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Institute for a Sustainable Environment (ISE)

In this Section
Philip Hopke, Director; Alan Rossner, Associate Director

The Clarkson Institute for a Sustainable Environment facilitates the development, promotion and operation of scholarly research, education and creative activities within the University and among its partners, with the specific aim to understand the natural and built environments and how conflict and completion within these systems can be resolved in a sustainable manner.  The Center fosters links and collaboration among faculty, students and external partners who will participate actively in the activities required to meet its vision of excellence.

The Clarkson Institute for a Sustainable Environment serves as an umbrella organization to coordinate the various activities of the Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science (CARES), the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSES), the Great Rivers Center (GRC), and the Center for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure (SCTI).

The Clarkson Institute for a Sustainable Environment is home to Clarkson’s environmental research activities; graduate degree programs with a focus on environmental science, environmental engineering, policy; campus environmental initiatives; and outreach programs.   

Recognizing that environmental problems increasingly require the expertise of many disciplines and points of view, the Institute promotes partnerships and interdisciplinary activities that enable the integration of basic and applied research, providing the increased understanding about environmental systems that is needed for informed decisions and policies. Faculty members from all of Clarkson’s Schools (Arts & Sciences, Business, and Engineering) are affiliated with the Institute.

Research conducted under the Institute includes a wide range of environmental science, engineering and policy issues. Current major emphases are housed in the Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science (CARES). Some of the other research areas include the fate of pollutants in air, water and soil systems; treatment technologies; fluid flow in environmental systems; and sustainable energy systems.

A student majoring in any desired field can concentrate electives in a compatible environmentally related area such as Environmental Engineering, Environmental Health Science or Environmental Science and Policy. Graduate students may obtain an M.S. or Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering (ES&E).

The Clarkson Institute for a Sustainable Environment sponsors workshops and seminars to foster links among its members and facilitate environmental activities. Outreach activities include the University’s sustainability initiative, a K-12 Project-Based Learning outreach program that introduces middle school students to environmental problem solving and research experiences for undergraduate students.

Further information can be found at