Interdisciplinary Environmental Research Clusters

Hand holding seeds

Helping big ideas become big results

ESN’s first seed grant competition incentivized three new interdisciplinary research clusters to form. Each group started out with $50,000 and some out-of-the-box ideas in late 2012. What they have gained is nearly $5 million in research funding, lasting collaborations, and a foothold in emerging fields of inquiry relating to climate change, water and food security, and clean energy.

Learn more about research cluster progress in our 2014 annual report [pdf].

Interdisciplinary Environmental Research Clusters


Shale Environmental Management Cluster

Drill pad image. Source: Flickr user Nicholas_T

A 17-member group with some big ideas about optimizing environmental, energy, and community needs when it comes to shale energy. Learn more.

Team Leader:
Dr. Zuzana Bohrerova

Coastal Vulnerability Cluster

Morro Bay. Source: Jay Langlois.Combining specialties in remote sensing, microbial ecology, engineering, anthropology and security studies, this team explores water security issues resulting from climate change. Learn more.

Team Leader:
Dr. Jiyoung Lee

Agroecosystem Critical Zone Research Cluster

Farmland Landscape. Source: Flickr User Cary Lee

Small changes in soil, water and air characteristics reveal the fingerprint of climate change. This team measures the effects of climate change on agricultural landscapes--and vice versa. Learn more.

Team Leader:
Dr. Berry Lyons

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