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

hands hold black ashes

Spotlight

Johannes Lehmann: Leading the Soil Carbon Revolution
Johannes Lehmann, School of Integrative Plant Science, Soil and Crop Sciences, is leading a revolution. Over the past two decades, he has been instrumental in overturning a long-held scientific belief regarding the fundamental nature of soil...
  • Atkinson Center
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
a person sitting in a tractor in a field with the sun setting behind him

News

Report fosters ag industry climate-change tracking
Art DeGaetano, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences, is one of nine scientists who have co-authored a report to help the nation’s farmers, producers and commercial agricultural managers reduce risk in the face of climate change. “We...
  • Atkinson Center
  • Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Agriculture
an aerial shot of the CALS ag quad

News

Benjamin Houlton named as the next Ronald P. Lynch Dean of CALS
Houlton’s five-year appointment, effective Oct. 1, has been approved by the Executive Committee of the Cornell University Board of Trustees and is pending ratification by the State University of New York Board of Trustees. He also has been...
  • Department of Global Development
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Climate
a green plant growing out of brown soil

News

New soil models may ease atmospheric CO2, climate change
In an article published July 27 in Nature Geoscience, Cornell’s Johannes Lehmann and others wrote that scientists should develop new models that more accurately reflect the carbon-storage processes beneath our feet, in order to effectively draw...
  • Atkinson Center
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
Miombo woodlands near the Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia

News

Small-farm tech reduces deforestation, climate change
Small farms in Zambia that use the latest hybrid seed for maize, along with improving health on neutral soils, help reduce deforestation and tackle climate change, Cornell researchers report this month in Global Environmental Change. “Scientists...
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Soil and Crop Sciences Section
  • Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management