Spencer Crest

Spencer Crest Highlights Sustainability

The SUNY Corning Community College Spencer Crest Nature and Research Center is getting some big upgrades!

A large taxidermy collection was donated to Spencer Crest by Dr.  James A. Felli, which will update and modernize the exhibits. A grand opening is planned for March 2019.

The taxidermy exhibit showcases the evolving relationship between humans and nature by focusing on hunting and nature. It explains the early necessities of hunting using a fossilized mammoth, bison remains, and arrowheads. The exhibit describes hunting as an aristocratic pastime with an additional emphasis on animals that would have been illegal for commoners to hunt. Lastly, the exhibit shows the role of hunters in the early conservation movement, featuring bison and turkey - both of which were saved from extinction by hunting regulations. The exhibit comes full circle ending with the development of wildlife reserves such as Spencer Crest.

“Sustainability is an important theme in our new taxidermy exhibit as sustainable hunting and regulation is the only way to protect animals from extinction,” said Jennifer Sellers, Sustainability Studies Program Coordinator.

The introduction of this collection at the College’s Nature and Research Center is timely: SUNY CCC welcomed a new program in Sustainability Studies that is bolstered by the College’s 500-acre Nature and Research Center.

“It will serve as an outdoor classroom and lab space – including the new taxidermy collection – for many of the required courses,” said Jennifer. “Sustainability Studies is perfect for students who are interested in environmental, fiscal, and social sustainability. Our goal is to convert all courses to open education resources, (i.e. no textbooks!) in the first two years. SUNY CCC is experimenting with hybrid and online instruction to reduce the carbon footprint.”

One of the key features of the new program is the required applied learning. Students will be able to fulfill this requirement at Spencer Crest if they choose. Students will be able to assist at Spencer Crest through research projects focusing on plants and animals, development of outdoor exhibits, a testing area for sustainable technologies, development of educational programs, creating management plans for the grounds, and more.