Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI)
The Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI) tackles the interrelated problems of invasive species, land use, and climate change, focusing on their synergistic impacts on water resources. Further progress in solving complex environmental challenges will require that these interacting issues be addressed simultaneously; put into appropriate cultural, social, political and religious contexts; and developed with partners in industry, government, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
The goal of ND-ECI is to provide solutions that minimize the trade-offs between human welfare and environmental health where trade-offs are unavoidable, and to discover win-win solutions where they are possible. ND-ECI embodies the vision of “science serving society,” in which scientists, engineers, social scientists, humanists, and policy experts contribute objective analysis motivated by a passionate commitment to translational research that serves nature and humans.
The Reilly Center and ND-ECI
ND-ECI is one of the University of Notre Dame’s strategic research investments that has included the Reilly Center as a partner since its inception. The Reilly Center and ND-ECI sponsored a conference on Climate Change and the Common Good in April 2013 and have supported ND's GLOBES, an interdisciplinary graduate program in Global Linkages of Biology, the Environment and Society that seeks innovative solutions to problems in environmental and human health. ND-ECI oversees the Global Adapation Index (ND-GAIN), a project that the Reilly Center and some of its fellows contribute to.
ND-ECI director, David Lodge, has long been a Reilly Fellow. The Reilly Center is helping Professor Lodge and his colleagues with a National Science Foundation grant awarded by the Coastal Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (Coastal-SEES) program. David Lodge and Reilly Fellow Christopher Hamlin of the History Department edited a volume on Religion and the New Ecology (2006) that is available from the University of Notre Dame Press.
Other members of ND-ECI who are also Reilly Fellows are Jeffrey Feder, Jessica Hellmann, and David Severson from the Biology Department, as well as Agustín Fuentes and Mark Schurr of the Department of Anthropology, John Nagle of the Law School, Nitesh Chawla of the Department of Computer Science, Jon Coleman of the History Department, Gerald McKenny of Theology, Don Howard, Janet Kourany, and Kristin Shrader-Frechette of the Philosophy Department.
Some courses offered through the Reilly Center's Science, Technology, and Values (STV) minor are cross-listed with the Sustainability Minor. Members of ND-ECI were instrumental to developing the Sustainability Minor.