Interdisciplinary Centers and Initiatives

Research Collaborations in the Environmental Sciences

Environmentally related research at Ohio State pulls together faculty from across the university as well as community partners. Over two dozen interdisciplinary research centers, initiatives and programs are currently working in the environmental sciences.

Learn more about these research groups in context in our Research Themes pages.

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Agroecosystems Management Program website

Agroecosystems Management Program
An interdisciplinary research effort based at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center looking into economic, ecological and social aspects of farms and communities.

aquatic ecology lab logo

Aquatic Ecology Lab
Research lab using ideas from basic ecology (e.g., life history theory, resource partitioning, bioenergetics modeling, etc.) to answer questions in conservation and fishery biology.

Byrd Polar Research Center website

Byrd Polar Research Center
Research at the Center focuses on the role of cold regions in the Earth's overall climate system, and encompasses geological sciences, geochemistry, glaciology, paleoclimatology, meteorology, remote sensing, ocean dynamics, and the history of polar exploration.

Carbon Management and Sequestration Center website

Carbon Management and Sequestration Center
The Center conducts research, teaching and extension activities that address basic and applied issues of carbon dynamics in relation to the accelerated greenhouse effect.

Center for Applied Plant Science website

Center for Applied Plant Science (CAPS)
An interdisciplinary research center designed to bridge the gap between basic and applied research. The Center supports scientific teams from collaborative idea work to the grant process to commercialization.

Center for Automotive Research website

Center for Automotive Research
An interdisciplinary research center in the College of Engineering focusing on energy, safety and the environment from vehicle- to infrastructure-level transportation systems.

Center for Farmland Policy Innovation website

Center for Farmland Policy Innovation
Works with communities on policy demonstrations/models, writes locally tailored policy briefs to further viable local agricultural environments.

Center for Historical Research at Ohio State

Center for Historical Research
Interdisciplinary center running year-long programs of study centered around important historical issues around the world (currently: Health, Disease and Environment in World History). The Center welcomes for year-long residency visiting senior, junior, and dissertation fellows chosen through an international competition. 

Center for Resilience website

Center for Resilience
The Center for Resilience is an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to improving the resilience of industrial systems and the environments in which they operate.

Center for Urban Environment and Economic Development website

Center for Urban Environment and Economic Development
Serves the growing urban landscape market by developing and commercializing new organic and biological products that meet the fertility and pest-, disease- and weed-control needs of urban landscapes.

Center for Urban Analysis website

Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA)
An interdisciplinary of group of scholars in social/behavioral sciences, physical/environmental sciences, engineering, health/medical sciences, and the humanities focusing on the impact of public policies in urban and regional development on the economy, society, environment, and public health.

Climate and Corn-based Cropping Systems Coordinated Agricultural Project  website

Climate and Corn-based Cropping Systems Coordinated Agricultural Project 
A five-year, multi-disciplinary project assessing the environmental, economic and social impacts of long-term climate variability on corn-based cropping systems. The project focuses on ways to encourage resilient decision-making, maintain yields and reduce environmental impacts.

Coal Combustion Product Program website

Coal Combustion Product Extension Program
A research, development and outreach team in the College of Engineering dedicated to the technically sound, environmentally friendly, and commercially competitive uses of CCPs in many interdisciplinary sustainable applications.

Complexity in Human, Natural and Engineered Systems
innovation group comprising more than twenty empirical and theoretical complex systems researchers from ten colleges and schools at Ohio State.


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Environmental Policy Initiative website

Environmental Policy Initiative
This Initiative aims to stimulate and focus systematic collaboration in environmental policy, through research, graduate and undergraduate education, communication with the policy community, and interaction with the national and international community of scholars in environmental policy.

Food Animal Health Research Program website

Food Animal Health Research Program
The program's research focus is on pathogenesis, epidemiology, prevention and control of animal disease to support the animal industries in economically producing safe, wholesome food in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.

Food Innovation Center website

Food Innovation Center
Interdisciplinary research center consisting of more than 150 faculty members and 80 associate members from all 14 OSU colleges in teams that tackle issues including nutrition, food safety and food strategy and policy for hunger reduction.


Forest Ecosystem Restoration & Ecology Lab
Based at the OARDC, research group studying the structure and function of natural and managed forest ecosystems and develop tools and methodologies to help restore forest ecosystems.

Human Dimensions of the Environment website

Human Dimensions of the Environment Group
Human Dimensions of Environment (HDE) is an interdisciplinary research group at The Ohio State University focused on promoting social-behavioral approaches to the environment through cross-university research, teaching and outreach collaborations.

Humanities Institute
Interdisciplinary institute that facilitates emergent research collaborations between humanities faculty and others across the university, including inititatives around sustainability, environmental citizenship and water.

Initiative in polulation research website

Initiative in Population Research
A multidisciplinary population and health research center at Ohio State University consisting of faculty across multiple departments.

Office of Energy and Environment website

Office of Energy and Environment
Team dedicated to advancing Ohio State's national role and success with solving the global energy issues while promoting environmental sustainability by expanding and coordinating our assets and outreach.

Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center (OARDC) website

Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center (OARDC)
Research, development, and commercialization of agricultural products with particular focus on bioenergy, biobased products, environmental quality and sustainability, food security and production.

Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center (OBIC) website

Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center (OBIC)
Connects different parts of OSU with each other and with community partners to nurture business ecosystems and facilitate commercialization of new sustainable bioproduct technologies.

Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory website

Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory
Ohio Sea Grant is a statewide program that supports greater knowledge and stewardship of Lake Erie and the Great Lakes through research, education and outreach. Established in 1895, Stone Laboratory is the oldest freshwater biological field station in the United States and the center of Ohio State University’s teaching and research on Lake Erie.

Ohio Water Resources Center website

Ohio Water Resources Center
The WRC promotes innovative, water-related research in the State of Ohio through research grant competitions, coordination of interdisciplinary research proposals, and educational outreach activities.

Olentangy river wetland research park website

Olentangy River Wetland Research Park
A long-term, large-scale wetland research facility designed to provide teaching, research, and service related to wetland and river science and ecological engineering.

Organic Food and Farming Education and Research Program website

Organic Food and Farming Education and Research Program
OARDC-based program dedicated to providing research and educational support for sustainable production, processing, and marketing of organic foods from the field to the table for farmers, gardeners, processors, retailers, and consumers.


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maumee river map

People, Climate Change and Lake Erie project
An interdisciplinary effort to determine the link between people’s perception of Lake Erie, how that perception impacts the health of the lake, and how the health of the lake in turn influences people’s perceptions of the ecosystem.

Program in Spatial Statistics and Environmental Statistics website

Program in Spatial Statistics and Environmental Statistics
The Program in Spatial Statistics and Environmental Statistics is involved in teaching, research, and science collaboration around the  computational aspects of spatial and spatio-temporal statistics applied to areas of "big science," such as remote sensing of the earth on a global scale, regional climate modeling in space and time, and Bayesian statistical exposure modeling from sources to biomarkers.

Social Responsibility Initiative website

Social Responsibility Initiative
Interdisciplinary research group aiming to incorporate dialogue with stakeholders into research about pressing food, agricultural and environmental issues, from genetically modified foods and environmental quality to urban sprawl and the globalization of agriculture.

Subsurface Energy Resource Center website

Subsurface Energy Resource Center (SERC)
Contributes to the knowledge of subsurface resource development and its associated environmental issues and serves as a resource to policy makers. As an interdisciplinary university center, SERC serves as an “honest broker” to interface between industry, government agencies and non-government organizations.

Sugar Creek Headwaters Ecosytem Study website

Sugar Creek Project
The Sugar Creek Project is an NSF-funded, community-based approach to watershed management that emphasizes local action and decision-making based on scientific data.The approach used is called the "Sugar Creek Method" and involves extensive benchmarking of headwater streams and water quality at a meaningful level to the local people.

twel website

Terrestrial Wildlife Ecology Lab
Research and outreach team whose mission is to promote understanding of ecological and social factors that affect wildlife and natural resources nationally and internationally.

Coyote Project image

Urban Coyote Ecology and Management
Collaborative project led by Ohio State School of Natural Resources and Extension focusing on the coyotes of Cook County, Illinois.

Wright Center for photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization Center website.

Wright Center for Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization
The Wright Center for Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization is a partnership among business, government and researchers at four Ohio universities to improve solar technologies, reduce costs, and expedite the transfer of technology from laboratory to the production line.

The Wilds logo

The Wilds
Operated by the Columbus Zoo with Ohio State faculty on staff. Supports conservation through education, breeding and research programs at its 10,000 acre reclaimed mind site.

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Have a research problem that isn't met by any of the groups above? Our seed grant competition may be of interest.