Institute at Brown for Environment and SocietyIBES


A hallmark of scholarship at Brown and within IBES is the integration of research and teaching.

This scholarship takes many forms, from basic discovery that fuels future advances, to applied problem solving that meets the challenges facing our environment—but also to engaged work that involves a reciprocal, collaborative relationship between our scholars and the world beyond Brown.

Among other activities linked to research projects and classes, IBES sponsors two programs that enable students and faculty to work side by side to take action on pressing issues at the nexus of environment and society.

The Climate and Development Lab (CDL) at IBES is a think tank that produces timely, accessible, and impactful research to inform a more just and effective climate change policy. Students and faculty work with leading actors in government, civil society and the media around the world in the attempt to bring about change by identifying and filling important research gaps and generating ideas for action on climate change. More>>

The Program in Environmental and Civic Engagement (PECE) enables Brown students and faculty to translate knowledge into action, to benefit Rhode Islanders, and to test scalable responses to global change. More>>

One of these projects is the podcast Possibly, produced by The Public's Radio in conjunction with IBES undergraduates and faculty.

In this era of unprecedented environmental change, gloom and doom are easy to come by. The world is warming, sea level is rising, species are going extinct - and if humans keep burning fossil fuels and forests it will only happen faster.  Every day we are told to do better, to make changes to our lives to help “save the planet.” 

We can’t do everything, and even if we did, would it matter?  There are  endless “solutions.” Ban plastic straws? Drive an electric car? Buy organic? The list can get pretty overwhelming. 

The team at Possibly, led by Professor Stephen Porder, Producer Megan Hall, and a cadre of Brown undergraduate writers, reporters and recording technicians, is here to answer those questions. Possibly looks at the science behind proposed solutions - to help you cut through the noise and make choices that, possibly, will make a difference.  We dive deep into the field of sustainability science, reporting out what is known, and what we don’t know, about how the environment is changing and what we can do about it. We focus here in our home state of Rhode Island, but we answer questions that are asked by people all over the country and the world.

Subscribe today at Apple Podcasts or use this RSS feed in your podcatcher of choice.

Possibly Team

  • Host, Managing Producer: Megan Hall
  • Founder/Science Advisor: Stephen Porder
  • Executive Producer: Torey Malatia 
  • Reporting by: Brown Undergraduates from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from environmental science to graphic design, all focused on helping us learn how to overcome the most pressing challenge of our times.
  • Theme song and sound design: Tom Van Buskirk
  • Logo: Marianne Harrison
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