Our Mission: To discover and implement sustainable solutions to world needs for reliable energy, a resilient environment, and robust economic development

Cornell President David Skorton

"The challenges facing our world are great. The opportunity for action is now. And the agent of positive change—perhaps more than ever before in our history—can be Cornell."

—David Skorton

The Atkinson Center was created in 2008 by the Office of the Provost, following a multiyear, cross-campus dialogue on energy and sustainability (see the report from the 2006 Task Force on Sustainability in the Age of Development). In a time of widespread retrenchment in higher education, sustainability is one of the few areas of real growth. The reason is simple: the world faces serious challenges for which traditional scientific and scholarly excellence is necessary but not sufficient. Problems related to energy, the environment, and economic development are interdependent and interconnected, transcending individual disciplines. The science and engineering needed to develop clean technologies cannot be separated from the ecological study of Earth's integrated human and natural systems or from the social science of human behavior and well-being.

Progress in sustainability research requires not only new ways of thinking and organizing, but also must integrate researchers with practitioners. ACSF therefore supports problem-oriented research and external partnerships to achieve important discoveries with tangible, real-world impact. We catalyze new intellectual collisions that spark discovery and real progress for humanity. See our Annual Reports for summaries of our accomplishments.

Faculty Fellows Rebecca Nelson, Michael Milgroom, Anurag Agrawal

The ACSF Faculty Fellows program is intended to recognize and promote the work of researchers across many sustainability disciplines at Cornell who are actively engaged with the Center. So far, the group includes 368 researchers from 11 Cornell colleges/schools and 66 departments.


Atkinson Center Programs