What is the ISE?

George Mason University Institute for a Sustainable Earth: Putting research and scholarship into action to support a just, prosperous, and sustainable world.

Mission: To connect members of the Mason community with others across the Mason community–and with other communities, policy-makers, businesses and organizations–so that, together, we can more effectively address the world’s pressing sustainability and resilience challenges.

The world is at a turning point—we either develop vastly more sustainable ways for people and other living things to prosper on Earth, or we risk truly catastrophic consequences. The ISE community conducts integrative research in the natural sciences, social sciences, computational and data sciences, engineering, and humanities, bridging disciplinary gaps to realize innovative advances in an era of rapid global change.

Considerations about ultimate end use are central to the development of our research and scholarship agenda. Our faculty, staff, and students work with academic, governmental, community, NGO, and corporate entities to realize trans-disciplinary that mitigate risks, reduce inequities, support climate change adaptation, and promote a free, just, and prosperous society.

Institute faculty, staff, and students engage with communities of practice on Mason’s campus, in the region, nationally and globally, to ensure a deep understanding of the challenges that enable or constrain the development and adoption of sustainable solutions. ISE focuses not only on natural and engineered systems but also the socio-economic-legal systems that impact community sustainability and resilience and enable the development of holistic solutions. Our approach incorporates culture, beliefs and values.

Our community of researchers and scholars also engage the policy process in novel ways, leveraging Mason’s strengths in policy, law, and proximity to the nation’s capital while creating spaces where civil discourse and dialogue engender enduring solutions. ISE serves as an honest broker of ideas, a convener, and a source for consensus building through conflict resolution, creative works, and effective communication.

Finally, Mason’s faculty integrate state-of-the-art research outcomes into contemporary education programs to prepare ta new generation of effectual leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs who respect and value our social and environmental interdependencies.

Our faculty, staff, and students and partners continuously reflect upon and improve efforts to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in all endeavors. Diversity includes not only differences in individual backgrounds, personal identities, intellectual approaches, and demographics, but also the removal of barriers and the creation of space to shape a just, flourishing future.

The ISE community is committed to ethical and responsible conduct in all research, scholarship and creative work, both within Mason and in engagement with external partners and stakeholders.

A Mason faculty charrette, held on November 30, 2018, brought approximately 70 members of the university research and practice community together to envision this new multidisciplinary institute focused on the challenges of sustainability and resilience. For details of the day’s discussion, and resulting recommendations, please click the button down below: