Developing an Engineering With Nature® (EWN) Approach for Resilience Through Military Installation and Community Engagement

Department of Defense Dept. of the Army -- Corps of Engineers
Posted on:

Application Deadline:

Expired

Type

Fellowships

Reference Number

W81EWF-21-SOI-0019

Background: Engineering With Nature® (EWN) is the intentional alignment of natural and engineering processes to efficiently and sustainably deliver economic, environmental and social benefits through collaborative processes. In turn, sustainable development of water resources infrastructure is supported by solutions that beneficially integrate engineering and natural systems. With recent advances in the fields of engineering and ecology, there is an opportunity to combine these fields of practice into a single collaborative and cost-effective approach for infrastructure development and environmental management. For more information, please visit: www.engineeringwithnature.org. The primary goal of the project will be to increase resilience for community development using natural infrastructure. To that end, this CESU will facilitate connections between military installations and communities that share interconnected physical and social infrastructure. To accomplish this goal, the CESU will conduct research as well as develop and deliver outreach, education, and a planning and implementation process that promotes community resilience while emphasizing Engineering With Nature (EWN) practices and concepts in order to effectively and efficiently further the missions of the relevant military installations while advancing social, environmental, and economic prosperity and resilience in the surrounding communities. Specific research goals of this initiative include: Develop basic science, cutting across engineering, environmental, and social sciences, concerning predictions about the natural, social, technological processes interacting to shape community resilience and efforts to address vulnerabilities. Explore system processes and vulnerabilities across spatial and temporal scales. Apply knowledge developed from social science investigations into the functioning of resilience planning networks and infrastructure investment systems. Provide expertise and technical resources to develop test sites and pilot projects for ongoing research project that can also address immediate resilience needs. Further the understanding of the relationship between installation resilience, community resilience, and the local military mission Develop communication channels to build among communities and an understanding of resilience principals, emphasizing EWN practices. Work directly with relevant stakeholders to develop fundamental scientific research questions, applied research questions, and demonstration projects. Develop stronger connections among various elements (e.g., military, commercial, industrial, residential recreational, etc. ) that compose planned and/or existing communities. In turn, use these connections as a means to understand their shared infrastructures, both physical and social, the climate and natural hazard vulnerabilities to those associated systems, and the opportunities for collaboratively addressing vulnerabilities and improving resilience Engage multiple constituencies and diverse institutions, recognizing that broad participation that includes historically under-represented voices can lead to new and better ideas. Connections to and engagement with tribal organizations are of particular significance. Establish a communication platform that results in the timely delivery of informational products and/or engagements across the EWN network. Example products originating and subsequently disseminated from a communication platform to include: workshops/symposia, news articles, videos, documentaries, graphics, reporting of case studies, technical notes, journal articles, etc. Additionally, a successful application should include information that is pertinent to the following: Access to state-of-the-art research facilities to conduct basic research into relevant resilience concepts. Established outreach and engagement networks in coastal and inland areas such as through land and sea grant institutions. Experience in strategic planning and/or community visioning and related practices, and the ability to use diverse written and visual media for outreach, engagement, and communication. Previous or ongoing work with the diverse elements (e.g., military, commercial, industrial, residential, recreational, etc.) that comprise complex, planned and/or existing communities. Ability to provide education and training to diverse audiences both through remote and in-person methods. Capacity to rapidly scale-up engagement and planning efforts to address needs across a region or nationwide Brief Description of Anticipated Work: Required Work Objectives: The following objectives are required for this CESU-funded project. Year one (1) will establish the initial structure of the project and includes tasks that support the following objectives. If funded, year two (2) and year (3) would continue to expand major elements of the project and build a diverse portfolio of collaborative EWN projects and engagements. Objective 1: Increasing Resilience by Identifying Existing Infrastructure Vulnerabilities as well as Exploring Potential EWN Interventions. The successful team will conduct research that cuts across engineering, environmental and social sciences to identify and address climate and natural hazard vulnerabilities to existing and/or planned communities, including military installations, through use of EWN techniques and practices. Objective 2: Incorporating Knowledge About How Interconnections with the Physical and Social Infrastructure of Surrounding Communities Influences Resilience. Research efforts will include the identification and characterization of physical infrastructure of military installations and planned/existing communities and the shared infrastructure across a diverse number of elements (e.g., commercial, industrial, residential, recreational, etc.) within those communities. At a high-level, research associated with this objective will also include: the characterization of both physical and social parameters that influence connectivity, identification of climate and natural hazard vulnerabilities at a systems level, and collaborative evaluations/analysis of EWN strategies and features that are initially considered and prioritized for addressing vulnerabilities and improving resilience. Objective 3: Characterizing System Processes and Deployment of EWN Demonstration Projects. This objective will focus on the following research priorities: (i) work directly with relevant stakeholders to develop fundamental scientific research questions, applied research questions, and demonstration projects ; (ii) conduct research that integrates, biological, ecological, engineering, environmental, and social sciences in order to more fully understand and predict the dynamic relationship between natural, social, technological processes that shape community resilience and address vulnerabilities; and (iii) explore system processes and vulnerabilities across spatial and temporal scales. Objective 4: Collaboratively Develop EWN Projects to Address Identified Vulnerabilities. Building on the research and analyses conducted in the other objectives, this objective will provide expertise and technical resources to develop test sites and pilot field projects in order to research the efficacy of EWN practices and further ongoing research projects while addressing immediate resilience needs. It is anticipated that the culmination of these efforts in the first year will be the initiation of 3-5 R&D EWN projects, which ultimately lead to expanded technology transfer opportunities. The breadth of projects is strengthened by the caliber of multi-disciplinary researchers that integrate capabilities, resources, and expertise to target very deliberative endpoints that advance EWN research. Applied field research projects critical to the overall success of an EWN solution. As such, this objective seeks to integrate research projects with a diverse number of collaborators, in addition to the core participants (i.e., members of the successful team and USACE’s EWN researchers). Demonstration projects may include embedding team members in communities with major military facilities to serve an extension and coordination function for resilience planning. Selection and/or prioritization of demonstration projects would be determined based on a system-level opportunity assessment and/or restrictions as well as other considerations specific to environmental conditions, collaboration with partners, suitability for monitoring and modeling, access to informative data (existing and acquired); public interest; input of collaborative funding, etc. Objective 5: Establishing Communication Channels that Advance Resilience through EWN. This objective will focus on research that explores, recommends, develops, and optimizes communication channels that build ongoing relationships and enhance trust among communities while also providing an understanding of resilience principals (emphasizing EWN practices). When conducting this research, it is expected that the work will expand our understanding of the relationship between military installations and community resilience. The selected team will work with appropriate EWN researchers to conduct this research and ultimately propose techniques/practice for initiating and maintaining communication channels dedicated to advancing the resilience of military installations and surrounding communities. Research efforts will also include development of tools and instructional information that expands communication channels between community-based stakeholders, and communications products will also result in innovative methods for increasing resilience. Implementing, operating, and maintaining recommended EWN approaches and features would also be a direct outcome of more effective communication and educational channels, which are derived from this effort. During the first year, it is anticipated that researchers associated with USACE and the selected team will initiate 3-5 R&D EWN projects that result in advances in communication channels. The breadth of projects is strengthened by the caliber of multi-disciplinary researchers that integrate capabilities, resources, and expertise to target very deliberative endpoints that advance EWN research. A successful application would likely include a team of investigators with knowledge in a broad array of disciplines including, but not limited to engineering, environmental sciences, ecology, meteorology or climatology, landscape architecture, community planning, economics, social sciences, law, and public policy.
Categories: Science and Technology and other Research and Development.

More Information

Posted on:

Application Deadline:

Expired

Type

Fellowships

Reference Number

W81EWF-21-SOI-0019

United States