Agriculture and climate change meet at new institute
Chatrchyan previously worked for the Bard Center for Environmental Policy, the United Nations Environment Programme and the Law Companies Environmental Policy Center. She received her Ph.D. in environmental and comparative politics from the University of Maryland, College Park – a social science background she sees as an important starting point.
“I think it’s critical that we understand more fully what farmers know about climate change, the effect that climate change is already having on their operations, and whether or not they are making changes to reduce their impact and adapt to climate change,” she said. “This is really important, because if we don’t know what farmers believe or need, then we can’t design decision tools that will help them.”
The institute, which is supported by USDA federal capacity funds, will leverage climate change expertise across the Cornell campus.
“Cornell has depth and breadth across a multitude of disciplines involved in climate change and agriculture, including crop and soil science, pest management, earth and atmospheric sciences, plant breeding and genetics, and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future,” said Kathryn Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Strategic decisions backed by sound science will pay off in the long term for New York farmers.”