Interdisciplinary approaches are needed to sustainably resolve environmental problems. Our visionary faculty and passionate students make this possible at Cornell.

We explore the past, consider the present and plan the future.

We contrast modern and ancient cities, as in this distant view of St. Louis from Monks Mound, central structure of the largest city of the Mississippian culture that prevailed across the eastern U.S. for centuries, prior to European colonization.

We span boundaries between humans and sensitive environments.

We work to understand the capacity for humans to share the earth with the vast diversity of all living things. This sign at the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex in coastal California alerts beachgoers to nesting California least terns and Western snowy plovers.

We get our feet wet.

We aim to experience all kinds of environments in all kinds of weather. We are ready to look at what thrives, whether the weather is hot, cold, wet or dry.

We go where decisions are made.

Each year our students meet and work with decision-makers in New York City, Washington D.C., Bonn and throughout the world. Here we meet with Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley.

We explore food security across the globe. 

Food sold in this Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia outdoor market reflects the multiple contrasts of food availability throughout the world.

We examine how cultural practices develop.

This advertisement in Beijing, China was part of a campaign to stop the illegal trade of ivory.

We evaluate restored habitats. 

We examine altered biophysical processes in disturbed landscapes, such as this clear-cut forest in coastal Oregon, along with the economic impact of boom-and-bust natural resource extraction on nearby communities.

We compare inequities associated with environmental degradation.

This sewer outfall in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol highlights the issue of environmental justice and communities that disproportionately experience environmental degradation.

We engage the arts to understand people and their environments.

We use literature, art, music and forms of human expression that impact knowledge and action to reflect upon divergent visions grounded in human imagination, narration, reflection, and persuasion. “Water Dreaming at Kalipinypa” (copyright The Estate of Johnny Warangkula, courtesy of The Aboriginal Artist's Agency) was created by Australian aboriginal artist Johnny Warangkula. This and many other works by Warangkula focused on Kalipinypa, a location where water – a scarce resource in the central Australian desert – gathers after infrequent storms.

Distant view of St. Louis from Monks Mound
Warning sign on beach dune that reads "Do Not Enter"
Students seining river
A group of students in a conference room with Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley.
A woman stands in front of a container of fish at a Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia outdoor market.
Man crosses his arms in an "X" pattern in an advertisement in Beijing against the illegal trade of ivory.
A small hillside covered in harvested timber and protected tree plantings
Warning sign near sewer overflow area in Washington DC
Art by Johnny Warangkula

Environment & Sustainability news

earth's horizon as seen from space

News

New Jeep ad supports Carl Sagan Institute initiative
The company’s advertisement for its new Wrangler 4XE plug-in hybrid features the late Cornell astronomer Carl Sagan’s famous “Pale Blue Dot” monologue and images. And how it benefits CSI: For every view of the ad on Jeep’s YouTube channel, a...
  • Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Environment
  • Nature

News

Grants fund community-engaged learning curricula

The Office of Engagement Initiatives (OEI) recently awarded Engaged Curriculum Grants to 19 teams of faculty and community partners that are developing community-engaged learning courses, majors and minors across the university. This year’s...

  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
  • Community and Regional Development Institute
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
Bioswale at Cornell Botanic Gardens

News

Sustainable Landscapes Trail offers virtual tour
Cornell’s Sustainable Landscapes Trail now can be explored virtually, in a new narrated video tour from Cornell Botanic Gardens. The 16 sites on the trail promote open spaces, natural areas and landscapes with unique sustainability features that...
  • Cornell Botanic Gardens
  • Plants
  • Environment
large wind turbines in the middle of the ocean with a boat floating nearby

News

Grant supports development of efficient offshore wind farms
A new research project – led by Rebecca J. Barthelmie, professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Sara C. Pryor, professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences – is...
  • Atkinson Center
  • Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Development
Water droplet falling

Spotlight

Waterless world
For decades, everyone from the United Nations to the New York Times quoted the same agricultural statistic: “70 percent of all the world’s food is produced by small-scale farmers.” Working in international development in places like Cambodia...
  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development
  • Water