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Lodi-Smith Featured in Roger Tory Peterson Institute Video

A short documentary from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute (RTPI) features Jenn Lodi-Smith, professor of psychology, as the director of The Spark Bird Project and mentor of the Western New York Young Birder Club.

Jenn, along with Janet McNally, are currently scholars-in-residence at RTPI, supporting their work on The Spark Bird Podcast, which comes out later this summer. The video also features Jenn’s daughter, Maisie, who started the WNY Young Birder Club.

Submitted by: Jennifer Lodi-Smith, Professor of Psychology

Simple Ways to Help Bird Conservation

Did you know? Canisius alumnus Alex Sidare’s award-winning Honors thesis estimated that 700,000 to more than 2.5 million birds die annually in Western New York (WNY) alone from residential window collisions. When commercial buildings are included in estimates, this would at least double. Recent research suggests these numbers may be underestimates.

One of the ways that our community can be more bird-friendly is by taking part in the national Lights Out effort.

Adopting this practice here in WNY is particularly important as our region is a central place for migratory birds moving through our Niagara River Corridor Globally Significant Important Bird Area. In WNY, we have a particular responsibility for the impact of light pollution given our region’s history in being “The City of Light” – one of the first places to have electricity in the world! Light pollution doesn’t just harm birds either – it plays a huge role in our ecology! 

What can you do to help?

  1. Visit BirdCast (co-developed by Canisius alumnus Kyle Horton!) to see peak migration times when these actions are most important but consider adopting them year-round to protect our local birds as well as those visiting on their migration journey.
  2. Turn off all non-essential (don’t compromise safety) lights and close window blinds between 10:00 pm and dawn from April 15-May 31 and August 15-November 15.
  3. Encourage your communities to adopt these practices (here is a sample letter adapted from National Audubon’s resources – also see
  4. Keep outdoor cats inside at least during peak times of bird activity. We also call attention to the role of outdoor cats in bird mortality annually with a staggering estimate of 1-4 BILLION birds killed by cats in the U.S. alone each year. And like window collisions, this is likely an underestimate. Research also suggests that staying indoors is better for your cat’s health – read more at

What to do when you find:

Submitted by: Jennifer Lodi-Smith, Professor of Psychology

Canisius in the Everglades

Students from across the university joined Professors Jon Roth (Environmental Studies) and Jenn Lodi-Smith (Psychology) to explore the ecology of the Everglades and their own place in our global ecosystem this January as part of HON241/EVST300 – Ecology & Self.

Students learned more about themselves, the world around them, and how they can impact the environment for the benefit of nature and themselves. They will continue their learning throughout the semester in our local Buffalo-Niagara ecosystem. Look for their projects at Ignatian Scholarship Day!

Submitted by: Jennifer Lodi-Smith, Professor of Psychology and Jon Roth, Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies

Laudato Si’ Action Plan

The Canisius’ Laudato Si’ Team announces the Laudato Si’ Action Plan, developed based on the efforts of the Canisius University Laudato Si’ working group and previous efforts at campus sustainability initiatives. The first of two 3-year plans, we will be focusing on two broad themes: nature-friendly initiatives and reducing resource use.

Learn more and get involved! The next Laudato Si’ meeting is Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 2:00 p.m. in HS-063 where we will discuss outreach and oversight for action areas.

Click here to add this meeting to your digital calendar.

Stay tuned to The Dome for information on how to schedule area-specific commitment planning sessions for your office/area/department in the new year!

Submitted by: Jennifer Lodi-Smith, AVPAA & Professor, Psychology

Grant Group Meet Up

You are invited to join our grant writing group meet-up in the Old Main Faculty Lounge on Friday, Nov. 3 at 1:00 p.m.  The meet-up is open to all faculty and staff curious about grant writing!

Submitted by: Jennifer Lodi-Smith, AVPAA & Professor, Psychology