Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

CALS embraces interdisciplinary scholarship and translational research that centers equity and justice.

In fall 2021, Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) led a new cluster hire initiative leveraging our existing strengths and transdisciplinary leadership in solution-based physical and/or social sciences to explicitly address systemic challenges facing historically and habitually marginalized and disadvantaged communities. We established a network of scholars committed to pursuing research, teaching, extension and outreach on race, racism, ethnicity, social justice, power and equality structures in their various fields of specialization.

The new faculty will join our nationally and internationally recognized tenure-granting departments and/or School of Integrative Plant Science, contributing to research and teaching or extension curriculum in a way that leverages existing strengths while building unique and collaborative opportunities and programs that include community engagement with a focus on equity and justice.

A special thanks to the faculty cohort initiative committee: 

Ongoing programmatic work supporting community partnerships in research and extension

Our new faculty will leverage the existing resources below or develop their own to advance the college’s commitment to find solutions to our most pressing challenges in the realm of agricultural, biological and life sciences, resource management, biological and/or environmental engineering, and physical and social sciences.

The Agricultural Workforce Development program offers a Agricultural Supervisory Leadership certificate program for farm employees and managers.

As Cornell University's American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program (AIISP), our mission is to aid the development of new generations of educated Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who will contemplate, study and contribute to the building of Indigenous nations and communities on a global scale.

CCSS strives to expand the understanding of academicians, students, natural resources agency staff, non-governmental organizations and policy makers about the social dimensions of natural resource and environmental management and policy.

The Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech provides mentorship across New York State, helping entrepreneurs and startups scale their food, beverage and ag tech businesses by connecting them with the resources they need to be successful. COE business development experts are working on several projects in underserved communities from Harlem in New York City to urban settings in Western New York.

The Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability is the hub of collaborative sustainability research at Cornell University, forging vital connections among researchers, students, staff, and external partners. The center’s funding and programming accelerate groundbreaking research within and across all of Cornell’s colleges and schools. In turn, the center is the university’s home to bold ideas and powerful new models that ensure people and the planet not only survive, but thrive.

Cornell Botanic Gardens is actively developing alliances locally, nationally, and globally to support the conservation of biocultural diversity and to give voice to underrepresented communities, including indigenous peoples and those of color; and to cultivate children as the future guardians of biological and cultural diversity.

The vision of the Cornell Center for Health Equity is to nurture durable academic-community partnerships to inform our research agenda, integrate community perspectives into our research, and develop an infrastructure to disseminate and implement the results of our work with the overarching goal of achieving health equity locally, regionally, and nationally.

The Cornell Center for Social Sciences (CCSS) accelerates, enhances, and amplifies social science research at Cornell. Programmatic resources are designed to foster systematic, evidence-based, and collaborative research studies addressing important disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and public policy concerns.

From Buffalo and Rochester to Utica and Syracuse, Cornell Cooperative Extension County Associations and Regional Agriculture Programs are working with recently relocated refugee populations, such as the Somali Bantu, helping these new Americans acquire and work farmland to grow fresh, local, affordable food for their communities. CCE also has long cultivated relationships with indigenous communities through programming related to nutrition and agriculture.

The Cornell Farmworker Program seeks recognition for farmworkers’ contributions to society and their acceptance and full participation in local communities.

The Cornell Small Farms Program was established in 2001 to increase research and extension for small farms. We support farmers at all phases of farm business development.

Harvest NY is a statewide extension team that works across the farm and food system. Specialists address issues such as food sovereignty in urban spaces, including upstate and New York City; as well as diversity within the production and distribution of New York grown food.

NY FarmNet works with farmers, farm families, and agribusiness professionals in times of crisis, growth, and opportunity. The approach is unique and holistic, providing both financial consulting and personal well-being/stress management assistance.

New York State Integrated Pest Management addresses pest-management issues across the state, providing research and education to individuals, businesses and institutions.

NYS Seed to Supper (S2S) is a beginning gardening experience that provides novice gardeners with the tools they need to connect with other people, grow in confidence, and successfully grow a portion of their own food on a limited budget. They aim to increase food security, resilience, and community connectivity by empowering low-income adults with the knowledge and resources to grow food gardens.

PRO-DAIRY offers a number of webinars in Spanish on special topics within dairy production including dairy cattle reproductive management, herd health and cow comfort, milk quality and milking system management, dairy cattle nutrition, animal handling, and human resource management.


Mobile Research Lab

The Mobile Research Lab is custom-designed, ADA accessible and outfitted with five research stations. The research team spent the past few years conducting NIH-funded eye-tracking experiments with youth and adult smokers examining the effect of cigarette packaging graphic warning labels. The mobile lab enables access to study participants who may be difficult to reach due to distance from a research institution or lack of local space to conduct a study.

Community Project

NY Sea Grant - Flood Watch

New York Sea Grant runs Flood Watch, a NYC community project where residents and scientists are working together to understand risk, capture flooding impacts, and brainstorm solutions in underserved and marginalized neighborhoods. 


Cornell Food Venture Center

The Cornell Food Venture Center helps food businesses large and small introduce new food products into the marketplace. Read more about their work with Brooklyn food entrepreneur Nidhi Jalan and her sauces company Masala Mama. 


The Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture

The Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture provides mentorship across New York State, helping entrepreneurs and startups scale their food, beverage and ag tech businesses by connecting them with the resources they need to be successful. COE business development experts are working on several projects in underserved communities from Harlem in New York City to urban settings in Western New York. 


Center for Conservation Media

From rural communities in the southern Philippines and northeastern India, to indigenous peoples of Alaska and the western forty-eight, the Lab of Ornithology’s Center for Conservation Media amplifies voices of underserved cultures through films that showcase the grassroots efforts of local communities to protect their wildlife and natural habitats.


IPM NY spotted lanternfly training

Alejandro Calixto, director of the New York State Integrated Pest Management program, and others conducted Spanish-language sessions with Hispanic agricultural workers in Highland, Ulster County this year about the destructive spotted lanternfly pest.


Cornell Botanic Gardens

Students in a new class in the Cayuga Nation language are learning that much of the language of the indigenous people, whose traditional territory is now home to Cornell’s Ithaca campus, is connected to nature. Many lessons revolve around the planting cycle, and students engage with a traditional Cayuga garden planted at Cornell Botanic Gardens.

Mobile communication lab trailer in parking lot
Flooded lot on a sunny day
Three jars of red sauce labelled Masala Mama
A jar of sauce next to a bowl of pasta.
Man with binoculars in front of red sign
Three men in an vineyard
Man at whiteboard teaching class

Faculty Development

Cornell university offers professional development and community building events to faculty throughout their careers. The Office of Faculty Development and Diversity brings together groups based on common interest and experiences, particularly faculty underrepresented in their fields, to create peer mentoring opportunities across the Cornell disciplines and colleges.

CALS is taking active steps to build diversity, equity, and inclusion into all facets of our work, and the colleagues we hire will join us in advancing these efforts in our research, teaching, and engagement. Our college values multiple methods of qualitative and quantitative inquiry and embraces interdisciplinary collaboration.

Members of this cohort will benefit from proactive mutual mentoring that engages a network of senior faculty, peers, near-peers and internal and external advocates during pre- and post-tenure career development. Mentoring partnerships will be bidirectional, empowering the cohort and its members and providing space for innovative collaborations to emerge from shared interests, goals and opportunities.