On Friday morning, the Rotunda Dome Room was filled with urgency and optimism as the Environmental Resilience Institute’s Environmental Future Forum resumed. Students and researchers from across the university gathered at the event to hear about his new $60 million investment in environmental resilience and sustainability as part of the Grand Challenges program.
The Grand Challenge Program is a university 2030 Strategic Plan When Five key research priorities Identified by community. Opening the event, President Ian Baucombe hinted at his 2030 Plan vision of creating a “great and great” university.
“We can look to the future and resolve to do our best not to let go of that good future, no matter how difficult it may seem.”As we know, Ryan The President wants us to be a great and great university, and I can’t think of a better way to answer that call than through this work.”
The Institute is particularly focused on extending beyond the grounds the university’s impact on clean energy and climate adaptation and mitigation. In addition to funding ERI’s new research programs, a portion of the $60 million was allocated for faculty hiring and training. Morven Farm Sustainability Lab.
Following Baucom’s speech, researchers from the university’s six schools Seed funding from ERI Made possible by the Grand Challenges program. Projects ranged from clean energy and disaster response to humanitarian book clubs to research into Colorado River water management and business.
In one such project, faculty members of the Hemp CoLab research group, including engineering professor Osman Ozbulut, are designing concrete made from industrial hemp for hemp’s rapid growth and high carbon storage. . In fact, this hempcrete removes carbon from the atmosphere and stores it for the life of the building.
Initial seed funding from the Grand Challenge program in January allowed the group to start working together and apply for larger grants to continue their work.
“ERI funding is like seed funding that allows us to come together and have this collaboration lab,” said Ozbulut. “We are successful in that [submitting] Bigger Proposal [grants]”
Other speakers discussed topics beyond STEM, integrating religious studies, anthropology, business and policy. This includes Martien Halvorson-Taylor, Professor of Religious Studies, who has worked with faculty from five other academic departments studying the impacts of climate change. culturally significant spaces All over the world, from Alaska to Bhutan.
Halvorson-Taylor said: [current human-dominated era]”
This emphasis on interdisciplinary research has guided other initiatives announced by Kristen McGlathery, ERI Director and Professor of Environmental Sciences. The remainder of the $60 million will go toward multiple grant programs, her postdoc fellowships to increase diverse representation, and a new faculty. hire. moreover, climate community is based in Virginia and supports multiple interdisciplinary research teams studying climate impacts around the world.
McGrathary also announced a new name for the group, U.Va. Institute for the Environment — A new physical location at Downtown Mall to provide space for such events in the future.
“We are also launching these new programs and seeking input from the community,” said McGlathery. “What do you see as the big problems, what are the big needs? Where do you see the opportunities? Tell us what you think is most important.”
Prioritizing community engagement, the Institute website Seek public feedback on issues that need to be addressed and possible recipients of ERI funding.
PhD student Mirella Shaban attended the event.
“I would be very interested to see if there is any plan or interest to look to the Middle East in all the contexts being talked about here,” Shaban said. I think it gets overlooked a lot.”
Internationally and domestically, projects funded by the Grand Challenges Program and the Environmental Resilience Institute contribute to climate mitigation and adaptation in the state and around the world.