The Resilient Futures Institute will bring together UVA faculty, students, and external partners to conduct trans-disciplinary research at the intersection of environmental change and human wellbeing. Our overarching goal is to identify solutions to some of society’s most challenging and complex social-environmental problems.
The pace and dimensions of environmental change are now greater than in any other period in human history. Climate and land-use change, population growth, and urbanization are putting people, infrastructure, and environments at risk and affecting critical resources such as water, food, and energy. Disruptions − natural and human-caused − have now become the new norm. Heat waves, storms, and periods of drought and flood are increasing in many regions, affecting public health and wellbeing, especially for the most vulnerable populations. These grand challenges are complex, often global, and thus multicultural. They cannot be overcome by traditional disciplinary approaches. Their solutions require a new paradigm of trans-disciplinary research that merges theories, methods, and data across human, natural, and infrastructure systems to both enhance resilience and to understand future scenarios of change.