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National Science Foundation Award

ISSE Announces New NSF Planning Award

The Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment is pleased to announce a new NSF planning grant award that will prepare an interdisciplinary team based in Central Appalachia to develop and submit a quality Track-1 proposal to create a research network.

The goal of this research network is to produce a People-Centric, Integrated Assessment Model for Regional Sustainability with stakeholders in the Central Appalachian region. The research is expected to answer these questions: 1) What are locally-relevant sustainability indicators for people in the Central Appalachian region? 2) What are the relationships among economic development, health, education, infrastructure, and environment? 3) How can people’s behaviors be modeled? 4) How can the model couple all subsystems within the region and integrate them with other regions? 5) How can the model balance complexity, local relevance, actionability, and scalability? and 6) How can the model balance the responses to long-term trends and potential short-term shocks?

Participating institutions include The University of Tennessee, Knoxville as the lead, Virginia Tech, Western Carolina University, University of Kentucky, West Virginia State University, Morehead State University, and Appalachian State University.

A wide range of disciplines will build the foundation for this research network: public health, political science, social science, public policy, economics, geography, environmental engineering, regional planning, agriculture, geology, and others.

“The resulting model will help transform the region from a traditional, resource-based economy into a modern, sustainable system,” said Dr. Mingzhou Jin, principal investigator for the project. “This model will demonstrate the benefits and trade-offs among multiple outcomes and produce new theories of change, which will be scalable to other regions undergoing similar transformations.”