Environmental research is one of 10 high level themes in the EU Framework 7 funding programme (2007-2013), and will be central to its successor Horizon 2020. The environment itself is a dynamic and complex system. Physical and life scientists, engineers, educators, and social scientists must work collaboratively to understand environmental systems that, partly owing to human activity, may be approaching thresholds for irreversible change. This ethos forms the foundation for the Ryan Institute’s mission in the area of Environmental Research. A sample of ongoing projects includes (but not exclusive to):
- ConsEnSus: Is a cross-border household analysis of CONSumption, ENvironment and SUStainability in Ireland, that examines four key areas of household consumption – transport, energy, water and food. These currently impact negatively on the environment and inhibit our ability to achieve sustainable development.
- Atmospheric Composition Change: This is a focus for projects of the Institute’s Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS). The aims are to quantify key atmospheric processes and transport emission inventories. These data will be fed into predictive systems such as a coupled ocean-atmosphere model and marine ecosystem models that are crucial to accurate climate change scenarios.
- Novel Agri-Engineering Solutions: This collaborative project, involving researchers from Civil Engineering at NUI Galway and Teagasc, is looking at developing technology for improving surface and ground water at critical source areas. One projected output is to provide a decision support blueprint for Irish Farmers.
For more information on Environmental research at the Ryan Institute, please consult the Research section of the website. Key pages for this research include Climate Change, Environment and Health, Environmental Technologies, Modelling and Observation, and Socio-Economics and Policy.