Navigation Links
Cornell gets $10 million NSF grant to establish new sustainability institute
Date:9/4/2008

Could a computer model help stabilize the tuna population? Can we compute how to transition to ethanol fuel without jeopardizing food production?

Those and other questions will be tackled by computer scientists, applied mathematicians, economists, biologists and environmental scientists affiliated with Cornell University's new Institute for Computational Sustainability, being launched with a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This program is designed to pursue "far-reaching research agendas that promise significant advances in the computing frontier and great benefit to society."

Directed by Carla Gomes, Cornell professor of computing and information science, the institute will involve 14 Cornell faculty members along with scientists at Oregon State University, Howard University, Bowdoin College, the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Conservation Fund.

"Our vision is that computing and information science can and should play a key role in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the way we manage and allocate our natural resources," Gomes said.

Many of today's problems in ecology and conservation involve juggling large numbers of variables, often to find the optimum way to balance them. Some are so complex, the researchers say, that they will require new advances in computer science. Gomes and her team hope to create a new field of computational sustainability, analogous to computational biology, that will stimulate new developments in the computer science areas of constraint optimization, dynamical systems and machine learning. The researchers are also launching a new Journal of Computational Sustainability.

The institute will collaborate extensively with the Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future and a number of other sustainability programs on campus. But, said Gomes, "Our mission is to extend beyond the initial members of the institute, including graduate and undergraduate students in the Cornell community in other disciplines. If there is someone who has a nice computational problem about wind turbines or solar energy, for example, we want to collaborate with and help support them."

The institute already has several interdisciplinary research projects under way, including:

  • Wildlife Corridors for Grizzly Bears Optimizing the design of land corridors for grizzlies that now live in three separate areas in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana to find a viable route while reducing the cost of land acquisition.

  • Biofuels Developing models to transition to an ethanol economy, taking into account the needs of households, landowners, ethanol producers, gasoline refiners and food producers.

  • Bird Conservation Preserving bird habitats and designing bird corridors by analyzing hemispheric-scale bird migrations involving literally billions of birds. Studies will use detailed data on bird populations collected through the citizen-science programs at Cornell's Lab of Ornithology.

  • Rotational Management of Fishing Grounds Conserving and buffering valuable fish stocks and marine biodiversity with a computer model to decide the optimal number of "no-fish zones," their location, size and the number of years they should be open or closed to fishing.

  • Pastoral Systems in East Africa Better understanding how the interaction between precipitation and forage resources, the location of water wells, the dynamics of groundwater stock and the possibility of fencing and rotating livestock to different pastures influence poverty, food security and environmental stress in Africa.


'/>"/>

Contact: Blaine Friedlander
bpf2@cornell.edu
607-254-8093
Cornell University Communications
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. During Olympics, Cornells Max Zhang studies air-quality in Beijing
2. Weill Cornell science briefs June/July 2008
3. The 12th International Behavioral Ecology Congress held at Cornell University, Aug. 10-14
4. Weill Cornell team discovers how brains own tPA helps regulate blood flow to neurons
5. $13 million federal grant for research into vascular disease awarded to Weill Cornell
6. 2 federal public health grants awarded to Weill Cornell Medical College
7. Cornell patents a pink lily look-alike that blooms all summer long
8. Cornell researchers prove how plants transport sugars
9. Cornell researcher seeks clues to how tuberculosis infects cells
10. Drug aimed at 2 bioterror agents blocks live viral infection, Weill Cornell team reports
11. Wiggle room: Cornell researcher borrows idea from sperm to provide energy for nanoscale robots
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/14/2017)... , June 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) is ... tech event dedicated to developing collaboration between startups and global ... June 15-17. During the event, nine startups will showcase the ... in various industries. France ... international market, with a 30 percent increase in the number ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 16, 2017   Bridge Patient Portal , ... MD EMR Systems , an electronic medical ... GE, have established a partnership to build an ... the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution ... These new integrations will allow healthcare delivery ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... 19, 2017 The global military ... is marked by the presence of several large global ... by five major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, ... for nearly 61% of the global military biometric market ... the global military biometrics market boast global presence, which ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... , ... August 16, 2017 , ... While art and ... much more closely connected than one might think. A Mesh Is Also a ... at the University City Science Center’s Esther Klein Gallery (EKG) on August 17 and ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... BOSTON and OXFORD, England , ... -based consortium for biotech executive search and leadership development, ... and Healthcare sectors, have created an exclusive alliance that enables ... "For our clients here ... collaboration provides unparalleled access to a diverse population of leadership ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 ... ... JASIS, one of the largest Asian exhibitions for analytical and scientific instruments. This ... Pittsburgh), will be “New Approaches in Mass Spectrometry for Bioanalytical Applications.” This dynamic ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... , ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... is threatened by various biotic and abiotic factors. During this educational webinar, participants ... of coffee, as well as gain a better understanding of how genomics is ...
Breaking Biology Technology: