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

  • Thesis Defense: Modeling Oyster Reef Resilience with Rebecca Stanley

    Thesis Defense: Modeling Oyster Reef Resilience with Rebecca Stanley

    Join us for a N-EWN graduate student’s thesis defense! Rebecca Stanley, MS candidate in Civil & Environmental Engineering with Emphasis in Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering, University of Georgia will defend her thesis: “Modeling Oyster Reef Resilience as a Form of Nature-Based Infrastructure in Response to Local Hydrodynamic Conditions” The application of nature-based infrastructure (NBI) has become […]


  • Rainwater Harvesting with Cisterns

    Rainwater Harvesting with Cisterns

    Whether it’s at the turn of a faucet or a bucket from the well, every person in the world relies on having clean water. In Ceará, Brazil, where water scarcity is an issue, communities rely on collected rainfall in cisterns to ensure that they have access to water through the year. Cydney Seigerman, a PhD […]


  • Sizing up marshes for flood prevention

    Sizing up marshes for flood prevention

    Just how big do coastal marshes need to be to do their job as protectors of the coastline? N-EWN researchers from the University of Georgia, Viyaktha Hithaishi Hewageegana, Matt Bilskie, Brock Woodson, and Brian Bledsoe investigated the matter by running simulations that tested how changes in marsh geometry impacted the storm surge and amount of […]