Expert Alert

Next-generation Earth systems science report

Image of IonE's Melissa Kenney

The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Mathematics released Next Generation Earth Systems Science at the National Science Foundation, which lays out a vision for a systems approach to studying the Earth and identifies facilities, infrastructure, coordinating mechanisms, computing, and workforce. 

Melissa Kenney, Director of Research and Knowledge Initiatives at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment and a contributor to the report, is available to provide expert comment on its key highlights.

Melissa Kenney, Ph.D.
This report represents the next generation of Earth Systems Science–centering on the importance of humans on the Earth and the need to work more collaboratively as a community of scholars to support societal decision-making.

Ecological forecasting–or predicting nature like we predict the weather–is a great example of this next generation of Earth Systems Science. Ecological forecasting brings together natural scientists, computer scientists, and social scientists together with community, government, and business leaders to develop and operationalize actionable outlooks that improve decision-making.

Advancing our fundamental understanding of Earth Systems requires embracing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice as central–removing the barriers that have excluded people, expanding the scope of work to understand inequalities and explore just solutions, deliberately creating an inclusive culture.” 

Melissa A. Kenney is the Director of Research and Knowledge Initiatives at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment where she directs efforts to build synergy across IonE’s broad scientific research portfolio. To achieve this goal, she collaborates with faculty, community partners, the University of Minnesota’s systemwide campuses, and the IonE management team to launch new research efforts in support of the strategic plan. Dr. Kenney is an environmental decision scientist with expertise in multidisciplinary, team-based science approaches to solving sustainability challenges. In addition to Dr. Kenney’s multidisciplinary scientific research, she has extensive experience in high-level science policy coordination and relationship building between Federal and academic institutions.

Contact information:
[email protected]
919-824-9231 (cell)

Download a high-resolution image of Melissa Kenney.

Media Contacts

Brad Robideau

University Public Relations