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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


Charles R. Smith

Naturalist, educator, and conservationist Charlie Smith retired from Cornell in 2012 after a forty-year career in various administrative, research, and teaching positions, including executive director for the Laboratory of Ornithology and interim director of natural areas for Cornell Plantations. He has also worked with a number of state and federal agencies and nongovernmental organizations as an advisor and collaborator on science-based conservation.

Though an ornithologist for most of his career, his current interests include dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies, vascular plants, and nature photography. Some of his photographs of butterflies have been published in Smokies Life magazine, and he is currently working with a former student on a field guide to the butterflies of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the southern Appalachians.

Charlie received a PhD in wildlife ecology from Cornell University in 1977 and a BS (cum laude) for studies in botany, zoology, geology, physical geography, and meteorology from East Tennessee State University. A native of Tennessee, Charlie now makes his home in the Ithaca area with his wife, Claudia Melin, and their border terrier, Brodie.