Pathways to Research Preeminence:  Environmental Resilience & Sustainability

Environmental Resilience & Sustainability research at UVA is focused on climate, water, food and energy security, resilient communities and stewardship and governance.

Below are some of the initiatives each of our schools have that is focused on Environmental Resilience & Sustainability:

Eco-Hydrologist Lawrence Band Works to Solve “Wicked Problems”

When he was a college student majoring in geography in the 1970s, Lawrence Band drove a New York City cab in the summer. At the time, of course, Band, a native of the Bronx, didn’t know that he would one day be an internationally respected eco-hydrologist, a scientist working on the advanced edge of the search for solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges: for one thing, “eco-hydrologist” was a career that didn’t even exist then.

Yet decades later, the time Band spent navigating the streets of gritty late-’70s New York turns out to be relevant to his work. Band, who joined the UVA faculty in 2017, holds joint appointments as both the Ernest H. Ern Professor of Environmental Sciences in the College and as a professor in the Engineering School’s newly launched Department of Engineering Systems and Environment—reflecting the fact that Band’s work as a researcher crosses disciplines.

Larry Band
Larry Band
Yamuna River
(Photo by Os Rupias -through Creative Commons License)
UVA School of Architecture Reimagines the Yamuna River

UVA School of Architecture Reimagines the Yamuna River 

Throughout the long Delhi summer, a trickle of the city’s sewage and waste run-off feeds the river Yamuna. To re-envision the river, a team of international experts comprising urban ecologists, architects from the University of Virginia and government experts have worked for six years to devise a workable solution. The result — The Yamuna River Project (YRP) — proposes a synergy between India’s capital city and the river. To understand the problem, an analogy with the thermometer seems apt: if the mercury reads 103 degrees Celsius fever on your thermometer, does it mean the thermometer is sick or it’s your body? The Yamuna is the barometer of the city’s cleanliness; it is simply recording what the city is doing to it. That’s why the Yamuna question needs to be reframed.