Moving Forward with the Environment Initiative at MIT

August 02, 2013

To the Members of the MIT Community:

I wanted to share with you the process for moving forward with the environment initiative at MIT. We have two excellent reports for the planning of an environment initiative: The Report of the MIT Global Environment Initiative Planning Group and the Report of the Environmental Research Council. These complementary reports outline capabilities and exciting opportunities at MIT, from the perspectives of environmental science, engineering and policy.

On the one hand, because the activities across campus that relate to the environment are so diverse, it may not be feasible to define a compact highly centralized organization for the initiative. On the other hand, some organization will be needed to develop an effective platform for collaboration and leadership in the domain of environment that serves to allocate resources, coordinate fundraising, convene meetings and organize educational activities. To put these last organizational pieces into place as expeditiously as possible, I have asked Rob van der Hilst to chair and Markus Buehler and Eran Ben-Joseph to serve on an organization team. They will develop an implementation plan over the next two months that will enable me and the Vice President for Research, Maria Zuber, to launch the initiative this fall.

Our aim is to develop an initiative that is maximally enabling and encouraging of faculty, students and other members of the MIT community that want to participate, and one that fosters the growth of new research thrusts where needed. If you have ideas or suggestions I encourage you to contact one of the members of the organization team.


Chris Kaiser