The Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems is one of N-EWN’s founding partners, alongside the U.S. Army of Engineers, Engineering With Nature Initiative. Ultimately, our commitment to Engineering With Nature lies in our mission statement:

  • To advance the integration of natural and conventional infrastructure systems to strengthen long term resilience to flooding, sea level rise, drought, and other disruptions.
  • To empower communities, businesses, and institutions to deliver infrastructure strategies that equitably provide enhanced social, economic, and environmental benefits
  • To support informed decision making through interdisciplinary expertise, cutting edge tools and techniques, holistic graduate education and collaborative partnerships.

We have over 18 researchers from disciplines ranging from engineering to the social sciences to ecology, all striving toward a future with more resilient communities and ecosystems.

Learn about our research

Our research is designed to be put directly in the hands of our stakeholders, to be used as tools in creating real-world change. As part of N-EWN, and in partnership with the EWN team, we’re currently engaged in over 12 projects designed to overcome barriers to natural infrastructure adoption and accelerate the field. Read about them here.

We specialize in:

  • Natural infrastructure planning, design and evaluation of social, economic and environmental performance
  • Flood and drought management and modeling
  • Risk communication for communities and businesses
  • Water resources planning and management
  • Coastal adaptation planning for sea level rise
  • Infrastructure designs and standards that accommodate a changing environment (land use and climate)
  • Water governance and social justice issues
  • Strategic placement of dredge material
  • Interdisciplinary graduate education and training
  • Ecological engineering of river, wetland, forest, coastal and urban ecosystems

IRIS News Highlights

  • Engineering With Nature recently featured by U.S. Department of Defense

    Engineering With Nature recently featured by U.S. Department of Defense

    In a recent article, DOD Officials Highlight Climate and Energy Security Issues at International Conference, Assistant Secretary of the Army Rachel Jacobsen spoke to the Engineering With Nature initiative’s ability to help create resilient communities. “The Army is focused on solutions,” she said. “We use ‘Engineering with Nature’ to bolster infrastructure resilience, and we are working…



    N-EWN at ASCE INSPIRE Nov. 16-18, 2023 A number of N-EWN partners were represented at the American Society for Civil Engineers’ INSPIRE Conference this past November. The conference took place over three days (Thursday, Nov 16 – Saturday, Nov. 18) in Arlington, Virginia, and several of our affiliates gave presentations, showed posters, or spoke in…

  • N-EWN team to leverage AI, remote sensing for NASA-funded conservation project 

    N-EWN team to leverage AI, remote sensing for NASA-funded conservation project 

    In a grant project focused on levee setbacks, UGA scientists are filling a critical gap in biodiversity benefit assessment for USACE.  ATHENS, Ga., Nov. 9, 2023—NASA recently awarded $600,000 to a project spearheaded by University of Georgia scientists Charles van Rees and Seth Wenger. The project, funded by a Research Opportunities in Space and Earth…

Get in touch with our team on our site.