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College of Agriculture & Life Sciences

periodiCALS Celebrates the Sesqui: Rooted In Our Past, Growing Our Future

In honor of Cornell’s Sesquicentennial, the latest issue of periodiCALS digs into our historical roots and follows their contemporary offshoots.

Take a look back at decades of discoveries and pioneering alumni, meet the faculty whose research has taken them into new frontiers, from public health to agricultural biotechnology, and see how students and alumni are seizing opportunities to lead the way in media, entrepreneurship, and conservation.
 

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Our Sustainable Vision

Solutions to today’s global challenges require insight into the dynamics of coupled human and natural systems. Many opportunities will be found at the intersection of the four interdependent and interacting areas of focus that inform and support CALS’ mission and shape the college’s commitment to advancing the land grant mission.

Informed by discoveries from the college’s broad spectrum of expertise, CALS’ research, educational, and extension programs:

  • Advance knowledge of the unity and diversity of life;
  • Impart to our students a world-class education and passion for life-long learning and discovery;
  • Promote wise stewardship of the environment and natural resources, and create economical, sustainable energy strategies;

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Food & Energy Systems

Cornell University, a federal land grant university, literally "grew up on the farm." Agriculture was the catalyst for the university's founding in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White and it plays an equally important role today, as CALS scientists search for ways to feed an ever-expanding population and fuel an on-the-go planet. CALS has a tradition of meeting society's needs. Through world-recognized teaching research, and extension programs CALS has made a local and global impact on the way the Earth's inhabitants live, learn and thrive. 

Environmental Sciences

From classroom to laboratory, field, forest, and watershed—even to the halls of Congress itself—CALS’ scientists enhance our understanding of issues regarding air, water, soil, and climate change as they discover “greener” approaches to remediation, and enhance the stewardship and sustainability of the world’s scarce natural resources.

Through academic research, course work, field work, and internships, CALS students graduate with a breadth and depth of environmental knowledge and with experiences that emphasize problem-solving and outreach.

Through programs offered in agricultural and atmospheric sciences, ecology and evolutionary biology, environmental engineering, natural resources, and environmental systems, CALS encompasses a diversity of programs that encourage students to pursue and connect their spectrum of interests.

Economic & Community Vitality

Applied social sciences became a CALS priority more than a century ago when Liberty Hyde Bailey, the first dean of the college, committed college resources to strengthening agricultural economies and rural communities in New York. Today, CALS scientists pursue scholarship that addresses how people inform, interact, learn and do business, fostering economic vitality and facilitating individual and community health and well-being. This includes informing decision-makers and public officials, increasing awareness of the roles of technology and science in society, influencing public policy and economic development, and evaluating technologies for business creation and economic development.

A distinguishing characteristic of CALS is that we provide our students with an education that combines theory and practical application. Through courses of study in business leadership, efficient use of resources, new product and service creation, agricultural and mathematics education, communication technologies, media campaigns, environmental management, community development, working with a developing nation, community or civic design, CALS is committed to enhancing economic and community vitality.

Life Sciences

CALS is distinguished in embracing both the discovery of life process and the application of those discoveries to benefit the life of the planet and its people. From genomics to proteomics, our scientists are developing novel approaches to critical problems of the 21st century related to human and animal disease, food and water supply, and the environment by incorporating new tools, new data, and new thinking.

Beyond basic biological research, the college is engaged in applying discoveries in the life sciences and exploring the economic, ethical, legal, and social issues involved in new life sciences technologies.

Campaign Priorities

CALS combines excellence in individual disciplines with some of the most innovative interdisciplinary work in the world. The campaign will enable CALS to fulfill the vision of the college's founders and the land grant mission of creating "Knowledge with a Public Purpose."

To do this, the college will support five priorities:

  • The CALS Annual Fund
  • Faculty Renewal
  • Undergraduate Scholarship
  • Graduate Fellowships
  • Program Support

Annual Fund

Gifts to the CALS Annual Fund are directed by Dean Boor to where the need or priority is greatest. Currently, the Annual Fund directly supports our most valuable resource: our people. For our students and faculty, these contributions help to ensure that they can take full advantage of the incredible intellectual resources at Cornell, as well as to create opportunities in service to our local, national and global communities.

Our undergraduate students benefit from Annual Fund gifts through scholarship assistance or internship support; our newly-hired faculty gain the ability to purchase cutting-edge research equipment or to generate essential research data to secure external funding. Each and every Annual Fund gift contributes to the excellence that you know as “Cornell.”

Faculty Renewal

From emerging 'stars' to distinguished senior faculty at other universities, CALS is attracting faculty dedicated to serving the public good. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faces an unprecedented number of faculty retirements over the next five years and is proactively hiring in anticipation to ensure continued excellence in teaching, research, and extension. Faculty Renewal gifts are used to recruit, compensate and recognize excellent faculty and have a significant impact on the college’s ability to recruit, and retain, the best faculty in any given discipline.

Currently, there are 18 searches in progress, including positions in dairy biology and management, population genomics, biodiversity/conservation science, insect immunology, and sociology of food systems.

Undergraduate Scholarships

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has opened its doors of higher education to the best and brightest young people for more than 100 years. Scholarship endowment is critical to ensuring that the cost of a CALS education stays within the financial reach of deserving students, without regard to their financial circumstances.  This is why gifts to Undergraduate Scholarships are a top priority for CALS.

Graduate Fellowships

Support for CALS graduate students not only enhances the quality of top programs and research by attracting the most promising students; it also strengthens the college's ability to recruit and retain top faculty, who want to be assured of having the best research assistants and being able to create a legacy of mentoring top young scientists. Gifts to Graduate Fellowships are particularly critical now as traditional sources of funding, such as grants, are on the decline.

Program Support

Whether you designate the Dyson School, Food Science, or your favorite department, a gift of Program Support ensures the continued excellence of CALS' academic programs. Directed by the department chair, funds can be used to develop new curricula, support internship opportunities, bring speakers to campus, provide for new research, and more.

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News from CALS

To help introduce new members of the university's faculty to the Cornell community, the Cornell Chronicle is …
H. David Thurston, Cornell professor emeritus of international agriculture and plant pathology, died Sept. 26 after a …
The Department of Neurobiology and Behavior celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. About half of the department's …
Just as influenza vaccines employ a weakened virus to stimulate the immune system, message inoculation – with a weakened …
Relay teams hope to squash their competition at the first Big Red Pumpkin Regatta on Beebe Lake Saturday, Oct. 4. It is …
More than 100 Cornellians boarded buses early Sept. 21 to travel to the People's Climate March in New York City.
Amer. Econ. J. research by Prof. Bento finds a tax credit less costly than California's Clean Air Vehicle Sticker policy.
Prof. Brian Wansink's new book provides proven solutions from behavioral econ and psychology to help us stay slim.
A campus workshop (dates) attracted domestic and international participants who learned about health concepts and …
Most of the people bitten by dengue fever-transmitting mosquitoes in four Thai villages weren’t residents, but visitors, a …
The Council of Graduate Schools has approved a Professional Science Master's designation for two programs at Cornell …
The 2014 State of the Birds Report – an assessment of the health of the nation’s birds by some of the country’s leading …
The Department of Ecology and Environmental Biology (EEB) will celebrate its 50th year – and the university’s 150th – with …
A genetically engineered tobacco plant, developed with two genes from blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), holds promise for …
Cornell cancer researchers meet with cancer patients monthly on campus to get share information and gather input on ways …
The Cornell Council for the Arts 2014 Biennial will showcase the work of artists, Cornell researchers and students in …
At the Sept. 10 Faculty Senate meeting, the Climate Neutrality Acceleration Working Group presented its proposal to change …
David R. Lee, professor in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, has been named the first …
Ten projects led by Cornell life science researchers received one-year grants.
Closed for six years of storm-related repairs, the Cascadilla Gorge Trail – from College Avenue to Treman Triangle Park in …
A comprehensive study of gene expression in tomato fruits will explore unanswered questions about fruit development and …
A new study published in Cancer Research links an enzyme to cancer development.
For massive open online courses, or MOOCs, that help dieticians and nutritionists around the world understand the latest …
A new book co-authored by Shanjun Li is a practical guide for policymakers to set energy taxes that reflect the real costs …
Martha, the very last passenger pigeon in the world, died in her cage at the Cincinnati Zoo 100 years ago on Sept. 1, 1914.
Alumna Megan Shull gives kids food for thought in her new novel "The Swap." She'll discuss the book Sept. 9 …
The Cornell Institute for Food Systems Industry Partnership Program offers a new public-private partnership that brings …
The third annual Student Organic Seed Symposium, held at Cornell Aug. 17-21, drew several dozen students and professors, …
With $5.6 million the Gates Foundation, the Cornell Alliance for Science will help inform decision-makers and consumers …
A genetics investigation into the symbiosis between soil fungi and plants for bioenergy production could lead to more …
The National Science Foundation has awarded a five-year, $3 million grant to a multidisciplinary group of Cornell …
From judging milkshake contests to tending goats; from nurturing animal births to assembling yogurt parfaits, Cornell …
A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association: Internal Medicine has found that watching …
President David Skorton welcomed the Class of 2018 at the Convocation for New Students and Families at Schoellkopf Stadium …
Poet Joanie Mackowski will present, “You're the Bee's Kinesis: Poetry and Coevolution,” as part of the Cornell …
Due to global warming, the chances the Southwest suffers a decadelong drought is at least 50 percent, and the chances of a …
Twenty-three Mexican undergraduates joined research labs at Cornell this summer as part of President Obama's 100,000 …
Cornell Professor Brian Wansink and colleagues have launched the Slim by Design Registry. It asks slim people to share …
Twenty-seven students from across the nation conducted plant research with CALS faculty members this summer and presented …

Contact

Margaret Ann Bollmeier
Associate Dean, Alumni Affairs and Development
Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
278 Roberts Hall
607-255-0359