UNH Sustainability Research

“Achieving a sustainable human future in the face of both gradual and abrupt environmental change is one of the most significant challenges facing humanity." -- National Science Foundation 

UNH research in sustainability is broad and far-reaching. A leader in areas such as climate change, organic agriculture, marine and freshwater sciences, natural resources, "green" economics and policies, healthcare, and more, UNH research is at the forefront of the efforts to define new personal, local, community, governmental and global activities and policies for protecting and sustaining the Earth and its inhabitants.

Sustainability science addresses the practical challenges of how to achieve sustainability: meeting the needs of today’s society without compromising the abilities of future generations to meet their needs. It involves studying the nature of interactions between humans and their environments - between natural and human systems. It encompasses biodiversity, food, culture, and climate. Thus, it requires a multidisciplinary approach, involving researchers from the social sciences, humanities, physical and biological sciences, engineering, and health and human services.

‘Environment’ encompasses the components and complex natural systems of land, sea and atmosphere, the geology and history of the Earth, and the mysteries of volcanoes and the ocean floor. Studies of wildlife, conservation practices, and natural resources shed light on the Earth biological systems. Sophisticated observational and modeling tools are used to increase our understanding the fundamental properties of the atmosphere and how they have been affected by human activities. Ongoing research in spill containment and remediation has resulted in new techniques and technologies for coping with oil spills and other environmental crises. Studies of the polar ice, the ocean floor, and the explosive activity of volcanoes yield insights into what the Earth was like in the past, describe its present state, and provide tools for predicting what it will be like in the future.

But sustainability includes more than just the environment. And so UNH research also includes broad areas like social and cultural heritage management, social and economic justice, diversity, environmental history and sociology, philosophy, community development and finance, and more.

 

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