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Ashlea Raemer ’18 is farming with the wild in the Adirondack Park

By Upstate Institute on July 31, 2018

-Written by Ashlea Raemer

Ashlea Raemer visits a farm that uses llamas as potential livestock guardian animals, which is a wildlife-friendly strategy for managing the wildlife conflict of livestock predation in the Adirondack park.

This summer I am working with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Adirondack Program in Saranac Lake, New York through the Upstate Institute Summer Field School to promote wildlife-friendly farming practices in the Adirondack Park. The Wildlife Conservation Society is an international non-profit originally founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society. Today they are perhaps most known for the Bronx Zoo, but their mission to protect wildlife and wild places is implemented in priority regions across the globe. In the Adirondacks, WCS uses applied science and community-based conservation to link wildlife, wilderness, and human well-being through an interdisciplinary approach. Read more

Claudia Buszta ’19 uses drones to map conservation properties

By Upstate Institute on July 30, 2018

Claudia Buszta ’19 at one of the properties protected by the Southern Madison Heritage Trust

-Written by Claudia Buszta ’19

This summer, I have the privilege of working with the Southern Madison Heritage Trust (SMHT). SMHT is the local land trust that serves the general area of Hamilton, NY. It is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that conserves land for the benefit of the overall community. These lands are preserved for the purposes of protecting valuable habitats, resources, scenic landscapes, and historic features. SMHT currently manages five properties within and around Hamilton, each of which has their own unique features. Members of the community who wish to see a certain piece of land conserved can contact the land trust and either donate or sell their land outright, meaning that SMHT will own and operate the property themselves, or set up a conservation easement on the property. In this way, SMHT is an important part of the community and allows for meaningful land to be preserved for generations to continue to enjoy and use.

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Erin Burke ’18 brings the history of abolitionism to life with the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum in Peterboro

By Upstate Institute on July 26, 2018

-Written by Erin Burke ’18

Erin Burke ’18 at the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum in Peterboro

This summer I was fortunate to have the opportunity to intern for the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum (NAHOFM), located in Peterboro, NY. NAHOFM is a non-profit museum that explores the history of American abolition by offering exhibitions, guided tours, educational programs, and special events. NAHOFM’s main historical exhibition spans from antislavery agitation in the Colonial period to the Reconstruction amendments that granted African Americans citizenship and African American men the right to vote. Although NAHOFM is a museum that ostensibly deals with the past, NAHOFM interprets the history of abolition to be living history that continues up to the present day. NAHOFM thinks beyond abolition and questions what legal equality really entailed and entails. In the period following Reconstruction, the establishment of Jim Crow, poll taxes, and the KKK sought to deprive African Americans of their rights and restore white supremacy; today, institutional racism and a resurgence of racist politics continue to oppress Black Americans. NAHOFM’s mission statement reflects their commitment to sharing the past in order to question the present and imagine a better future: “The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum honors antislavery abolitionists, their work to end slavery, and strives to complete the second and ongoing abolition: the moral conviction to end racism.”

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Lizzy Moore ’20 builds markets for local food in Madison County

By Upstate Institute on July 16, 2018
Written by Lizzy Moore ’20

Lizzy Moore ’20 displays at the Madison County Fair.

This summer I have been given the opportunity to work with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County through the Upstate Institute Summer Field School. Nationally, the Cooperative Extension System is an educational partnership between County, State, and Federal government that addresses public needs by providing non-formal higher education and learning activities to farmers, ranchers, communities, youth, and families throughout the nation. To achieve this, university faculty members translate science-based research results into language appropriate for targeted audiences. County-based educators work with local citizens and interest groups to solve problems, evaluate the effectiveness of learning tools, and collect grassroots input to prioritize future research. As New York’s land grant university Cornell administers the system in this state. Cornell Cooperative Extension is present in every county of New York State and all five boroughs of New York City, directly reaching 1.9 million people each year. CCE programming covers five primary mission areas: Agriculture, Community, Environment, Nutrition, and Youth and Families. CCE provides educational resources for people interested in starting an agricultural enterprise, or farmers and ranchers looking to innovate and remain viable. The agency runs the local 4-H program, which engages youth in agricultural and STEM activities. CCE also creates events and informational materials to educate the general community about local agriculture and environmental issues.

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Amanda Hauser ’19 organizes emergency response data for Madison County

By Upstate Institute on July 11, 2018

Amanda Hauser ’19 uses her experience as an EMT for SOMAC ambulance in her research project with Madison County Emergency Management

Written by Amanda Hauser ’19

This summer I have had the opportunity to work with the Madison County Department of Emergency Management. The department has grown over the years to handle the many aspects of planning for disasters while also supporting local emergency responses and helping to keep people safe before an emergency can occur. Everyday they indirectly serve every community in Madison County and even communities outside the county, as large scale emergencies deplete rural resources quickly and multiple counties often have to share and work together. The department works together with other Emergency Management departments of different counties in order to understand their struggles–such as a shortage of paramedics and EMTs in the region–in order to come up with solutions to help everyone. In everyday work, the department keeps in contact with county and fire agencies to ensure that they are receiving all the help they need, whether it is training or additional resources. The department itself is very interconnected; even though each member is assigned to different tasks and projects, they all work together to share advice and their different viewpoints.

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Madison Perez ’19 studies loons in the Adirondacks

By Upstate Institute on July 10, 2018

Madison Perez with Upstate Institute Faculty Director Chris Henke at the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation in Saranac Lake.

This summer I have been warmly welcomed as an intern at the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation. This organization is a nonprofit that integrates scientific research, education, and public outreach centered around a beloved figure of the Adirondacks: the Common Loon. From the moment visitors walk through the Center’s doors, the mournful sound of this bird’s call ignites visitors’ passion for the outdoors and sparks interest in learning more about the creatures that inhabit it. The Center’s work takes place in various locations. The building itself houses a storefront and various educational exhibits for visitors that poses questions to volunteers and researchers alike. The second primary location is in the field: observing, banding, and occasionally tending to injured loons. The final location is a mobile one: at events and through other programming to engage the public. The Loon Center puts on a variety of programming, from guided tours to art shows to anything in between. By dividing itself as it does, the Center seeks to unite the community under a concern for the Common Loon. Read more

Mackenzie Murphy ’18 continues research with Hudson Headwaters Health Network

By Upstate Institute on July 5, 2018

Mackenzie Murphy at the Hudson Headwaters Health Network office in Queensbury

I spent the first part of this summer working as an Upstate Institute Field School Fellow at Hudson Headwaters Health Network in Queensbury. Hudson Headwaters is a nonprofit organization made up of 17 (soon to be 18!) federally qualified health centers in the Adirondack region. The Adirondacks are medically underserved, as there are few primary care providers for an aging population, and Hudson Headwaters provides a majority of the care for the large region it encompasses. With this in mind, Hudson Headwaters’ mission is to provide excellent, comprehensive healthcare and access to health services to everyone who needs it. Doctors in the Hudson Headwaters Health Network provide primary care with specialty services to people of all ages and had upwards of 391,000 patient visits throughout their network in 2017.

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