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

News

Michael L. Thonney, sheep management expert, dies at 71
Michael L. Thonney, professor in the Department of Animal Science and director of graduate studies in the field of animal science, died April 23 in Ithaca. He was 71. Over a Cornell career that spanned more than 45 years, Thonney made numerous...
  • Atkinson Center
  • Animal Science
  • Animals
Paullinia up close

News

18.5M-year-old vine fossil identified as new species
The new species, named Ampelorhiza heteroxylon, belongs to a diverse group of tropical lianas called Paullinieae, within the soapberry family (Sapindaceae). More than 475 species of Paullinieae live in the tropics today. Researchers identified...
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Biology Section
  • Biology

News

Agrawal, Hanson elected to National Academy of Sciences

Anurag Agrawal, the James A. Perkins Professor of Environmental Studies in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Maureen Hanson, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (CALS, Arts and...

  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Biology Section
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics

News

Grants advance social sciences research, collaboration

More than $271,000 in grants were awarded to Cornell faculty this spring by the Cornell Center for Social Sciences (CCSS). The grants funded 19 proposals for studies and conferences involving more than 30 faculty members and researchers across campus.

  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
  • Natural Resources and the Environment
  • Department of Communication
thunderstorm approaches cornfields

News

Jack Sillin ’22: Leveraging Twitter to advance meteorological conversations
As an atmospheric sciences major in Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Sillin has used his platform for everything from monitoring developing storms, to combining datasets to reveal new observations about how radar...
  • Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Communication
  • Environment