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

  • Nature-Based Solutions for Biodiversity Handbook

    Nature-Based Solutions for Biodiversity Handbook

    A N-EWN team from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the University of Georgia recently published the new Nature-Based Solutions for Biodiversity Handbook, and handbook that uses landscape architecture renderings to demonstrate how communities can use nature-based solutions to protect their communities while promoting biodiversity. Check out the handbook here!


  • Patterns, drivers, and a predictive model of dam removal cost in the United States

    Patterns, drivers, and a predictive model of dam removal cost in the United States

    Patterns, drivers, and a predictive model of dam removal cost in the United States In past decades, dams were installed across the United States to help control the flow of rivers and supply water or hydroelectric energy to communities. However, these aging structures pose public safety threats, as well as disrupting aquatic ecosystems and harming…


  • Engineering With Nature featured in NPR

    Engineering With Nature featured in NPR

    Last week, the Engineering With NatureĀ® movement was referenced in an NPR article that covered the risk of flooding in California due to a complex confluence of issues: record-breaking precipitation over the winter, aging flood infrastructure, and development that crowds the rivers’ natural floodplains. The article highlights the Engineering With Nature practice of giving rivers…