We recognize that the complexity of society’s grand challenges—infrastructure for future cities, climate change, sustainable energy transitions, governance of emerging and/or disruptive technologies, and food and water security—require innovative leadership and collaboration among academia, communities, government, businesses and nonprofit organizations, anchored upon interdisciplinary and systems thinking rooted in real-world projects.

Our STEP faculty lead several NSF, EPA, and community-sponsored research initiatives pertaining to sustainable infrastructure and cities, renewable energy transitions, climate policy, integrated water policy, governance of emerging technologies, and natural resource conservation. Our faculty are widely recognized as leaders in the field and serve on scientific committees that shape environment/sustainability policies locally and globally.

Research in the STEP area connects naturally with other areas at the Humphrey School including urban and regional planning, global policy, social policy and public and nonprofit leadership, as well as with other units across the University of Minnesota campus such as the Institute on the Environment, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Public Health, the Law School and others.

Focus Areas

  • Energy and climate policy 
  • Sustainable infrastructure and cities 
  • Technology innovation and policy 
  • Urban water and food systems
  • Risk and resilience
Center for Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy

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