The mission of the Environmental Resources Center is to promote the understanding and conservation of the natural resources of the region through scientific research, educational opportunities and outreach.
The ERC is a Center of Excellence at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne, operating within that 501(c)3 organization.
The ERC will be a regionally focused, environmentally focused organization with substantial research capacity, not dedicated to the acquisition of land or the management of specific parcels, and that is free of administrative “boundaries” in terms of operation. We will provide objective guidance, explore solutions, and work to bridge gaps in mission and communication. We will be well-positioned to support a formal structure which focuses on environmental issues, with an array of faculty with complementary interests and expertise in natural resources. Our activities will provide additional avenues for recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments of our faculty working on natural resource issues, as well as provide additional means for marketing those capabilities to public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. The Center will encourage opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration, both on campus and in the community. The ERC will foster student success, promote the creation, integration and application of knowledge, serve as a regional intellectual hub, and create a stronger university through improving the support of stakeholders of IPFW.
Fort Wayne and vicinity have a rich heritage of natural resources, most obviously the rivers coursing through the area, but also parks, forests, and wetlands. A diversity of plant and animal wildlife lives year-round or traverses through during various migrations. Water and soil are also sources of natural wealth in the area. All of these natural resources are embedded in a landscape variably dominated by agricultural, urban and residential development. It is thus in this interplay of nature and human activity that we conduct our activities. The ERC is a local, environmentally-focused organization with substantial research capacity unburdened by mandates and jurisdictional boundaries for its operation. As such we can provide objective guidance, explore solutions, and work to bridge gaps in mission and communication.
Bruce Kingsbury is a Professor of Biology at IPFW, Director of the ERC, and Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Kingsbury and his students are engaged in research on a variety of animals, notably snakes and turtles. Principal areas of focus are the ecological requirements of imperiled species, and the improvement of landscape management approaches to meet project objectives while maximally benefiting wildlife. He founded the ERC to provide a more direct connection between scientific research and capabilities at IPFW and the community at large. Learn more about him here.
Our Faculty Council:
The ERC Faculty Council is an internal advisory group comprised of IPFW faculty engaged in ERC activities. They are committed to promoting the vision of the ERC beyond direct self-benefit, regularly contribute content for social media, share expertise and experiences with ERC faculty and students, and meet regularly to strategize on improving the ERC.
Our Community Advisory Board:
Members of the CAB will lend their expertise on occasion, provide insights into how they think we should be directing our efforts, alert us to possible opportunities for projects, and help us find financial support for our activities. Our initial Community Advisory Board is being established now. We will post more information about them at a later date.