Brown recognizes that sustainability challenges will be faced by everyone in the coming decades — all who live and work at Brown, in our city and region, and in the world beyond our campus. The University highlighted this reality by identifying Sustaining Life on Earth as a central academic theme of Brown’s strategic plan, Building on Distinction: A New Plan for Brown, launched in 2014. That commitment has blossomed into an ever-increasing series of educational opportunities around issues of environment and sustainability.
The Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES) is the hub of environmental teaching and research at Brown. It hosts two concentrations, environmental science and environmental studies, with multiple tracks ranging from air and climate to environment and inequality. More than 50 faculty members from departments across campus work at IBES as fellows — from the natural and social sciences, humanities, engineering, public health, entrepreneurship and international affairs. With an understanding that environmental stewardship, human rights and economic well-being are inextricably linked, IBES teaching and research combines study of the natural world with research on human societies.
As Brown is both a research and teaching institution, and also one of the largest employers and landowners in Rhode Island, a key element in the University’s efforts to mitigate human impact on the natural environment is supporting education in our community about the importance of sustainability. This includes not only education and research at the institutional level but also sharing sustainability lessons learned with local, national and international entities working toward similar goals.