Norwich Launches New Center for Global Resilience and Security

Norwich Launches New Center for Global Resilience and Security

Norwich University Office of Communications

Norwich University President Richard W. Schneider along with Distinguished Leader in Residence General Gordon R. Sullivan, USA (Ret.) ’59 launched the Center for Global Resilience and Security (CGRS) with a special luncheon and roundtable discussions focused on community resilience and security, on Friday, March 3.

The Center for Global Resilience and Security (CGRS) is a Norwich University research center of excellence dedicated to the advancement of the interrelationships between human resilience and sense of security in the face of global challenges. CGRS is focused on challenges in the areas of climate change, water, energy, and infrastructure and their impact on resilience and security. CGRS will craft creative, innovative, and sustainable solutions for building resilient communities, through inter-disciplinary research and design collaboration.

The center’s director is Dr. Tara Kulkarni, assistant professor in Norwich University’s Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Construction Management.

Kulkarni teaches environmental engineering focused courses and serves as an academic and student club advisor. She serves on the University’s Honors Council and Undergraduate Research committee, and has led and facilitated several faculty roundtables.

She has also been the engineering instructor for K-8 teachers in the Vermont Science Initiative’s Engineering and Science Summer Academy for three years and mentors newer Civil engineering faculty through the ExCEEd workshop series run by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Her research interests are in green infrastructure, sustainable water resources management, and climate change related disaster resilience through engineering innovation. She has previously worked in engineering positions at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and at Environmental Management Center in India, where she was involved in academic and corporate training, case study development, and writing corporate sustainability policies.

The March 3 launch brought together over 40 people from across the university (including students) along with leaders in the area of sustainable communities from around the state of Vermont to meet and discuss topics of current interest. Roundtable discussions focused on how the center can contribute to solving problems of energy, water, infrastructure and the impacts of climate change.

One major initiative already underway includes CGRS taking over the role of coordinating the Resilient Vermont Network from the Institute of Sustainable Communities (ISC). There are three aspects to this role:

  • Serve as the point of contact for the various entities interested in or doing resilience work in the state. The CGRS website will be set up to provide the most current information on various resilience initiatives, talks, funding opportunities, as well as collaborative research or educational activities across resilience happening primarily in the state but also outside Vermont, based on the information provided by the various groups in the network, including state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and others.
  • Offer professional development events on CGRS themes, and host relevant conferences, such as the 2016 RVT conference that Norwich University cohosted with ISC. In April 2017, CGRS will host Vermont’s Community Resilience Officers (CROs) for a day of information exchange and professional workshops.
  • Create an Academic Resilience Collaborative (ARC) within the RVT network to bring together teachers, researchers, and students, across Vermont’s educational campuses, interested in resilience related work.