Working Toward a Just and Livable Future

Our Mission

The University of Oregon’s Environment Initiative represents a campus-wide coordinated effort to create an intellectual and active hub focused on higher education’s role and contribution to a just and livable future. The Environment Initiative aims to leverage the intellectual energy and endeavors of faculty, students, and community partners towards societal contribution through transdisciplinary research, teaching, and experiential learning.

An Environment Initiative Faculty Advisory Committee has been appointed by the Provost to advise on institutional perspectives for strategic growth of the initiative.

Our Purpose

As a community of scholars and researchers, we are determined to answer:

  • How will our environmental research define and contribute to a livable and just future?
  • How can we best equip communities, their leaders, and more significant components of civil society, to carry forth the insights produced?
  • And, what must our students understand to live in this emerging world, and forge a better one?

We will work to bring these conversations together and to amplify the voices of those who have gone unheard.

Our Vision

The Environmental Initiative is the place for promoting and answering questions on how to conserve, preserve, and sustain our environment. Let’s build an action plan together. Work with us.

Environment Initiative Guiding Principles

With the urgency created by the impacts of climate change and the need for environmental justice woven throughout, with our Environment Initiative we strive to be:

  • Multi-disciplinary and innovative in building opportunities for teaching, research, and service centered around climate solutions and environment and sustainability related topics;
  • Policy-relevant, data-driven, evidence based, applied, translational, and responsive to the urgency of our environmental challenges;
  • Rooted and focused on issues of equity and social and environmental justice in which we add and amplify voices in the conversation, including work directly with or within diverse communities, including Indigenous, Black, Latinx, LGBTQ+, and other communities;
  • Relevant and responsive to the needs of local communities, tribal nations, the state, the eco-region and beyond; and/or
  • Tied to direct student outcomes, experiential learning offerings, and new ways of thinking about professional pathways for a changing world.

Environment Initiative Nodes

The University of Oregon has identified the following areas of substantive interest:

  • Environmental Hazards and Landscape Resilience
  • Energy and Decarbonization 
  • Water Futures and Community Restoration
  • Ecology, Systems, and the Designed Environment
  • Social Change through Environmental Education and Communication
  • Indigenous Ecological Knowledge and Sovereignty
  • Natural Climate Solutions, Restoration, and Biodiversity 
  • Environmental Entrepreneurship and Circular Economies



Over the past year, Environment Initiative director Adell Amos and her team have conducted a broad campus engagement process. That engagement continues as the UO is poised to launch the next phase of the initiative and our university works to build and realize a just and livable future.