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

  • N-EWN Researchers Team Up with The Nature Conservancy to protect Georgia’s coast

    N-EWN Researchers Team Up with The Nature Conservancy to protect Georgia’s coast

    Story by Stacia Pelletier | Contact: Matt Bilskie New interdisciplinary pilot program explores funding salt marsh preservation and recovery How much is a salt marsh worth? That’s one of the questions the University of Georgia and The Nature Conservancy will try to answer as they launch a pilot study funded by Georgia Sea Grant to determine the socioeconomic value of salt marsh ecosystems in Georgia.  […]


  • N-EWN Partners win University of Georgia, Office of Research Awards

    N-EWN Partners win University of Georgia, Office of Research Awards

    This past week, the University of Georgia’s Office of Research announced the winners of the 43rd annual Research Awards. Sponsored by the University of Georgia Research Foundation, the awards recognize UGA faculty, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students for excellence and innovation in research, scholarly creativity, technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. N-EWN and IRIS had several faculty […]


  • Towards principles and policy levers for advancing living shorelines: new article published in Journal of Environmental Management

    Towards principles and policy levers for advancing living shorelines: new article published in Journal of Environmental Management

    Living shorelines provide an attractive alternative to traditional shoreline armoring, such as bulkheads and seawalls. They stabilize shorelines, reduce erosion, and decrease wave energy, as well as providing recreation opportunities for nearby communities. Before they can be adopted across the landscape, however, there are several policy barriers that must be adapted. N-EWN members from the […]