Resilient systems have common characteristics, including interconnectivity, redundancy and intense communications between system elements. These are also characteristics of healthy community, food and water systems. These global challenges are also very local: Arkansas communities are facing aging infrastructure and populations; childhood hunger and obesity; workforce preparation for automated technologies; and water resource management with increased demand and diminishing supplies.
The goal of the U of A Resiliency Center’s research is to expand our knowledge and understanding of food, water and community systems. These interconnected components are critical for designing a more prosperous and resilient future. The center’s research activities are supported by more than $2.5 million in committed funds from extramural grants and contracts.
Food Systems include the entire value chain, from producer to consumer, including post-consumer recycling of nutrients and carbon. Food systems research focuses on metrics, measurements and technologies to improve the sustainability and resiliency of food systems.
Community Systems include the structures, processes, and functions necessary for communities to be resilient in the face of economic, climate, and cultural changes. The resiliency of communities depend on food and water systems, as well as social, cultural, and economic infrastructure. These characteristics are supported by (or degraded by) design and management decisions within the community.
Water systems are the functions and processes that impact water resources within a community. These impacts include both quantity and quality of water. Climate change is impacting the frequency and intensity of floods and droughts. This in turn is impacting the availability of water to support residential, industrial, agricultural and ecological demands.
Sustainable Development Goals
The U of A Resiliency Center partners with business, industry and community leaders by connecting new knowledge with existing social and economic frameworks. Research on the sustainability of food, water and community touches every aspect of the university. The U of A Resiliency Center addresses all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations, and supports progress in those goals by 2030.