EarthLab reimagines the world as it could be, while impacting the world as it is. Equal parts research engine and community catalyst, EarthLab harnesses the power of co-created solutions to our most imminent environmental challenges.


How do we do this?

  • A focused, human approach: EarthLab is focused where society’s needs are greatest and true impact can be made on people’s lives and livelihoods.
  • Designed for action: EarthLab is purpose-built, bringing the best talent and right resources to act with unprecedented urgency.
  • Co-create solutions: EarthLab engages external stakeholders in open dialogue to create meaningful science-based solutions.
  • Intellectual resources of UW: EarthLab unlocks the University’s proven science and broad expertise to address today’s wicked problems.

Building climate security and resilience

Reducing climate risks requires robust and reliable information that people can use when making decisions. Building on the work of the Climate Impacts Group (CIG) and the Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE), EarthLab will deepen our capacity to inform societal choices on climate change in the context of human health, smart cities, environmental equity and thriving ecosystems. A high priority is to seek projects that link CIG and CHanGE with emerging cross-UW initiatives including Urban@UW and Population Health. In addition, we will expand our work to tackle carbon pollution through innovations in law and policy with the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, School of Law and the College of Arts and Sciences and through technology with the College of Engineering.

Protecting ocean health

Oceans, estuaries and coastal habitats are changing quickly, driven by both natural processes and human activities. From the air we breathe to the seafood we eat, oceans play a critical role in our daily lives and the global economy. The Washington Ocean Acidification Center was established by the state legislature to advance research and monitoring of ocean acidification and its biological effects in Washington waters. EarthLab investments expand the work of the Center by considering ocean acidification in the larger context of ocean health. Through its co-directors and partners, the Center joins a global network of researchers and decision-makers to address ocean acidification and associated stressors worldwide. As in the area of climate resilience, collaboration with University of Washington scholars in law, policy and governance is critical to ensuring that the science addresses real-world issues associated with rapidly changing ocean conditions and the challenges they pose to society and the economy.

Planning wisely for natural hazards

From earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods to devastating tsunamis, hurricanes, and large scale wildfires, the frequency and severity of natural hazards are increasing across the globe. While we cannot prevent natural hazards, we can prevent them from becoming disasters. By building partnerships for community resilience as well as regional and national collaborations for effective warning system development and deployment, EarthLab is catalyzing new cooperative efforts with external organizations to build resilient communities, minimize negative economic impacts, and reduce loss of life. UW’s geohazards community is well known for its innovative cross disciplinary approaches combining earth science, applied math, public policy, built environments and urban planning. EarthLab investments use this interdisciplinary approach to address an even wider range of natural hazards, enabling us to increase community resilience in the face of multiple, interacting hazards.

Sustaining healthy ecosystems

Healthy ecosystems are the foundation on which society depends. We rely on them not only for clean water, food, fiber and protection from storms, but also for mental and physical health and for awe and inspiration. Yet it is clear that human activities have compromised the functioning of ecosystems worldwide. The Center for Creative Conservation tackles complex environmental problems by fostering collaborations across broadly diverse disciplines and sectors. The Center’s efforts support the sustainability of our world, encompassing biological and cultural diversity, social and ecological integrity, and matters of equity and justice. The solutions to most environmental problems are multifaceted — requiring a diversity of expertise, knowledge and perspectives. The Center brings together scientists, planners, lawyers, artists, engineers, marketers, doctors, developers, organizers, and others to develop innovative approaches, implement cross-cutting research projects, and launch new initiatives, programs, and campaigns.

Leadership

Advisory Board of Deans

  • Lisa Graumlich, College of the Environment (Chair)
  • Sandra O. Archibald, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance
  • Joel Baker, Puget Sound Institute (UW Tacoma)
  • Michael B. Bragg, College of Engineering
  • Harry Bruce, Information School
  • Bruce Burgett, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (UW Tacoma)
  • Suzanne Hawley, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Judy Howard, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Jim Jiambalvo, School of Business
  • Joel Kaufman, School of Public Health
  • John Schaufelberger, College of Built Environments
  • Elaine Scott, School of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (UW Bothell)
  • Kellye Testy, School of Law
  • Mia Tuan, College of Education
  • Eddie Uehara, School of Social Work

Executive Committee

  • Ann Bostrom, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance
  • Kristie Ebi, School of Public Health
  • Terrie Klinger, College of the Environment
  • Josh Lawler, College of the Environment
  • Jan Newton, Applied Physics Lab
  • Julian Olden, College of the Environment
  • David Schmidt, College of the Environment
  • Amy Snover, College of the Environment

Steering Committee

  • Marina Alberti, College of Built Environments
  • Eddie Allison, College of the Environment
  • Joel Baker, UW Tacoma
  • David Battisti, College of the Environment
  • Ann Bostrom, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance
  • Kyle Crowder, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Sara Curran, College of Arts and Sciences, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance
  • Kristie Ebi, School of Public Health
  • Martha Groom, UW Bothell School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, College of the Environment
  • Faisal Hossain, College of Engineering
  • Terrie Klinger, College of the Environment
  • Sanne Knudsen, School of Law
  • Josh Lawler, College of the Environment
  • Jan Newton, Applied Physics Lab
  • Julian Olden, College of the Environment
  • Aseem Prakesh College of Arts and Sciences
  • Daniel Schindler, College of the Environment
  • David Schmidt, College of the Environment
  • Amy Snover, College of the Environment
  • LuAnne Thompson, College of the Environment
  • Thaisa Way, College of Built Environments