The Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering sees as its responsibility the full range of scholarship from generation of new knowledge to assuring its positive impact on society. This responsibility rests not only with the department collectively but with every faculty member. We have found the most effective approach to optimizing this positive impact on society is to work with interdisciplinary projects and programs that include both research and extension (and in some cases undergraduate teaching). Examples of these programs include:
- Cornell Local Roads
- Agriculture and the Environment
We also rely heavily on faculty working closely with extension educators with backgrounds in engineering and technology to deliver new technologies and information to clients. Increasingly, BEE extension programs are not directed to farmers or in some cases even local extension agents working with farmers but rather public and private groups whose efforts impact farmers and other citizens. Examples of this approach include:
- Standards for Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
- Educational programs for county road commissioners
- Technical information to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for development of sludge handling regulations
We are also investing more time and energy in regional and national sharing of new information. All these efforts will serve not just to build the extension efforts of the department, but will also enhance the ongoing research and teaching programs as well.