ocean waves crashing by a sand dune on a sunny day

Environment and Sustainability

We take an interdisciplinary approach to researching the interactions of humans and the environment. We look at sustainable building and the impact humans have on climate change, weather, ecological systems and water resources. Our researchers also are looking at environmental hazards and how they impact our health and society. Owing to our location on the East Coast, we have a long list of hurricane experts in disciplines such as engineering, geology, marine science, business and tourism.

Programs and Institutes

Here are just a few of our programs and institutes that are focusing research efforts on our environment and sustainability. The Office of the Vice President for Research maintains a comprehensive list of university-wide centers and institutes.


environmental programs research

School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

Understanding and caring for our planet requires an appreciation of the sweeping arc from the solid earth, to freshwater and marine systems, to the relationship of humans to those environments. Our mission at the School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment is to achieve an understanding of Earth’s diverse environments and human relationships through research, and to convey that understanding through education, and outreach to the broader community.

Baruch Institute research

Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine & Coastal Sciences

Learning to care for our incredible coast requires a hands-on approach. That's why, in addition to our lab facilities in Columbia, we conduct research and study in our 17,500-acre living laboratory at the coast. We also welcome the general public and present a wide variety of educational programs for all ages.

Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute

Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute

The HVRI conducts basic research on hazard vulnerability and resilience, trains the next generation of hazard scientists and practitioners, and through outreach efforts, assists in the improvement of emergency preparedness, planning, response and recovery at local, state, national and international scales.