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Barbara A. Knuth

Barb Knuth


120 Fernow Hall
(607) 255-5864

As Professor of Natural Resource Policy and Management and Associate Director of the Center for Conservation Social Sciences 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. She served for over 10 years as Dean of the Graduate School, overseeing graduate education at Cornell.

Research Focus

As Professor of Natural Resource Policy and Management and Associate Director of the Center for Conservation Social Sciences in the Department of Natural Resources, Knuth oversees a research program focusing on the social science and policy dimensions of ecosystem-based management in Great Lakes and marine systems, risk communication and management associated with chemical contaminants in fish, and environmental stewardship particularly related to fish and wildlife resources. Through theory-development and empirical studies, her research program advances understanding and practice related to conservation social sciences, particularly related to fisheries and wildlife resources and their management, and aims to foster integration of social science and natural/physical science information within natural resource management and policy decision making processes.

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 risk communication (related to fish consumption), ecosystem-based management, and on planning and decision-making processes.

Teaching Focus

Before Knuth assumed a series of administrative leadership positions at department, college, and university levels, she taught an experiential course in environmental and natural resource policy processes, NTRES 4300. The course required students to design, conduct, and complete a relatively independent policy analysis research project. The course engaged students through guided policy analysis research projects and use of case study presentations, including a residential component in Washington, D.C. She also taught a junior-senior level course on planning processes in natural resource management.

Awards and Honors

  • Dean-in-Residence (2020) Council of Graduate Schools
  • Debra W. Stewart Award for Outstanding Leadership in Graduate Education (2019) Council of Graduate Schools
  • Distinguished Member (2011) National Society of Collegiate Scholars

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

Presentations and Activities

  • Moving from "Drowning in the Demand for Data” to Smooth Sailing. Council of Graduate Schools 2018 Annual Meeting. December 2018. Council of Graduate Schools. Washington, D.C. United States.
  • Lessons Learned from Federal Graduate Education Initiatives. Association of Graduate Schools Annual Meeting. October 2018. Association of American Universities. Toronto, ON, Canada.
  • From Human Dimensions to Conservation Social Sciences: An Evolution of Scholarship and Engagement. 148th Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society. August 2018. American Fisheries Society. Atlantic City, NJ United States.
  • Politically-relevant Fisheries Science: Reflections on the Work of Henry Regier. IAGLR's 61st annual Conference on Great Lakes Research. June 2018. International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR). Toronto, ON Canada.
  • Academic Innovations – Cornell’s Pathways to Success Graduate Student Professional Development Framework. Ivy Plus Graduate Education Annual Meeting. April 2018. Yale University. New Haven, CT United States.
  • Tracking and Supporting Graduate Student Progress. Council of Graduate School 2017 57th Annual Meeting. December 2017. Council of Graduate Schools. Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Using Doctoral Program Assessment and Alumni Tracking for Program Improvement. 2016 Council of Graduate Schools Annual Meeting. December 2016. Washington, DC.
  • Lessons from Cornell for Graduate Student Professional Development: Planning, Programs, and Partnerships. Workshop on Shaping Graduate Student Professional Development for the STEM Workforce. November 2015. Council of Graduate Schools. Washington, D.C.