Cornell-Smithsonian Collaboration for Wildlife Conservation
One Planet: One Health
The health and well-being of the planet’s wildlife and humans are intimately entwined. This comprehensive collaboration between the world’s largest museum and research complex and a world-class university responds to urgent research and training needs in the conservation landscape.
Jointly training the next generation of conservation scientists—in Cornell labs and Smithsonian research centers around the world—to tackle global changes and loss of biodiversity. Students approach conservation from broad perspectives, ranging from sustainable economic growth at regional and national scales to focusing on preservation of specific endangered species.
Providing practical advice to governments and the private sector in biodiversity hotspots, such as Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where decisions about economic growth and natural resource management made today have a profound impact on generations to come.
Disseminating knowledge to a wide audience, so that the public shares in the discovery of solutions and the evidence that wildlife and natural habitat conservation improves all lives.
A team was assembled within weeks to work with government officials and the private sector on a strategy for economic growth that safeguards the nation’s rich natural resources. Cornell’s expertise in agriculture, social sciences, and economics combines with the Smithsonian’s experience in biodiversity conservation, ecological monitoring, and land use planning to create realistic, viable solutions for smart growth.
Cornell and the Smithsonian are home to some of the world’s largest banks of DNA, serum, tissue, and specimen repositories, from reptiles and insects to endangered wildlife and rare breeds of domestic dogs and cats. We are developing uniform standards for these precious biological resources to maximize scientific discoveries and applications, including use in human health, while preserving biodiversity.
Salamanders to Humans
An expanded graduate training program now includes grounding in the social sciences, along with the most advanced techniques in ecology, physiology, and genetics. Students are mapping the immune response of amphibians to a deadly fungus that is wiping out entire species and developing new technologies to preserve fertility in endangered wildlife, with promising applications to human reproductive medicine.