As part of its Grand Challenges Program, IU Bloomington recently launched the Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI) to study social and ecological responses to ongoing changes in Indiana’s environment. Over the next five years, the interdisciplinary team of nearly 100 world-class researchers will provide the natural and social sciences research to develop recommendations and actionable tools for agriculture, industry, infrastructure, public health, and safety.
“Making ourselves more resilient in the face of environmental change means protecting ourselves from invasive species, conserving plants and animals that sustain us, defending ourselves from weather disasters, and creating more livable cities,” Ellen explains. Some people will be skeptical of scientists’ capacity to provide real-world solutions. For the ERI to communicate effectively with the public, they must:
- find out how people, businesses, and governments currently think about the environment;
- determine the validity of science-based theories and potential tools; and
- communicate what works in easy-to-understand and creative ways, so that everyone can take action.