At Oregon, we know that we are in the midst of unprecedented and transformative environmental change. All of us, and especially our students, are facing dramatic ecological shifts to all our natural systems because of climate change and other forces. This change highlights social justice dynamics and environmental inequities that shape our world. As a result, we see societal paradigm shifts in systems that govern our economy, the built environment, democracy, and fundamental relationships among people. This work requires the amplification of voices that have often gone unheard.

We face these challenges by generating new approaches, finding proactive problem-solving pathways, engaging in collaboration with multiple constituencies and social groups, participating in diverse ideas and forms of knowledge, and exerting the full measure of our creative energy.

About the Environment Initiative



By the Numbers


National Ranking of two programs within UO's School of Architecture & Environment


 Consecutive years UO's sustainable MBA is in the Princeton Review's top 5 Green MBAs


U.S. News and World Report ranking of UO's Environmental Law Program at the School of Law


Researchers working on the environment


National ranking on Sierra Club’s list of “Cool Schools” (2019)


Years since the Environmental Studies Program began

Environment Experts in the media

For those media outlets looking to get a quote or hear from one of UO's environment experts, reach out to our media team.

Contact Media Relations

Existential worry about the future is threaded throughout Elephant Micah’s extensive body of work, but equal concern is found looking in the rearview mirror and recognizing the stories that we tell about ourselves. In that woozy mirror, they fall quietly behind.
A research team led by University of Oregon biologist Lauren C. Ponisio identified 1,150 network interactions involving 157 wild bee species and 152 plant species at 63 sites spread across three counties. The findings emerged from observations of adult bees from 31 species whose pollination activities with at least five plants overlapped during multiple crop-growing seasons.
Beyond Toxics, a Eugene-based non-profit, and the NAACP Eugene-Springfield chapter will host the Environment Justice Pathways Summit on April 9-10, a two-day virtual event beginning Friday. The summit will feature renowned speakers and foster discussions, workshops and organizational meetings that will address environmental topics, including the right to clean air, the right to a healthy workplace and Tribal water justice.
The newly appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food believes that trade reform may be the key to solving world hunger. Michael Fakhri took up his post as UN Special Rapporteur in May 2020, just as a global pandemic turned into a hunger crisis and three months before wildfires ripped through his home state of Oregon, US.
Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation Cass Moseley testified in a virtual hearing before the US House Natural Resources’ subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife today. The hearing is titled “Building Back Better: Building Resilience for the Economy, Climate and Ecosystems.” This is the subcommittee’s first hearing of the new Congress. Watch her testimony below.
University of Oregon researchers are playing a pivotal role in the science, development and rollout of the technology, which detects earthquakes using about 400 seismic sensors spread across the Pacific Northwest and more than a thousand up and down the West Coast. The system will eventually span the entire West Coast. It launched in California in 2019, and Washington will launch ShakeAlert in May.
Chazandra Kern, the Northern California native and University of Oregon graduate assists Angelenos in navigating city permitting, designing, building and leasing said ADUs in their own backyards to low-income tenants. The replicable process has, in turn, inspired community organizations in other cities to follow suit for their neighbors.
The University of Oregon is starting a new institute to look at the intersection of racial and climate justice. It’s a collaboration with the University of Idaho and Whitman College in eastern Washington to fund research, publications, community engagement and to expand access to higher education for historically underrepresented communities.
New sensors installed recently at Hayward Field in advance of an international track and field event will help both athletes and UO researchers cut through some of the haze around air quality and wildfire smoke. The sensors are part of a broader initiative at the UO to use the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 as a catalyzing event to advance research and practice around wildfire smoke.
The University of Oregon has earned Gold level Bicycle Friendly University status from the League of American Bicyclists. The Bicycle Friendly University status is an independent third-party accreditation process. The review covers many fields, including bicycle advocacy, planning, infrastructure, education, promotion, support, equity, achievements and future plans.

Social Connections


    Territorial Acknowledgement

    The University of Oregon is located on Kalapuya ilihi, the traditional indigenous homeland of the Kalapuya people. Following treaties between 1851 and 1855, Kalapuya people were dispossessed of their indigenous homeland by the U.S. government and forcibly removed to the Coast Reservation in Western Oregon. Today, Kalapuya descendants are primarily citizens of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, and they continue to make important contributions to their communities, to the UO, to Oregon, and to the world.
    In following the Indigenous protocol of acknowledging the original people of the land we occupy, we also extend our respect to the nine federally recognized Indigenous nations of Oregon: the Burns Paiute Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, the Coquille Indian Tribe, the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, and the Klamath Tribes. We express our respect to the many more tribes who have ancestral connections to this territory, as well as to all other displaced Indigenous peoples who call Oregon home.