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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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Towards Resilience

Solutions to today’s global challenges will require novel insight into the dynamics of coupled human and natural systems. Many of these solutions 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.

From the social sciences to the life sciences, in fundamental and applied disciplines, CALS has the broad and deep expertise needed to effect real change in the world by:

  • Imparting a world-class education and instilling passion for life-long learning;
  • Furthering agricultural systems to ensure food and nutrition security, human health, and sustainability;
  • Advancing knowledge in the life sciences about the unity and diversity of life;
  • Fostering the understanding of the economy and society for individual and community well-being; and,
  • Stewarding environmental resources and sustainable energy solutions.

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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. 

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.

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.

Social Sciences

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.

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

These clothes soon may be all the rave: Fiber science and physics students have teamed to create fashionable “smart” …
Thinking in pictures and shapes – rather than mere words – will lead to improved consumer sensory memories about wine, …
Shoshana Das ’16 has been awarded a Goldwater scholarship, the premier undergraduate award of its type in the fields of …
Actor and environmental activist Ted Danson will deliver the Iscol Distinguished Environmental Lecture, “Fish Tales: How …
Boyce Thompson Institute professor Maria Harrison is the 2015 winner of the Dennis R. Hoagland Award for her research into …
Science educator Verne N. Rockcastle, a member of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty since 1956, died …
A study asserts that, in the presence of a gentle fluid flow, the biophysics of the female reproductive tract – in …
Fredrick Blaisdell '16 and Steven Ingram '16 have received 2015 Udall scholarships, for students who show potential for …
The Bill Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded Cornell $18.5 million for a project that will give modular, open-source …
Women make up 39 percent of Cornell's engineering undergraduates – almost twice the national average, according to a …
A five-year, $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help Cornell researchers plan to test a recipe …
Lindsay Springer, an accidental wine expert and a graduate student in the field of food science, won the Graduate Research …
The Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs has awarded $350,000 to 25 faculty projects designed to …
A scientific finding that demonstrates specific genes influencing the effect of dietary nutrition on immunity provides …
A new initiative offers hope for African small farms by helping ensure that new seed varieties with higher yields make it …
In a panel of new proposed federal dietary guidelines in Washington, D.C., March 18, two Cornell professors look at their …
Several graduate engineering fields at Cornell are in the top 10 in U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 "Best Graduate …
A free six-week online course called “EECapacity for Public Garden Educators," co-hosted by Cornell, helps public …
The System of Rice Intensification, a method of growing rice that enhances crop yields and is resilient to climate change, …
Three new varieties of alfalfa developed over many years at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences combat …
Cornell researchers have developed a way to predict bad mutations in the maize genome, addressing a major challenge for …
A Cornell research team is joining local efforts to help design a socio-ecological corridor that could help save …
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 …
Taking sides in the soda tax debate
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 that …
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 …

Contact

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