SIPS Soil & Crop Sciences Section

Our mission is to generate and communicate knowledge about agroecosystems and their sustainable management in the face of accelerating global change. We achieve this by educating students for stewardship of agro-ecosystems, conducting scientific research on sustainable land management, and using our extension and outreach programs for the benefit of our stakeholders.

Many faculty conduct programs focusing on New York and the northeastern United States region, as well as in many countries around the world having temperate, sub-tropical and tropical environments. Learn more about the history of our section and the vision of our school.

Research Areas in Soil & Crop Sciences

Crop Science

Our research in crop science encompasses development of innovative management practices that maximize yield and quality while minimizing environmental impact, identifying new strategies for effective weed control and making discoveries in fundamental crop physiology.

Environmental information systems

Research on environmental information systems encompasses remote sensing, data inventory and analysis of interactions between agroecosystems and climate at various scales.

Soil science

Our faculty are engaged in research on the many aspects of soil and soil heath from chemistry and biogeochemistry to soil ecology and microbiome.

two women examining a computer image of plant leaves
woman working with remote sensing equipment in the field
hand holding soil sample against a green field

Graduate and undergraduate training

Soil & Crop Sciences offers degrees and training opportunities at all stages of the educational pipeline

three women in front of a scientific poster

Graduate field of soil & crop sciences

Students interested in obtaining an M.S. or Ph.D. degree in the graduate field of soil & crop sciences can select from four concentrations.

  • Agronomy
  • Field crop science
  • Soil science
  • Environmental information systems

Master of Professional Studies

Our MPS programs are one-year, course-based degrees, ideal for individuals interested in in-depth study of the issues and advancements in plant and soil sciences. Choose from specializations in Controlled Environment Agriculture, viticulture, public garden leadership, hemp science, plant protection, geospatial applications and more.

Undergraduate — plant sciences major

Undergraduates majoring in the plant sciences can choose to concentrate in soil science, preparing them for careers in soil health, conservation and agriculture, whether in private industry or public government/university sectors.

Undergraduate — agricultural sciences major

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to major in agricultural sciences, an interdisciplinary program to which Soil and Crop Sciences faculty and staff contribute significant instruction and research opportunities.

Undergraduate — soil science minor

Undergraduate students in diverse majors can add a minor in soil science, and gain in depth knowledge of this discipline.

Undergraduate — crop management minor

Undergraduate students in diverse majors can add a minor in crop management, providing a strong foundation in this area.

Undergraduate research — Microbial Friends & Foes

Microbial Friends & Foes undergraduate research experience is sponsored by the Cornell Institute of Host-Microbe Interactions and Disease. Participants are placed in host labs at Cornell working on many different aspects of microbial interactions with plants and animals.

Undergraduate research — other

The Office of Undergraduate Research provides information about exploring the wealth of research opportunities at Cornell.

The Honors Program in Biological Sciences is designed to offer advanced training in laboratory and field research through the performance of an original research project under the direct guidance of a member of the Cornell faculty.

News from the SIPS Soil & Crop Sciences Section

Learn more about recent developments in our research, outreach, and education

three people looking at objects on a table

News

Buckley elected to American Academy of Microbiology
Congratulations to SIPS Professor Dan Buckley, elected in February as one of 65 new Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology. Fellows represent an honorific leadership group with the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) elected annually...
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Soil and Crop Sciences Section
  • Microbiology

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
Abstract art by KAR Robison

News

Community remembers undergraduate student, artist and activist KAR Robison
Robison originally attended Baylor University, where they took courses in pre-medicine, philosophy and African studies. They went on to work in the field of sustainable food marketing in both San Diego and New York City for nearly 20 years...
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Soil and Crop Sciences Section
  • Natural Resources and the Environment
A black and white microscope image of soil

News

New imaging method views soil carbon at near-atomic scales
Improving such understanding may help researchers develop strategies for sequestering more carbon in soil, thereby keeping it out of the atmosphere where it combines with oxygen and acts as a greenhouse gas. A new study describes a breakthrough...
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Soil and Crop Sciences Section
  • Soil
a hand holds a clump of soil

News

State-funded study provides soil health guidelines for New York agriculture
To fill that research gap, a team of soil scientists in Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), conducted a state-funded project to characterize soil health across New York state agricultural lands. Published in...
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Horticulture Section
  • Soil and Crop Sciences Section