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Our Work

Reducing Climate Risk

From the coastal effects of sea-level rise to catastrophic droughts, urban and rural dwellers alike face increasing risks from climate change. While urban systems and infrastructure must be resilient to rising seas and increasing climate extremes, improved financial security for developing world farmers is essential to reducing climate-induced human migration into cities that would overwhelm urban environments. Cornell Atkinson is innovating technology, financial instruments, and policy to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations and mitigate the impact of droughts, floods, storms, and wildfires while adapting agriculture and the built environment for a low-carbon future.

iceberg breaking

Climate News

The 2030 Project Is Moving Research to Impact With Fast Grants

In this “decisive decade” for climate action, Cornell University has launched The 2030 Project: A Climate Initiative, a university-wide initiative housed within the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, to mobilize world-class faculty to develop and accelerate tangible solutions to the climate challenge. To enable Cornell faculty to seize urgent and unique opportunities, The 2030 Project and Cornell Atkinson offer Fast Grants to provide immediate support for impact-oriented climate research.

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Flooded NYS Cornfield - with credit centered

Projects

The 2030 Project

The 2030 Project: A Cornell Climate Initiative

The 2030 Project: A Climate Initiative will mobilize world-class faculty to develop and accelerate tangible solutions to the climate challenge. From transforming food and energy systems and reducing greenhouse emissions to advancing environmental justice and shaping policy, Cornell will use practical science to help save the planet before it’s too late. The initiative is housed at Cornell Atkinson under the direction of executive director Ben Furnas.

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sustainable forestry

Conservation Finance

To slow and stop the global loss of biodiversity, we must fundamentally rethink our relationship with nature and transform our economic models and market systems. Research in Conservation Finance offers new, long-term, diversified sources of revenue supporting biodiversity conservation.

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Cornell Atkinson - Regenerative Agriculture Project

Regenerative Agriculture

Accelerating adoption of regenerative agriculture practices across the Great Lakes basin by developing transition loan products and services to facilitate the transition from conventional to regenerative agriculture.

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ozone

Geoengineering

The Cornell Climate Engineering group will model adding reflective aerosols into the stratosphere, which may deflect enough sunbeams to reduce Earth's temperature and limit climate change.

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Cornell Atkinson - CPIC

Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation

Cornell Atkinson serves as a partner in The Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation, a global multi-stakeholder initiative focused on enabling conditions that support a material increase in private, return-seeking investment in conservation.

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Cornell Atkinson - FAST-GHG: Emissions Calculator

FAST-GHG: Emissions Calculator

FAST-GHG is a fertilizer and soil tool designed to quantify greenhouse gas emissions in crop production. Developed by Cornell faculty in partnership with NGOs, the tool was included in Walmart’s Project Gigaton.

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Soil Factory
Report

Combining Insights From Artists and Scientists With ‘Undisciplinary’ Process

A new publication led by Cornell Atkinson fellows Rebecca Nelson (CALS) and Johannes Lehmann (CALS) proposes a shared purpose, or understanding of why participating is paramount in generating buy-in across partners and drives engagement. A 2021 Rapid Response Fund grant supported the project.

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IPCC
Report

IPCC Update on Climate

Climate Change Is Harming the Planet Faster Than We Can Adapt, U.N. Warns. Cornell Atkinson Fellow Rachel Bezner Kerr served as author on new report published on February 28, 2022.

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family hiking
Report

Family Values Outweigh Politics in U.S. Latinos’ Climate Beliefs

According to new research, family values are a much stronger predictor of climate opinions and policy support than political views for U.S. Latinos.

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Faculty Fellow Highlight

Natalie Mahowald

From desert dust to volcanic ash to microplastics, Fellow Natalie Mahowald (ENG) is exploring how biogeochemistry can reduce climate risks, from wherever feedbacks in our earth system emerge.

Get to Know This Fellow
Natalie Mahowald
Postdoctoral Fellows

Cornell Atkinson postdoctoral fellows help lead the future of sustainability through innovative, interdisciplinary research collaborations.

Maia Dedrick

Maia Dedrick

Themes: Reducing Climate Risks, Increasing Food Security

Education: PhD ’19, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Cornell Adviser: John Zinda (CALS) External Partner: U Yits Ka'an (Mexico)

Stephen Jane

Stephen Jane

Theme: Reducing Climate Risks

Education: PhD ’20, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Cornell Adviser: Peter McIntyre (CALS/Natural Resources & the Environment) External Partner: United States Geological Survey (USGS)

Cindy Lin

Cindy Kaiying Lin

Theme: Reducing Climate Risks

Education: PhD ’21, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Cornell Advisers: Steven J. Jackson (CIS/Information Science) External Partner: Radiant Earth Foundation

Juliet Lu

Theme: Reducing Climate Risks

Education: PhD ’20, University of California, Berkeley Cornell Adviser: Philip McMichael (CALS/Global Development) External Partner: Mekong Region Land Governance Project

Academic Venture Fund 2021

Climate Change Preparations Informed by Local Forest Inventories

Investigators: Rachel Bezner Kerr, Katja Poveda

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Academic Venture Fund 2021

Improved Flood Prediction With Better Hydraulic Simulation

Investigators: Taryn Bauerle, Todd Walter, Joe Guinness

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Academic Venture Fund 2021

Expanding the Repertoire of Community-led Climate Justice Practices

Investigators: Christopher Csikszentmihalyi, Phoebe Sengers, Steven Jackson

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Academic Venture Fund 2021

Accelerating Carbon Removal Through Enhanced Weathering by Capturing Heavy Metals From Alkaline Sources

Investigators: Greeshma Gadikota, Todd Cowen, Johannes Lehmann, F. Garrett Boudinot, Benjamin Houlton

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Academic Venture Fund 2021

Enabling Circular Construction With Fungi-based Materials

Investigators: Felix Heisel, Kathie Hodge, Rebecca Nelson, Anil Netravali, Prabhu Pingali, Lori Huberman, Marta Wisniewska

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Innovation for Impact Fund Award 2021

Investigating the Financial Impact of Extreme Weather on Midwestern Farmers

Cornell Investigators: Ariel Ortiz-Bobea, Dyson School
EDF Investigators: Maggie Monast, Director of Working Lands; Vincent Gauthier; Dave McLaughlin, Economist
Other: Jenny Ifft, Kansas State University

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Innovation for Impact Fund Award 2021

Addressing Equity in the Army Corps Flood Protection Infrastructure

Cornell Investigators: Todd Gerarden, Dyson School
EDF Investigators: Dave McLaughlin, Economist

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Innovation for Impact Fund Award 2021

Capturing Young Children's Comprehension and Emotional Responses to Climate Change

Cornell Investigator: Gary Evans, Design and Environmental Analysis
EDF Investigator: Elizabeth Brandt Regional Field Manager, Mom’s Clean Air Force; Rainer Romero

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