Urban CEA: Optimizing plant quality, economic and environmental outcomes

The production of high nutrient density crops in controlled environments (such as greenhouses and plant factories) allows for high density, local, year-round food production. Mattson leads a National Science Foundation project that seeks to better understand the benefits and constraints of urban CEA including: economics, natural resource use, carbon footprint, and nutrition. Mattson will discuss research that seeks to optimize crop performance, nutrition, and resource use through strategic LED lighting and CO2 supplementation. Finally, Mattson will discuss efforts of the NSF project to define workforce development needs by the nascent urban CEA industry and a new USDA workforce development project to expand training opportunities in CEA for 2-year colleges and lifelong learners.

Neil S. Mattson earned a Ph.D. (2007) from the University of California Davis and M.S. (2002) and a B.A. (2000) from the University of Minnesota. He joined Cornell University in 2007 and is currently an associate professor and greenhouse extension specialist in the School of Integrative Plant Science. His research is focused on the physiology of both floriculture and vegetable crops in controlled environments. Research interests include: supplemental lighting, strategies to reduce greenhouse energy use, conventional and organic nutrient management, and plant abiotic stress physiology. Mattson is director of the Cornell Controlled Environment Agriculture group.