SILC develops the knowledge, capacity, partnerships, technology, and diverse workforce to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable world and educates the next generation of researchers, communicators, and innovators who will lead this change. SILC supports scholars and students engaged in impact-oriented research, education, and service in order to improve the success and sustainability of human activities.
SILC is an interdisciplinary and solution-oriented center that supports diverse projects and educational programs linked by a common focus on issues in sustainability and the environment. SILC’s impact-oriented research includes engineering, physical and natural sciences, social science, social justice, psychology, humanities, business, law, computer science and other disciplines. Check out Our Work and Programs to learn more about our current initiatives and collaborations.
SILC continues to thrive in its pursuit of impact-oriented research dollars, a critical factor in leveraging the Center’s ability to fulfill its mission toward improving livelihoods and accelerating sustainability of human activities. Our primary orientation is toward data or technology-supported approaches to complex problems with an emerging capacity in land planning and sustainable food systems. This includes leading the technical development of the Land Potential Knowledge System (LPKS) and a number of related projects.
One of SILC’s primary goals is to communicate broadly the issues and solutions to complex societal issues in sustainability. Through existing programs, the Center has a substantial and continuing focus on communication and education.
In 2017, Future Earth launched a new magazine called Anthropocene that has posted over 600 stories online and through an e-mail newsletter that reaches 15,000 people and produces biennial hard copy editions. Anthropocene has also won the 2018 bronze CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) medal for specialty magazines.
In addition, the Global Sustainability Scholars program (GSS) focuses on developing the next generation of sustainability scholars from traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM and will support the programs first class of scholars in summer of 2019. This program has launched with one post-doc, three fellows (graduate or post-bachelorettes) and eight undergraduates, who will engage and be embedded in international sustainability research. GSS has also partnered with George Mason University, who will host two of their own students as scholars.
SILC’s focus on service is cross-cutting in all areas of its activities and it seeks to play a larger role in the support of impact-oriented scholarship on campus. In its research, education, communication and innovation, the Center fosters relationships with researchers, fellows, students, public and external partners to promote:
- Engaged scholarship and mentorship
- Increased opportunities in sustainability leadership and innovation among traditionally underrepresented and marginalized communities
- Collaborative and cross-disciplinary research
- Socially conscious advancements in the environment and sustainability for communities at local, regional and global scales
- Forward-thinking education for a better prepared workforce