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

Farmland near Ekwendeni, Malawi

News

Cornell Atkinson has awarded eleven Academic Venture Fund (AVF) seed grants for research by 40 faculty researchers representing eight Cornell colleges and 19 academic departments. The 2021 awards span 11 countries on five continents and many...
  • Cornell Atkinson
  • Department of Global Development
  • Statistics and Data Science
Body of Water Near Green Trees Under Cloudy Sky

Spotlight

Jamie L. Vanucchi, assistant professor of landscape architecture, is interested in the merger of science and design—taking into account natural processes when planning a landscape. Her research is situated within the region, with an emphasis on New York State, NY's Great Lakes, and the Susquehanna watershed and focuses on the role of uncertainty in design related primarily to floodplains and climate change.
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Water
  • Landscape

News

Monique Pipkin and Ama Bemma Adwetewa-Badu have been selected to receive 2021 Ford Foundation Fellowships. Pipkin, a doctoral student in ecology and evolutionary biology, received a predoctoral competition fellowship, and Adwetewa-Badu, a doctoral candidate in English language and literature, received a dissertation competition fellowship.

  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Animals
  • Evolution
A headshot of Jinhua Zhao

News

Zhao, who spent eight years as director of Michigan State’s Environmental Science and Policy Program, will begin his appointment at Cornell on July 1. “Jinhua is a top-notch scholar, has an excellent track record as an administrator, and...
  • Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
  • Agriculture
  • Applied Economics