mission and goals

RIHN research projects are organized through five research Domains: Circulation, Diversity, Resources, Ecohistory and Ecosophy. As RIHN enters its second decade, we seek greater integration both within and between Domain-based research projects and have developed a new set of initiatives, the Futurability Initiatives, in order to accomplish this task.

First phase research projects

In the first phase, individual projects conducted multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research on key areas of environmental concern, including hydrological cycles, climate, variability, subsurface environments, ecosystems and landscape change, food production systems, disease ecology, and environmental history.

Second phase initiatives

We now focus our efforts on conjoining the existing Domain Programs through a set of cross-cutting initiatives. The Futurability Initiatives emerge from our conviction of the need for design-oriented science. Whereas cognitive science has conventionally been employed to describe ‘what is’, design science asks ‘what ought to be’ the character of interactions between of humanity and nature.

The Futurability Initiatives are organized by the Core Research Hub of the Center for Coordination, Promotion, and Communication. The Initiatives will allow academic researchers to identify and develop key ideas, topics and fields of study arising within and between past and present Domain-based research projects. The Initiatives are therefore dedicated to consilience, “a jumping together of knowledge ... across disciplines to create a common groundwork for explanation” (E.O. Wilson 1998) and intended to enhance design-oriented, problem-solving approaches to contemporary environmental problems. Each Initiative focuses on a major field of thought roughly analogous to the ancient Greek realms described by Gaia, Oikos and Ethos.
The Futurability Initiatives Leaflet (PDF)

The Futurability Initiatives (Click the image below to see bigger one.)



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