Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cornell chooses architect Thom Mayne and Morphosis to design first academic building for NYC tech campus

May 9, 2012
Media Contacts:
Jeremy Soffin, (646) 200-5318,
Blaine Friedlander, (607) 254-8093,
Cornell chooses architect Thom Mayne and Morphosis to design first academic building for NYC tech campus
NEW YORK – To embody the spirit and the mission of the CornellNYC Tech campus, Cornell University has chosen Thom Mayne and Morphosis to design the first academic building for the planned campus on Roosevelt Island, Cornell University Architect Gilbert Delgado announced today.
The building – which Cornell plans to open in Fall 2017 – will serve as the flagship academic structure for the new CornellNYC Tech campus. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg awarded the Roosevelt Island campus project to Cornell on Dec. 19, 2011, and with this first building, Cornell is striving to create a net-zero energy structure, featuring geothermal and solar power.
“Our goal is to design an iconic, landmark building that will resonate with the mission and spirit of the new campus,” Delgado said. “And we are excited that Thom Mayne and Morphosis will be leading our effort.”
Delgado said the 150,000 square-foot, academic building, which will be home to the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute, will have teaching and faculty office space and also will likely have space developed to facilitate interactions and to enhance the “opportunities of chance encounters between people to exchange ideas.”
Morphosis founder and design director Thom Mayne, winner of the 2005 Pritzker Prize, will be the lead architect. Morphosis, based in New York and Los Angeles, is expected to deliver the first design drafts in November 2012 with a schematic design in March 2013. The architects will team with Arup, a New York- and Los Angeles-based engineering firm, to help develop this complex building.
“This project represents an extraordinary opportunity to explore the intersection of three territories: environmental performance, rethinking the academic workspace and the unique urban condition of Roosevelt Island,” Mayne said. “This nexus offers tremendous opportunities not only for CornellNYC Tech, but also for New York City.”
“The CornellNYC Tech project is about accelerating innovation in the technology sector, particularly in New York City, by connecting leading-edge academic research across a broad range of disciplines, by deep working relationships with companies from startups to large corporations, and by engagement with cultural institutions and the school system. It’s about weaving together people from different research areas and from different areas where technology can make a difference in the world,” said Dan Huttenlocher, Cornell vice provost and dean of the new campus. “This first building will reflect that in design, as the space will encourage interaction, creativity and innovation, balancing the values of quiet reflection with those of unplanned interactions.”
Kent Kleinman, dean of Cornell’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning, explained the complex nature of this building:
“The challenges that accompany the first phase of the campus are dauntingly multi-faceted: design one of the largest net-zero energy academic buildings in the country; devise a creative architectural statement commensurate with the highest levels of innovation; accommodate programs that are changing with unprecedented rapidity; and, perhaps most critically, offer a compelling vision for a vibrant urbanity to inform future developments. And do it all within a very tight timeframe and modest budget. Simply put: No firm is better at turning constraints into creative solutions of astonishing power than Thom Mayne and Morphosis. It is a great choice for Cornell and for New York.”
Cornell has other buildings on its Ithaca, N.Y., campus designed by Pritzker Prize winners. The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art was designed by I.M. Pei; Milstein Hall by Rem Koolhaas; Weill Hall by Richard Meier ('56, B.Arch. '57); and Gates Hall, currently under construction, by Thom Mayne.
Mayne has created several iconic buildings, including the Cooper Union’s 41 Cooper Square in 2009, the Caltrans District 7 headquarters in Los Angeles and the University of Cincinnati’s Campus Recreation Center in 2005. Morphosis also designed the San Francisco Federal Building, a 600,000 square-foot structure, of which 70 percent is naturally ventilated setting a new standard for sustainability.
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The New York Sea Grant: Stony Brook, & Cornell Teams Up

Research - Press Release
Stony Brook, NY, March 15, 2012 - The New York Sea Grant (NYSG) program has received a grant totaling $2.4 million for fiscal years 2012-2013 to fund its research, extension and education efforts on important coastal issues related to storm surges and flooding, seafood safety, wetland habitats, fisheries, and harmful algal blooms, among others.

“NYSG is just beginning a new round of nine funded research projects which address critical coastal concerns from diverse regions of the state, the Lake Ontario shoreline, the Hudson estuary and New York Harbor, and both the north and south shores of Long Island,” said New York Sea Grant director Dr. Jim Ammerman.

Two separate research teams will study potential human exposure to, respectively, hazardous substances such as mercury (Hg) and bacterial toxins like Listeria monocytogenes through fish consumption.

“The goal of my investigation is to provide the most thorough, up-to-date information on mercury in commercial seafood via the Web for public use by research scientists and public officials,” says Dr. Nicholas Fisher from Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS).

As for the Listeria study, Cornell University’s Dr. Martin Wiedmann and his team will employ several scientific methods to predict effective combinations of bactericidal agents and growth inhibitors for L. monocytogenes on cold smoked salmon. “The results should provide salmon food processors cheaper and more effective control measures and increase seafood safety for consumers,” he says.

Sea level rise associated with climate change is also a concern, as detailed in an investigation by Dr. Stuart Findlay of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook. Findlay says climate change related processes could cause salt water to intrude further up the tidal Hudson River where they could impact tidal marsh ecology. “Freshwater tidal marshes of the Hudson are known to be important sites of nitrate removal during tidal exchanges,” he explains, “and the literature suggests that this function will decline under a higher salinity regime.” Results of this project will inform managers and land stewards about the current functioning of brackish water wetlands of the Hudson and provide information crucial for future management/restoration plans.

SoMAS researcher Dr. Malcolm Bowman is a member of The Stony Brook Storm Surge Research Group, which has been funded principally by NYSG since 2002 to work on storm surge science, coastal defense systems and policy issues related to regional protection of New York City and Long Island.

According to the Research Group, the New York Metropolitan region is vulnerable to coastal flooding and large-scale damage to city infrastructure from hurricanes and nor'easters. Much of this region—an area of about 100 square miles—lies less than three meters above mean sea level. Within this area lies critical infrastructure such as hospitals, airports, railroad and subway station entrances, highways, water treatment outfalls and combined sewer outfalls at or near sea level.

The Group’s most recently-funded study examines a possible combination of the variety of storm surge prediction models out there, from the National Weather Service to universities and technical institutes. "Since each storm has its own peculiar characteristics and behavior," says Bowman, "no one model is always the most accurate at predicting surge events. For this reason we believe that a forecast obtained by constructing an ensemble of these model outputs will produce the most reliable predictor for a wide range of storm event scenarios."

Water quality is at the center of several studies, including one led by SoMAS’s Dr. Robert Cerrato that focuses on the paralytic shellfish toxin (PST), which has caused important health concerns because of its presence in commercially important bivalve species such as hard and softshell clams. In Long Island’s Northport-Huntington Bay estuary, "red tide" algal blooms of Alexandrium fundyense, the dinoflagellate that produces PST, are characterized by blooms that are made of high cell densities but produce low toxicities. This project will study how such blooms impact the productivity of hard and softshell clams. Information from this study will aid decision making for coastal managers within the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, shellfish growers, and harvesters.

In August 2010, Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario suffered from a toxic cyanobacterial bloom (Microcystis sp.) that resulted in extensive economic impacts to the region. In order to determine the possible impacts of marinas on such algal blooms in the Bay, a team led by Dr. Gregory Boyer, from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, is developing a model to provide better understand of the nutrient and algal dynamics of the Bay and further aid decision making for the Bay’s management.

Monies for these projects come via NYSG’s parent organization, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP), located in Silver Spring, MD.

In addition to addressing important problems and opportunities, NYSG's 2010-2013 Omnibus funds will also provide graduate students with financial support through the Sea Grant Scholar Program, and sponsors conferences, seminars and workshops on a variety of coastal issues each year.

New York Sea Grant is a statewide network of integrated research, education, and extension services promoting the coastal economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness about the State's marine and Great Lakes resources. One of 32 university-based programs under the NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program, NYSG is a cooperative program of the State University of New York and Cornell University. Learn more online at, where you can subscribe to our RSS news feeds and follow us on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 10:30 a.m., at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. Reporters can meet artist Leo Villareal

MEDIA: Cornell will have a media morning for reporters/photographers on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 10:30 a.m., at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. Reporters can meet artist Leo Villareal for a tour of the installation. To RSVP, please contact Blaine Friedlander, Cornell Press Office, (607) 254-8093 or
ITHACA, N.Y. – For the first time in its 40 years, Cornell University’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art will host an exhibit so brilliant, you’ll remember it near and see it from afar. Noted artist Leo Villareal’s newest LED (light-emitting diode) installation, opens Oct. 22, 2012 at 5 p.m., placed on the outdoor ceiling of the museum’s Mallin Sculpture Court.
Visitors will see luminous wonder unfolding before them – as it features 12,000 LEDs create a new, visual art experience. The newly unveiled exhibition will expand its ethereal reach as far as the city of Ithaca, and it frames a new space within the built environment of the museum’s architecture designed in 1973 by I.M. Pei.
This installation has been made possible by the generous support of Lisa and Richard Baker (Cornell ’88).
Leo Villareal’s signature pieces explore complex movement and dazzling patterns created by points of light using computer code and new technologies. His work reinterprets components of such 20th Century art movements as pop, minimalism, conceptual and post-painterly abstraction, and poetically interact with the architecture around them. Villareal recently completed a New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority commission at the Bleecker Street/Lafayette Street subway station in Manhattan. His largest installation, The Bay Lights, illuminating the west span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge in celebration of its 75th anniversary, will be unveiled in 2013. Villareal’s Multiverse (2008), designed forthe concourse walkway between the East and West Buildings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, like Cornell’s project interacts with a building designed by Pei.
Background: Planning for the Cornell project began two years ago, when Villareal – along with the project architect, Walter Smith, and Cornell donors Lisa and Richard Baker – visited the Johnson Museum to determine the optimal location for the installation. The ceiling of the Mallin Sculpture Court was chosen for its high visibility, not only on campus, but also from the city of Ithaca.
Installation: Formal installation is currently under way. Villareal will program the lights in October, spending about a week in residence at the museum and on campus, concluding with a public unveiling and lecture Oct. 22.
Related Resources:
Interview (San Jose Museum of Art):

Monday, October 08, 2012

Calling all creative wine lovers – Cornell needs names for two new grapes

FOR RELEASE: Aug. 1, 2012
Contact: John Carberry
Office: 607-255-5353
Cell: 607-227-0767
Calling all creative wine lovers – Cornell needs names for two new grapes
ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell University scientists are asking the public for names for two new wine grape varieties that will be released from their breeding program in 2013.
The two latest varieties from grape breeder Bruce Reisch include a cold-hardy white wine grape and an innovative organic dark red. The first conjures up citrusy aromatic characteristics; the second has a hint of blueberry. However, their current names – NY76.0844.24 and NY95.0301.01 – hint at very little.
Reisch hopes that a contest will help change that.
But before you hit send, consider this: Just as there's a science to developing a great grape, Reisch said, there is much to consider when naming it. Not only must the name be unique – a challenge with 7,000 other grape varieties – it must also be marketable, reasonably easy to pronounce and carry positive connotations. Names that are foreign-sounding or similar to well-loved varieties are popular, a combination that has worked for Noiret, a wine grape released by the Cornell breeding program in 2006.
The researcher is accepting name submissions for the two new varieties by email at until Aug. 6. The winning names will be revealed at the Viticulture 2013 conference in Rochester, Feb. 6-8.
His efforts have been fruitful so far. An appeal through the national cooperative extension network has already garnered nearly 100 entries from around the world, including Australia and Scandinavia.
Dark red NY95.0301.01 was developed in 1995 and was fast-tracked into production because of its promise as an organic variety. The first grape to be released from the "no-spray" vineyard, it has good resistance to downy and powdery mildews. Reisch said it exhibits moderate body, good structure and blueberry flavor on the palate.
NY76.0844.24 was first created in 1976; this white grape variety ranks high for winter hardiness and productivity, with excellent wine quality and aromatic characters reminiscent of Gew├╝rztraminer or a citrusy Muscat, he said.
The Cornell grape breeding program, which has released 56 cultivars since 1888, has many new varieties under development. Cayuga White, released in 1972 as the program's first wine grape, now accounts for more than $20 million in wine production in New York annually, and the hybrid Traminette has become the signature wine of Indiana.
Reisch hopes the contest will create some buzz about other emerging varieties, which often face uphill battles when it comes to marketing.
"There are so many different flavors. Why shouldn't people get excited about new varieties? They keep things interesting for the consumer and are often better for growers," he said.
MEDIA NOTE: Images of both grape varieties are available from the Cornell Press Relations Office.