Senior Research Associate, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Dr. Allison Morrill Chatrchyan is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University, and an Adjunct Professor of Law in the Cornell Law School. As a social scientist, her work focuses on the interactions between social, environmental, and agricultural systems, and addressing climate change at the multilateral, national, state, and local levels. Dr. Chatrchyan facilitates interdisciplinary research and extension teams and develops resources, tools, and training programs on climate change science, impacts, adaptation, and mitigation.
Her research is focused on assessing climate change impacts and adaptation gaps; stakeholder views and actions on climate change; and polycentric climate change governance (including laws, policies, institutions, and non-state actions). She co-developed and leads the Cornell Climate Smart Farming program and Cornell Climate Stewards program, and has collaborated on many projects with the USDA NE Climate Hub since 2017. Dr. Chatrchyan has led the Cornell Delegations to the annual Conference of Parties (COP) of the UNFCCC since COP21 in Paris and has served on the Party Delegation of the Republic of Armenia since COP23. She is currently co-chairing the agriculture chapter of the New York State Climate Impacts Assessment and serves on the UNFCCC Nairobi Work Program Expert Group in Agriculture and Food Security. Dr. Chatrchyan teaches two capstone classes for Cornell’s Environment & Sustainability program on Global Climate Change Science and Policy, and Climate Smart Communities, and teaches International Environmental Law and Policy for the Cornell Law school. Before coming to Cornell, Dr. Chatrchyan worked for the Cornell University Cooperative Extension system, the Bard Center for Environmental Policy, University of Maryland, United Nations Environment Programme in Paris, France, and the Environmental Policy Center in Washington, DC. A native of Hamilton, NY, she received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Maryland College Park in international environmental politics, and her B.A. with Honors from Colby College in Waterville, ME, in government and environmental studies.
- Foreign Affairs: Going Nuclear on Climate Change? Foreign Affairs Asks the Experts
- Colby Magazine: On Climate, Think Globally and Act Locally
- Foreign Affairs: Is Trump's Paris Withdrawal a Major Climate Setback? Foreign Affairs Asks the Experts
Presentations and Activities
- New York State Climate Impacts Assessment, Co-Chair of Agriculture Chapter. NY State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA)
- NYS Connects: Climate Smart Farms and Forests Project. USDA Climate Smart Commodities Grant, with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS Agriculture and Markets, Cornell University, and SUNY ESF.
- Cornell Climate Stewards: Training Extension Volunteers to Support NYS Communities. NY State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA) grant.
- SustainAble U: Let's Get Climate Smart Training Program. Climate Change Education Partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA).
- United Nations Nairobi Work Programme, Expert on the Agriculture and Food Security Expert Working Group.
- United Nations Climate Change and University Partnerships Program, University Faculty Partner.
- Cornell Delegation to the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP21-COP27).
- Republic of Armenia, Party Delegation to the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP23-COP27).
- Leveraging the potential of youth through the UN Climate Change and Universities Partnership Programme. Presentation in the UN Side Event of the UN Nairobi Work Programme at COP 27, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. November 17, 2022.
- Climate Change and Agriculture: Challenges and Solutions. Presentation with Deborah Aller in the Stanford, Cornell, and Princeton University UN Side Event at COP27, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. November 11, 2022.
- Local municipal capacity for climate change action in NYS: Exploring the urban–rural divide. Presentation with Shorna Allred for the NYS Interagency Climate Adaptation and Resilience Work Group. June 15, 2022.
- Climate Impacts and Resilience on NY Farms. Presentation for NYS Soil Health Field Day, Rodman Lott Farms, Seneca Falls, NY, July 13, 2022.
Areas of Expertise
- Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation; International Environmental Law, Politics, and Policy; Climate-Smart Agriculture; Local Climate Action, Climate Justice, and Education; Multi-Level Governance; Interdisciplinary Stakeholder Engagement; Social Science Methodology
- Doctorate, University of Maryland, 2003
- Master's Degree, University of Maryland, 1999
- Bachelor of Arts, Colby College, 1992
My primary interest is in teaching students to critically examine the institutions, actors, and politics involved in climate change and environmental policy making at the global, national, state, and local level. My overall goal is to nurture my students’ passion for learning about global environmental and sustainable development issues by interacting with real-world issues and organizations. At the undergraduate level, I have taught an Engaged Cornell course on Global Climate Change Science and Policy with Dr. Natalie Mahowald since 2017, where we prepare students to participate with the COP conferences under the UNFCCC. I also teach a capstone course on Climate Smart Communities: State and Local Climate Change Policy for the Environment & Sustainability major. Both courses are designed to meet key learning objectives, specifically helping students evaluate and effectively interpret factual claims and theories; integrate quantitative and qualitative information; and understand problems from diverse cultural, political, scientific and economic perspectives. They also provide students with the opportunity to work with community partners on engaged service learning projects. At the graduate level, I previously taught courses on environmental politics and policies, and international environmental policies, at Bard College.
EAS 4441/DSOC 4441: Global Climate Change Science and Policy – with Natalie Mahowald
This course introduces students to climate change science and policy, with a focus on how science factors into global policy making – including through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - and how negotiations take place before and during the annual Conference of the Parties (COP). Students in the course will be working with partner countries and NGOs to help them with climate change–related research projects and preparation for the COP26 conference in Glasgow. The course will enable Cornell students to participate in global, engaged learning to prepare for the most significant annual meetings of the U.N. on climate change; and make a vital contribution to their academic studies and decisions about future work in international environmental affairs. Students will critically analyze contemporary climate change science and global environmental policy-making; articulate the main issues with global climate change from the viewpoints of different countries and people with diverse perspectives; and understand the barriers and new opportunities to address the issues. The course involves lectures, discussions, readings, and group projects with partner organizations. This innovative, cross-disciplinary course will provide a career-changing opportunity to students to engage in the global policy-making process to address a wicked environmental problem. A subset of students will be chosen ahead of the class to participate at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. if the conference is held.
ENVS/EAS 4444: Climate Smart Communities: State and Local Climate Change Policy
This course introduces students to the vibrant world of sub-national and non-state climate change science, policy, and action at the state and local level. Sub-national (regional, state and local governments) and non-state (non-governmental) actors are becoming increasingly important in climate change governance. New York is a leading state addressing climate change and recently adopted the ambitious New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, but will have a difficult challenge meeting its goals without huge changes in GHG reductions from businesses, farms and communities. Local municipalities have considerable power to address environmental and land use issues within their jurisdiction, but often lack the capacity to plan for or implement climate change projects at the local level. Students will critically analyze the theory of polycentric governance and debate the importance of non-state and sub-national actors; and learn about the process of state and local environmental and climate change policy making. Students will work in groups with a local community to assess the status of any climate action plans or projects, and work with the community partner to identify and address a needs for research or project support, though a semester-long community service-learning project.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles and Book Chapters
- Shirvani Dastgerdi, A., Sargolini M., Allred, S., Chatrchyan, A. & De Luca, G. (2020). Climate Change and Sustaining Heritage Resources: A Framework for Boosting Cultural and Natural Heritage Conservation in Central Italy. Climate, 8(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8020026.
- Lane, D., Murdock, E., Genskow, K., Betz, C., & Chatrchyan, A. (2019). Climate change and dairy in New York and Wisconsin: Risk perceptions, vulnerability, and adaptation among farmers and advisors. Sustainability: Special Issue "Agricultural Production and Global Climate Change: Social, Cultural, and Agroecological Aspects of the Agriculture/Climate Interface."
- Torquebiau, E., Rosenzweig C., Chatrchyan, A., Andrieu, N. & Khosla, R. (2018). Identifying Climate-smart agriculture research needs. Questions de recherche pour l’agriculture climato-intelligente. Cahier Agriculture, 27(2). doi.org/10.1051/cagri/2018010.
- Lane, D., Chatrchyan, A., Tobin D., Thorn, K., Allred, S., & Radhakrishna, R. (2018). Climate change and agriculture in New York and Pennsylvania: risk perceptions, vulnerability and adaptation among farmers. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. doi.org/10.1017/S1742170517000710.
- Thorn, K., Tobin, D., Radhakrishna, R., Chatrchyan, A., Chan, J., & Allred, S. (2017). Usefulness of Delivery Methods for Climate Change Programming: Perspectives of Extension and Research Faculty. Journal of Extension 55(5).
- Tobin, D., Radhakrishna, R., Chatrchyan, A., & Allred, S. (2017). Addressing Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture and Natural Resources: Barriers and Priorities for Land-Grant Universities in the Northeastern United States. Weather, Climate, and Society 9(3).
- Chatrchyan, A., Erlebacher, R., Chaopricha, N., Chan, J., Tobin, D., & Allred, S. (2017). United States agricultural stakeholder views and decisions on climate change. WIREs Climate Change 8. doi: 10.1002/wcc.469.
- Lambert, J., Nagothu, U.S., Chatrchyan, A., & DeGaetano, A. (2019). “Agricultural Decision Support Tools: A Comparative Perspective on these Climate Services.” In Sustainable Solutions for Food Security: Combating Climate Change by Adaptation. Springer International.
- Chatrchyan, A., Yin, C., Torquebiau, E., & Nagothu, U.S. (2018). Multi-level policy measures to support sustainable agriculture intensification for smallholders. In Agricultural Development and Sustainable Intensification Technology and Policy Challenges in the Face of Climate Change. Ed. U.S. Nagathu. London: Routledge.
- Nagothu, U.S. & Chatrchyan, A. (2018). Sustainable agriculture intensification: Innovations to strengthen extension services and market linkages. In Agricultural Development and Sustainable Intensification Technology and Policy Challenges in the Face of Climate Change. Ed. U.S. Nagathu. London: Routledge.
- Chatrchyan, A. & Doughman, P. (2008). Climate Policy in the United States: State and Regional Leadership. In Hugh Compston and Ian Bailey. Turning Down the Heat: The Politics of Climate Policy in Affluent Democracies. Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Chatrchyan, A., & Wooden, A. (2005). Linking Rule of Law and Environmental Policy Reform in Armenia & Georgia. In Christopher P.M. Waters. State of Law in the South Caucasus. Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Technical Reports and Reviews
- Rawe T., Antonelli, M., Chatrchyan, A., Clayton, T., Fanzo, J., Gonsalves, J., Matthews, A., Nierenberg, D., & Zurek, M. (2019). Transforming food systems under climate change: Local to global policy as a catalyst for change. CCAFS Working Paper no. 271. Wageningen, the Netherlands: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).
- Tobin, D., Radhakrishna, R., Chatrchyan, A., Chan, J. & Allred, S. (2015). Climate Change Capacity Discovery: Current Activities and Future Priorities at Land-grant Universities in the Northeast. United States Department of Agriculture, NE Regional Climate Hub, 31 pp.
- Tobin, D., Janowiak, M., Hollinger, D., Skinner, R., Swanston, C., Steele, R., Radhakrishna, R., Chatrchyan, A., Hickman, D., Bochicchio, J., Hall, W., Cole, M., Hestvik, S., Gibson, D., Kleinman, P., Knight, L., Kochian, L., Rustad, L., Lane, E., Niedzielski, J., & Hlubik, P. (2015). Northeast and Northern Forests Regional Climate Hub Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies, T. Anderson, Eds., United States Department of Agriculture, 65 pp.
- Keller, E., Allred, S., Chatrchyan, A. & Klocker, C. (2012). Assessment of Need for a New York State Master Watershed Steward Program. Cornell University Cooperative Extension. 53pp.
- Bernhardt, J., Kelly, V., Chatrchyan, A., & DeGaetano, A. (2010). Climate and Air Quality of Dutchess County, NY (Chapter 2). Dutchess County Natural Resource Inventory, Poughkeepsie, NY.
- Clarke, J., Doyle, M., Wills, R., & Chatrchyan, A. (2011). Ecological Implications for Local Decision-Making (Chapter 9). Dutchess County Natural Resource Inventory, Poughkeepsie, NY.
- Vail, E., Curri, N., Chatrchyan, A., & Carroll, P. (2010). Introduction to the Natural Resource Inventory of Dutchess County, NY (Chapter 1). Dutchess County Natural Resource Inventory, Poughkeepsie, NY.
- Chatrchyan, A.M. (2009). Review of David Humphreys, LogJam: Deforestation and the Crisis of Global Governance. Global Environmental Politics, Vol. 9, No 1.
- Chatrchyan, A.M. (2001). Review of Robert G. Darst, Smokestack Diplomacy: Cooperation and Conflict in East-West Environmental Politics. Millennium Journal of International Studies, Vol. 30, No. 2.
- United Nations Environment Programme and Danish EPA (Morrill, A.). (1997). Strategic Options for Accelerating ODS Phaseout in CEIT Countries. Paris, France: United Nations Environment Programme.
Recent Extension/Outreach Publications
- Alzaibak, E., Ficken, S., & Chatrchyan, A. (In preparation). Climate Smart Farming Workbook: Adaptation Strategies for Farmers in the Northeastern U.S. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions.
- Brewer, T., Chatrchyan, A., Ficken, S., McDermott, L., Morrill, K., & O’Neil, K. (2018). Climate Smart Farming in the Northeast: Six Key Strategies for Farmers. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions. Fact Sheet. November.
- Lambert, J., Chatrchyan, A., & Acosta, S. (2017). Cornell’s Climate Smart Farming Program: Resources, Tools and extension Support for Farmers in the NE USA. GACSA Case Study. Rome: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), July, www.fao.org/3/a-bs942e.pdf.
- Thorn, K., Radhakrishna, R., Tobin, D., Chatrchyan, A., Chan, J., & Allred, S. (2016). Current Activities and Future Priorities of the Northeast U.S. to Address Climate Impacts in Agriculture. USDA Northeast Climate Hub. August.
- Thorn, K., Radhakrishna, R., Tobin, D., Chatrchyan, A., Chan, J., & Allred, S. (2016). Agricultural Barriers to Addressing Climate Change in the Northeastern U.S. USDA Northeast Climate Hub. August.
- Thorn, K., Radhakrishna, R., Tobin, D., Chatrchyan, A., Chan, J., & Allred, S. (2016). Usefulness of Delivery Methods for Communicating Climate Change Issues: Perspectives of Extension Professional and Research Faculty in the Northeast. USDA Northeast Climate Hub. August.
- Chatrchyan, A. (2013). Addressing Climate Change at the County Level. New York State Association of Counties. NYSAC News.
- Gary, G., Allred, S., LoGiudice, E., Chatrchyan, A., Baglia, R., Mayhew T. & M. Wyman. (2013). Community Adaptation to Flooding in a Changing Climate: Municipal Officials’ Actions, Decision-Making, and Barriers. Cornell University, Community and Rural Development Institute (CARDI) and Human Dimensions Research Unit (HDRU), Research and Policy Brief, Issue 57 (December): 2p.
- Mullen, M., Allred, S. & Chatrchyan, A. (2012). Local Climate Change Challenges and Opportunities: Understanding Municipal Official Perspectives. Cornell University Human Dimensions Research Unit, HDRU Outreach Series, No. 12-1.
Current Grants & Sponsored Research Projects
- Chatrchyan, A. 2020-. Climate Change: Education Partnership with Cornell University. New York Power Authority (NYPA). (Principal Investigator). Open contract.
- Goeringer, P., D. Kay, and A. Chatrchyan. 2020-2023. Solar Energy Production on Agricultural Land: Risks and Opportunities . USDA-NIFA-AFRI. (Co-Principal Investigator). $170,000.
- Bunting-Howarth, K. and A. Chatrchyan. 2018-2021. Enhancing the Resiliency of New York’s Communities through a Master Climate Volunteer Program. US Department of Agriculture Smith-Lever grant. (Co-Principal Investigator). $75,000.
- Chatrchyan, A. 2017-2020. Climate Master Volunteers: Supporting the work of Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation, and Community Resilience at the Local Level. AFRI (Principal Investigator). $250,000.
- Mahowald, N., A. Chatrchyan, L. Shi, S. Sassler, C. Goodale. 2018-2020. Engaging Cornell students from the Local to the Global Level in Climate Change Science and Policy through the annual UNFCCC Convention of the Parties (COP25; COP24). Engaged Cornell - Curriculum Development Grant. $160,000.
- Chatrchyan, A. 2018-2020. Cornell Presence at the UNFCCC Convention of the Parties (COP25; COP24) Source of Support: Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability (Principal Investigator). $50,000.
- Chatrchyan, A., et. al, 2017-2020. Cornell Climate Smart Farming. US Department of Agriculture Smith-Lever grant. (Principal Investigator). $60,000.
- Chatrchyan, A., and M. Hoffmann. 2017-2022. Collaborative work between the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions and the USDA Northeast Climate Hub. US Forest Service (Principal Investigator). $15,000.
Completed Grants & Sponsored Research Projects
- Garip, F., A. Chatrchyan, N. Chau, A. Ortiz-Bobea, A. Rodewald. 2018. Stay or Go? How Environment Affects Migration in Mexico. Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, Academic Venture Fund – 2018. $150.000.
- Chatrchyan, A. S. Allred, and M. Hoffmann. 2016-2019. Understanding agricultural stakeholders’ perceptions and decision-making related to climate change. Part of the Multistate (NC1179) US Department of Agriculture Hatch project: “Food, Feed, Fuel, and Fiber: Security Under a Changing Climate.” (Principal Investigator). $90,000.
- Chatrchyan, A., and M. Hoffmann. 2017-2018. Increasing Farmers Resiliency Through the Cornell Climate Smart Farming Program. The New World Foundation (Principal Investigator). $100,000.
- Chatrchyan, A. S. Allred, and M. Hoffmann. 2014-2018. Cornell Northeast Climate Hub Risk Assessment and Capacity Building: Assessing and Building Capacity for Climate Smart Farming Decisions in the Northeast. USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Pennsylvania State University, Cooperative Agreement (Principal Investigator). $160,000.
- Chatrchyan, A. 2017-2018. Cornell Delegation to the COP 23 Climate Change Negotiations. Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability (Principal Investigator). $32,485.
- Chatrchyan, A., et. al, 2014-2017. Extending the Reach of Climate Change Education and Decision Tools to New York’s Farmers and Communities. US Department of Agriculture Smith-Lever Project (Principal Investigator). $60,000.
- Chatrchyan, A., M. Hoffmann, and A. DeGaetano. 2015-2016. Capacity for CICCA Climate Smart Farming Project. The New World Foundation (Principal Investigator). $200,000.
- Chatrchyan, A. and M. Hoffmann. 2014-2015. Building the Capacity of the Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture to work with the agricultural community. The New World Foundation (Principal Investigator). $100,000.
- Smith, S., S. Hoskins, A. Chatrchyan, A. DeGaetano, D. Kay, G. Loch, N. Curri, R. Kambo, R. Howe, S. Anderson. 2012-2015. Building an Online GIS Mapping Presence to Support Extension Priorities through PWTs. Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (US Department of Agriculture Smith-Lever grant). (Collaborator). $78,000.
- Wolfe, D., A. DeGaetano, R. Schneider, A. Chatrchyan, S. Broussard Allred, L. Chambliss, B. Lewenstein, S. Riha. 2011-2014. Developing and Implementing a New York State Climate Change Extension Program. Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (US Department of Agriculture Smith-Lever grant). (Collaborator). $90,000.
- Broussard Allred, S., C. Klocker, and A. Chatrchyan. 2011-2014. Building the Capacity for Watershed Management in New York: Developing and Implementing the NY Master Watershed Steward Program. Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (US Department of Agriculture Smith-Lever grant). (Co-PI). $96,936.
- Broussard Allred, S. and A. Chatrchyan. 2011-2013. Characterization of Attitudes among Hudson River Estuary Watershed Municipal Officials about Climate Change Adaptation Cornell Water Resources Institute, Hudson River Estuary Program. (Co-PI). $31,000.
- Chatrchyan, A. 2010-2013. CCE Statewide Energy and Climate Change Team – through CCE Administration (US Department of Agriculture Smith-Lever grant). $58,000 (Climate Change Lead).
- Chatrchyan, A, and A. Hambartsumyan. 2010-2011. Developing Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Curriculum for Armenian and Georgian Higher Education Institutions. CRDF International. (Principal Investigator). $15,000.
- Broussard Allred, S., Schneider, R., and R. Stedman. 2010-2011. The New York State “Master Watershed Steward” Program: Building Capacity for Watershed Organizations in New York. Water Resources Institute. (Collaborator, on subcontract). $20,000.
- Chatrchyan A. and C. Klocker. No Child Left Inside. 2008-2013. NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program. (Co-PI). $54,000.
- Chatrchyan A. and C. Klocker. Building the Capacity of the Wappinger Creek Watershed Intermunicipal Council. 2007-2012. NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program. (Co-PI). $60,000.
- Chatrchyan A. and C. Klocker. Advancing Water Quality Goals. 2005-2011. NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program. (Co-PI). $60,000.
- Chatrchyan, A. and C. Klocker. Wappinger Creek Watershed Council Goals. 2005-2011. NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program. (Co-PI). $60,000.
Climate Change Program Work Team
Allison Chatrchyan and whb65 [at] cornell.edu (Ave Bauder), Executive Director, CCE Seneca County serve as the co-chairs of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Program Work Teams (PWT), which are communities of learning and practice that focus on specific Extension areas and issues. PWTs bring Cornell faculty and staff, CCE educators, industry members, and stakeholders together to collaborate and innovate.
The Cornell Climate Change PWT was formed in 2010 and includes Cornell faculty, staff, and Extension educators from around New York State. The PWT provides a mechanism through which faculty and Extension educators connect with stakeholders to identify the needs surrounding climate change impacts and opportunities, develop educational materials and decision tools, and provide training opportunities and engagement around climate change mitigation and adaptation.
- The PWT manages the cornellclimatechange-l [at] list.cornell.edu listserve to share updates on research, reports, news, events, and Extension projects with the Cornell Community
- The PWT organizes regular check-in meetings, and a meeting during the CCE Ag-Inservice to share updates. Meetings will be held on Feb 10, May 5, Sept 8, and in November 2021. Check the Cornell events calendar for details.
- PWT members participate with the National Extension Climate Initiative (NECI) to share work with other land grant partners.
Cornell Delegation to the UNFCCC Conference of Parties
Dr. Chatrchyan is the Cornell focal point to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. With Cornell as a global leader in sustainability and climate change research, teaching, and engagement, Chatrchyan organizes the yearly Cornell observer delegation to the COP with Dr. Natalie Mahowald and faculty from the Atkinson Center.
Every year Cornell sends a delegation of 25 faculty, staff, and students to the United Nations Climate Change Conference – Conference of the Parties. First held in Berlin in 1995, the yearly United Nations Climate Change Conference serves as the meeting of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Parties assess global progress in addressing climate change and continue negotiations to work out details for implementation of the Paris Agreement.
305 Rice Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
amc256 [at] cornell.edu
Allison in the news
At the upcoming Conference of the Parties – best known as COP27 – 11 Cornell students will help delegations from small countries gain a stronger environmental voice.
- Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
- Department of Global Development
- Climate Change