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Learning, and



Civic Ecology Lab is founded on the belief that humans can act to enhance their communities and environment.

We integrate research and public engagement to support stewardship, learning, and resilience in communities facing social and environmental stresses globally.

The Civic Ecology Lab is located in the Department of Natural Resources and Environment at Cornell University, in upstate New York. Our members conduct engaged research and facilitate global online learning communities. We focus on the contributions of grassroots stewardship and education to climate mitigation, environmental enhancement, and individual and community health and wellbeing. We contribute to knowledge about the outcomes of, and interactions among, four components of a social-ecological system:

  • community-based environmental stewardship (civic ecology practices);

  • education and learning situated in these practices;

  • the people, institutions, and governance systems involved; and

  • the ecosystem services, including climate mitigation, produced by the people, their stewardship, and educational practices.


We also focus on how small-scale stewardship and education efforts scale up to have broader impacts, including through applying research, institutional partnerships, and spread of behaviors in social networks.

We work in New York City, Puerto Rico, China, and other locations. All our work integrates social equity and diversity with climate and environmental concerns.


Civic Ecology Lab builds bridges between environmental stewardship, learning, and social-ecological systems resilience.


Civic Ecology Lab is a dynamic hub for action and engaged scholarship to understand and support humans stewarding nature and communities under challenging conditions.


  • Stewardship. Grassroots action to enhance the local environment and community

  • Empowerment. Supporting citizens taking environmental action by nurturing critical thinking, efficacy, and identity

  • Knowledge co-creation. Collaborative creation of innovative approaches to environmental and social challenges​​

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