ACSF's Role in Sustainability Research at Cornell
Sustainability research requires not only new ways of thinking and organizing that build on the successes of traditional, discipline-based research and teaching to interconnect distinct research communities but also must integrate researchers with practitioners. Problems related to Energy, the Environment, and Economic Development are interdependent and interconnected, transcending individual disciplines; that is, this is a "system problem" and a broad approach is demanded. The science and engineering needed to develop clean technologies cannot be separated from the ecological study of Earth's integrated human and natural systems or from the social science of human behavior and well-being.
ACSF therefore seeks to connect diverse as well as related disciplines through problem-oriented research and external partnerships to achieve important discoveries that have tangible, realworld impact. This model requires an emphasis on creating synergies and connections between those with appropriate talents and expertise by catalyzing new intellectual collisions that spark discovery and real progress for humanity.
Broad media attention to sustainable energy and its relationship to climate change and other environmental issues as well as to world economic development and population has raised public awareness of the challenges in Energy. Addressing needs and opportunities on scales from regional to global is a central theme at Cornell and ACSF. There are many scientific and technological challenges inherent in addressing energy needs and this section focuses on those issues. At the same time some essential connections to environmental, economic, behavioral and social factors that are at least as important as the technological factors in charting our future are highlighted.
Contact Todd Cowen, ACSF Faculty Director for Energy Programs.
Cornell's rich history of agriculture, biogeochemistry and biodiversity studies has uniquely positioned us to address tremendous interdisciplinary environmental challenges ranging from climate change to conservation and microbial diversity.
Contact Alex Travis, ACSF Faculty Director for Environment Programs.
Cornell has long encouraged leading-edge research and action to benefit the least fortunate in our community and our world. Much of this work fosters cross-disciplinary and cross-border learning essential to help guide public and private decision-makers at all levels as they strive to help struggling families enjoy sustainable improvements in standards of living.
Contact Wendy Wolford, ACSF Faculty Director for Economic Development Programs.