ECo Impact Funding
University Stories

ECo Impact Awards: Project Progress

From pollinators to people to past populations, ECo Impact Award recipients are expanding scholarship on environment and sustainability at Georgetown University and beyond. In celebration of the 2023 Earth Commons Impact Award recipients announcement, we look back on Impact Award recipients to see how they put their grants into interdisciplinary research and action for the planet.

Plants, Pollinators and People: Unified Research-and-Teaching Gardens at Georgetown University

Professors Adriane Fugh-Berman, Martha Weiss, and Bill Hahn’s project centers Georgetown’s gardens to educate the community about urban ecology, biodiversity, permaculture, and pollinator-friendly landscape design. 

Today, the gardens are flourishing. They provide food & habitat for a wide variety of pollinators and birds, as well as foraged snacks for humans, like the delicious salad with violet leaves, chickweed, and salvia flowers pictured in the scrolling gallery (left).

Resilience: How Past Populations Survived Climate Changes

Dagomar Degroot, John McNeill, and Amy Hessl received support for their work, “Resilience: How Past Populations Survived Climate Changes.” The professors aimed to identify pathways for climate resilience, which could help develop environmental policies for our future.

Now, the professors are co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Resilience in Climate History. The Handbook, due out in 2024, is an interdisciplinary and global study of human reactions to climate change, spanning from the last Ice Age to the present climate crisis.

Climate-focused Policy Strategies for Construction 3D printing

Joanna Lewis, Emanuela Del Gado and postdoc Ankita Gangotra’s research explores how 3D printing technology in cement production can offset pollution in the industrial sector with strategies to meet global demand while lowering emission levels.

Published in Communications Engineering (a Nature journal), the co-authors conducted an analysis of how policy changes can incentivize technology solutions for decarbonizing cement production and bring the US cement sector’s production up-to-par with other major cement-producing nations.

Read their findings

Modeling Energy Democracy in a Federal and Localist System

Professors Sheila R. Foster, Meryl Chertoff, and postdoctoral fellow Elena DeNictolis received the grant for their Georgetown Project on State and Local Government Policy and Law (SALPAL) project “Modeling Energy Democracy in a Federal and Localist System.” Their study revolves around a just and equitable energy transition. 

The professors and their collaborators presented three white papers exploring the history, state and local law aspects, and international comparative aspects of energy democracy at Georgetown Law in May, 2022.

Learn about their research


Sarah Stoll, Chris Albanese, Ed Van Keuren of Georgetown’s oncology, physics, and chemistry departments, as well as the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center’s shared zebrafish resource, received support for their nanoplastic research.

The collaborators are in the preliminary stages of an innovative study to understand how environmental exposure to nanoplastics could adversely affect animal health by studying their effects in zebrafish.

Read the Story

All 2022 Recipients

Recipients before 2022

Previously known as the Georgetown Environment Initiative’s Impact Program, recipients from 2013-2021 have utilized funds to pilot projects, explore new research topics, and seed new collaborations