Environmental Change Initiative

Brown University recently launched the Environmental Change Initiative   (ECI) - an interdisciplinary research and education program linking faculty and students from a number of Brown departments and centers. Osvaldo Sala, the new Director of the Center for Environmental Studies, will also guide the Environmental Change Initiative. The ECI holds great potential for expanding the breadth and depth of environmental inquiry at Brown. The CES Alumni Association looks forward to lending our perspective to the process of developing the future of environmental work in the Center and ECI.

The following description of the ECI is drawn from the official website: http://www.brown.edu/Research/ECI/index.html

About ECI

Environmental change presents some of the most compelling scientific and public policy issues facing humanity today, and sits squarely between the natural and social sciences. It encompasses emerging environmental problems such as climate change, habitat destruction, biodiversity loss, and declining productivity and stability of human-dominated ecosystems, as well as the impact of environmental degradation on human health and social systems, the resulting competition for natural resources, and global security consequences.

Understanding the drivers and impacts of emerging environmental problems at local, regional, and global scales requires the interdisciplinary synthesis of approaches and tools from a variety of fields. Ecology, earth systems, demography, economics, and public health come together under the thematic umbrella of environmental sciences and environmental studies.

The goal of the Environmental Change Initiative at Brown University is to tackle significant problems in Environmental Change through an interdisciplinary approach that will build on relationships among already-strong academic units. The Environmental Change Initiative will also utilize the partnership recently established between Brown University and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Developing research themes

This short list is illustrative of the types of environmental change research currently being pursued within existing nodes of excellence at Brown and in conjunction with research strengths at MBL/Woods Hole. The list is not comprehensive, and will continue to evolve as investigators with complementary expertise are brought together and begin to think about their research in new ways.

     * Drivers and impacts of landscape change

    * Human populations, global carbon cycle, and climate change

    * Biogeochemical processes

    * Environmental Justice

    * Environmental risk assessment/Environmental health

    * Environmental risk perception and communication


View Brown University's announcement of the ECI from our Provost's website. Click here.
View the ECI Website with a description of the initiative.
ECI establishes an alliance between Brown University and the Marine Biological Laboratory for teaching and research. Click here to see the MBL press release.