The Department of Geosciences introduces a research initiative to confront one of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century: fostering healthy and sustainable cities that are home to thriving and resourceful communities. CSAW’s mission is to bring together scholars and community partners to address the multifaceted relationship between urban communities and their environment by advancing an integrated physical- and social-scientific approach profoundly shaped and informed by the values, visions, and knowledges of our partner communities.
CSAW realizes this mission through three inter-related objectives. First, by building on the strengths and expertise of Georgia State’s Geosciences department, the initiative provides a vehicle for interdisciplinary collaboration and academic inquiry on topics related to the interactions, relationships and feedbacks in the urban environment through an ongoing speaker series, workshops, and grant activity. Next, it provides a context for partnering with community groups to identify research and data collection priorities around environmental issues. CSAW strives to tackle the specific challenges of integrating the experiential knowledge and values of communities with the scientific knowledge of the urban and earth science scholars involved. Finally, the CSAW initiative provides opportunities for GSU student researchers to engage in experiential, field-based learning in collaboration with professors and community groups. This includes a student-focused research symposium and sponsorship of students to attend community and professional meetings to present CSAW research.
The CSAW initiative draws on and complements the momentum at Georgia State encapsulated in the recently adopted strategic plan (seehttp://www.gsu.edu/strategicplan/index.html) by addressing the most pressing problems facing cities in an innovative and interdisciplinary way, and by creating opportunities for experiential learning for GSU’s graduate and undergraduate students.