University News

New institute uses social lens to study environment

Over 40 faculty members set to affiliate this fall, with 11 new hires to be added in coming years

By
Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A new Institute for the Study of Environment and Society will launch next fall, the University announced Monday.

The institute, approved by the Corporation’s Board of Fellows Friday, will address environmental problems with “a multifaceted approach,” through the intersection of sciences and social sciences, President Christina Paxson said in a statement.

Directed by Professor of Geological Sciences Amanda Lynch, ISES will call the University’s new Building for Environmental Research and Teaching its home.

A diverse group of disciplines, including geological sciences, economics and Africana studies, will mingle under the umbrella of ISES. The institute will give students the opportunity to investigate questions involving natural systems, food and water, health and well-being and equity and governance, according to a University press release.

More than 40 faculty members plan to affiliate with the institute. The University intends to hire 11 additional faculty members over the next several years to work at ISES, prioritizing diversity in their recruitment, according to the press release.

The Center for Environmental Studies, which has served as the hub of undergraduate environmental studies for the last 35 years, will merge with ISES next year. The institute will also expand the cross-disciplinary research executed by Brown’s Environmental Change Initiative. ISES will house the University’s herbarium and the Environmental And Remote TecHnologies Lab, which conducts research involving remote sensing and geographic information systems.

ISES will support a facet of Paxson’s strategic plan that emphasizes “sustaining life on Earth,” according to the press release.