The Institute at Brown for Environment & Society (IBES) was formally launched in the 2014-2015 academic year. IBES supports research to understand the interactions between natural, human and social systems. Our teaching programs prepare future leaders to envision and build a just and sustainable world. Our engagement programs take research from the lab to the statehouse, the hospital, and the public sphere.

Undergraduate and graduate students can study conservation science and policy, water and food security, environmental health, climate science and meteorology, biogeography and evolution, and more. Research is conducted in laboratories, on supercomputers and at field sites around the world.

Undergraduate concentrations in Environmental Studies and Environmental Science are housed within IBES. These concentrations provide the breadth across environmental fields along with the disciplinary depth and practical experience needed to launch students into productive professional careers.

Graduate students are supported by IBES, which provides a venue for multi-disciplinary research and education across academic units and through a host of fellowship, research and travel funding opportunities.

                                     IBES Current Tracks

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  • IBES awarded a total of $58,000 to students to fund summer projects and internships that ranged from advancing rainforest restoration with Palmyra Atoll (owned by Nature Conservancy) to working with Grow Smart Rhode Island to develop the organization's biennial briefing book.
  • IBES Director Amanda Lynch, the co-chair of the World Climate Research Programme, gave the keynote presentation at a key climate change meeting at the U.N.
  •  Lynch was elected as a member of the Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research, the only scientific academy concentrating on the polar regions and related challenges within all scientific disciplines from an international perspective. 
  • The Program in Environmental Civic Engagement at IBES partnered with Rhode Island Public Radio to launch “Possibly,” a podcast about environmental issues and solutions in Rhode Island and how they are linked to global issues.
  • Graduate student Sarah Cooley received the Outstanding Student Paper Award at the December 2017 meeting of the American Geophysical Union in New Orleans. The paper demonstrates the usefulness of CubeSat satellite imagery for tracking changes in surface water at high latitudes, a benchmark for assessing environmental sensitivity to climate change.