We are engaged in multi-disciplinary research focused on addressing key environmental research questions of the twenty-first century. Among these include:

  • the need to manage energy, carbon and nutrients in ways that reduce waste and enhance recycling;
  • protect humans from the impacts of pollution;
  • co-design our cities with both engineering and green principles in mind;
  • protect unique biodiversity assets and the valuable ecosystem services they provide;
  • refurbish and make more efficient our built and natural infrastructure assets.

Human-Environment Systems

Human actions will continue and arguably be more difficult to manage under a rapidly changing climate, population growth and economic development. Because atmosphere, land, and aquatic systems are closely linked through the water, energy, and biogeochemical cycles, change to any one of these entities holds the potential for system-wide feedbacks, thresholds, and unintended consequences.

We have assembled an interdisciplinary research team from academia and government with expertise in physics, biogeochemistry, engineering, energy, economics, and policy engagement who will simultaneously study the evolution of regional human-environment systems and improve the translation of research findings to the planning community.

Learn more about some of our current projects in this area:

Regional Initiatives

Many of the world’s environmental challenges play themselves out as regional and indeed local-scale problems.

We have been engaged in a series of regional studies across the globe, many of them targeted on issues related to water.

Learn more about some of our current projects in this area:

Water as a Strategic Resource

The protection and sustainable use of water-based ecosystem services must be carefully conceived and approached from a variety of perspectives and disciplines, so that the delicate balance of uses for humans and nature is not only preserved, but in many cases rehabilitated and optimized to satisfy the challenges of the future.

Growing evidence suggests that human overuse and mismanagement of water is creating widespread syndromes that impact nature and imperil the billions of people dependent on healthy water systems for their sustenance and economic development.

Work on behalf of the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme and the Global Water System Project (GWSP) of the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) is part of our portfolio of activities.

Learn more about our current projects:

Cold Region Dynamics

The earth is rapidly entering an era when environmental management, traditionally local in scope, must now confront regional, whole biome, and global challenges.

We carry out studies of the cryosphere and other elements of these changing environments through remote sensing, modeling and data integration studies.

We also stage community dialogues on strategic science and policy challenges. For example, identifying gaps in the U.S. Arctic research agenda.

Learn more about some of our current projects in this area:

Environmental Sensing and Informatics

Environmental sensing is one of the main tools used to detect and understand global environmental change.

It involves the collection and distillation of often huge amounts of data about the atmosphere, earth and living creatures.

We are a chief affiliate of NOAA’s Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center (CREST), a multidisciplinary center led by The City College of New York.

Together, we address a broad spectrum of research issues, including air-quality monitoring to assess impacts of regional and global climate change; precipitation and rainfall estimation; stratospheric ozone analysis; data compression; and remote sensing of coastal waters.

Learn more about some of our current projects in this area: