Senior Extension Associate
Tidball conducts research, extension, and outreach activities in the area of ecological dimensions of human security. He is focused on natural resources management questions at the leading edge, “at the tip of the spear,” in places and time periods characterized by violence, conflict, disaster or war. This work includes vulnerability assessment, resilience analysis, risk management and adaptation strategies within linked human-environment systems, as well as cultural systems analysis within these contexts. Extension and outreach around these and related topics comprise the bulk of Tidball's portfolio.
Tidball's work is focused on the interactions between humans and the rest of nature in the aftermath of disturbances such as natural disasters and war. He is particularly interested in how these interactions relate to social-ecological system resilience, or in other words, how humans and their interactions with nature are related to a system's ability to bounce back after being disturbed.
Tidball approaches this work through integration of anthropology and ecology and draws heavily from fields such as environmental psychology and philosophy, ecological anthropology, social-ecological systems resilience theory, and international relations theory. Sub-disciplines and areas of interest include Community Forestry, Community-Based Natural Resource Management, Ecological Engineering, Cultural Anthropology and Symbolism, Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Management, and SSTR (Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction). An emerging area of inquiry and practice is recruitment of citizen conservationists via combinations of sustainable food cultures, hunters and anglers.
Outreach and Extension Focus
Dr. Tidball is a Senior Extension Associate in the Department of Natural Resources where he serves as the leader of a suite of projects dealing with veterans and military families. He also serves as the Director of the New York State Extension Disaster Education Network. In these positions he helps people leverage natural resources to organize, learn, and act in ways that increase their capacity to withstand, and where appropriate to grow from, environmental change and uncertainty. He focuses on efforts that nurture cultural and ecological diversity, create opportunities for civic participation, and that foster learning from different types of knowledge to increase community capacity and resilience. He works to connect people with the rest of the natural world for purposes of education, community restoration and regeneration, and biodiversity conservation through programs such as community forestry restoration projects, community watershed projects, post-disaster greening projects, leveraging the “locavore movement” to engage new hunting and angling audiences, and outdoor recreation and restoration efforts among returning war veterans. A specific and important aspect of Tidball's work is its explicit application of environmental science to post-conflict and post-disaster social-ecological systems. In these contexts, the roles that human natural resource management decisions play in social-ecological system resilience are magnified significantly.
Tidball is occasionally called upon to teach or assist in teaching courses with an urban ecology, disaster or post-conflict, or related component. Recent examples have included:
Natural Resources 694 “Trans-disciplinary Approaches to Environmental Challenges.” Fall 2008. With Dr. E. Mills & Dr. R. Stedman.
Natural Resources 494/694 “Urban Environments/Alternative Spring Break NYC.” Spring 2008.
City and Regional Planning 384/584 “Green Cities.” With Elan Shapiro, Fall 2007.
Natural Resources 490: “Urban Environments/Alternative Spring Break NYC.” Spring 2007.
Natural Resources 496: “Urban Environments/ Alternative Spring Break NYC.” Spring 2006.
Natural Resources 496: “Urban Environments/ Alternative Spring Break NYC.” With Dr. M. Krasny, Spring 2005.
Natural Resources 699: “Science Education for Civic Participation.” Team-taught with Dr. M. Krasny and Tania Schusler, Fall 2005.
- Krasny, M. E., Krasny, M., Crestol, S. R., Tidball, K. G., & Stedman, R. C. (2014). New York City’s oyster gardeners: Memories and meanings as motivations of volunteer environmental stewards. Landscape and Urban Planning. 132:16-25.
- Tidball, K. G., & Stedman, R. C. (2013). Positive Dependency and Virtuous Cycles: From Resource Dependence to Resilience in Urban Social-Ecological Systems. Ecological Economics. 86:292-299.
- Tidball, K. G. (2012). Urgent Biophilia: Human-Nature Interactions and Biological Attractions in Disaster Resilience. Ecology and Society. 17:Art. 5.
- Tidball, K. G. (2015). Hunting and the Return of the Warrior: Therapeutic Possibilities for the Chase. This Land Is Your Land: Toward a Better Understanding of Nature's Resiliency-Building and Restorative Power for Armed Forces Personnel, Veterans, and their Families Sagamore Publishing, Urbana, IL.
- Tidball, K. G., & Krasny, M. E. (2014). Introduction: Greening in the Red Zone. Greening in the Red Zone K.G. Tidball and M.E. Krasny (ed.), Springer-Verlag, New York, NY USA.
- Tidball, K. G. (2014). Peace Research and Greening in the Red Zone: Community-based Ecological Restoration to Enhance Resilience and Transitions Toward Peace. p. 219 Oswald-Spring, Brauch, and Tidball (ed.), Springer.
- Tidball, K. G., & Krasny, M. E. (2012). Civic Ecology, resilience, and citizen science in disaster zones. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY USA.
- Tidball, K. G., Krasny, M. E., Svendsen, E., Campbell, L., & Helphand, K. (2011). Stewardship, Learning, and Memory in Disaster Resilience. Taylor Frances, NYC, NY.
- Krasny, M. E., & Tidball, K. G. (2015). Civic Ecology: Adaptation and Transformation from the Ground Up. p. 293 MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.
- Oswald-Spring, U., Brauch, H. G., & Tidball, K. G. (2014). Expanding Peace Ecology: Peace, Security, Sustainability, Equity and Gender. Springer.
Presentations and Activities
- Greening in the Red Zone: Human-Nature Interactions as a Part of Sustainable Reconstruction in Japan. Building Sustainable Societies through Reconstruction: working with the International Community for Regenerating Japan. October 2011. Global Environmental Action (Japan). Tokyo, Japan.
- Trees and Re-birth: Resilience, Ritual, and Symbol in Community-based Urban Reforestation Recovery Efforts in Post-Katrina New Orleans. American Anthropological Association 2009 Meeting. December 2009. AAA. Philadelphia, PA.