Marianne Krasny

Marianne Krasny


221 Fernow Hall
(607) 255-2827

Marianne Krasny is a Professor and Director of the Civic Ecology Lab in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, specializing in community environmental stewardship and environmental education in urban and other settings in the US and internationally.

Research Focus

As Director of the Civic Ecology Lab, I work with graduate students and colleagues to explore interactions among community-based environmental stewardship (civic ecology) practice, education and learning situated in these practices, the individuals involved, and the larger communities and ecosystems in which these practices are situated. I am particularly interested in the individual, community, and environmental outcomes of both environmental education and civic ecology practices such as community gardening, community forestry, invasive species control, and watershed restoration. My research is informed by and contributes to trans-disciplinary perspectives in social-ecological systems resilience, environmental education, online learning, educator professional development, and social innovation. Current research projects include: how environmental educators are adapting and transforming their programs in light of climate change (with Bryce DuBois), applications of climate change communication research in environmental education (with Anne Armstrong), and the role of social networks in environmental education practice (with Yue Li). I am also working on two books to be published by Cornell University Press in 2017: a textbook on urban environmental education (with Alex Kudryavtsev) and a compendium exploring broader impacts of civic ecology practices.

Outreach and Extension Focus

The Civic Ecology Lab supports community gardening, community forestry, participatory watershed restoration, and other locally-organized civic ecology practices that integrate community and environmental outcomes. We are also home to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s National Environmental Education Training Program -- EECapacity. To help civic ecology stewards see the importance of their work in a larger context, and to support the professional development of environmental educators, we develop online courses that integrate research-based content, social networking, and hands-on projects. During 2015, I taught an edX Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Reclaiming Broken Places: Introduction to Civic Ecology, which will be offered again in spring 2016, and is available at any time for self-learning. My Lab also led the development of a global online course called Environmental Education: Transdisciplinary Approaches to Addressing Wicked Problems, which is being taught in winter-spring 2016 for the first time. In 2016, we also will teach Urban Environmental Education (Alex Kudryavtsev) and Climate Change Communications Research: Applications in Environmental Education (Anne Armstrong). Written and video materials developed for our online courses, for the Garden Mosaics community garden education program, and for EECapacity are available through the individual course, program, and Civic Ecology websites.

Teaching Focus

I do not teach undergraduate courses but have an active PhD graduate program. All PhD students engage in outreach or participatory action research with environmental educators or civic ecology stewards. During 2016, my students are focusing on the following topics: role of social networks in practice change among environmental educators (Yue Li); adaptive management in civic ecology practices in New York City (Philip Silva); climate change communication research in environmental education (Anne Armstrong); adaptive co-management of Korean village groves (Eunju Lee); sense of place and environmental stewardship among Q’echi women in Guatemala (Lilly Briggs); impact of social marketing on wildlife protection behaviors in Laos (Santi Saypanya); impacts of local task forces on invasive species management and policy (S Nourani); and developing a strategic plan for a climate change garden (M Roberts).

Awards and Honors

  • Fellow (2018) Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry
  • MOOC--Civic Ecology: Reclaiming Broken Places (2016) Cornell
  • Public Voices Op Ed Fellowship (2015) Public Voices
  • Invited Plenary Address (2015) World Environmental Education Congress
  • Invited Plenary Address (2014) American Community Gardening Association

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

Book Chapters

  • 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.
  • Krasny, M. E., Lundholm, C., Lee, E., Shava, S., & Kobori, H. (2013). Urban landscapes as learning arenas for sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities T Elmqvist, M Fragkias, J Goodness, B Güneralp; PJ Marcotullio, RI McDonald, S Parnell, M Sendstad, M Schewenius, KC Seto, and C Wilkinson (ed.), Springer, New York, NY USA.
  • Krasny, M. E., & Roth, W. (2011). Environmental education for socialÐecological system resilience: a perspective from activity theory. Taylor Frances, NYC, NY.
  • Tidball, K. G., Krasny, M. E., Svendsen, E., Campbell, L., & Helphand, K. (2011). Stewardship, Learning, and Memory in Disaster Resilience. Taylor Frances, NYC, NY.