Robin W. Radcliffe
"Training the next generation of conservation leaders and environmental stewards is essential if humans are able to find sustainable solutions to living on planet earth."
A 2016-17 Engaged Faculty Fellow, Robin W. Radcliffe is a senior lecturer, wildlife and conservation medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine. His project links Cornell DVM students and undergraduates, developing teams that offer a new model for peer-learning with outcomes that are meaningful to the needs of communities. Read his faculty profile to learn more.
About the Project
Students in the professional DVM program at the College of Veterinary Medicine are well trained in biomedical and diagnostic sciences through Cornell resources; however, they lack satisfactory real-life training with structured programs that focus on the social, cultural, political and economic aspects of biodiversity conservation programs. Undergraduate students would benefit from exposure to professional students through a shared activity. Therefore, Radcliffe proposes to link a Cornell DVM student with an undergraduate student and develop a team that will offer a new model for peer-learning with specific outcomes that are meaningful to the needs of communities.
This proposal connects the students’ knowledge background offered in the existing curriculum with a choice of career path, hopefully making them equipped for decision-making. DVM professional students can contribute to these programs with their expertise, creativity, and enthusiasm — building a scenario for exchange. Radcliffe would also like DVM students to work or train in teams. The discipline of conservation medicine links the health of animals, people, and the environment, and is heavily dependent on the understanding of the context in which these elements interact.
Through direct experiences at established field sites in Indonesia, Uganda, and Republic of Congo and through Cornell faculty mentoring, students will develop a focused project in conservation medicine. In Africa or Indonesia, student teams will work with the Jane Goodall Institute or Ujung Kulon National Park multidisciplinary teams on an existing field activity that requires problem-solving in species conservation, sustainable use of natural resources, provision of essential goods and services, and public health. Specifically, student participation will fall within one of three partnering programs: “Rhinoceros and Human Co-existence” in Indonesia, “Protection of Great Apes” in Africa, or “Healthy Habitats” in Africa. By bringing students to the challenges faced by conservation initiatives for rhinos and apes, Radcliffe hopes to exemplify the need to create lasting partnerships, build local capacity, and reach beneficial solutions. Both rhinos and primates are flagship and keystone species symbolizing the diversity of their forest homes in Asia and Africa. As such, they share similar struggles in the form of direct human conflict (snaring, poaching for bushmeat, and illegal trade), habitat loss (conversion of forest to agricultural production), zoonosis, and emerging diseases — problems inseparable from human livelihoods.
In His Own Words
Training the next generation of conservation leaders and environmental stewards is essential if humans are able to find sustainable solutions to living on planet earth.
Engaged Faculty Fellowship Program
A yearlong cohort program in which faculty dive deep into the theory and practice of engaged learning; meet monthly to discuss readings, share projects and workshop challenges; and help transform what it means to teach at Cornell