Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 74.38
Liaison Lisa Kilgore
Submission Date March 1, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Cornell University
AC-4: Graduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Mark Lawrence
Communications Mgr
"---" 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 graduate students (I.e. an interdisciplinary academic program that concentrates on sustainability as an integrated concept)?:

Name of the sustainability-focused graduate-level degree program:
Civil and Environmental Engineering

A brief description of the graduate-level degree program:

The professional degree of Master of Engineering (Civil & Environmental) is intended primarily for persons who plan to practice engineering directly.

Areas of Study Include:
Environmental Processes is concerned with the protection and management of the quality of the environment for the benefit of society. Degree programs emphasize biological, chemical, and physical phenomena and engineering principles; laboratory and computational skills; and their application to the analysis of relevant problems.

Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology involves the study of fluid mechanics of the environment and the associated application to hydraulics, hydrology, coastal oceanography, and meteorology as related to the wet earth and atmosphere.

Environmental and Water Resources Systems Engineering. Research and instruction in this area address the development and application of scientific principles, economic theory, and mathematical techniques to the management and planning of public infrastructure and environmental and water resource systems. Research projects include evaluation of engineering projects, groundwater contaminant modeling and remediation optimization, statistical analysis of hydrologic processes, hydropower systems optimization, water supply systems management, water quality planning, risk analysis, river basin and groundwater systems planning and operation, ecological systems management, sustainable development and computer graphics-oriented decision support systems. 

Geotechnical Engineering is concerned with the study of the engineering properties and use of earth materials and the measurement of the behavior of earth and rock structures. It includes soil and rock mechanics and foundation engineering.

The website URL for the graduate-level degree program:
Name of the sustainability-focused, graduate-level degree program (2nd program):
Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in International Development

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

The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in International Development (ID) degree under the field of Global Development is a 12 month interdisciplinary graduate-level program aimed at the successful development of professionals who require a combination of skills that include knowledge of the substantive areas for which they are responsible and analytical tools by which such knowledge is transformed into action.

Developing countries are facing many critical problems that require increasing attention by their governments and civil society. However development programs often lack enough planners, administrators, evaluators and others well trained on the emerging problems and processes of development. For example, persons with training in such areas as demography, nutrition, agriculture, or engineering often find themselves charged with functions of policy planning and program administration for which they are not fully prepared. Similarly, persons with training in economics, city planning, law, or public administration often find themselves working on substantive development problems for which they have limited preparation and technical knowledge. The goal of the MPS program is to provide graduates with the knowledge to solve and assess critical real world problems, hone technical skills and capabilities through technical tools, and subject matter and laboratory and/or field studies to enhance problem solving abilities related to fields of interest.

Graduate students, in consultation with their advisors, select appropriate courses from the wide variety of offerings at Cornell. Half the course work is in some combination of the following areas of analysis: development administration and planning, development economics, communication and related analytical tools and the other half is devoted to one of five substantive concentrations: International Nutrition, International Planning, International Population, Science and Technology Policy, or Development Policy in some designated area such as natural resource management or gender in development proposed by the student and accepted by the faculty.

The website URL for the graduate degree program (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused, graduate-level degree program (3rd program):
Natural Resources

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

Graduate training emphasizes developing broad-based knowledge necessary to manage natural resources. The Field of Natural Resources encompasses a broad range of sub-disciplines, including:

• Applied Ecology
• Conservation Biology
• Ecosystem Biology and Biogeochemistry
• Fishery and Aquatic Science
• Forest Science
• Quantitative Ecology
• Wildlife Science
• Community-based Natural Resources Management
• Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Management
• Policy and Institutional Analysis
• Program Development and Evaluation
• Risk Analysis and Management

The website URL for the graduate degree program (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused graduate-level degree programs:

The Atkinson Center provides links to other graduate fields and degree programs related to sustainability: http://www.acsf.cornell.edu/education/grad.php

Does the institution offer one or more graduate-level sustainability-focused minors, concentrations or certificates?:

Name of the graduate-level sustainability-focused minor, concentration or certificate:
Sustainable Energy

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

Summary: Meeting the energy needs of the present and future global population is a grand challenge for the 21st century. This will hasten an improvement in lifestyles of those from developing nations and should be achieved without further impairment of the natural environment and climate. Providing affordable, clean energy that is both secure and sustainable is the goal. Achievement of this goal requires the participation, ingenuity, and hard work of people from a great range of specialized activities working collaboratively. Accordingly, this minor is intended to integrate scientific and engineering principles that focus on the creation, analysis, and improvement of energy technologies, with knowledge of environmental systems potentially impacted by energy production, and with an understanding of human systems that are intertwined with energy-related decisions. An outcome of the minor should be an understanding of the ways in which those themes interact as a system, all of whose parts need to be understood and successfully integrated in order to progress toward meeting the world’s energy needs.

. All students enrolled in the minor are required to take a minimum of nine credit hours in three or more energy-related courses or modules (at least nine credit hours), as specified on the Graduate School’s website. These three (or more) courses must be taken from lists of approved courses in three topical areas:

i. At least one foundational core course in Sustainable Energy Systems

ii. At least three credits of courses or modules related to Energy Sources and Technologies for a Transition to Sustainability

iii. At least three credits of courses or modules related to environmental, policy, economic, and business consequences

The website URL for the graduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Name of the graduate-level sustainability-focused minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Zoology and Wildlife Conservation

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

The Graduate Field of Zoology & Wildlife Conservation (ZWC) integrates two broad fields of biology: animal biology and conservation biology. Opportunities exist for study and research in comparative and functional anatomy, developmental biology, and comparative and experimental embryology. The survival of threatened and endangered species requires innovative and integrative ideas and approaches to wildlife conservation, and our faculty are those innovators – conservation studies focus on individual animals, species, and ecosystems. As a member of the Biomedical and Biological Sciences Graduate Program (BBS), ZWC is part of a vibrant graduate community in the Veterinary College.

The website URL for the graduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Name of the graduate-level sustainability-focused minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
Environmental Policy

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

MPA Fellows concentrating in Environmental Policy tailor their courses to gain an understanding of current economic, social, political, technical and legal issues regarding the restoration and management of our natural environment, as well as engineering, economic and legal perspectives for analyzing and formulating policy at the national, sub-national and international levels. Study topics can include, for example, the impacts of climate change on our environment and economies, and the interdependencies of the food, water, and energy nexus as society attempts to meet its demands for food, water and energy and reduce its risks from floods, droughts and the pollution of water, air and soil.

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

(1) American Indian and Indigenous Studies - https://aiisp.cornell.edu/academics/minor

(2) Civil and Environmental Engineering concentrations: Environmental & Water Resources Systems Engineering, Environmental Fluid Mechanics & Hydrology, Environmental Processes - http://www.cee.cornell.edu/cee/academics/graduate/ms_phd/index.cfm

(3) Environmental Information Systems concentrations: Environmental Information Science and Environmental Management (M.P.S. only) - https://scs.cals.cornell.edu/graduate/environmental-information-systems

(4) Master of Public Administration: Environmental Policy Concentration - http://www.cipa.cornell.edu/academics/curriculum/concentrations/Environmental-Policy.cfm

(5)Water Resources- https://gradschool.cornell.edu/academics/fields-of-study/field/water-resources-minor

(6)Peace Studies - https://gradschool.cornell.edu/academics/fields-of-study/field/peace-studies-and-peace-science-minor

(7) Urban Studies- https://gradschool.cornell.edu/academics/fields-of-study/field/urban-studies-minor

(8) Conservation and Sustainable Development- https://gradschool.cornell.edu/academics/fields-of-study/field/conservation-and-sustainable-development-minor

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Cornell also offers four Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) programs for graduate students. These are:
-Cross-Scale Biogeochemistry and Climate (CSBC): http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/igert/
-Food Systems and Poverty Reduction: http://igert.ciifad.cornell.edu/
-Earth-Energy Systems: http://www.earthenergyigert.cornell.edu/
-Materials for a Sustainable Future: http://www.igert.org/projects/230

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.