EDF-Atkinson Center Partnership
- Applications due March 1
The EDF Impact through Innovation Fund cycle is open:
- Call for Proposals
- Due April 24, 2017
The EDF-ACSF partnership has two main functions, a research program and an internship program. Through a grants program, we are accelerating problem-solving research relevant to national and international policy discussions and catalyzing the rapid integration of new research into effective policy, addressing urgent environmental and public health challenges.
Following in the footsteps of EDF President Fred Krupp, who began at EDF three decades ago as an intern, we are nurturing a new generation of leadership with engaged, experiential learning. The internship program places students in EDF offices around the nation so they can contribute to practical solutions to environmental challenges.
“This partnership presents a remarkable opportunity to integrate results-focused environmental policy and pioneering scientific research,” Cornell President Elizabeth Garrett said. “The continued support of the Atkinsons through this new grant will allow us to leverage expertise at Cornell and EDF to more effectively develop targeted solutions to pressing global environmental challenges.”
EDF - Impact through Innovation Fund Selections
Transforming Fisheries Science and Management
This project will deploy acoustic instruments on unmanned, wave-propelled ocean robots, called Wave Gliders, to improve surveys and management of sardine and anchovy fisheries in the highly productive coastal upwelling ecosystems off California and Peru. The team will compare acoustic data collected by the Wave Gliders to data collected during conventional shipboard surveys, with subsequent modeling studies conducted to evaluate the new technology’s costs and benefits. These more comprehensive surveys of commercially important fish populations will reduce the chance of stock collapses in the face of climate change, protecting top predator species and multibillion-dollar fishing industries around the world.
Investigators: Charles Greene, Cornell Earth and Atmospheric Sciences; Helen Takade-Heumacher, EDF Fishery Solutions Center; Jake Kritzer, EDF Fishery Solutions Center
Integrated Approach to Climate Change
The best way to fight climate change might be with a portfolio of strategies, integrating mitigation, adaptation, and CO2 removal. Some would include solar geoengineering, but others dismiss climate engineering interventions that reflect sunlight back into space as risky stand-alone approaches. This project will build on EDF’s role in helping to catalyze discussions about international geoengineering research governance by modeling the implications of including geoengineering as one element in a broad-based plan to meet global climate targets. The team will use dynamic emulators to model regional climate consequences of incorporating solar geoengineering, in conjunction with other essential actions like emissions cuts and carbon containment. The results will inform our understanding of geoengineering policy and applications.
Investigators: Douglas MacMartin, Cornell Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Jane Long, EDF
Toxicological Assessment of Hydraulic Fracturing Wastewater Treatment
Reported health and environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing wastewater have raised widespread public concerns in the Marcellus shale region and beyond. This study will be the first to assess current wastewater treatment practices and the toxicological effects of exposure to “fracking” wastewater. With the help of zebrafish, which have an endocrine system similar to ours, the team will test untreated and treated water samples from facilities that process hydraulic fracturing wastewater. Tracking the tiny fishes’ molecular responses and reproductive success will reveal how hydraulic fracturing chemicals affect human and ecosystem health and point to the best procedures for treating wastewater before releasing it back into the environment.
Investigators: Motoko Mukai, Cornell Food Science; Elena Craft, EDF Senior Health Scientist; Dan Mueller, EDF Oil and Gas Team Director
Using Humor to Promote Climate Change Activism among Young Adults
Many young adults support environmentally conscious values through their private actions, such as tweeting about causes or buying “green” products, but they are less likely than ever to vote. This project will give EDF the communication tools it needs to reach out to Millennials (ages 18–30)—the rising generation for climate change activism and political change. Using professionally produced YouTube videos, the researchers will test humorous messages as a strategy for boosting public engagement. The study will examine whether funny messages—similar to satirical news programs successful with younger audiences—are more effective than informational or fear-based appeals for motivating a new generation of climate activists.
Investigators: Jeff Niederdeppe, Cornell Communication; David Acup, EDF
Locating and Quantifying Methane Emissions with a Google Streetview Car
EDF and Google Earth launched a successful pilot program to track methane emissions this year. The collaboration with Cornell will allow for more field measuring and complex modeling to analyze data on the powerful greenhouse gas and, ultimately, to find and stop dangerous methane leaks that contribute to climate change.
Cornell: John Albertson, EDF: Joe Rudek
Protecting Fish and Fishermen in Myanmar
EDF has helped develop catch shares programs in the U.S., Europe, Mexico, Belize and Cuba to prevent overfishing and protect a vital food source. The new project will expand the work to Asia and help coastal communities in Myanmar maintain productive fisheries and provide ample food while protecting the environment.
Cornell: Drew Harvell, EDF: Doug Rader
Surveying Environmental Priorities in Different Ethnic Communities
Minority communities in the U.S., especially Hispanic communities, report high levels of concern about environmental problems but are less likely to engage in traditional environmentally friendly actions. Cornell and EDF will launch a new national survey to better understand factors that are important to different ethnic communities and approaches that will best resonate with them.
Cornell: Jonathon Schuldt, EDF: Rainer Romero-Canyas
Increasing Corn Production while Reducing Fertilizer Pollution
Nitrogen runoff from fertilizer is a major environmental pollutant. EDF has been working to increase knowledge of sustainable agriculture practices. Cornell’s Adapt-N precision tool helps farmers apply fertilizer for maximum effectiveness and uptake, reducing runoff into streams and waterways. The project will help Corn Belt communities increase food production for a growing world, reduce costs and reduce pollution.
Cornell: Harold van Es, EDF: Eileen McLellan