IRIS is synergizing UGA’s diverse strengths in environmental design and engineering, ecology, earth and atmospheric sciences, public health, law and policy and the social sciences to advance the effective integration of green and gray infrastructure for resilience to weather and climate-related extremes. In doing so, IRIS aims to counter underrepresentation in STEM disciplines with innovative curricula rich in interdisciplinary content and subjects of social concern. Resilience as an orienting principle is attracting a new generation of ecological engineers, environmental planners and designers, applied ecologists, scientists and problem-solvers who are seeking to develop the breadth and depth of skills needed to address the complex infrastructure, water, energy, food, and environmental quality issues facing society.
The goals of the institute are to:
- increase the quality and quantity of interdisciplinary research at the interface of societal resilience and infrastructure;
- synergize UGA’s existing and unique strengths in responding comprehensively as an institution to significant research and development opportunities;
- increase support and cross-cutting curricula for students;
- attract high quality students and faculty, and provide them with effective mentoring in resiliency research; and
- strengthen societal resilience through design, decision support, training and outreach.