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

A tractor pulling a trailer with several lawn care tools

News

Unplugged: Students build green trailer to energize tools
Members of the Cornell University Sustainable Design (CUSD) student group have delivered to the Grounds Department a 7-by-12 foot trailer that will cart and energize electric string trimmers, hedge clippers, chainsaws and an electric heavy-duty...
  • Environment
  • Planet
  • Natural Resources

News

Fall 2020 Perspectives in International Development Seminar Series launches

This Perspectives in International Development Seminar Series features a broad range of researchers and development practitioners presenting the latest findings on contemporary issues relating to sustainable development throughout the world.

  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Natural Resources
Farmers standing in a wheat field looking at the wheat

News

In the face of crisis, equitable farming systems grow in Nigeria
In the region’s largest city, Maiduguri, an estimated 130,000 displaced people have settled into urban and peri-urban camps – part of more than 1.4 million displaced people living in camps throughout Borno State alone. Many in the camps are...
  • Department of Global Development
  • Agriculture
  • Global Development
Blue Shark, Prionace glauca.

News

Massive, indeed: Shark MOOC has attracted thousands
Sharks! Global Biodiversity, Biology, and Conservation has introduced more than 32,000 people from 182 countries to sharks, rays and chimaeras – also known as “ghost sharks.” “Before the first offering of the shark MOOC in the summer of 2016, I...
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Biology
  • Animals
men and women farmers working in a field with houses in the background

News

China’s green plan displaces villagers, forces inequity
While many studies have lauded China’s new environmental goals, much of this research has focused on the technical ways to make urban infrastructure sustainable and reduce emissions. However, new research suggests a relationship between urbanism...
  • Atkinson Center
  • Natural Resources
  • Behavior