Partners in Resilience

Since the Resilience Cohort program was founded in 2019:

17Local governments have completed greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories

22Local governments are completing a GHG inventory in 2021

13Local governments are writing or have adopted climate action plans

50percent of Indiana state population covered by a GHG inventory

25percent of state population will be covered under a community climate action plan

13.7M tonneseffective CO2 identified for elimination by communities in 2020 Resilience Cohort

This is an opportunity for our community to define what mitigating climate change looks like for us. ... I'm excited about this community-based approach using science to help inform how we develop policy.

Mayor Emily Styron of Zionsville, Ind. on her community's participation in the Resilience Cohort program

Beat the heat

Record-breaking heat swept the country from coast to coast in 2021, and Indiana was no exception. Amid the extreme heat, the Environmental Resilience Institute launched its Beat the Heat program, providing planning and data to help Hoosiers in Clarksville and Richmond cope with steadily rising summer temperatures.

The initial two-year phase of the program provides the two cities with planning and data to help them cope with the negative health impacts of summer heat using strategies such as deploying 24-hour cooling centers, increasing tree and vegetation cover, using building materials that reflect sunlight, and encouraging residents to hydrate and take breaks during the hottest times of the day.

The program, a collaboration with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, also provides each community with a full-time heat relief coordinator to lead these efforts.

A cloudy, orange sunset creating a silhouette of a non-descript city.

The program provides funding to hire full-time heat relief coordinators who will work with community members to identify the most vulnerable people and hottest places on high-heat days. Each Beat the Heat community will also receive data related to the impacts of extreme heat on residents' health as well as a map indicating locations of the community's most vulnerable populations. And both Richmond and Clarksville will be contributing to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration campaign to map the hottest parts of US cities.

The greater awareness of Hoosier habits, perceptions, and beliefs yielded by current and future Hoosier Life Surveys will help Indiana residents, scientists, businesses, and public officials build more robust and resilient communities. 

The Hoosier Life Survey is part of a comprehensive effort by IU researchers affiliated with the Environmental Resilience Institute, which is funded in part by the IU Grand Challenges program.

Understanding future climate change

A profile image of Broxton Bird.

The success of my research endeavors has really been made possible because of the participation of IUPUI students, both locally and in my international research.

Broxton Bird

Earth scientist Broxton Bird looks to the past to better project our climate-change future. Working with graduate and undergraduate students on the IUPUI campus, Bird studies lake sediment archives to uncover climate processes in past millennia and better understand how continued warming may impact water resources. From the same archives, he also draws information about human activities and how they changed along with the climate, which illuminates climate-society relationships going forward.

Bird, an associate professor in the School of Science, is an IUPUI 2021 Research Frontiers Trailblazer award recipient