The time for addressing climate change is now, and the move is ours.

Earth’s climate is changing at a rate modern civilization has never seen before. Human activities, primarily in the form of greenhouse gas emissions, have directly led to warming temperatures, along with a rise in extreme weather and climate-related events that will pose increasingly devastating risks to society.

It’s one of the most substantial challenges humanity faces when looking to the future.

So today, Indiana University is taking decisive actions to confront climate change. After making a commitment to strengthen the resilience of communities within Indiana and across the globe, IU is leading the way in providing research and innovation designed to prepare for, and mitigate the impacts of, a warming climate.

From developing the Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI) to directing efforts to solve deadly pollution in Madagascar, Indiana University does not shy away from challenge. 

Description of the following video:

Janet McCabe:

Climate change is unquestionably real. It's not a question of belief. It's a question of facts. The climate is changing because there are increases in greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. There's just no room to debate that anymore.

Our temperatures are getting warmer in the Midwest. We are seeing changes in our precipitation. We will have on average more precipitation, but even more significant is it's not going to be distributed evenly throughout the year. We are going to have more of it in extreme downpours. It may not increase the frequency of storms, but it's increasing the severity of the storms.

There's significant public health risks associated with climate change. Longer allergy seasons, more air pollution. That's bad for people with asthma, with other respiratory illnesses, with heart conditions. It's bad for people whose jobs have them working outdoors. So lots of ways in which climate change is going to affect our health.

I think that we are seeing a real change in the conversation around it, but there has been a lot of resistance to public policy, making changes that would address climate change. There are a lot of partisan politics that have gotten in the way of people being able to have reasonable conversations. The future of our state, our nation, the world, if we don't take action on climate change, is a grim one.

Scientists have been doing all this work that needs to be out in the public sphere in a way that people can understand, in a way that relates to them.

What we've done here at IU is to say, we're not going to argue about who's responsible, we're going to recognize the climate change is happening. These are the ways it's affecting us and what are the things, what are the skills, what is the expertise, what are the resources and assets that IU can bring to the table.

We have a range of scientists from atmospheric modelers to people who study species movement to people who study agriculture and how local governments, how businesses deal with issues like climate change.

The overarching mission of the Environmental Resilience Institute is to develop research tools and resources to help Indiana be more resilient in the face of climate change and also provide knowledge, resources, and scholarship to help with the climate change challenge in the world.

We work significantly with local governments at the Environmental Resilience Institute, and I have been flabbergasted at the interest among cities and towns for the resources that we can provide.

All across Indiana University, we have researchers, teachers, and others who care deeply about the issue of climate change, the implications of climate change for our world, our country, and our state, and are doing what they can to contribute to addressing this issue.

Climate change is hugely important to us as a state, to our nation, and to the world. The people who work at IU—researchers, teachers, and others—care deeply about contributing what they can to helping our world, our country, and our state be more resilient.

Janet McCabe, Director of the Environmental Resilience Institute

On the rise




Building resilience across communities
Aerial view of Indianapolis with a river running through the middle.

Where the current will take us

Climate change has implications for water far beyond rising sea levels and rainfall.

Adequate freshwater resources, in terms of both quality and quantity, are critical for thriving ecosystems and economies. We rely on water for drinking, farming and agriculture, electricity, everyday domestic activities, and manufacturing.

To prepare for the impacts climate change will have on Indiana’s water supply, ERI, alongside a collaborative group of students, faculty, and staff from the IU Pervasive Technology Institute, developed FutureWater—a model that uses IU’s robust computing capabilities and cyberinfrastructure to forecast the Wabash River watershed’s hydrology under different climate scenarios.

The tool is part of a community platform intended to make the model’s results and data available to researchers, specialists, policymakers, and the public.

Discover FutureWater

Start by making the science accessible

In order to take action on climate change, people need to understand it.

At the heart of ERI’s work is a mission to translate complex research into a format partners can actually use. Many of the projects transform dense data sets into easily accessible tools that enable everyday residents, community officials, and business leaders to not only understand the science, but to act on it.

IU’s success in climate work also comes from being able to build informed projections that accurately predict environmental impacts. These forecasts allow people to visualize the future under different scenarios, and then prepare judiciously.

Overseas solutions that will save lives

In Madagascar, one in three people dies early from pollution. That makes it three times as deadly as HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.

Indiana University, along with several partners spanning the globe, is leading a project to solve pollution in Madagascar. The Solve Pollution Network collaboration is a comprehensive five-year program aimed to reduce exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution and ultimately improve the health of approximately 13 million people—that’s half the population of Madagascar.

Led by Associate Professor Joe Shaw, the project recently became one of the highest-scoring proposals in the MacArthur Foundation's 100&Change competition, securing a spot among the Top 100 finalists in contention for a $100 million grant.

Faces of Change

It takes more than a village.

Making an impact on climate change requires communities everywhere to take action. And—perhaps above all else—it takes leadership. People from diverse backgrounds must step up to act as agents of change, fighting for a better future the entire world will benefit from.

ERI is home to many of these leaders. From surveilling the migration of ticks and mosquitoes as a way of assessing the spread of disease, to exploring how socioeconomic vulnerabilities affect climate change preparedness, these individuals are creating meaningful, interdisciplinary work that truly drives resilience.

Michael Hamburger, PROFESSOR

Michael Hamburger


Area of work: Geophysics; Science Education and Outreach

Disaster Risk Reduction for Indiana - Assessment of solid earth hazards (collaboration with the IDHS' Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan; Educating for Environmental Change - Professional development program for K-12 teachers focusing on climate change (with WonderLab).

"Resilience involves preparing for both slow-developing hazards associated with climate change and the sudden shocks of natural disasters. ERI is contributing to our communities' resilience through research, education, and outreach that will ultimately help us develop a resilient and sustainable Hoosier state."


Ellen Ketterson


Area of work: Movement Ecology Migration and Ecological Services

"Being prepared for environmental change can help to reduce the impact of the 6th mass extinction."


Janet McCabe


Area of work: Environmental Law

Administration and Implementation - My programmatic focus at ERI is building relationships with local governments and helping to develop tools and resources that will help Indiana communities be more resilient in the face of environmental change.

"Indiana can be resilient in the face of climate change. It takes accurate information, feasible solutions, and providing assistance when requested. This is a role the ERI is made for."


Betsy Stirratt


Area of work: Contemporary Art; Ecology Education and Outreach

State of Nature: Picturing Indiana Biodiversity will feature artifacts from Indiana’s prehistory alongside visual art that documents biodiversity in Indiana. This multi-phase project will serve to increase literacy about ecological developments, the impact of climate change on everyday life, and encourage awareness of our immediate natural surroundings.

David Konisky, PROFESSOR

David Konisky


Area of work: Environmental and Energy Policy

Understanding energy insecurity among Indiana householdsEnvironmental change will create burdens for vulnerable individuals through disruptions to labor markets, increases in energy costs, more extreme weather events, and excessive heat and cold exposure. Understanding the magnitude and distribution of these burdens, and the ability of households to adapt, is essential to fully prepare the state and its residents.


Doug Edmonds


Area of work: Geology

STREAMS - Monitoring and modeling the movement of sediment


Luis Inaraja Vera


Area of work: Environmental Law

Climate Takings: The Tensions Between Private Property and the Need to Adapt to Environmental Change - The goal of this project is to analyze the tensions between climate-related or environmental regulations and the constitutional protections of property rights. We are exploring these issues in a variety of contexts, including increased flooding, sea-level rise, fresh water availability, and private land conservation.


Nathaniel Geiger


Area of work: Environmental Communication

Hoosier Resilience Index - The tool helps local governments understand the gravity of climate change, that adaptation and mitigation are important, and that preparedness is necessary, feasible, and unique to each community.

"A better world is possible."


Irene Newton


Area of work: Insect-microbe Interactions

Assessing vector competence for Indiana mosquito populations - investigating the presence and distribution of disease-causing viruses in mosquitoes native to Indiana and identifying other microbial agents that may impact the ability of mosquitoes to carry and transmit viral pathogens.

"A changing climate is the challenge of our lifetimes. I am excited to participate in ERI as part of this project."

Rich Phillips, Professor; Director of research at IURTP

Rich Phillips

Professor; Director of research at IURTP

Area of work: Ecosystem Ecology, Biogeochemistry and Global Change

Ecosystem and climate consequences of forest community change - Seeks to advance a predictive framework for quantifying the ecosystem consequences of forest community change across Indiana and beyond by using a combination of growth chamber experiments, forest inventory data and ecosystem modeling.

"Planting a trillion trees will achieve little if we don't understand the resiliency of our forests to global change."

Daniel Becker, Postdoctoral Fellow

Daniel Becker

Postdoctoral Fellow

Area of work: Disease Ecology

Zoonotic diseases - Combining field studies and mathematical models to understand how environmental change affects infectious disease dynamics in songbirds and bats and risks of pathogen spillover.

"The emergence of new infections like Lyme disease and COVID-19 is directly tied to human activities like land conversion and climate change. Understanding how environmental change alters infections in wildlife, before they spread into human populations, can ultimaely help us predict, prevent, and manage zoonotic disease risks."

Ana Bento, Assistant Professor

Ana Bento

Assistant Professor

Area of work: Infectious Disease Dynamics

Emerging Infectious Diseases  - Developing mathematical models to understand the drivers of emerging tick borne diseases in the Midwest. These models will for help forecast emerging problems.

"Climate change creates new risks for human exposure to vector-borne diseases (VBDs) — diseases which are transmitted to humans through vectors that carry the disease-causing pathogens. Common vectors include mosquitoes, ticks, and flies. Rising global temperatures can lengthen the season and increase the geographic range of disease-carrying vectors."

Matthew Houser, Fellow / Assistant Research Scientist

Matthew Houser

Fellow / Assistant Research Scientist

Area of work: Environmental Sociology

Hoosier Life Survey  - Our survey asks 3000 Hoosiers about their values and their experience of environmental change and climate hazards; What will aquatic invasions look like in a changing climate? - Starry stonewort is an aquatic invasive species spreading through Midwestern lakes. The team will study these invasions across a latitudinal gradient from Indiana to Minnesota to better understand how climate change may influence invasions and how to develop resilient management strategies.

W William Weeks, Clinical Professor Emeritus

W William Weeks

Clinical Professor Emeritus

Area of work: Law

Ecologically Sound Flood and Drought Mitigation\St Joseph R Watershed  - Investigating potential of lowlands and enhanced lowland to store flood water and hold water while preserving the ecological integrity of the watershed.

Gary Motz, Assistant Director for Information Services, Indiana Geological and Water Survey

Gary Motz

Assistant Director for Information Services, Indiana Geological and Water Survey

Area of work: Geology, Paleobiology, Natural History Collections, Biodiversity Informatics

Hoosier Environmental Forecast Matrix  - This project aggregates outputs from climate, vegetation, species distribution, and other models as resilience resources on the geospatial datasharing platform for the State of Indiana: IndianaMap.

Adam Fudickar, Fellow / Research Scientist

Adam Fudickar

Fellow / Research Scientist

Area of work: Animal Ecophysiology

Migration Mechanisms  - Uncovering the environmental cues and physiological mechanisms that determine when animals migrate and reproduce. In a changing climate, this research is especially relevant as animals may respond to seasonal cues that don't match with shifting patterns in food availability.

James Shanahan, dean

James Shanahan


Area of work: Environmental Communictaion

Indiana Environmental Reporter, In This Climate Podcast  - Environmental journalism and communication

Tara Smiley, Fellow / Assistant Research Scientist

Tara Smiley

Fellow / Assistant Research Scientist

Area of work: Biodiversity and Species Ecology

Stable isotope ecology and species response to environmental change  - We use stable isotopes to track animal diets and migration during environmental change in order to understand ecological baselines today and in the past and better predict species responses in the future.

Ranjan Muthukrishnan, Fellow / Assistant Research Scientist

Ranjan Muthukrishnan

Fellow / Assistant Research Scientist

Area of work: Community Ecology

What will midwestern aquatic invasions look like in a changing climate  - We study the spread and impacts of starry stonewort, an invasive alga, and the social drivers of decision-making around its management across a climate gradient from Indiana to Wisconsin and Minnesota

Oghenekaro Omodior, Assistant Professor

Oghenekaro Omodior

Assistant Professor

Area of work: Emerging Mosquito- and Tick-borne Disease Risk Reduction


Pascal Title, Research Scientist

Pascal Title

Research Scientist

Area of work: Biology


At Indiana University, we go all in.

The climate crisis. The opioid epidemic. Protecting truth in a digital world. These are some of the greatest challenges of our era.

Galvanized by research, innovation, and passion, Indiana University fights fiercely to create solutions. Number-one-ranked programs from the Kelley School of Business are preparing leaders for tomorrow’s landscape. World-class physicians at the IU School of Medicine are revolutionizing Alzheimer’s research.

See how the work we’re doing every day continues to change tomorrow.

Discover more about IU's work