Senior Vice Provost; Dean of the Graduate School; Professor
As Professor of Natural Resource Policy and Management and Associate Director of the Human Dimensions Research Unit in the Department of Natural Resources, Barbara Knuth’s current research examines risk perception, communication and management focused on fisheries affected by chemical contaminants; ecosystem-based management approaches for Great Lakes and marine systems; and factors influencing human stewardship and use of natural resources, particularly fish and wildlife. As Senior Vice Provost, she oversees undergraduate admissions and financial aid and is involved in academic diversity initiatives. As Dean of the Graduate School, she oversees graduate education at Cornell.
As Professor of Natural Resource Policy and Management and Associate Director of the Human Dimensions Research Unit in the Department of Natural Resources, Knuth oversees a research program focusing generally on human attitudes and behaviors related to the environment, and specifically on topics related to the human dimensions of ecosystem-based management in Great Lakes and marine systems, risk communication and management associated with chemical contaminants in fish, human dimensions of fisheries and wildlife management, and environmental stewardship. Through theory-development and empirical studies, her research program advances understanding and practice related to the human dimensions of natural resource management, particularly related to fisheries and wildlife resources, and aims to foster integration of social science and natural/physical science information within natural resource management and policy decision making processes. Focal areas include risk perception, risk management, and risk communication associated with contaminants in fish; human and institutional dimensions of ecosystem-based management in Great Lakes and marine systems; risk-related issues associated with negative human-wildlife interactions; evaluating and improving public involvement processes for natural resources decision making; community-based natural resources management; aquatic stewardship education theory and practice; and program evaluation.
Outreach and Extension Focus
Outreach activities focus primarily on advising state, national, and international environmental and natural resource management agencies and scientific organizations on issues related to her areas of research expertise, and on planning and decision-making processes.
Before Knuth assumed her current administration positions, she used to teach an experiential course in environmental and natural resource policy processes, NTRES 4300. The course requires students to design, conduct, and complete a relatively independent policy analysis research project. The course is by application only, and engages students through guided policy analysis research projects and use of case study presentations, including a residential component in Washington, D.C.
Awards and Honors
- Distinguished Member (2011) National Society of Collegiate Scholars