The Institute of Environmental Sciences (IES) was established in October 2020, as the fourth pillar of the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, in addition to those of Plant Sciences, Animal Sciences, and Food and Nutrition Sciences.
It encompasses the research labs from four pre-existing departments: Soil and Water Sciences, Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Entomology, and Environmental Economics and Management, as well as IES interdisciplinary researchers.
The Institute of Environmental Sciences is leveraging the Smith Faculty’s longtime expertise in addressing phenomena that range from soil and groundwater contamination, global warming, and reduced rainfall in the world’s grain belts to plant pathogens, inadequate economic policy to reduce environmental damage, loss in plant-insect biodiversity, and soil erosion, depletion and salinization.
By encompassing the comprehensive research of all living and non-living parts of the ecosystem that shape our environment, the IES aims to create a new, shared academic language for a powerful team of researchers. This multidisciplinary approach promises new avenues of research: for instance, agriculture that preserves and improves the urban environment, water recycling and socioeconomic models that address climate change.
It is envisaged that these increased capabilities will lead to real breakthroughs and to the development of readily applicable solutions for today’s pressing agricultural and environmental challenges.
The IES also houses the Research Center for Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources (RCAENR), which provides an umbrella for strengthening interdisciplinary collaborations within the Institute.