Idaho Community-engaged Resilience for Energy-Water Systems
Idaho's new $24 million NSF EPSCoR RII project, I-CREWS, aims to address the impact of climate, population, and technological change on energy-water (E-W) systems.
The project will advance research, education, workforce development initiatives, and partnership capacity in Idaho in two strategic directions. First, it will leverage existing academic research strengths in various sciences to build linkages. Second, it will expand Idaho's research capacity in computational modeling, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
Using a range of Idaho's communities, landscapes, and watersheds, the main objectives of I-CREWS are to:
- evaluate E-W configurations for various resilience strategies,
- model E-W configurations and their resilience,
- develop future scenarios for E-W trajectories and their resilience.
I-CREWS integrates local knowledge, governance dynamics, and advanced modeling. It involves over 35 core university and college faculty, plus 8 new early-career hires, 10 postdocs, and 20 graduate students while supporting 31 Vertically and Community Integrated Projects designed to reach over 500 students and community members. Partnerships outside of academia involve a wide range of entities, from state and federal agencies, public and private utilities, Idaho National Laboratory, to Tribal nations.
I-CREWS will support a robust Seed Funding program guided by external peer merit review. This mechanism will provide the ability to invest in emerging research and community-based education opportunities and/or pursue high-risk, high-impact research.
I-CREWS will increase our empirical and theoretical understanding of how social systems, such as governance dynamics and local knowledge, can inform behaviors, trade-offs, and E-W futures in relation to climate, population, and technological change.
The motivating research hypothesis is that communities undergoing changes in their E-W systems can be characterized at different scales to determine patterns of multisystemic resilience to change. Thus, E-W system resilience will be more effectively and equitably evaluated, shaped, and implemented by incorporating coproduced local knowledge, and governance dynamics with advanced data analysis and modeling of stressors.
Two cross-cutting research questions will guide the research and the capacity-building:
- What role do trade-offs and changes in E-W systems, including storage, efficiency/conservation, local knowledge, and governance dynamics, play in determining resilience strategies or options to climate-driven, population, and technological change?
- How does incorporating diverse ways of knowing, community engagement, and advanced modeling improve the parameterization of pathways associated with more equitable and resilient E-W futures?
The project's approaches and outcomes, including an E-W Data Hub and a Futures Foundry, will be nationally transferable.
The project emphasizes community engagement and the co-production of knowledge and will conduct multiple initiatives to increase the participation of members of underrepresented groups in STEM. We will build on models of equitable STEM education while developing researchers' abilities to collaborate more effectively with communities and work with students to build the technical skills necessary to fill E-W systems workforce needs.
I-CREWS will support WFD and student training through high-context, community-engaged courses and projects that are co-created with community members to address E-W systems issues. A Tribal Nation Research Network (TNRN) will be developed to recenter knowledge exchange between Tribes and Idaho universities, focusing on collaboration through the development of tribally-originated research.
The project will also support over 120 undergraduate research summer experiences that will provide meaningful research opportunities. Innovative programs for faculty professional development will be expanded to 140 faculty across all three research universities, creating a cohort of researchers supported and enabled to pursue transformative and community-engaged scholarship.
I-CREWS will help determine how urban, rural, and Tribal communities can adapt to climate, population, and technological change and will translate this knowledge to help achieve more resilient communities.
I-CREWS responds directly to NSF grand challenges of climate and resilience research and innovation and understanding the interplay between availability and distribution of energy and water. Likewise, it addresses NSF’s Sustainable and Clean Energy theme and is aligned with NSF's 10 Big Ideas of Harnessing the Data Revolution and Growing Convergence Research. I-CREWS is well-aligned with the State's new Science and Technology (S&T) plan, directly supporting research and economic development in energy systems, natural resource use and conservation, and systems engineering. This alignment coupled with the promise of I-CREWS increasing collaboration among the State's universities and colleges served as a backdrop to the theme's selection by the Idaho EPSCoR State Committee.
University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho
Boise State University, Boise, Idaho
Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho
Coeur d'Alene Tribe, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Fort Hall, Idaho
College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls, Idaho
Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston, Idaho
College of Western Idaho, Nampa, Idaho
Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), Idaho Falls, Idaho
Idaho STEM Action Center, Boise, Idaho
Idaho Power, Boise, Idaho
Idaho Consumer Owned Utilities Association, Boise, Idaho
Idaho Department of Water Resources, Boise, Idaho
Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho
Avista Utilities, Spokane, Washington
Nez Perce Tribe, Lapwai, Idaho
|Boise State University|
|Kathy Araujo||Director of the Energy Policy Institute|
|Brittany Brand||Associate Professor, Department of Geoscience|
|Lan Li||Associate Professor, Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering|
|Donna Llewellyn||Exec Dir, Institute for Inclusive & Transformative Scholarship|
|Jodi Mead||Professor of Mathematics|
|Erick Robinson||Assistant professor, Department of Anthropology|
|Mojtaba Sadegh||Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering|
|Brian Wampler||Professor, Political Science|
|Matt Williamson||Assistant Professor, Human-Environment Systems|
Idaho State University
|Colden Baxter||Professor, Biological Sciences|
|Vince Bowen||Exec Dir/Chair, Energy Systems Technology & Education Center|
|Morey Burnham||Program Director/Assistant Professor of Sociology|
|Ben Crosby||Professor and Dept. Chair, Geosciences|
|Kitty Griswold||Research Administrator|
|Laticia Herkshan||Tribal Scholar/Undergrad Advisor & Mentor in Geosciences|
|Leslie Kerby||Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, Computer Science|
|Sonia Martinez||Director, UG Research & Outreach, Research Integrity & Compliance|
|Keith Weber||Director, GIS Training & Research Center|
University of Idaho
|Lilian Alessa||Professor, Co-director of the Center for Resilient Communities|
|R.A. Borrelli||Associate Professor, Nuclear Engineering|
|Erin Brooks||Professor, Agriculture Engineer, Dept. of Soil & Water Systems|
|Dan Cronan||Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture|
|Karla Eitel||Dir, McCall Field Campus/Professor of Place-based Environmental Education|
|Dylan Hedden-Nicely||Associate Professor of Law/Director, Native American Law Program|
|Katherine Himes||Dir, McClure Center for Public Policy Research|
|Brian Johnson||Distinguished Professor, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories|
|Hangtian Lei||Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering|
|Roger Lew||Associate Professor, Virtual Technology & Design|
|Tim Link||Professor of Hydrology; Director, Water Resources Graduate Program|
|Luke Sheneman||Director of Research Computing and Data Services|
|Alistair Smith||Professor and Chair, Department of Earth & Spatial Sciences|
|Terry Soule||Professor and Chair, Department of Computer Sciences|
|Shanny Spang Gion||Visiting Tribal Scholar, College of Natural Resources|
|Laura Laumatia||Environmental Program Manager, Coeur d'Alene Tribe|
|Sammy Matsaw Jr.||Research Scientist in Fish and Wildlife, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes|
Idaho 2-4 year Colleges
|Bill Ebener||Adjunct Faculty, Agriculture, College of Southern Idaho|
|Keegan Schmidt||Professor of Earth Science, Lewis Clark State College|
|Stephanie Sevigny||PUI Liaison/Adjunct Physics Instructor, College of Western Idaho|
|Nancy Johnston||Associate Professor, Chemistry, Lewis Clark State College|