The Farmscape Ecology Program was founded in 2003 as a small research and outreach program dedicated to encouraging an informed compassion for place.
We do this by exploring the relationship between human culture and the rural, semi-agricultural landscape of Columbia County.
Our Program includes a core staff comprised of a botanist, social scientist, and wildlife ecologist. Together with technicians, interns and volunteers, we do participatory research on aspects of the County’s ecology, history and culture with the goal of stimulating their exploration and building love and knowledge of this area. We share our knowledge and findings widely through public ecology walks, presentations, local publications, electronic media, and a variety of facilitated discussions and gatherings.
Ultimately we hope to facilitate cultural and ecological relationships that support a healthy, productive future for the County. A unifying theme for much of our work is the "ecology of the middle ground", elaborated in this essay. An overview of much of our work today was assembled in this report on the Farmscape Ecology of Columbia County.
We invite you to join in the exploration of Columbia County by browsing the multi-faceted and detailed information offered on this website and by following our local natural history blog and facebook updates from the field.
We also invite you to take advantage of our public programs, internships and volunteer opportunities, informal conversations during our monthly open house (generally the first Thursday of the month, currently virtual because of COVID), and to contact us directly by email or phone (518-672-7994 or 518 938 1109) with any questions relating to natural history, agriculture, and the food system in Columbia County. We look forward to exploring the nature and culture of Columbia County with you!
If you are interested in our recent activities, please read our 2020 Year in Review (.pdf). Past years' activities are described in our Year in Review 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 (all are .pdfs).
Video of Program Description
If you're curious to actually watch one of us try to make sense of all this, you now can, courtesy of the Cornell Horticulture Department. This on-line video is of a presentation "Farming and Nature: Looking at it from both sides" by Conrad Vispo at Cornell in the fall of 2013.