Overview

The Climate & Resilience area of excellence brings together experts across many different fields to understand our past climates, along with how those will change in the coming years. As the climate continues to shift, understanding of nature's resilience to changes will help inform our own decisions.

Why does this area of excellence matter in sustainability?

Climate and Resilience are critical to the understanding of the planet’s past climates to better understand the future and inform human decisions in the face of climate change. The Earth’s climate has shifted many times in the past, but is now changing at an unprecedented rate and with an unprecedented level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. With these levels, the earth's climate is already projected to change drastically and, to alleviate some of the impacts, resiliency is needed. Resiliency is inherent in natural systems and is an attribute that should be built into anthropogenic systems.

Key questions being asked in the field that need to be answered for a more sustainable planet:

  • Can current methods be scaled to global magnitudes? (Adaptation and Mitigation practice, research and funding)
  • How can we help people consider climate change in their decision-making? (professionally and personally)
  • How do professionals coordinate and collaborate cross-sectorally and cross-organizationally to have the greatest adaptation impact and avoid maladaptation?

Specialists

Jack Ahern (LARP), Toby Applegate (GEO), Caralina Aragon (LARP), Paul Barten (ECo), Mandy Bayer (SSA), Kristina Bezanson (ECo), David Boutt (GEO), Elizabeth Brabec (LARP), Bethany Bradley (ECo), Raymond Bradley (GEO), Dwayne Breger (ECo), Julie Brigham-Grette (GEO), Stephen Burns (GEO), Isla Castaneda (GEO), Paul Catanzaro (ECo), Brian Cheng (ECo), Carey Clouse (LARP), Bradley Compton (ECo), Tim Cook (GEO), Daniel Cooley (SSA), Michelle DaCosta (SSA), Michael Dipasquale (LARP), Kristen DeAngelis (Micro), Rob DeConto (GEO), William DeLuca (ECo), Lisa DePiano (SSA), Om Parkash Dhankher (SSA), Zara Dowling (SSA), Joe Elkinton (ECo), Wayne Feiden (LARP) ,Carl Fiocchi (ECo), Lena Fletcher (ECo), Barry Goodell (Micro), Curt Griffin (ECo), Masoud Hashemi (SSA), Christine Hatch (GEO), Elisabeth Infield Hamin (LARP), Scott Jackson (ECo), Adrian Jordaan (ECo), Katherine Kahl (ECo), Marco Keiluweit (SSA), Lisa Komoroske (ECo), R. Mark Leckie (GEO), Ezra Markowitz (ECo), Anita Milman (ECo), Toni Lyn Morelli (ECo), Craig Nicolson (ECo), Klaus Nüsslein (Micro), Melissa Ocana (ECo), Ethan Plunkett (ECo), Michael Rawlins (GEO), Robert Ryan (LARP), Jeff Salacup (GEO), Sonia Schloemann (SSA), Alexander Schreyer (ECo), Charlie Schweik (ECo), Michelle Staudinger (ECo), Jonathan Woodruff (GEO), Brian Yellen (GEO)

For more details about our faculty, staff, and researchers engaged in this area, please visit the SES Climate & Resilience Directory page.

*Department of Environmental Conservation (ECo), Environmental Microbiology Group within the Department of Microbiology (Micro), Department of Geosciences (GEO), Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning (LARP), Stockbridge School of Agriculture (SSA)

Featured Projects

Project 1: Thresholds and envelopes of rapid ice-sheet retreat and sea-level rise: reducing uncertainty in coastal flood hazards

Rob DeConto, Co-Director of the School of Earth & Sustainability and Faculty Member in the Department of Geosciences as part of the “NASA Sea Level Change Science” team
Contributors:
NASA and NSF in collaboration with Climate Central

This project aimed at reducing the uncertainty in future sea level projections, along with assessments of the impacts on low-lying coastlines and islands around the world.

Project 2: Sustainable Adaptive Gradients in the Coastal Environment

Elisabeth Hamin, Co-Primary Investigator and Faculty Member in the Department of Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning

Elisabeth Hamin, a Professor of Regional Planning in the LARP department, serves as a co-PI on a National Science Foundation-funded research collaboration network (RCN) titled “Sustainable Adaptive Gradients in the Coastal Environment.” As a primary investigator with the SAGE Network, Dr. Hamin leads the development of a new framework for sustainable, adaptive coastal infrastructure projects that are resilient to climate change impacts and transformative for the communities they’re implemented in.

Dr. Hamin’s work with the University of Maryland, Northeastern University, and the University of the West Indies has contributed directly to the development of green infrastructure projects in Jamaica, Belize, New York, and Barbados. The network’s upcoming workshops in Puerto Rico and Maryland will test the effectiveness of the SAGE Adaptive Gradients Framework, an ongoing project that seeks to streamline the decision-making processes for complex green infrastructure projects.