Date Awarded: July 1, 2023
Amount Awarded: Jointly with “Planning for a Future Full-Feature Net-Zero Wind Energy Test (WET) Center” and as part of the creation of the Rutgers Climate and Energy Institute: $2,550,000
Awardees’ Schools: School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences
Principal Investigators: Julie Lockwood, Interim Director of the Rutgers Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences; Robin Leichenko, Associate Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Professor of Geography, School of Arts and Sciences
Abstract: The mission of the Rutgers Climate and Energy Institute is to contribute to a resilient, equitable, and sustainable climate future. This mission is achieved by connecting faculty, students, and stakeholders through transformative climate change research, innovation, education, and outreach.
The Rutgers Climate and Energy Institute will be a force multiplier that enables Rutgers–New Brunswick to make significant advances in producing the knowledge needed for a resilient, equitable, and sustainable climate future beyond the current situation, communicating that scholarship to the public and inspiring climate action. Our vision for RCEI capitalized on our existing reputation in climate change and renewable energy scholarship and builds toward the creation of a truly multi-disciplinary community of climate change and renewable energy scholars. RCEI will support, coordinate, generate, and communicate the broad range of climate-change and renewable-energy scholarship that takes place across the Rutgers–New Brunswick campus.
The formation of RCEI allows the streamlining of communication functions for climate change and renewable energy. It also entails the creation of physical and virtual spaces for faculty, students, and stakeholders to generate, find, and use climate change and renewable energy resources at Rutgers–New Brunswick. Importantly, a clear Rutgers–New Brunswick “home” for climate change and renewable energy scholarship, embodied by RCEI, enables increased Rutgers–New Brunswick investments to be directed toward their greatest effect and for philanthropic investors to more easily identify where their interests and goals will be amplified.
The Rutgers Climate and Energy Institute will include the scholarship themes of earth systems, engineering technology, and human dimensions of climate change. RCEI will support convergence and synthesis efforts within each theme while providing mechanisms for connections across themes that advance new and innovative ways of thinking and communicating about climate change impacts, adaptation, and mitigation. We envision that these three core themes will be the heart of RCEI with area leads representing each. However, scholarship clusters within these thematic areas are expected to change over time in tandem with evolutions of climate change scholarship and faculty expertise at Rutgers–New Brunswick.