Marilyn Wyman Awarded Heiberg Award at NYFOA State Meeting


Marilyn receives the Heiberg Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to forestry and conservation in New York State at the Annual Meeting of NYFOA (New York Forest Owners Association). April 21 2018. Picture from left to right includes Laura Pisarri, NYFOA Capital District Chapter Secretary, Jason Post, NYFOA Capital District Chapter Chair, Marilyn Wyman, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties and Peter Smallidge, Cornell Cooperative Extension Senior Extension Associate and State Extension Forester.

Marilyn Wyman is an environmental education visionary who nurtures relationships between woodland owners and their woodlands; loggers and their safety and well-being; funders and their contract deliverables; invasive species and their Early detection and Rapid response; youth and their stake in our future world….and that was just in the past week!

Marilyn’s energy and commitment to the successful collaborations that are the Agroforestry Resource Center (ARC) and the Siuslaw Model Forest and to her Environment and Natural Resource team is only out-done by her enthusiasm to facilitate successful outcomes to natural resource issues. Marilyn has been a leader in helping others to make this happen.

Under her stewardship at CCE Columbia Greene, the Agroforestry Resource Center became a reality in 2003 working with nine partner organizations.The 142-acre Siuslaw Model Forest was established four years later in 2007. Today, the ARC partners with 53 organizations to fulfill their education and outreach mission. Program participants and education and outreach efforts have reached over 25,000 individuals since 2003.From 2010 to present, Marilyn’s efforts to support natural resource program staff and the CCE Association through cutting edge grants and contracts has totaled over $1.5 million.

Marilyn’s program and career have been exemplary in the breadth and depth of the people, communities, and issues she has attended. Some specific examples of her program that has touched people at all levels and in all sectors of forest and natural resource management include the following:

  • Developed curriculum and coordinated programs focusing on environmental science and related topics for grades K-12 audience for the Edmund Niles Huyck Preserve with funding through National Science Foundation.
  • Co-authored chapter in Global Climate Change and Life on Earth
  • Developed and marketed a strategic plan for Cornell University, State Legislators, the Watershed Agricultural Council and regional colleges to secure funds to create the Agroforestry Resource Center (ARC), a facility that focuses on the multiple values of regional forests and rural landscapes.
  • Assisted with the donation of a 142 acre Tree Farm, across from the ARC, that has been designated as a New York City “Model Forest” for education and research partnering with the Watershed Agricultural Council’s Forestry Program and helping to ensure a clean water supply to New York City.
  • Worked with the Watershed Agricultural Council to create programs targeting New York City Watershed forest landowners, and Logger Training Certification programs.
  • Worked with Cornell University as part of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Invasive Species Program statewide team.
  • Worked with the New York Forest Owners Association (NYFOA) as a State Board of Director and member of the local NYFOA chapter.
  • Supported the completion of a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture multi-state project on Landowner Legacy.
  • Worked as a natural resource specialist for Cornell University’s Climate Change Science, Communication, and Action Online Course.

According to Wyman, the thread that runs through many of these efforts is recognizing the value of mentors and mentoring. While one of CCE’s signature roles is providing research based science to help our communities make informed, positive decisions, mentoring is a powerful way that CCE educators and partners grow and learn from others. “Two of my most significant mentors were past recipients of the NYFOA Heiberg Award, Mike Greason and Eric Rasmussen. Without their help and inspiration, I could not have accomplished all that has happened.I have always felt it was my responsibility to mentor those who will be taking the ARC, and the programs we support, into the future.”

- Ron Frisbee

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