Skip to main content

Grand Challenges: Addressing Climate Challenges for a Sustainable Earth

Grant Type: Institutional Grant
Topic: Climate Change
Colleges Represented: CMNS, BSOS

Grand Challenges Grants Program


Humanity’s home, the Earth, faces existential threats due to climate change. Monitoring, predicting, managing, and mitigating these impacts at the regional scale is a major challenge. There is a societal need to address challenges in:

  • Extreme Weather and Natural Disasters in a Changing World
  • Agriculture and Food Security
  • Air and Water Quality 

This initiative will use a Research-to-Impact philosophy that builds on UMD research to reimagine: 

  • Experiential education for students that integrates across multiple disciplines and draws on the expertise of two colleges.
  • Monitoring and prediction to help protect MD communities from climate impacts. 

This initiative extends beyond the academic and will benefit the students and the people of Maryland by:

  • Characterizing regional vulnerabilities to Extreme Weather through high-resolution monitoring and predictions of time, location, and severity to support regional policy and response preparation
  • Correlating socioeconomic factors in Agriculture and Food Security with high-resolution scientific data to help policymakers and farmers optimize agriculture productivity and sustainability in the face of climate change
  • Identifying the causal factors, including climate change and establishing mitigations for local Air and Water quality, and the resulting health implications, and the environmental justice implications.

Team Members:

PI: Ellen Williams (CMNS), Distinguished University Professor and Director, Earth Systems Science Interdisciplinary Center

Timothy Canty (CMNS), Associate Professor and Director, Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences

James Farquhar (CMNS), Distinguished University Professor and Chair, Department of Geology

Tatiana Loboda (BSOS), Professor and Chair, Department of Geographical Sciences

Sumant Nigam (CMNS), Professor and Chair, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, and Director, Maryland Mesonet

Back to Top