5 Basics for Lab Students

Be sure to review our Undergraduate FAQ and Graduate FAQ for more advice about coming to Cornell, enjoying your time here, finding a mentor, getting the necessary paperwork done, and much more.

Ride the Lab Shuttle

The best way to get between the Lab and Cornell campus is to take the free Lab shuttle. It runs on school days during the fall and spring semesters, leaving the Lab at 10:30, 12:00, 1:30, and 4:30, stopping at North Campus (RPCC), Corson/Mudd, and the Dairy Bar. The entire round trip takes about 32 minutes. Be sure to join the shuttle listserv to be notified of any changes to the schedule. Here are full details of shuttle and bus service to the Lab.

Join the Birding Club

Connect with other birders, meet grad students and professors, plan birding trips, and dive deeper into ornithology. Undergraduates should join the Cornell Birding Club by sending an email to “birding-club-at-cornell-l-request@cornell.edu” with the word “join” in the subject and nothing in the body of the message; also check out the club’s Facebook group. Word to the wise: researchers at the Lab of Ornithology often use the Cornell Birding Club email list to advertise neat opportunities for students. The local Cayuga Bird Club welcomes students along with everyone else; it meets monthly at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and offers a variety of field trips and other bird-related events.

Mason in the field. Photo courtesy of the Cornell Lab.
Photo courtesy of the Cornell Lab.

Attend Birdy Seminars

New to Cornell? This is for you: every Fall semester we offer an Ornithology Seminar series on Tuesday evenings starting at 5:15 in the Morrison Room in Corson-Mudd Hall. Each evening features one or two talks about avian research, followed by a socializing time with free pizza. This venue is specifically designed to help newcomers (including first-year students!) become quickly networked into Cornell’s incredible and very friendly ornithology community; dozens of undergraduates attend each week, as do graduate students, postdocs, research staff, and professors. Students can sign up as a 1-credit course, BIOEE7800. Email professor Irby Lovette for information.

Other inspiring seminar events include the Lab’s monthly Monday Night Seminar series, while many departments on campus offer seminars featuring renowned ornithologists as part of their regular semester-long seminar series.

Use Your ID for Building Access

You can’t get into the staff areas of the Lab unless your Cornell ID card has been authorized. To have your card activated, your Lab staff supervisor/mentor must send an email authorizing your access to building manager Jeff Payne. That email needs to include your name and your Cornell ID card number (not your netID). Jeff similarly handles keys to specific areas within the Lab.

If You Drive Here, Please Park in the Staff Lot

Please never park in the Visitor parking lot at the Lab, as that area is reserved for visitors from outside of Cornell. As a Lab-affiliated student you should always park in one of the three staff parking areas, just as Lab staff do.