Seed Funding

University of Oregon Resilience Initiative

Interdisciplinary Seed Funding

Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation



The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation is pleased to announce the 2019-2020 Resilience Initiative Interdisciplinary Seed Funding awardees!

Read the Around the O article on the awardees and the seed funding types, or continue reading below for detailed descriptions of project topics and grant recipients.

Check back soon for the 2020-2021 RFP. View the 2019-2020 RFP here.


Convening grant awardees:

Oregon’s water future: Climate change, environmental disasters and community resilience

Alai Reyes-Santos, Department of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies

To address serious and escalating statewide risks to water resources, OEC, alongside WP and CCC, is engaging in a multi-stakeholder campaign to secure $1 billion over 10 years in new water resource protection funding. Dr. Reyes-Santos will co-lead the project with these organizations to facilitate gatherings for rural Indigenous communities and communities of color to articulate needs, priorities, and resources they believe must be considered as government puts in place legislation to protect Oregon’s water future. The process will also inform an academic article and a book about how to effectively facilitate conversations around environmental needs and conflict among rural indigenous communities and peoples of color in Oregon.


An integrative collaborative research network focused on the human dimension of environmental change in Southeast Asia

Kathie Carpenter, Department of International Studies

Alison Carter, Department of Anthropology

Estelle Chaussard, Department of Earth Sciences

 Krista McGuire, Department of Biology

Tuong Vu, Department of Political Science/Department of Asian Studies

This project will implement a series of convening activities aimed at identifying and connecting UO scholars who have a current or potential interest in the human dimensions of climate change in Southeast Asia. They will consult with a professional convener to conceive and design integrative and collaborative research projects addressing this topic with an aim to connect scholars across divisions, such as natural scientists and social scientists, for projects that integrate the methods, questions and distinct strengths of each. Southeast Asia is recognized as one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change (Eckstein et al. 2019); the works resulting from the proposed across-fields collaborations will develop mitigation approaches applicable to Southeast Asia and in other parts of the world.


Piloting grants:

Co-producing restorative fire: A transdisciplinary approach to indigenous fire stewardship and the restoration of forest resilience

Michael Coughlan, Institute for a Sustainable Environment

Bart Johnson, Department of Landscape Architecture

Kari Norgaard, Department of Sociology

Dan Gavin, Department of Geography

The team’s research and outreach efforts leverage existing research projects and initiatives throughout Western North America, bringing scholars (and their data), land managers, and indigenous stakeholders into constructive communication. Pilot study research will initiate a knowledge co-production approach to (1) dendrochronological, archaeological, and paleoecological investigations of indigenous fire stewardship in Cascadian forest-grassland ecotones and, (2) the development of a transferable framework for researching the role and significance of indigenous fire stewardship in forest resilience across the Pacific Northwest and in other mountain forest systems further afield. Their pilot and proposal efforts will incorporate Native American resource managers and traditional practitioners who have a stake in the interpretation and stewardship of their cultural and natural heritage and whose perspectives are critical to the research process and outcomes. 


Moving Eugene more sustainably: What affects transportation choices in downtown Eugene

Rebecca Lewis, Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management

Yizhao Yang, Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management

This study examines transportation attitudes and behavior that relate to the decision to drive rather than take transit, bike, or walk. This project will use Eugene, OR as a pilot study to examine barriers and affordances in transportation decision making. The researchers examine travel behavior from a social psychology lens to understand how greater knowledge of transportation opportunities and transportation’s environmental implications interact with personal choices to affect travel mode decisions. This research team includes faculty from three colleges and experts in planning, marketing, sustainable business, and psychology.  


Integrated social, environmental and economic justice framework to build resilient communities for vulnerable unhoused populations

      Yekang Ko, Department of Landscape Architecture

Dr. Ko’s research develops a new transdisciplinary approach for building urban resilience, specifically addressing the critical needs of vulnerable unhoused populations who face increasing environmental challenges. Leveraging the award-winning Landscape for Humanity (L4H) initiative, professor Ko and their team will develop a systemic approach that encompasses human-centered planning, design, and management that supports appropriate services, social integration, reciprocity, fiscal sustainability, and climate resilience, which will ultimately allow the unhoused to make a step-by-step transition to affordable housing.


Grid enhancing resilient housing

Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, Department of Architecture

Kory Russel, Department of Landscape Architecture

      Heather Brinton, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center

Josh Skov, Department of Management

This research team will develop a modular housing prototype that uses the disruptive new technology of mass-timber panelized digital manufacturing coupled with distributed energy production/storage and water reclamation microgrids to support new, systems-based approaches to creating affordable housing and resilient communities.


Postdoctoral scholar:

Resilience, ice and society: Probing the timescales of human interactions with cryospheric change

      Dave Sutherland, Department of Earth Sciences

      Mark Carey, Department of Environmental Studies, Department of History

Dave Sutherland and Mark Carey propose a more nuanced, time-focused approach to glacier change and resilience. They examine scientific issues of glacier change and impacts on various marine and land-based ecosystems, as well as analyze how different stakeholders and human groups are affected by the timing of specific changes in socio-cryospheric systems across the greater Northwest region.


Questions about the Resilience Initiative, the application or submission process may be directed to Research Development Services,