In the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences .
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ major in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences (ESS) combines and augments two prior majors: Natural Resources (NTRES) and the Science of Natural and Environmental Systems (SNES). ESS emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of all environmental challenges facing society today and prepares students for a wide range of careers and life-long learning. Over 70 faculty in 20 different departments and four of Cornell’s colleges participate in this program. The major seeks exceptional students capable of engaging multiple disciplines in order to confront and explore sustainable solutions to environmental challenges.
The ESS Core Curriculum is rigorous. In the first two years, students are expected to develop fundamental knowledge of biological, chemical, and physical sciences, mathematics, environmental social sciences and humanities, and develop critical reasoning skills. Students simultaneously explore a range of environmental topics including biodiversity conservation, global change biology, sustainable communities, wildlife and aquatic resources management, land degradation, and ecological agriculture.
Understanding fundamental dimensions of environmental challenges will allow students to select a concentration within the ESS major. In the latter two years of the curriculum, students develop depth in one of four faculty-designed concentrations or, in collaboration with their advisor, design an individualized concentration related to their interests. The four faculty-designed concentrations are:
- Environmental Biology and Applied Ecology (EBAE)
- Environmental Policy and Governance (EPG)
- Environmental Economics (EE)
- Biogeochemical Sciences (BGCS)
Examples of topic areas in which students might develop their own concentration include biodiversity conservation and natural history, environmental agriculture, environmental communication, environmental education, environmental health, environmental information science, marine science, sustainability science, and wildlife or fisheries biology.
The Future for ESS Majors
The major prepares students for a wide variety of careers, including environmental work with state and federal government agencies, non-governmental conservation organizations, environmental consulting firms, and private industry. It also prepares students for entry into a number of different professional and graduate degree programs, including environmental law, fisheries and wildlife management, global change biology, environmental policy and management, international conservation, environmental and nature education, and applied ecology.
Academic Advisors for ESS
A. Agrawal, S. Allred, C. Barrett, A. Bento, R. Bezner Kerr, B. Blossey, J. Cerra, H. Chong, J. Conrad, E. Cooch, P. Curtis, D. Decker, A. DeGaetano, J. Dickinson, A. DiTommaso, L. Drinkwater, J. Elliott, S. Ellner, G. Evans, T. Fahey, S. Feldman, A. Flecker, M. Goebel, C. Goodale, N. Hairston, A. Hajek, M. Hare, D. Harvell, I. Hewson, R. Howarth, K. Kassam, B. Knuth, C. Kraft, M. Krasny, J. Lassoie, B. Lauber, J. Lehmann, B. Lewenstein, S. Li, E. Madsen, N. Mahowald, P. McMichael, S. Morreale, P. Nadasdy, E. Nelson, T. Oles, M. Pfeffer, G. Poe, S. Pritchard, J. Regenstein, S. Riha, A. Rodewald, P. Rodewald, L. Rudstam, A. Sachs, R. Schneider, J. Schuldt, P. Smallidge, J. Sparks, R. Stedman, P. Sullivan, J. Tantillo, J. Thies, P. Trowbridge, T. Walter, T. Whitlow, D. Winkler, S. Wolf, D. Wolfe, W. Wolford, M. Wysocki, J. Yavitt