Date Posted: 10/06/2020

The New York Times has published maps illustrating some of the many environmental threats to the Amazon rainforest, including hydropower dams. For "Every Place Under Threat," the author of the interactive opinion piece, Yaryna Serkez, reached out to Carla Gomes, Ronald C. and Antonia V. Nielsen Professor of Computer Science and the Director of the Institute for Computational Sustainability at Cornell. Citing work published in Nature Communications by Gomes—“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions of Amazon hydropower with strategic dam planning” (by Rafael M. Almeida, et. al.)—Serkez depicts the current and prospective impact of dams in the Amazon. Serkez's interactive piece is part of a special issue "The Amazon Has Seen Our Future."

In related news, also from The New York Times, Philip Fearnside, an ecologist at the National Institute for Research in Amazonia, published an opionion editorial on dams, "Many Rivers, Too Many Dams," that also referenced this research by Gomes and fellow investigators.

Gomes' "research area is artificial intelligence with a focus on large-scale constraint-based reasoning, optimization, and machine learning." She is at the forefront of the establishment and expansion of the new field of Computational Sustainability. For more on Gomes' research, read this digest of work, including her cover story for the Communications of the ACM and her Research Excellence Award from the Cornell College of Engineering.