In an effort to enable multi-disciplinary research and curricular experiences for students interested in addressing complex social, technical and environmental problems, such as adaptation to climate change, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has launched the Institute for Sustainability and Resilience (ISR). The institute will promote environmental sustainability and community resilience in Hawaiʻi through the organization of sustainability-focused curricula and solution-oriented approaches to research and community partnerships.
“It is a credit to our faculty and students that UH Manoa has emerged as an international leader in virtually every facet of the broad disciplines of sustainability and resilience,” said UH Mānoa Vice Chancellor for Research Michael Bruno. “The new institute will bring together the great research and outreach already going on at the university so that we can contribute strongly to sustainability and resilience efforts in Hawaiʻi and beyond.”
ISR will facilitate research and education programs, as well as community outreach by UH Mānoa units. It will be supported by a steering committee comprised of leadership from UH Mānoa academic and research units as well as an external advisory board, where private and non-profit stakeholders will help guide ISR in its mission. The institute will also assist in the implementation of the broader UH System sustainability policies, in collaboration with the UH Office of Sustainability.
The university has appointed Professor Makena Coffman as director of ISR. Coffman has a research background in climate change and renewable energy, and she currently serves as Chair of the City and County of Honolulu Climate Change Commission.
“The depths of expertise and passion amongst faculty in sustainability and resilience at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is amazing,” she said. “All parts of campus have approaches and solutions to offer in regards to the environmental crises we are facing, from curriculum to research. I am excited to have the opportunity to synergize and leverage these efforts through ISR.”