This comprehensive survey will document Hoosiers’ attitudes and adaptations to past, present, and future environmental change, including Indiana residents’ use of resources such as food, water and energy; their expectations for work, social and leisure activities; and their perceptions of risk related to change.
Institute Fellow Matthew Houser, IU professor Eric Sandweiss, and their collaborators will survey the entire state of Indiana, focusing on seven distinct historical and geographic regions and their major communities: The Industrial Northwest, Soy/Corn Belt, Greater Indianapolis, Southern Hill Country, Wabash Valley Towns and Cities, Whitewater Valley, and Ohio River Valley towns. Communities across these regions will partner with the Institute in this contemporary social study and with green infrastructure research initiatives.
Researchers will use historical census data, draw on archival and documentary records, secondary historical sources, and the built landscape to reconstruct a history of community responses to the challenges of making a living, governing, and drawing meaning from life.
Using an online, interactive map, and in partnership with the Indiana Geological and Water Survey, researchers will place these sources of human data alongside evidence of climatic and other environmental changes for a new understanding of the interdependency of social and environmental changes to date.