Older Volunteers for the Environment: An Intervention Study - PROJECT FILLED

Worksite Location
Cornell University Cooperative Extension- New York City ( CUCE-NYC)
Project Dates
June 1 - August 1
Faculty Sponsor
Karl Pillemer, Director Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Hazel E. Reed Professor in the Department of Human Development, Professor of Gerontology in Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College
Other Campus-Based Mentors/Supervisors
Rhoda Meador, Cornell Institute for Transitional Research on Aging (CITRA); Nancy Wells, Department od Design and Environmental Analysis; Lori Brewer, Senior Extension Associate, School of Integrative Plant Science, Horticulture Section
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Jennifer Tiffany (Executive Director, CUCE-NYC)
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

This project will test an intergenerational adaptation of the Retirees in Service to the Environment (RISE) Program in the diverse, multi-cultural environment of New York City. RISE recruits older adults to an 8-week program that includes volunteer leadership training, environmental education, and a group stewardship project. This internship will take advantage of a new partnership between CUCE-NYC and the senior center on Roosevelt Island. Older adults and  youth will be recruited for an intergenerational version of RISE, in which they will complete educational activities and the stewardship project together. An evaluation of the program will take place.

Roles and Responsibilities

The intern will be involved in all phases of the project. She will assist in recruiting elders and youth; observing and recording project activities; administering pre-test and post-test questionnaires; conducting process evaluation interviews; and coding and entering data. Because Ms. Wessal is a PRYDE Scholar working with Dr. Pillemer during the academic year, in Fall semester 2017 she will assist in writing project reports and publications. 

Qualifications and Previous Coursework
Benefits and Skills

1. Better understanding of older adult volunteerism. 2. Increased knowledge about civic engagement around environmental issues. 3. Developing skills in research design and data collection. 4. Exposure to CCE work through placement in CUCE-NYC. 5. Increased  knowledge about community-based participatory research. 6. Greater understanding of how to conduct evaluation research.