We assemble diverse, interdisciplinary teams of faculty, external experts and students to collaborate on the world’s greatest environmental and sustainability challenges and turn research into action for the common good. Our research isn’t restricted to the lab: we are transforming Georgetown’s campus into a living laboratory where we develop urgently-needed, scalable solutions to green the campus and broader community—and shape the future of our planet.

The Vision

The Earth Commons will consist of thematic “Commons” with dedicated faculty and staff and convene internal and external researchers, academics, experts, practitioners and students to understand and address each theme. The Commons will include Climate & Energy; Food & Water Security; Environmental Justice; Biodiversity Conservation; Environmental Health; University Sustainability; and the Environmental Innovation Lab, a campus think tank.

Research Goals

Explore our strategic plan to catalyze environmental scholarship across disciplines to innovate solutions for critical environmental issues

ECo Fellows

Apply for a post-doctoral research and teaching fellowship to advance the science on critical environmental issues

ECo Impact Awards

Apply for funding that empowers new interdisciplinary research and outreach

All, Scholarship

Physical, landscape, and chemical properties of Amazonian interior forest mineral licks

A new paper co-authored by ECo faculty Brian Griffiths undertakes the largest survey of Amazonian mineral licks to date to determine the landscape, physical, and chemical properties of these critical sites where animals go to consume soil. The authors suggest that mineral licks have the potential to provide multiple services to visiting species, demonstrating their ecological importance.

October 21, 2022

All, In the Press, Scholarship

Multiple crises halt progress as 9 out of 10 countries fall backwards in human development, UNDP report warns

The world must jolt itself out of its global paralysis to secure the future of people and planet by re-booting its development trajectory

September 8, 2022

All, In the Press, Scholarship

Trickle-down climate risk regulation

In the US, the primary regulators of national and community banks are narrowly zeroing in on risks posed to the largest banks—those with over $100 billion in total consolidated assets—without attention to these banks’ role in financing greenhouse gas–emitting activities and what they mean for other important financial actors.

September 1, 2022

Research Programs

Below is a list of research programs related to the work of the Earth Commons. Check back on this page for a more comprehensive list of research programs exploring environmental and sustainability issues across Georgetown Schools.

Marra Lab

Director Peter Marra’s research uses birds to help us define and understand broad environmental issues, tackling contemporary conservation challenges by addressing fundamental knowledge gaps at the intersection of ornithology, ecology and conservation biology. The Marra Lab in Georgetown’s Department of Biology investigates migratory connectivity, full annual cycle ecology, urban ecology & applied conservation, Kirtland’s Warbler conservation & management, and identifies the smoking guns in bird declines.

Research Projects

Migratory Connectivity

Advancing the conservation and understanding of animals throughout their full life cycle by promoting the science of migratory connectivity.

Explore StoryMaps

Atlas of Migratory Connectivity

Through the Migratory Connectivity Project, led by Georgetown University and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and together with the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, we are working on an important and exciting two volume book entitled “Discovering Unknown Migrations: The Atlas of Migratory Connectivity for the Birds of North America.” 

Learn more