The Earth Institute integrates research, education, practice and communication across many academic disciplines to solve problems in sustainability. Our experts apply the lessons from our basic research to real-world problems, and they offer science-based assistance and technical tools in dealing with urgent issues of sustainability related to water, climate, energy, urbanization, hazards and risk reduction, global health, agriculture and ecosystems.
What distinguishes the Earth Institute from many other university-based organizations is the willingness to engage directly with stakeholders and clients in long-term efforts to improve sustainability, help introduce new technologies, policies and institutional approaches to solve real-world problems, and evaluate what does or does not work.
While we present our capacities thematically, we often pursue complex solutions that, in practice, require the blending of these capacities.
How will sea-level rise, storms and heat waves affect people in places around the world? How can communities prepare for climate change? How will it affect food and water supplies? What policies can help us deal with climate change?
How can the managers of our water supplies account for increased risks of drought, reduced snowpack and saltwater intrusion? How might flood and drought put supply chains of goods and services at risk? What new technical tools do we need to better manage water?
What technologies can ensure a sufficient supply of environmentally sustainable energy to all people? How can we safely capture and permanently store carbon dioxide so that we keep it out of the atmosphere?
How do we reduce people’s exposure to hazardous substances? How will climate change affect the spread of diseases? What business and management skills can help improve the health of impoverished people?
How can we protect natural places around the world so that they continue to provide us with clean air and water? How do we stop the loss of biodiversity?
How can we ensure that the Earth’s growing population has enough nutritious food while reducing the environmental harm of agriculture? How can we help farmers adjust to future climactic conditions?
Where are the greatest risks for natural disasters? How can we provide better warning systems and help vulnerable communities prepare?
How can fast-growing cities around the world meet their transportation needs without increasing pollution levels, endangering public health and depleting natural resources?
How can we blend scientific knowledge and technical expertise in various areas to come up with new solutions to complex real-world problems in places around the world?