My twice alma mater, George Mason University, fueled by a visionary $6 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Accelerating Research Translation (ART) program, is undertaking a transformative initiative to address the pressing challenges of climate change. The four-year cooperative agreement, titled “ART: Translating Research to Practice to Create Climate-Ready Communities Across Virginia,” commencing on February 1, symbolizes a significant stride in empowering the Mason faculty and their partner, the Center for Climate Strategies. Together, they aim to collaboratively produce science-based solutions, enhancing community resilience, particularly in underserved regions within the state.
NSF’s ART: https://new.nsf.gov/funding/opportunities/accelerating-research-translation-art
Inspired by the successful model of the Virginia Climate Center (VCC), the initiative prioritizes community engagement through targeted outreach to leaders and influencers. As part of the program, MN Associates Inc. will play a pivotal role in monitoring and evaluating its implementation, collaborating with the University of Kentucky, the mentoring institution for Mason.
Media release from UKY: https://uknow.uky.edu/research/uk-partner-george-mason-university-first-its-kind-award-nsf
The program’s focus includes translational research projects addressing immediate concerns, such as flood hazards and urban heat impacts, with a broader scope envisioned. The collaboration with MN Associates Inc. enhances the program’s ability to monitor progress effectively.
As one of the 18 schools awarded an ART cooperative agreement, Mason aligns with the NSF’s broader investment of over $100 million. The program underscores Mason’s commitment to understanding risks, devising innovative solutions, and taking climate action.
Virginia’s resilience needs, exacerbated by nine climate disasters in 2018 and 2019, underscore the initiative’s urgency. Beyond immediate impacts, the program seeks to substantially reduce long-term costs associated with climate-driven effects.
The inclusion of MN Associates Inc. in monitoring and evaluating the program emphasizes the collaborative nature of this initiative. As the ART programs establish themselves, there is hope to extend this model to support research translation in other sustainability domains, fostering a resilient and sustainable future.
Media release from GMU: https://www.gmu.edu/news/2024-01/6-million-nsf-grant-will-translate-research-practice-help-local-communities-become
Stay tuned for updates!
PC: Evan Cantwell/GMU campus in Fall.