Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.38
Liaison Careen Arsenault
Submission Date March 1, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Cornell University
AC-3: Undergraduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Mark Lawrence
Communications Mgr
ACSF
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one sustainability-focused major, degree program, or the equivalent for undergraduate students (I.e. an interdisciplinary academic program that concentrates on sustainability as an integrated concept)?:
Yes

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate degree program:
Design and Environmental Analysis

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program:

Creating a sustainable and healthy future through design innovation and research.
D+EA combines innovative design thinking with insightful design research to understand how our daily lives are impacted by the built environment. Through multidisciplinary training in human-centered design, environmental psychology, ergonomics, and facility strategy and management, we tackle problems from a systems view - people, process and place - to create strategic sustainable and healthy futures by design.

The curriculum is organized around the following three primary research themes:Design Strategy & Innovation, Sustainable Futures, and Health & Well-Being.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program:
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Biological Engineering

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):

Biological Engineering is at the intersection of three great challenges facing humanity today: ensuring an adequate and safe food supply in an era of expanding world population; protecting and restoring the world's natural resources, including soil, air and energy; and developing engineering systems that monitor, replace or intervene in the mechanisms of living organisms. The undergraduate Engineering Program in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering has a clear focus on biological systems, including the environment, that is realized through a combination of fundamental engineering sciences, biology, application courses and liberal studies. The program leads to a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Engineering and is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET.

Seven focus areas in Biological Engineering are offered: Molecular and Cellular Systems, Ecological and Microbial Systems, Nanobiotechnology, Systems and Computational Biology, Synthetic Biology, Biomaterials, and Sustainability. In each, students take courses in mathematics, computing, physics, chemistry, basic and advanced biology, fundamental engineering sciences (mechanics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, materials, and transport processes), engineering applications, and design. Students select applications courses in the department areas that include bioprocessing, soil and water management, bioenvironmental and facilities engineering, bioinstrumentation, engineering aspects of animal physiology, environmental systems analysis, and waste treatment and disposal.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
Science of Earth Systems

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):

The Science of Earth Systems major is an undergraduate program offered by the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences to students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Engineering. The Science of Earth Systems program is unique in that it incorporates fundamentals of earth science with the emergence of a new and more complete approach, encompassing all components of the earth system—air, life, rock, and water—to gain a comprehensive understanding of the world as we know it. Students may choose to focus on one of a number of disciplinary specialties such as geophysics or tectonics, or develop the broad expertise needed to understand the interactions between the diverse elements of earth and life in the past, present, and future.

Sciences of Earth Systems graduates will be able to seek careers dealing with energy, mineral and water resources, natural hazards, weather and climate forecasting, ocean resources, and a host of environmental issues through employment in academia, government and the private sector. The major also prepares students for careers in environmental management and policy, law or medicine, science journalism and K-12 science education.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program(s):

The Atkinson Center provides links to other undergraduate degree programs related to sustainability: http://www.sustainablefuture.cornell.edu/education/majors.php.


Does the institution offer one or more sustainability-focused minors, concentrations or certificates for undergraduate students?:
Yes

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Environmental & Sustainability Sciences

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:

Students seeking a minor in Environmental & Sustainability Sciences will customize a course of study that will allow them to develop a basic knowledge of biological, physical and social scientific perspectives on environment. The minor is designed to allow students with a wide diversity of interests to gain confidence in their understanding of sustainability and the complex interactions and interdependencies that characterize ecosystems and relationships between society and environment. Building literacy and comprehension across relevant disciplines is a fundamental step toward effective engagement with sustainability and can provide students with highly desirable communication and systems-thinking skills for the job market.


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Environmental, Energy, and Resource Economics Minor

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):

The Dyson School offers one management minor and three applied economics minors available to all undergraduate students at Cornell University. Each minor consists of at least 17 credit hours. Unless prior permission is obtained, there can be no substitutions for the courses required for each minor. The Environmental, Energy, and Resource Economics requirements are as follows:

Minor Prerequisites to the Minor:
ECON 1110: Introductory Microeconomics (AP or transfer credit accepted) - F, W, S, Su
AND
ECON 1120: Introductory Macroeconomics (AP or transfer credit accepted) - F, W, S, Su

Core required courses (must take all):
ECON 3030: Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (OR PAM 2000) - F, S
AEM 2500: Environmental and Resource Economics - S
AEM 4500: Resource Economics - F
AEM 4510: Environmental Economics - S


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
Sustainable Energy Systems

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):

Providing affordable energy to meet the demands of both developed and developing nations without further damaging the natural environment and the Earth’s climate system is a grand challenge for the 21st century. Our quality of life and the stability of nations ultimately depend on having accessible energy resources and an equitable and sustainable energy supply and distribution system. Achievement of these goals requires the participation, ingenuity, and hard work of people with a range of specialized backgrounds, working collaboratively. The minor is intended to emphasize the importance of viewing the challenge of meeting the world’s energy needs as a system of interacting themes. The requirements of the minor are designed to provide breadth across a range of energy resource types and conversion, transmission, and storage technologies along with coverage of the environmental, economic, political, and social consequences of various options.


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused undergraduate minors, concentrations and certificates:

The Atkinson Center provides links to other undergraduate degree programs related to sustainability: http://www.sustainablefuture.cornell.edu/education/majors.php.

(1) Atmospheric Science: Before we can improve the quality of life of everyone on this planet, we must first understand how this very complicated natural system operates, and how human behavior is now perturbing the natural balance. The Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell embraces this mission through teaching, world class research, and service and outreach (http://ccams.eas.cornell.edu/index.php?page=minor) (2) Biological Engineering - Bioenvironmental Engineering Concentration: This minor is an opportunity for students to further their understanding of living systems and to increase their knowledge of the basic transport processes that occur within these systems. Courses in the minor provide opportunities to analyze, design, and manipulate living systems at the molecular, cellular, and system levels (https://www.engineering.cornell.edu/academics/undergraduate/curriculum/handbook/2010/minors/be.cfm) (3) Crop Management: The minor enables students with majors in fields such as applied economics and management, communication, ESS, IARD and sociology to gain technical and scientific knowledge for careers in areas such as food production systems, evaluating effects of climate change on food security, and policy related to agricultural sustainability (http://scs.cals.cornell.edu/undergraduate/minors) (4) Entomology: Be able to identify the potential impact of different insect species on agriculture, human health, and society in general; to be knowledgeable about potential control strategies (https://entomology.cals.cornell.edu/undergraduate/courses/requirements-minor-entomology) (5) Design & Environmental Analysis: The curriculum is organized around the following three primary research themes: Design Strategy, Sustainable Futures, Health and Well-Being (http://www.human.cornell.edu/dea/undergrad/minor.cfm) (6) Fungal Biology: Fungi are important in making our planet work. They have profound impacts on biological systems as recyclers, nutrient prospectors, symbionts, pathogens, spoilage organisms, and sources of pharmaceuticals and other useful biochemicals. Cornell has no undergraduate major focusing entirely on mycology, but students in diverse fields can add a Minor in Fungal Biology that provides a deep knowledge of fungi and expands their versatility in the workplace (https://pppmb.cals.cornell.edu/undergraduate/minors/fungal-biology-minor) (7) Environmental and Sustainability Sciences: Students seeking a minor in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences will customize a course of study that will allow them to develop a basic knowledge of biological, physical and social scientific perspectives on environment (http://admissions.cals.cornell.edu/academics/minors/environmental-science-and-sustainability) (8) Environmental Engineering: This minor encourages engineering students to learn about the scientific, engineering, and economic foundations of environmental engineering so that they are better able to address environmental management issues (https://www.engineering.cornell.edu/academics/undergraduate/curriculum/handbook/2010/minors/ee.cfm) (9) Horticulture: The Minor Program of Study in Horticulture aims to increase students’ knowledge and skills for managing fruits, vegetables and landscape plants for the purpose of improving the quality of life for individuals and communities (https://hort.cals.cornell.edu/undergraduate/minor-horticulture) (10) Environmental & Resource Economics: apply practical, applied economics and management tools on every continent to solve the world's most significant business and social issues. (http://dyson.cornell.edu/undergraduate/minors/aem-minors#environmental) (11) Infectious Disease Biology: The Infectious Disease Biology Minor provides students with a broad perspective on health and disease, the dynamic nature of host-associated microbes, an in-depth understanding of the origins and dynamics of infectious diseases, and contemporary thought about the nature of health, disease, and disease management (https://pppmb.cals.cornell.edu/undergraduate/minors/infectious-disease-biology-minor) (12) Global Health: The Division of Nutritional Sciences offers a minor in global health. The Global Health minor is intended to complement any academic major offered at the University and to provide students with basic knowledge about global health as well as the necessary skills and experience to begin to build their own unique global health career (http://www.human.cornell.edu/DNS/globalhealth/undergraduate/index.cfm) (13) International Development Studies: This minor is designed to enrich student preparation for leadership and future employment in an increasingly interconnected and dynamic world through design of a suitable complementary set of international development courses to match their own major (http://ip.cals.cornell.edu/undergrad/iard-minor) (14) International Trade & Development: apply practical, applied economics and management tools on every continent to solve the world's most significant business and social issues (http://dyson.cornell.edu/undergraduate/minors/aem-minors#international) (15) Inequality Studies: The Minor in Inequality Studies exposes students to inequality through a breadth of approaches, methods, and topics while allowing them to tailor the program to their particular interests (http://inequality.cornell.edu/minor/) (16) Landscape Studies: A variety of courses consider the cultural landscape as an object, something to be studied for its own sake, and as a subject, as a means to understand society’s relationship to natural systems (https://landscape.cals.cornell.edu/undergraduate/minor) (17) Marine Biology: Students who choose the Minor in Marine Biology will learn about the biology, evolution and ecology of organisms that inhabit these environments and the ecological processes linking them (http://marinebiology.cornell.edu/programs/minor.html) (18) Science of Earth Systems: This minor will prepare engineering students to understand the natural operating systems of Earth and the tools and techniques used by earth scientists to understand and monitor these solid and fluid systems (https://www.engineering.cornell.edu/academics/undergraduate/curriculum/handbook/2010/minors/earth.cfm) (19) Urban & Regional Studies: encompasses an interdisciplinary, liberal arts course of study focused on the forces that shape the social, economic, and political character and physical form of urban/suburban areas and their surrounding regions (https://aap.cornell.edu/urban-and-regional-studies-minor) (20) Nutrition & Health: integrate knowledge from the physical, biological and social sciences in the four focus areas of molecular, human, international and community nutrition (http://www.human.cornell.edu/dns/academic/minor-in-nutrition.cfm) (21) Plant Breeding: The Minor Program of Study in Plant Breeding provides a basic understanding of crop improvement, a historical perspective of the discipline, and a sense of how plant breeding contributes to modern society’s demands for food, fiber, fuel, and environmental sustainability (https://plbrgen.cals.cornell.edu/undergraduate/plant-breeding-minor)


Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.