Kinsman-Costello Named as New Director of Kent State University's Center for Ecology and Natural Resources Sustainability

Kent State University has a broad range of faculty, resources, and opportunities that come together to make it a leader in environmental science and water resources. The Center for Ecology and Natural Resources Sustainability (CENRS) was established in 2011 to showcase the strength of environmental sciences at Kent State, establish collaborative opportunities with local institutions, and help coordinate activities within the natural properties owned by Kent State University. Continuing the university's commitment to this area, Dr. Lauren Kinsman-Costello, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, has been appointed the next director of CENRS.

Dr. Lauren Kinsman-Costello
Dr. Kinsman-Costello plans to focus CENRS activities on the natural properties owned by Kent State. Kent State University owns approximately 900 acres of natural areas, where instructional activity and research is managed by CENRS. These areas support the university mission by enhancing discovery and learning across programs. Natural areas are valuable resources that allow faculty and students to conduct research leading to graduate degrees, publications, and externally funded research grants. In addition, hundreds of students visit these properties each year on field trips. Education of students in the environmental sciences is greatly enriched by direct experience in natural areas, which is impossible to replicate in a classroom setting.


Kinsman-Costello is committed to increasing communication and planning around these critically important natural areas properties. Kent State's natural areas were the initial impetus behind the establishment CENRS, and have long been the focus of many activities. The previous director of CENRS, Dr. Christopher Blackwood, Professor of Biological Sciences, along with Melissa Davis, Horticultural Facilities Director, have conducted natural resource surveys and "Bioblitz" inventories of species diversity with students, faculty, and members of the public at different sites since 2012. They also maintain and provide information regarding the properties, and serve as liasons between faculty, students, and non-academic and administrative personnel. New initiatives under Kinsman-Costello will expand these activities to ensure the long-term utility of the properties, as well as enhanced opportunities to work with non-academic units on campus.

In addition, Kinsman-Costello will work with Blackwood, who is now co-director of the Environmental Science and Design Research Initiative (ESDRI), to continue providing support for instructional, engagement, and research activities related to environmental science at Kent State University. CENRS has been closely involved in organizing the Annual Water and Land Symposium (2013-2017), which will become the ESDRI Symposium in 2019. CENRS also served a key role in establishing partnerships with Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Holden Arboretum, entry into the federal Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit, and obtaining grant funding to support service learning activities and purchase of GPS equipment for use in environmental science classes.

For additional information contact Lauren Kinsman-Costello or Chris Blackwood.

POSTED: Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 7:34pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 7:01am
Chris Blackwood and Lauren Kinsman-Costello