Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

  • Natural Resources and the Environment
  • Climate Change
Ginger RH Allington (she/her), assistant professor, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment.

Academic focus: Landscape ecology and social-ecological systems.

Research summary: My research is focused on measuring, mapping and modeling how ecosystems are changing over space and time in response to pressures from human uses and climate change.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Hiking, reading and hauling my kids around to their various activities.

What are your current outreach/extension projects?

Capacity-building workshops for early-career environmental sciences faculty in Central Asia.

What are three adjectives people might use to describe you?

Friendly, scatter-brained and enthusiastic.

What (specifically) brought you to Cornell CALS?

The opportunity to be a part of a department of faculty and students who are equally passionate about solving the complex social-ecological challenges of our time.

What do you think is important for people to understand about your field?

If we want to know what is going on with ecosystems and the environment, then we also have to study what is going on with people.

Why did you feel inspired to pursue a career in this field?

I love being in the field, I love mentoring students, and I love staring at maps. These three things are central to my job today.

What’s the most surprising/interesting thing you’ve discovered about Cornell and/or Ithaca so far?

There really are waterfalls EVERYWHERE!

If you had unlimited grant funding, what major problem in your field would you want to solve?

I would work with my partners to establish sustainable, ethical and integrated markets for cashmere and other fibers coming from Central Asia. Consumer demand for cheap cashmere is driving a lot of environmental degradation in the steppes of Asia, because cashmere goats are really hard on the land. We need innovation across scales (from monitoring, to husbandry, to value chains) in order to disrupt this market in a way that promotes secure livelihoods for herders, while preserving grassland ecosystems.

Learn more about Ginger on her faculty profile page.

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Tom Vilsack, the U.S. secretary of agriculture, talks with Professor Johannes Lehmann, in an industrial facility.


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