Alyssa Borowske's senior thesis, Cornell College: A Blueprint for Sustainability, has become the basis for the College's sustainability planning.

Campus Sustainability

Environmental initiatives are nothing new at Cornell. Recycling is the norm.  The 10th Avenue Apartments are powered, in part, by two large photovoltaic panels. And faculty/ student teams are addressing real-world issues.  For example:

  • Geology research on climate change by analyzing ancient stalagmites and coral
  • Physics research on organic, die-sensitized solar cells
  • Chemistry research on materials that may be useful in cleaning up heavy metals and nuclear waste
  • Biology research on species diversity and ecosystem management

A Blueprint for Sustainability

In 2007, Alyssa Borowske produced a senior thesis entitled Cornell College: A Blueprint for Sustainability. This document has become the guide for a more focused effort on creating sustainable systems and practices on campus. The Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee was formed, chaired by the Vice President for Business Affairs and including staff, faculty, and students.

Read Cornell College: A Blueprint for Sustainability

Energy Management

The college recently embarked on a major effort to reduce energy usage across campus. More information on our goals, recent accomplishments, and future plans can be found on our energy management site.


With the support of an Iowa Department of Natural Resources SWAP (Solid Waste Alternate Program) grant, Cornell constructed an on-campus recycling drop off site that began operating in the fall of 2009. Learn more about our recycling program and guidelines.