IRIS advances the integration of natural and conventional infrastructure systems to strengthen society’s long term resilience to flooding, sea level rise, drought and other disruptions. Through collaborative partnerships, interdisciplinary expertise and research innovations, we empower communities and businesses to discover wise infrastructure solutions that deliver a broad array of social, economic and environmental benefits.


With an interdisciplinary team that spans over ten University of Georgia Schools and colleges, IRIS projects are as diverse as the people who conduct them. Examples of our current projects are below:

Stormwater control measures and stream restoration are often planned and implemented separately.  In a new study, IRIS affiliate Dr. Rod Lammers and colleagues show that strategically combining plans for stream restoration with stormwater measures, like rain gardens and urban natural areas that allow runoff to soak into the ground near its source, can provide more benefits per cost. 

As climate change causes rising temperatures and changes in rainfall across the planet, IRIS researcher Dr. Don Nelson is shedding light on the differing values of populations in Northeastern Brazil to inform future water management decisions. 

IRIS and partners are streamlining the consultation process involving imperiled aquatic species potentially affected by GDOT construction projects that affect freshwater ecosystems. A streamlined consultation process will ensure that species receive protections that are most important to their life stage and sensitivities.


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and University of Georgia announce Network for Engineering With Nature partnership

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and University of Georgia (UGA) recently announced a partnership that connects the interdisciplinary expertise of UGA’s Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems (IRIS), with the vast on-the-ground experience of USACE’s Engineering With Nature® (EWN®) Initiative to form the Network for Engineering With Nature (N-EWN). Through this partnership and a …

From Alaska to Baja: Cooperative Research Effort Documents Kelp Migration

In a sweeping display of the power of community-based science to show the ocean-wide changes caused by warming waters, University of Georgia scientists teamed up with researchers from universities and organizations around the globe to demonstrate northward migration in kelp forests. Their latest paper was recently published in Global Change Biology. Participating partners spanned from …

IRIS Affiliates Marshall Shepherd and Brian Bledsoe Speak to Planning for Storm Season

In a recent article published in UGA Today, IRIS affiliate Dr. Marshall Shepherd and Director Dr. Brian Bledsoe, spoke to the need for more resilient infrastructure in the face of massive rain events, rising sea levels, and urban sprawl. “You think about a rubber band—a rubber band has resiliency. It snaps back,” Shepherd was quoted …

Work With Us

The University of Georgia School of Engineering offers programs with relevant specialties for both Master’s and Ph.D. students interested in the Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems. Learn more!

IRIS brings researchers from departments across the University of Georgia campus into conversation with each other, and provides support in the form of workshops, communications, and opportunities for collaboration. With our interdisciplinary perspective, we are able to tackle tough problems from all angles. To learn more about our team of affiliates, visit this page.

IRIS works closely with communities, municipalities and industry partners to support them in creating and implementing pragmatic resilience solutions backed up by the best available science, technology and communications tools. We help organizations prepare to be stronger when things go wrong, while enhancing their reputation, stakeholder relationships, and cost effectiveness.