The Rust to Green NY Action Research Project is motivated by the desire to champion a shift, from rust to green, in New York’s at-risk older industrial cities. R2G NY’s home base is in Cornell University's Department of Landscape Architecture under the leadership of Director Professor Paula Horrigan and is the direct result of a USDA Hatch Project titled From Rust to Green Places and Networks: Mapping a Sustainable Future for Upstate NY (NYC-146455).
Grower adoption of Cornell research-based recommendations including narrow plant spacing and alternative mulches dramatically reduce losses from bacterial bulb decay and increase profitability, thus sustaining the small-scale onion industry.
Urban community gardens provide many benefits; however, garden soils (and urban soils in particular) can contain contaminants that may pose risks to human health. The nature and extent of contamination in many areas remain poorly understood. In addition to this knowledge gap, gardeners and other community stakeholders have identified a need for support in considering risks associated with soil contamination and implementing strategies to reduce those risks.
We currently have NSF funding from the Informal Science Education Program to support development of a new project, The YardMap Network, for which we are creating simple, visual mapping tools to gather data on habitat and sustainable practices in backyards, parks, and public spaces.
Climate change and habitat loss are two of the most pressing environmental concerns of the 21st century, and there is a growing scientific consensus that they exert influences on bird populations at multiple scales, from local changes in population persistence to range-wide shifts in species distributions. Citizen Science data allow us to document exactly how species respond to these environmental changes throughout multiple regions and for many years.
Effective waste management can turn unwanted waste products into resources and reduce disposal costs. Waste management is part of every industry, but a waste product produced by one business can be a resource to another. Residuals from animal, food and yard waste, as well as industrial and household waste, have the potential to be valuable in agriculture and horticulture production as erosion control and nutrient and carbon sources, and in energy production and other industrial processes.
Production of fruits and vegetables requires animal, primarily bee, pollination. While honey bees are widely used for crop pollination, honey bee populations are in decline due to a combination of factors, including heavy pathogen load and pesticide use. Native bees—wild bees that occur naturally in the environment surrounding agricultural areas—are contributing significantly to crop pollination, but it is difficult to estimate their exact contribution, and limited resources exist for farmers who want to preserve their native bee fauna.
A conceptual framework was developed to describe how capacity supply is influenced by programs that allow customers to express their demand for reliability. The framework demonstrated that if the demand for reliability is not inelastic, at least some consumers would elect a level that is lower or higher than the universally imposed standard at prevailing supply costs. The efficiency of electricity markets can then be improved by implementing measures that reveal those preferences.
In this study, we attempt to identify the functions of compounds secreted by herbivorous insects that interact with plants. Herbivore-derived elicitors are specific compounds found in the foregut or saliva of plant-eating insects that trigger specific plant responses, such as increasing plant resistance to herbivory or otherwise changing the interaction of the plant with the insect community.
This research program is aimed at improving the sustainability of the floriculture industry by developing practices that allow producers to produce high-value crops while using fertilizers, water and energy resources efficiently. For example, floriculture yield losses often result from poor irrigation water quality or improper fertilization practices. The improved efficiency of water and fertilizers has the potential to decrease fertilizer leaching, which will help protect our state's water resources.