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Keith Tidball

Keith Tidball

Senior Extension Associate & Assistant Director, Cornell Cooperative Extension

118 Fernow
(607) 254-5479

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.

Research Focus

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). Emerging areas of inquiry and practice are (1) outdoor recreation activities as therapeutic for combat-wounded veterans, leading to increased conservation attitudes and behaviors, and (2) 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,and Assistant Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension for Veterans, Military Families, and Disaster Education. He serves as the leader of a suite of projects dealing with veterans and military families, and 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, social-ecological 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.

Teaching Focus

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.

Awards and Honors

  • Program Excellence Through Research (2016) National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Certificate of Appreciation (2015) Republic of the Philippines Dept. of Agriculture ATI
  • Certificate of Appreciation (2015) United States Department of Agriculture

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

Book Chapters

  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Tidball, K. G., & Krasny, M. E. (2014). Greening in the Red Zone:. p. 503 Disaster, Resilience, and Community Greening Keith G. Tidball & Marianne E. Krasny (ed.), Springer, Netherlands.

Book Sections

  • Tidball, K. G. (2015). Terrorist Threats to Food and Water Supplies. p. 1375-1376 The SAGE Encyclopedia of Food Issues Ken Albala (ed.), SAGE Publications, Los Angeles, CA.

Presentations and Activities

  • Returning Warriors: Using Outdoor Recreation for Restoration & Resilience. eXtension MFLN Learn Event. December 2015. Military Families Learning Network. online webinar.
  • Greening in the Red Zone. Mann Library "Chats in the Stacks". September 2014. Mann Library. Cornell University.
  • Vulnerability Assessments and Rapid Warning System Enhancements in Flood Prone Upstate NY Rivers. Climate Change and Extreme Weather in NYS and its Impact on Inland and Coastal Flooding. May 2014. University at Albany. Albany NY.