Campus Sustainability News

News on campus sustainability initiatives, emerging programs, rankings, awards, student initiatives, green teams, and more from across the Cornell University campus.

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Flowchart depicting the research field of multi-sector dynamics.

A Cornell engineer is advancing the field of ‘multi-sector dynamics’ with a new $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy that will focus on techniques for better projecting the outcomes of human interactions with the natural world. As scientists and policy makers increasingly turn toward mathematical modeling to help inform their decision making, the project aims to better predict how human systems – such as the economy, urbanization, technology, and agriculture – co-evolve with Earth systems, such as climate, natural resources and wildlife.

Arctic ice in Greenland, shown above, is severely affected by climate change. Cornell Climate Engineering will model the effects of introducing aerosols into the stratosphere for reducing climate change impact.

Global warming reduction may someday get a cool new tool: climate engineering. The SilverLining Safe Climate Research Initiative has awarded a $500,000 grant to a Cornell engineering researcher, who will model the effects of introducing reflective aerosols into the stratosphere, which could deflect enough sunbeams to reduce Earth’s temperature and limit climate change impact.

Dr. Ayana Johnson on a zoom lecture

The conference featured three days of problem-solving workshops, such as finding ways to engage students with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Wheat and corn are shown growing side by side. Researchers from CALS have developed a tool, FAST-GHG, to help farmers quantify greenhouse gas emissions in crop production.

An important tactic for slowing climate change is for private companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, but knowing exactly how much they’re emitting can be a challenge.  To address this need, researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) have developed an online greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions accounting tool, FAST-GHG, to help quantify these emissions in crop production.

a field of flowers

Soil holds about three times as much organic carbon as the atmosphere, which means that making strategic changes to how soil systems are used could play a major role in combating climate change.  With that in mind, two Cornell soil scientists have helped develop a powerful new tool that will help researchers and policymakers map the global potential for carbon sequestration. Soils Revealed is an open-access, interactive platform that uses cutting-edge technology to model how soil organic carbon has fluctuated over the last 11,000 years and to project soil’s future carbon-storing capacity.

Doctoral candidate Alfredo Rodriguez, and Qingxuan Sun, a visiting Ph.D., install an Internet of Things-based outdoor air quality monitor

The National Science Foundation has awarded $1.5 million to Cornell engineers and researchers to help them bridge New York’s digital divide by designing the nation’s first statewide Internet of Things public infrastructure.

The solar power-generating trailer, developed by the Cornell University Sustainability Design group, shown here on the Arts Quad.

Designed and created by CUSD’s Solarize team, the solar power-generating trailer will help Cornell reduce carbon emissions while raising awareness of Cornell’s environmental initiatives, aimed at helping the campus achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.  

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Cornell has secured a U.S. Department of Energy grant of $7.2 million to fund the next stage of Earth Source Heat development.  Earth Source Heat is Cornell’s version of an enhanced geothermal system that would use Earth’s internal heat to warm our campus, helping reach carbon neutrality by 2035.

Downtown crystal city, virgina

 A team of Cornell students found an artful way to snare the sun’s energy, store it and then optimize it for the built environment as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s inaugural Solar District Cup collegiate design competition.

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During the month of April and beyond, choose actions that you can take in your daily life that help contribute to global sustainability and a more peaceful, just, and thriving planet.  Cornell will compete as a team against other Universities in New York - it's easy to get started!