Mission: The Global Change and Sustainability Center is an interdisciplinary hub catalyzing research on global change and sustainability.
VISION: Our vision is a collaborative interdisciplinary research community that generates and disseminates the knowledge required to address the urgent need for adaptation, mitigation, and resilience in response to current global change. Uniting faculty across departments, we advance innovative research through engagement and training. We incubate leaders, initiate and deepen faculty relationships, and expand and share knowledge. We facilitate new approaches to responsible management and viability of natural, social, and economic systems, working towards a future where humans and ecosystems thrive.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES: Created in 2009 by faculty as a program to serve students, faculty, and members of the academic community, the center is primarily oriented to faculty needs, contributions, and innovation. The mission, activities, and investments made by the GCSC are driven by the urgent need for new transdisciplinary solutions to complex sustainability challenges. Our culture of inclusivity and partnership welcomes a diversity of perspectives and approaches to research. Central to building relationships between differing perspectives is a sense of humility, openness, and respect. Supporting current research, connecting research to practice, and empowering the next generation of scholars with broadened perspectives are critical to our mission.
The GCSC is an interdisciplinary hub catalyzing research on global change and sustainability. We do this through a variety of strategic actions, including creating opportunities for researchers to engage with one another, supporting faculty research efforts, supporting student research, training and professional development, and more.
GCSC-affiliated faculty have noted research strengths in water, air, climate, ecological dynamics, environmental change, humans and their environment, energy, food systems, and environmental policy and law.
VALUES: We recognize that research and scholarship benefit from a range of experiences, perspectives, and approaches, and that inclusion and diversity are fundamental to our success.
Given that the Salt Lake Valley has always been a gathering place for Indigenous peoples, we acknowledge that this land, which is named for the Ute Tribe, is the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute, and Ute Tribes and is a crossroad for Indigenous peoples.
HISTORY: In 2009, united by a shared interest in interdisciplinary research and graduate training, faculty from four colleges founded the Global Change and Ecosystem Center, with the goal of bridging colleges, departments, and disciplines to promote environmental research and training.
The center initially included ~20 faculty from four colleges. Membership has expanded continuously, and the affiliated colleges today represent a broad spectrum of faculty interested in sustainability, dynamics and adaptation in ecological systems, climate systems, and interrelated impacts between global changes and society. To better reflect the range of interests, in April 2012, the name was changed to the Global Change and Sustainability Center (GCSC). In today’s organizational structure, the GCSC is the research arm of the University of Utah’s Sustainability Office.