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Beebe Lake

The Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability is the hub of collaborative sustainability research at Cornell University, forging vital connections among researchers, students, staff, and external partners. The intellectual power of Cornell, combined with its vision of being the “land grant to the world,” make it uniquely suited to be a global leader in sustainability scholarship and practices. No other U.S. university with a land grant mission has taken such a broad and deep systems approach to sustainability. However, there is more to be done.

The missing ingredient in the sustainability arena has been a defined pathway for taking knowledge to impact—to convert the advanced research at Cornell into large-scale, long-term solutions worldwide. Cornell Atkinson provides that bridge. We facilitate interdisciplinary sustainability research across Cornell and link to co-created sustainability solutions with non-academic partners among our four core priority areas: Reducing Climate Risks, Accelerating Energy Transitions, Increasing Food Security, and Advancing One Health.


Million Dollars Distributed by Cornell Atkinson


Grants Awarded to Cornell Faculty and Students


Researchers Funded Representing Every College


A Proven Model for Transformative Research

Cornell Atkinson has developed a proven model for funding research that can reshape universities and touch lives. We support collaborative, high-risk projects that will revolutionize university research collaborations into large-scale initiatives with the potential to change public opinion, corporate practices, products, and public policy.

"Over these past ten weeks, I have gained incredible insight into how research is done outside an academic setting and in partnership with academic institutions, how individuals perceive climate change and what impacts these views, and how to clearly communicate complicated scientific findings…Simply put, although I studied much of this in school, this internship changed the way I see scientific research and social cognition."

Alejandra Gonzalez
2021 Cornell Atkinson-EDF Summer Intern
Louisa Bjerke

“I really enjoyed the EDF internship and was able to explore subjects and skills related to climate and fisheries that I had previously not considered. My favorite part of the internship was being able to interact with local EDF members who really put these projects into perspective. I also enjoyed the talks that were given by EDF staff members. They showed how far-reaching sustainability is and included a lot of different perspectives on the environment.”

Louisa Bjerke
2021 Cornell Atkinson-EDF Summer Intern
Katherine McClure

“Many other skills beyond traditional academic ones are required for effective collaboration to achieve real-world conservation impact. The Cornell Atkinson postdoctoral fellowship program, along with fantastic mentorship at the Cornell Wildlife Health Center, helped provide me with a new set of tools to help translate ideas and techniques from public health into effective wildlife conservation action.”

Katherine McClure
2019 Cornell Atkinson Postdoctoral Fellow

Seeding the Future

In 2010, David R. Atkinson ’60 and Patricia Atkinson committed funding to propel and permanently endow a center aimed at developing solutions to the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges. Their historic commitment named what is now the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, and transformed the university’s approach to fostering and accelerating multidisciplinary research.

Cornell Campaign

The Future is Very Bright

We remain inspired by the vision of a center whose impact will be measured by its contributions to rejuvenating and protecting our planet, while creating a brighter, more equitable future for humanity. This is important, soul-fulfilling work that reflects who we are and guides us toward realizing who we can become.

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