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Sustainability & Sustainable Development

The field of sustainability and sustainable development seeks a holistic approach to development that takes resources and the environment into account by building on insights provided by the natural and social sciences such as ecology and biology, economics, and political science and international relations. Some of the major questions studied by SPEA faculty in this field include the role of a finite capacity for the environment in economic and political development; the intersection between political processes such as democracy, autocracy and wars and natural resources; the causes and effects of global warming; the effects of economic globalization on the environment; mitigation of and adaptation policy approaches to environmental problems, and the market-based versus the political institutions-centered approaches to the problem of sustaining long run social welfare.

Faculty Members

Shahzeen Z. Attari

Assistant Professor

Jennifer N. Brass

Assistant Professor

Sanya Carley

Associate Professor

Burnell C. Fischer

Clinical Professor

Daniel Preston

Clinical Assistant Professor

Deepak Rajagopal

Visiting Assistant Professor

Barry M. Rubin

Professor and Policy Analysis and Public Finance Faculty Chair

Faculty Research

Success Paths to Sustainable Marketing

This report by SPEA faculty and students, provides a synthesis on which factors contribute most significantly, or deter from, successful sustainable manufacturing efforts.

IU researchers awarded funding to study water resources, climate variability

Indiana University faculty members have been awarded nearly $2.6 million for studies focused on one of the world’s most urgent problems: ensuring adequate supplies of water in the face of growing human needs and increasing climate variability.

Indiana University research: Improving table saw safety is a good investment

Adding automatic safety protection devices to table saws would prevent injuries and, despite the initial cost, save money in the long run, according to a new risk-benefit analysis co-authored by an Indiana University researcher John Graham.

IU researcher and colleague provide guide to household water conservation

Want to conserve water and save on your utility bill? A paper co-written by an IU-SPEA researcher Prof. Shahzeen Attari and published in the current issue of the journal Environment can help.

Indiana University research: We want to save water, but do we know how?

Many Americans are confused about the best ways to conserve water and have a slippery grasp on how much water different activities use, according to a national online survey conducted by an Indiana University researcher.

Residents weigh global benefits and local risks in views of climate change measures

Carbon capture and storage, commonly known as CCS, is a technique designed to mitigate climate change by capturing the heat-trapping gas carbon dioxide from coal plants and storing it deep underground. The technology allows for a more environmentally benign use of fossil fuels, but critics say it may prolong the dependence on coal, divert investment away from renewable energy sources and burden local communities with costs and health risks.

Indiana University Faculty Contribute to Forecast of Global Trends

A new forecast from the U.S. intelligence community that incorporates analysis from several Indiana University professors paints a mixed view of the world in 2030.

Tidal Marshes Compared for Effectiveness in Improving Quality of Estuaries

Professor Christopher Craft is co-author of an article published in the May/June issue of the Soil Science Society of America Journal.

Professor's new book examines interconnected systems

Professor Rafael Reuveny's research has recently been published in a new book, Democracy and Economic Openness in an Interconnected System, from Cambridge University Press.

Carbon Capture: Viable for Indiana?

A year ago, two Indiana University professors helped organize a summit of national technology, science, policy and regulatory experts through the Indiana Office of Energy Development. The summit focused on the opportunities and challenges of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and its relevance in Indiana. Now, a summary of the summit's findings is available from the State of Indiana's Web site.

Effects of sea-level rise on tidal marsh ecosystems

The coastal wetlands in the U.S. are essential to the ecological and economic health of many communities. They serve as habitats for many birds and animals, they filter out many pesticides and pollutants sent "downriver," and they protect shorelines from the worst impacts of storms and flooding. However, predicted rising sea levels due to climate change have raised many questions about what will happen to the nation's shorelines. Through the support of the US Environmental Protection Agency, US Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, Professor Chris Craft and a team of researchers examine the coastline marshes of the southeast to determine their susceptibility to climate change. They came away with a model that may predict the future picture of our nation's coastal wetlands.

SPEA publication addresses challenges of carbon capture and storage

Carbon capture and storage, or CCS, is a promising tool that may help the United States meet future energy needs while controlling emissions of greenhouse gases linked to climate change, Indiana University researchers say in a new policy brief.