Resilience is more than the capacity to handle today's events. It’s also about being prepared for what tomorrow brings.

The mission of the Environmental Resilience Institute is to develop the forecasts, strategies and means of communication necessary to enhance resilience to environmental change.

Funded through Indiana University’s Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge initiative, we are an institute of researchers spanning disciplines at the Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses working together with our partners across Indiana, the Midwest and beyond to lessen the impact of environmental changes and prepare for their real-world effects. Our partners include leaders representing communities, governments, businesses, farms and nonprofits.

If you are ready to prepare for environmental change, the Institute is here to support you.

Meet some of the Institute's research fellows who are working to ensure Indiana is prepared for the threats of environmental change.

Description of the video:

TITLE ON SCREEN INDIANA UNIVERSISTY PRESENTS (BACKGOUND MUSIC IS PLAYING) ALEX JAHN, ENVIRONMENTAL RISILIENCE INSTITUTE RESEARCH FELLOW (SPEAKING) "WE KNOW THAT CHANGE IS COMING. THERE'S A LOT OF INDICATORS FROM ACROSS THE NATION, IT'S NOT JUST GOING TO BE WILDFIRES IN CALIFORNIA AND HURRICANES ON THE EAST COAST. THE MIDWEST IS CHANGING QUICKLY." As Alex Jahn is speaking, we cut to a shot of him walking in a backyard garden. He walks over to a fence, and see him helping to free a small black bird caught in the fence. Jahn continues talking over this scene: "AS THAT CLIMATE CHANGES AND AS URBANIZATION CHANGES IN THE MIDWEST, UNDERSTANDING THE CHANGES THAT WE'RE EXPERIENCING RIGHT NOW IS GOING TO BE INVALUABLE FOR FUTURE PLANNING." The camera cuts to a different interior, and a different speaker, ANDREA WEBSTER, ENVIRONMENTAL RISILIENCE INSTITUTE IMPLEMETATION MANAGER (SPEAKING) "THE MORE THAT WE TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT IT, THE MORE THAT WE PUBLISH NEWS STORIES ABOUT IT..." The camera cuts to a scene of two scientists giving an environmental presentation to a group of around a dozen children, while she continues speaking: "...THE MORE THAT WE HAVE OUR SCIENTISTS ENGAGING WITH SCHOOL CHILDREN, THE MORE THAT PEOPLE ARE GOING TO START TO UNDERSTAND HOW OUR LIVES ARE CHANGING AS A RESULT." The camera cuts to a different interior, and a different speaker, RANJAN MUTHUKRISHNAN, ENVIRONMENTAL RISILIENCE INSTITUTE RESEARCH FELLOW (SPEAKING) "THE GRAND CHALLENGE EFFORT IS REALLY A STATEMENT OF WE WANT TO BE HAVING AN EFFECT ON THE WORLD." The camera cuts to a different interior, this time it appears to be an on-campus lab. As we see two scientists working in the lab, the next speaker begins speaking: TARA SMILEY, ENVIRONMENTAL RISILIENCE INSTITUTE RESEARCH FELLOW(SPEAKING) "THE WORK WE'RE DOING WITH THE ENVIRONMENTAL RESILIENCE INSTITUTE IS REALLY IMPORTANT FOR UNDERSTANDING CHANGE TODAY AND MAKING FORECASTS FOR THE FUTURE, SO WE CAN HAVE MORE SUSTAINABLE ECOSYSTEMS, MORE SUSTAINABLE FARMS." The camera cuts to two people (Abigail Sullivan and Matthew Houser) looking over a zoning map that appears to have different temperature/weather patterns indicated on it. ANJAN MUTHUKRISHNAN, ENVIRONMENTAL RISILIENCE INSTITUTE RESEARCH FELLOW(SPEAKING) "WITH ABIGAIL SULLIVAN AND MATTHEW HOUSER, WE'RE WORKING A COUPLE PROJECTS TOGETHER TO THINK ABOUT THE SPREAD OF INVASIVE SPECIES." The camera cuts back to Anjan Muthukrishnan, sitting at a table in an on-campus lab speaking directly to the camera: "PROTECTING OUR WATER QUALITY IS, YOU KNOW, PRIMARY TO HUMAN HEALTH." The camera cuts to a scene at a lake, showing all of the plantlife around the edge of the lake, as Muthukrishnan continues speaking: "A LOT OF THESE NATIVE AQUATIC PLANTS IN THESE ECOSYSTEMS, THEY ACTUALLY DO PART OF THE WORK OF WATER TREATMENT FOR US. THE MORE WORK THAT THE NATURAL ECOSYSTEM DOES ON ITS OWN, THE LESS WORK THAT WE HAVE TO DO TO ADD TO THAT." The camera cuts to a new scene of two scientists out in a field raising a net to interact with or observe wildlife. ADAM FUDICKAR, ENVIRONMENTAL RISILIENCE INSTITUTE RESEARCH FELLOW(SPEAKING) "THE ANIMALS THAT WE'RE STUDYING ARE IN PEOPLE'S BACKYARDS. THE DATA THAT WE'RE GENERATING CAN HELP INFORM PEOPLE THAT THOSE ANIMALS THAT THEY'VE OBSERVED EVER SINCE THEY WERE KIDS IN INDIANA..." The camera cuts to an interior shot of a classroom, with Adam, one of the scientists from the previous field scene, continuing to speak directly to the camera: "...THAT WE ARE IMPACTING THEIR POPULATIONS..." The camera jumps back to the fieldwork Adam and the other scientists are doing, specifically placing an accelerometer on a sparrow. This scene plays out cutting back and forth to the fieldwork and the in-classroom interview, all while Adam continues speaking: "...AND THERE ARE POTENTIALLY WAYS TO LESSEN OUR IMPACT ON THEM. WE ARE PUTTING LITTLE ACCELEROMETERS ON SONG SPARROWS. ACCELEROMETERS, WE DEVELOPED WITH A COMPUTER SCIENCE FACULTY MEMBER HERE AT IU. AND WE THINK THAT THAT'S GOING TO PROVIDE INSIGHT INTO IDENTIFYING WAYS TO MITIGATE THE IMPACTS OF FUTURE URBANIZATION ON OTHER ANIMAL POPULATIONS." The camera cuts to an aerial shot of several buildings, before cutting a shot of Alex Jahn in the field, gathering research and data. ALEX JAHN, ENVIRONMENTAL RISILIENCE INSTITUTE RESEARCH FELLOW (SPEAKING) "SO WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT IS WHERE DO INDIVIDUAL ROBINS GO TO SPEND THE WINTER AND HOW'S THAT CHANGING WITH CLIMATE CHANGE AND HABITAT CHANGE AND URBANIZATION?" The camera cuts to a close-up shot of Alex working with a small brown bird, placing an accelerometer in its foot, while continuing speaking: "...WITH THAT INFORMATION, WE'LL BE ARMED WITH DATA ON THEIR POTENTIAL TO TRANSPORT DISEASES, SUCH AS LYME. The camera cuts to a shot of the Alex walking to a treeline and placing the sparrow with the accelerometer attached to it on the ground. As the sparrow begins taking off, Alex calls out to the bird: "ALL RIGHT, COME BACK NEXT YEAR." The camera cuts to another interior, with TARA SMILEY, ENVIRONMENTAL RISILIENCE INSTITUTE RESEARCH FELLOW, speaking to the camera: "AND I'VE NEVER BEEN A PART OF SOMETHING THAT'S TAKING THIS REALLY HOLISTIC VIEW OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE..." The camera cuts to a shot of Tara in a lab uniform, looking through a microscope as she finishes speaking: "...AND ITS IMPACT ON SOCIETY." The camera cuts back to Adam who is walking through a green field with a bird in hand. As he walks he release the bird. The camera cuts to a close shot of the bird flying out of his hand in slow motion. This scene plays out as his name and title are displayed: ADAM FUDICKAR, ENVIRONMENTAL RISILIENCE INSTITUTE RESEARCH FELLOW (SPEAKING) "WE ONLY HAVE ONE PLANET AND WE ONLY HAVE ONE INDIANA. IF WE VALUE NATURE, THEN WE WORK TOWARDS IDENTIFYING WAYS TO LESSEN OUR IMPACT IN THE FUTURE."

Hoosier Resilience Heroes nominations

Hoosier Resilience Heroes are educating others about climate change, promoting sustainable practices, and taking action to prepare for environmental change. They're inspiring efforts are making a difference today and for generations to come.

Nominations are being accepted for the 2020 Hoosier Resilience Heroes through March 1, 2020.

Nominate a 2020 Hoosier Resilience Hero

Featured Resources

Webinars for Local Government Leaders

Talk to Researchers and Experts

Access free training on flooding, assessing vulnerabilities and more through our Prepared for Environmental Change Webinar Series. We select topics for a Midwestern audience.

Take part in the next webinar

Newsletters from the Institute

Connect with What's Important

Whether you’re a member of the IU community, a local government official, or a private individual, if you're looking for ways to prepare for environmental change, we offer a newsletter for you.


Upcoming Events

Indiana Uplands Winter Food Conference 

Thursday, January 30, 2020
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
931 15th Street, Bedford, IN, 47421

Climate Conversation

Friday, February 7, 2020
9 a.m. - 10 a.m.
ERI 100, IUB

More information about events

Environmental Reporting

The Institute sponsors a dedicated, full-time reporter at Indiana Public Media to cover environmental issues in our state.

Read their work

The Indiana Environmental Reporter, funded by the Institute, is an established news outlet that covers nonpartisan environmental stories in the Hoosier State. 

Read their work

How is Our Environment Changing?

We know our climate is warming, causing heavier downpours in the spring and summer, and hotter, drier summers. But these visible effects of climate change also give rise to less obvious environmental changes. Growing seasons are shifting. New migratory patterns are emerging. The topography of Indiana's landscape is changing. Residents need reliable information about what is and will be happening—and how it will affect our health, our economy and our quality of life.

Climate change affects us all and requires a truly interdisciplinary response. IU’s Grand Challenge makes that possible and the Environmental Resilience Institute puts it into action.

Janet McCabe, Director of the Environmental Resilience Institute