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Sustainability Research

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Sustainability Research

Current Research Topics

The University of Oklahoma’s research agenda perpetuates the understanding of environmental and sustainability concerns and creates solutions to these challenges.  Some of the research initiatives that OU researchers have chosen to pursue and have received funding for include:

  • Advancing the understanding of Earth’s natural exchanges of carbon between the land, atmosphere and ocean.
  • Analyzing microbe-climate interactions in greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4 and N2O) from grasslands and croplands in Oklahoma.
  • Producing a new generation of high efficiency solar cells with the potential to impact utility-scale energy generation, increase global energy capacity and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Developing an online, interactive course designed to provide an integrative understanding of the components of the climate system, the range of natural climate variability, external drivers of climate change such as anthropogenic contributions of greenhouse gases, impacts of changing climate, and adaptation and mitigation policy options.
  • Investigating regional vulnerability of permafrost carbon to climate change.
  • Assisting tribal governments to prepare and adapt their built environments to climate change through a Tribal Climate Change Planning Initiative. 
  • Examining cross-scale interactions among climate-change, land use change, and river water quality.
  • Assessing the ecosystem stress response function of climate change for the Arkansas-Red River Basin.
  • Using climate and rainfall models to determine the impacts of climate change on water flows in the Red River Basin to help inform decision makers regarding water needs and policy.
  • Adapting socio-ecological systems to increased climate variability. 
  • Comparing the sustainability of a compressed earth block house to a conventionally framed house built to national green building standards. 
  • Assessing recent trends and understanding future vulnerability and adaptation to changing climate and population dynamics. 
  • Evaluating high-resolution ensemble forecasting for wind energy. 
  • Creating high-resolution regional climate projections to guide real-world, long-term collaborative water management planning relevant to government decision making.