Research Projects and Creative Activities
IPE affiliates come from many programs, foster collaboration, and respectfully challenge traditional intellectual boundaries. Their diverse expertise produces an extensive palette of research and creative activities. The selected projects below represent a small sampling from the vast array of environmental and sustainability research and creative activities at IU Bloomington.
WATER@IU is the one site you’ll need to tap into all of the schools, departments, research initiatives, and programs that can turn your interests in water into a degree and your degree into a water-related career. We’ve done the work for you and brought all the information into one place; find what you’re looking for about water-related research, faculty, degree programs and student opportunities.
The RAIN (Restorative Adaptations for Infrastructure) Initiative is an action- and research-based organization founded by graduate students at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. They work to improve existing and install green infrastructure for the purposes of stormwater management at Indiana University and in the City of Bloomington, to encourage a paradigm shift of grey to green regarding stormwater at the local level, and to educate the public on the potential for manufactured ecological processes to provide crucial, cost-effective solutions. The RAIN Initiative (Restorative Adaptations for Infrastructure) assembled in the fall of 2012 to assist Indiana University in meeting its stormwater management goals through green infrastructure design at the border of Griffy Woods and the IU Championship Golf Course. The process for research and implementation was initiated with support from the Office of Sustainability and the IU Research and Teaching Preserve.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Indiana University a $6 million grant to continue a project that measures levels of airborne toxic chemicals being deposited to the Great Lakes. The researchers have already discovered surprisingly high levels of chemical concentrations in two major lakeside U.S. cities. The Integrated Atmospheric Deposition Network project is led at IU by Distinguished Professor Ronald Hites and by assistant scientists Marta Venier and Amina Salamova in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. The project began in 1990 under an agreement between the U.S. EPA and Environment Canada. Indiana University has been in charge of the U.S. portion of the study since 1994. This newest grant continues the project until 2019.
Geographically isolated wetlands play an outsized role in providing clean water and other environmental benefits even though they may lack the regulatory protections of other wetlands, according to an article by Indiana University researchers and colleagues. Given those benefits, the authors argue, decision-makers should assume that isolated wetlands are critical for protecting aquatic systems, and the burden of proof should be on those who argue on a case-by-case basis that individual wetlands need not be protected.
An Indiana University-Dartmouth College team has identified genes and regulatory patterns that allow some organisms to alter their body form in response to environmental change. Understanding how an organism adopts a new function to thrive in a changing environment has implications for molecular evolution and many areas of science including climate change and medicine, especially in regeneration and wound healing. The study provides insight into phenotypic plasticity, a phenomenon that enables some organisms to change their observable characteristics in response to their environment.