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 brown bird outside with it's beak open

News

Male lyrebirds snare mates with ‘acoustic illusion’
“The male superb lyrebird creates a remarkable acoustic illusion,” said Anastasia Dalziell, a Cornell Lab of Ornithology associate and recent Lab Rose Postdoctoral Fellow, now at the University of Wollongong, Australia, and first author of “Male...
  • Lab of Ornithology
  • Animals
  • Environment

News

Robert Seaney, forage management expert, dies at 93

“Dr. Seaney was an excellent communicator and was widely respected by colleagues, extension agents and farmers,” said Danny Fox, professor emeritus of animal science. “Through his research and extension program, he had a large impact on...

  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Soil and Crop Sciences Section
  • Soil
A car and a truck driving along a very snowy road

News

NSF challenges Cornell to tame winter, natural disasters
Max Zhang, professor in Cornell’s Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, will lead the federally funded effort this spring. The work is part of the new Civic Innovation Challenge, announced Feb. 17, an $11 million effort led by...
  • Atkinson Center
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Natural Resources and the Environment
a laptop sits on a table with a zoom window open

News

Wildlife regulation, ‘one health’ keys to avert more pandemics
Future pandemics can be avoided if the world’s governments eliminate unnecessary wildlife trade and adopt holistic approaches, according to experts at a Feb. 23 virtual conference.
  • Atkinson Center
  • Disease
  • Biology
A grey bearded seal laying on a sheet of ice in the middle of water

News

Bearded seals are loud – but not loud enough
These elaborate vocalizations are essential for bearded seal reproduction, and have to be loud enough to be heard over the cacophony of their equally loud brethren. But in the rapidly changing Arctic soundscape, where noise from industrial...
  • Lab of Ornithology
  • Animals
  • Environment