Project Team and Collaborators

The Crossing Boundaries Project is a collaborative effort between Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Crossing Boundaries provides middle and high school students with knowledge, skills, motivation, and inspiration to use information and communication technologies in addressing biodiversity conservation issues in local and international contexts.

Jim MaKinsterJim MaKinster directs the project, focusing in particular on the design and implementation of teacher professional development. He is a Professor of Science Education at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. An expert in teacher professional development, curriculum development, and use of technology in educational settings, he also directed the GIT Ahead project (NSF ATE #0602751). His doctoral studies involved working with large numbers of teachers in web-supported learning communities and conducting professional development workshops related to inquiry-based teaching.

Nancy Trautmann co-directs the project, focusing on curriculum development and evaluation of impacts of the project on teachers and students. Director of Education at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, she has over 25 years experience conducting and evaluating science outreach programs for secondary teachers. She currently leads a project in which the Cornell Lab is developing a distance-learning course to help secondary teachers facilitate student research projects. Her doctoral research focused on web-mediated peer review among science students.

Mike BatekMike Batek was the Project Manager. He came to HWS from a former position teaching science at Northwest College Preparatory School, a College Board school in the Rochester City School District. He was certified at Roberts Wesleyan and was a participant in the Urban Teachers for Tomorrow Program. During his three years at Northwest, he taught and developed curriculum for Regents Earth Science, 7th Grade Science, 8th Grade Science, and Environmental Science. He holds a B.S. in Geology, M.A. in Geography, an Ed.M. in Earth Science Education and Earth Science for Students with Disabilities, and has completed fieldwork toward his dissertation on woodland conservation in the Andes.

Courtney Wilson was the Curriculum Specialist. She was a 2008 graduate of William Smith College with a B.A. in Public Policy and Environmental Studies. During the summer of 2008, she spent 14 weeks working at the Amazon Institute for People and the Environment (IMAZON) as an intern for Crossing Boundaries.


Eugenio ArimaEugenio Arima is a Professor of Geography and the Environment at the University of Texas, a senior researcher at IMAZON and an environmental geographer with expertise in using GIS to document and model environmental change. He focuses on the scientific and geographic aspects of land cover and land use change using computerā€based models to predict the impact of future development on the Amazonian landscape. Dr. Arima also researches the social dimensions of deforestation through interviews with colonists, farmers, loggers, and politicians.

Teacher Leaders

Carol Burch, Hannibal High School

Lisa Lowenberg, Chittenango High School

Lisa Mason, Hannibal High School

Roberta Palmiotto, Union Springs Central School

Karen Taylor, Dryden High School

Michelle Watkins, Beaver River Central School



Paul Allen, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Assistant Director of Information Science

John Bowman, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Director of Multimedia

Jennifer Fee, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Project Leader of BirdSleuth

John Hansen, Hansen Research Services, Statistician

Jamie Herring, Habitat Seven, Inc., Director and Videographer

Irby Lovette, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Associate Director for Academic Affairs 

Will Morris, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Web and User Interface Designer

Steve Muth, Voicethread, Co-founder

Ken Rosenberg, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Director of Conservation Science

Douglas Spencer, Edu, Inc., President and Evaluation Consultant

Marie Studer, Encyclopedia of Life, Director of Education and Outreach

International Organizations and Institutions

Finger Lakes Institute, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY

IMAZON – The Amazon Institute for People and the Environment, Belem, Brazil

Mpala Research Center, Kenya

University of Guadalajara, Mexico

Advisory Board Members

Tom Baker, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), Instructional Technologist

Alec Bodzin, Lehigh University Associate Professor of Science Education

Christine Cunningham, Museum of Science, Boston, Vice President of Research

Judith Fonzi, Univ. of Rochester, Warner Center for Prof. Dev. & Educational Reform, Director

Pat Piles, Finger Lakes Wired, Project Manager

Joseph Kerski, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), Curriculum Development Manager


The Crossing Boundaries Project is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0833675. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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