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About the Institute

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There has been a loud national and international outcry for the need for resilient communities that are capable of adapting to natural and human-made disasters, and rebounding back quickly and with strength. Resilience theory provides a number of conceptual and analytical tools for understanding the ability of social-ecological-systems to respond to a nonlinear change or disturbance. The need for resilient communities ties to observations of climate change, signs of scarce resources, increased energy challenges and demands, environmental depletion in critical areas, and the need to sustain economic growth through entrepreneurship. The above challenges and needs have revealed that classical designs, laws and economic methods do not yield resilient systems but rather optimal systems that are sensitive to change. Current approaches need to be holistically integrated and redeveloped to enable human-centered resilient communities.

UNM Resilience Institute will be focused on studying and developing technological and engineering solutions on resilience. Resilience concepts are interdisciplinary by nature and include the fields of science, engineering, computing, economics, ecology, geography, anthropology, psychology, community planning, management, and law among others. We aim to actively engage these differences and build on this diversity while also creating a shared vision for enabling resilient communities. Ultimately, we aim to promote transdisciplinary research to advance resilient infrastructure as a basic national priority.

UNM Resilience Institute comes in response to this national need by the National Academies of Science and Engineering, and plans to help the nation move from a reactive approach to disasters, to a proactive stance. With its own growing population and potential for disaster, specifically droughts, wildfires and flash floods, New Mexico and the southwestern United States is a bellwether for worldwide trends in disaster resilience and an ideal location for a strong, collaborative research program focused on resilience integrating the university, national labs and the private sector.