October 24, 2018

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘LAM | Missing the Skills for the Theories: Environmental Science Courses Must be More Practical’

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To the Editor:

I read with great interest Matthew Lam’s Oct. 10 column, which called for more practical environmental science courses at Cornell. I wholeheartedly agree: in order to address the many looming sustainability challenges around the globe, we need to support a new generation of thought leaders who can tackle these problems head on. That’s why, this fall, the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future is launching a leadership training and development program for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers that we hope will eventually expand to include undergraduates.

This training program will help Cornell students and postdocs leverage the knowledge they gain on campus so they can develop real-world solutions to environmental issues like climate change, food security, energy transitions and achieving planetary health. Because these issues are so large and complex, we need collaboration across disciplines, as well as partnerships with groups outside of academia, like NGOs, government organizations, and private-sector organizations.  By training students in science communication, policy development, leadership and career design, we will ensure they can overcome institutional barriers and effect real environmental change in the world.


Prof. David M. Lodge, ecology and evolutionary biology

The Francis J. DiSalvo Director, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future