IRIS team awarded Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grant

IRIS affiliate Scott Pippin, with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, was recently awarded a Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grant for his proposal, “Developing New Storm Design Criteria for Natural Hazards Planning Research and Practice.” While Pippin is the primary investigator, the team also includes Brian Bledsoe (College of Engineering); Marshall Shepherd, John Knox, Pam Knox, Lynne Seymour and Thomas Mote (Franklin College of Arts and Sciences); and Michelle Ritchie (College of Public Health).

“Receiving this award is both a great honor and an opportunity to develop foundational data and analysis tools to future research efforts and that can be used to build more resilient communities across Georgia,” said Pippin of the award.

Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grants are awarded to projects that address challenges at the local, national or global level that align with the goals in UGA’s 2025 Strategic Plan.

Click here to learn more about the projects funded.


The Network for Engineering with Nature (N-EWN) invites you to join us for The N-EWN Knowledge Series: A Continuing Education Series about Engineering with Nature. The next webinar will be held on Thursday, January 20th at 12:30 EST. Todd Swannack will discuss capturing and quantifying the multi-scale benefits of natural and nature-based features.

Natural and nature-based features (NNBF) provide a diverse suite of benefits to society, including flood risk reduction, socio-economic development, water and food security, habitat, among others. Unlike traditional structural measures, benefits of NNBF accrue over time due to the inherent dynamism of natural features. Capturing and quantifying the benefits requires a multi-scale approach to benefits analysis. This presentation provides an introduction to multiscale benefits analysis for NNBF to be included in project planning and engineering design. To register, please visit

Continuing Education Credit (1-hr) will be available to all attendees who join live. A recording of the webinar will also be made available online at following the presentation.

Young Dawg Spotlight: Gretchen Hinger

Meet the latest Young Dawg part of the IRIS team: Gretchen Hinger.

The UGA Young Dawgs program is a high school internship program designed to prepare highschool juniors and seniors for college-level research.

Hinger joined the IRIS team from Clarke Central High School. During her time at UGA, she worked with Dr. Matt Bilskie, helping to study how natural infrastructure can help protect coastal resources, such as the Tyndall Airforce Base, from storms.

Hinger aided the research team in designing and testing several natural infrastructure solutions for Tyndall, in the form of barrier islands and dunes. Her research found that an offset island design performed best in helping to reduce water levels during a storm the size of Hurricane Matthew, which caused $5 billion worth of damage in 2016.

To read more, check out the powerpoint of her presentation, here.