity, sense of place, and pro-environmental attitude development as a result of these outdoor art experiences. Prior to Cornell, I held a variety of positions in environmental education and marine ecology, where I found ways to incorporate my love of art whenever possible.
Leighton Beaman is a designer, advocate, and educator with a focus on emerging design practices and their impact on material culture, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility. He co-founded GAC, a design-build nonprofit organization operating in East Africa and the US. GAC gained recognition as a Design Game Changer by Metropolis Magazine and was named Northeast Firm of the Year by the Architect’s Newspaper. GAC has received numerous awards from institutions such as the American Institute of Architects, Architizer, and the Architectural League of NY. GAC’s work has been showcased worldwide, including the Venice Biennale, Yale University, Architectural Institute of Japan and the Technical University of Munich. Beaman also co-directs Material Propositions, a design-research lab engaged in speculative material futures. Their work has been exhibited at Harvard University, University of Cincinnati, and Cornell University. Leighton serves as an Associate Professor of Practice at Cornell University, where he instructs seminars on creating immersive atmospheres, sustainable design, and socio-spatial-technical innovation. He has a distinguished teaching history at institutions including Harvard University, Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Texas. He has contributed to various publications, editorial boards, and has been recognized as an American Academy visiting Artist and MacDowell Fellow.
Liberty Hyde Bailey professor of soil science at Cornell University, received his graduate degrees at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. Johannes focuses on microscopic-scale investigations of soil organic carbon, the effects of fire on soil, the use of biochar for climate change mitigation and a circular economy. Johannes is the co-instructor of a course that explores the humanities’ and artistic viewpoints on environment, science and sustainability, serves on the faculty committee of the Johnson Museum at Cornell University, and develops approaches to include art practices in science.
Jen Delos Reyes is the strong eldest daughter of an immigrant single mother. Through her upbringing on Canada’s prairies she learned about resourcefulness, community building, and how to prioritize joy, fashion, and aesthetics from her Filipine mother. She is the first homeowner and degree holder in her immediate family. She centers her practice around education, ecologies, and the transformative possibilities of sharing domestic space as a community resource.
Delos Reyes identifies with Wendell Berry’s description as a “farmer of sorts and an artist of sorts,” an educator, writer, and radical community arts organizer. She is defiantly optimistic, a friend to all birds, and a proponent that our institutions can become tender and vulnerable.
Dr. Grodsky is an Assistant Unit Leader of the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. He is a broadly trained, applied ecologist and sustainability scientist. He specializes in the emerging field of renewable energy ecology – the study of interactions among energy development, ecosystems, and people. Dr. Grodsky and his collaborators conduct solutions-oriented research that tackles pressing environmental issues and guides a sustainable and just energy transition. At Cornell, he also is a member of the Graduate Faculty in the Field of Entomology and a Faculty Fellow with the Atkinson Center for Sustainability.
Kelly Presutti is Assistant Professor of History of Art and Visual Studies, where she teaches courses in modern Western art and the environmental humanities. Research interests include nineteenth-century art and visual culture, landscape, and ecocriticism. Her current book project, Land into Landscape: Art, Environment, and the Making of Modern France (forthcoming with Yale University Press in 2024), looks to four landscape typologies—forests, mountains, wetlands and coasts—as sites of negotiation and contestation between state power, local inhabitants, and the environment. Recent publications include “‘A Better Idea than the Best Constructed Charts’: Watercolor Views in Early British Hydrography,” (Grey Room, 2021), an analysis of a set of watercolor views of the French coastline commissioned by the British Admiralty, and “The Sèvres’ Service des Départements and the Anxiety of the Fragment,” (Word & Image, 2021), a study of a French porcelain service that attempted, and failed, to represent a reconfigured nation for a Restoration monarch. Prior to completing her PhD, Presutti held positions at the Getty, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, among other arts organizations.
Kirsten Kurtz is an artist and soil scientist. As a part of the scientific side of her life she manages the Cornell Soil Health Laboratory, with additional responsibilities in research, teaching, and outreach. She has more than 12 years of experience working with the Cornell Assessment of Soil Health. Before joining the lab, Kurtz worked with Finger Lakes wineries and vineyards, accumulating valuable agricultural and scientific knowledge. She also gained a wide range of hands-on experience co-owning and managing a small-scale organic farm selling garlic and small fruits.
Kurtz has a Master of Science from the department of Natural Resources and the Environment at Cornell University. Her research focuses on quantifying soil health properties of remnant tallgrass prairies compared to adjacent agricultural lands to identify and target future soil remediation efforts.
Kurtz is also an artist who creates paintings with soil, bringing together her love of art and soil science. Kurtz creates soil paint by mixing soil, clear gesso and water, she developed this technique and has made it available for anyone to use on her website. She organizes community painting events to raise public awareness of soil health as a critical issue, as important to our future and as deserving of our attention as clean air and water. Her paintings and interviews have been featured in multiple national and international publications. She has been designated an Artist for The Earth by the Earth Day Organization, was featured in The Furrow (John Deere Magazine) and lead a team at Cornell to win an international soil painting competition sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
More of her work can be found on soilpainting.com or on her Instagram @kirsten_kurtz
Linda Weintraub is a curator, educator, artist, and author of several popular books about contemporary art. All of these books interpret the outposts of vanguard art for college students and the public. Since environmental concerns currently occupy the frontline of cultural experimentation and innovation, it has been the focus of her curating such exhibitions as generated particular for of vanguard art Weintraub’s books exploring contemporary art and ecology include curating such as year-long exhibitions as COMPOSED to DECOMPOSE (2019 – 2020), mounting interactive exhibitions of her own art practice as WELCOME TO MY WOODS (2022), conducting such workshops as MINGLING WITH FIRE & ICE (2023). The eco art publications She has authored include WHAT’s NEXT? Eco Materialism & Contemporary Art (2018), To LIFE! Eco Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet (2012), and Avant-Guardians (2007), a series of textlets that include EcoCentric Topics: Pioneering Themes for Eco-Art; Cycle-Logical Art: Recycling Matters for Eco-Art; EnvironMentalities: Twenty-two Approaches to Eco-Art. She is also the author of In the Making: Creative Options for Contemporary Artists and Art on the Edge and Over: Searching for Art’s Meaning in Contemporary Society. She served as the director of the Edith C. Blum Art Institute located on the Bard College campus where she toured many of the fifty exhibitions she curated, and published over twenty catalogues. Weintraub was the Henry Luce Professor of Emerging Arts at Oberlin College; and a visiting artist in the Nomad9 MFA program at the University of Hartford. Her forthcoming publication is WHO DO YOU EAT? Weintraub applies environmental concerns to her personal life by managing a sustainable homestead where she practices and promotes permaculture.
Constructed in 1993, the center stands as a testament to the rich lives, talents and heroism of the Oneida people. The building is named in memory of Richard Chrisjohn (Wolf Clan), former Nation Representative, whose Oneida name means “he gives.” That spirit of giving is what the facility is all about – it is designed to give visitors and future generations sense of their roots and heritage.
Arnot Forest Field Campus, managed by Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County
The Arnot Teaching and Research Forest covers 4,200 acres in central New York, about 15 miles south of Ithaca. The Arnot is owned by Cornell University and managed by the Department of Natural Resources in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). It is the largest actively managed forest owned by Cornell University. The Arnot provides a place for Cornell faculty and students to carry out elements of the three-part mission of CALS: Teaching, Extension, and Research, in service to the citizens of New York.
The forest is primarily comprised of mixed hardwoods over hilly terrain. It also contains a small number of open fields, several ponds, Banfield Creek and numerous smaller streams. The Arnot is home to one of two maple syrup research facilities operated by the Cornell Maple Program.
Cornell Biological Field Station at Shackelton Point
For more than 60 years, the Cornell Biological Field Station at Shackelton Point (CBFS) has addressed issues of changing ecosystems within the lakes of New York state and beyond.
We collaborate with local and global groups to explore the effects of invasive species and climate change and the effects on aquatic ecosystems and strive to provide an exciting, inviting and collegial working and learning environment for all.
As a field and place-based program, we travel to and study many sites in the state of New York on the traditional homelands of the Haudenosaunee people. The Haudenosaunee Confederacy is an alliance of six sovereign Nations with a historic and contemporary presence on these lands. These are Onʌyoteˀa·ká·(Oneida), Kanyen’kehà:ka (Mohawk), and Onoñda’gegá (Onondaga) Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ (Cayuga), Onöndowa’ga (Seneca), and Skarù:ręˀ (Tuscarora). The Confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University, New York state, and the United States of America. We acknowledge the painful history of Haudenosaunee dispossession, and honor the ongoing connection Haudenosaunee people, past and present, to these lands and waters.