Program Overview

The Geospatial Applications concentration within the Integrative Plant Science MPS focuses on the use of modern tools to geographically map and analyze the Earth and human societies. This concentration provides education in geospatial applications, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), to develop data management and decision-making skills for a wide range of geographical data. 

Geospatial applications have many relevant and useful applications, such as:

  • Effective collection of data – such as soil data and seasonality of topography – can  help take the guess work out of agricultural planning
  • Mapping of areas, especially areas that are vulnerable to natural disasters, can help protect food supplies
  • Urban and regional planning

At Cornell, students have used geospatial applications to study a wide breadth of topics, such as:

  • Vegetation responses to drought conditions
  • Analyzing the influence of landscape context on the efficacy of sustainable agricultural practices in Kenya
  • Flood exposure due to poor infrastructure, and its relation to social vulnerability in Kolkata
  • Understanding bike sharing activity patterns of NYC Citi Bike

CALS MPS program details

Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Master of Professional Studies (MPS) program is an accredited, course-based, one-year master’s degree program that emphasizes professional development and intellectual investigation in the areas of agriculture, life sciences and global development. (The Integrative Plant Science MPS program is STEM-designated degree program.)

Though similar to a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in its academic rigor, the MPS degree differs from a traditional M.S. degree in its structure and focus. An M.S. is research-based, with students building a thesis over the course of two or three years. In contrast, the MPS degree is a one-year, course-based program where students study the intricacies and in-depth questions of their field of study. Instead of a thesis or research project, MPS students complete a capstone project during their final semester. To understand this difference in greater detail, please visit our FAQ page.

MPS students are part of a community of diverse students and faculty who share common goals, connecting research and practice to solve complex problems. 

The Integrative Plant Science Master of Professional Studies program is a STEM-designated degree with coursework requirements that differ slightly from other MPS programs at Cornell.

 

Field of Integrative Plant Science MPS Degree Requirements: 

Students earning the MPS in Integrative Plant Science complete 30 credits of graduate level courses (5000+), with at least 20 of these credits earned through the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, and at least 18 of these credits taken for letter grade. (Note that physical education courses and language courses do not count towards degree.)

Specific course requirements of the Integrative Plant Science MPS Degree are as follows:

  • Core Courses (13 credits required):
    • Professional Development (5 – 9 credits)
    • Quantitative Literacy (2 – 6 credits)
    • Capstone Project (2 – 6 credits)
    • View core course details. 
  • Concentration Courses (12 credits required):
    • Courses specific to your concentration - See details for this concentration below. 
  • Elective Courses (5 credits required)
    • Graduate level course you choose in consultation with your advisor..

Note: 2.5 GPA required for graduation.

This project may be an action program, the development of a plan to address a pertinent problem, the development of materials or methodology suited to the student's situation, or the development and execution of research appropriate to the profession. A formal project report must be submitted to and approved by the candidate's faculty advisor. 

Browse recent projects.

Next steps

Deadline to apply: January 15*

*For regular Fall Semester start. Late applications may be accepted under exceptional circumstances.  Contact Tara Reed for more information: tln2 [at] cornell.edu (tln2[at]cornell[dot]edu).

Students and technician prepare a drone for info gathering flight.

Meet some of our Geospatial Applications faculty

Faculty spotlight

Ying Sun

Ying's research focuses on understanding fundamental processes governing interactions between agroecosystems and climate at various scales. She is working with a team of researchers using NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) to more accurately measure photosynthesis – with implications for creating more reliable estimation of crop productivity and global carbon uptake in the face of increasing climate change. “Our population and food demand growing. But we only have limited land and water resources. My goal is to provide sustainable solutions to increase food productivity while reducing negative impacts on the environment. Using this novel data set and state-of-the-art modeling tools, I feel confident about being able to help solve these systemic agricultural problems.”

Portrait of geospatial expert Ying Sun
Yu Jiang
Yu Jiang

Assistant Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Horticulture Section

Cornell AgriTech

Yu Jiang
Agricultural robotics and artificial intelligence
Image processing
High throughput plant phenotyping
dan katz
Daniel Katz

Assistant Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Daniel Katz
Plant ecology
Ecosystem services and disservices
Aerobiology
Johannes Lehmann
Johannes Lehmann

Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Professor

Department of Global Development

Johannes Lehmann
Soil biogeochemistry, fertility management, organic matter, and carbon and nutrient cycling from wastes
Soil carbon sequestration and biochar systems
Sustainable agriculture in the tropics
louis longchamps
Louis Longchamps

Assistant Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Louis Longchamps
  • ll928 [at] cornell.edu
Farm data management
Farmer-centric on-farm experimentation
Precision agriculture
Andy McDonald
Andrew McDonald

Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Associate Professor

Department of Global Development

Andrew McDonald
  • ajm9 [at] cornell.edu
Cropping systems ecology
Climate change adaptation and mitigation
Agricultural sustainability, food security, water resources, international agriculture, policy, and applied social sciences
David Rossiter
David Rossiter

Adjunct Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

David Rossiter
  • dgr2 [at] cornell.edu
Soil Survey
Geostatistics
Spatial modeling of the environment
Diana Sinton
Diana Sinton

Adjunct Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Diana Sinton
  • dss326 [at] cornell.edu
Geographic information science and systems and natural resources management
Integration of in social and cultural data in GIS and humanitarian mapping projects
Geospatial literacy and spatial thinking, GIS in Higher Education
Ying Sun
Ying Sun

Associate Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Ying Sun
Geospatial analysis and big data synthesis
Remote sensing
Canopy- to global-scale modeling
Harold van Es
Harold van Es

Professor

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Harold van Es
Soil health
Precision nitrogen management (Adapt-N)
Digital agriculture
Justine Vanden Heuvel
Justine Vanden Heuvel

Professor and Section Head

Horticulture Section

School of Integrative Plant Science

Justine Vanden Heuvel
  • justine [at] cornell.edu
Sustainable viticulture production
Ecophysiological factors and their impact on fruit and wine composition
Computational tools for vineyard management
Peter Woodbury
Peter Woodbury

Senior Research Associate

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Peter Woodbury
Agricultural and forest ecosystems
Greenhouse gas emissions
Geospatial modeling, land use and environmental quality
Dominic Woolf
Dominic Woolf

Senior Research Associate

School of Integrative Plant Science

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

Dominic Woolf
  • dw433 [at] cornell.edu
Soil carbon sequestration and climate-smart agriculture
Sustainable landscape management, agroforestry reforestration and restoration of degraded land
Biochar

Questions about Integrative Plant Science MPS? Contact us:

Dan Buckley
Director of Graduate Studies
Graduate Field of Integrative Plant Science (IPS)
Phone: (607) 255-1716
Email: dhb28 [at] cornell.edu (dhb28[at]cornell[dot]edu)

Tara Reed
Program Coordinator
Graduate Field of Integrative Plant Science (IPS)
Phone: (607) 255-2131
Email: tln2 [at] cornell.edu (tln2[at]cornell[dot]edu)

Marvin Pritts
Student Experience Coordinator
Graduate Field of Integrative Plant Science (IPS)
Phone: (607) 255-1778
Email: mpp3 [at] cornell.edu (mpp3[at]cornell[dot]edu)