Transformation Network

The Transformation Network (TN) aims to build resilient communities and ecosystems throughout the Intermountain Western United States.

The TN represents a partnership between eight Western U.S. universities with over 50 partner organizations representing Tribal partners, governmental and non-governmental organizations, public utilities, conservation districts, irrigation districts, and municipalities.

Core Research Themes

The TN team is advancing understanding of resilient headwaters, food-energy-water systems, and innovative and equitable governance models and institutions over a range of scales and domains.

Resilient Headwaters

The communities, ecosystems, and farmers of the IMW are heavily dependent on shrinking water supplies from mountain headwater systems. The TN is connecting innovators of the landscape management solutions that are required to reduce wildfire risks and cope with water shortages.

Food-Energy-Water Systems

Food-Energy-Water Systems (FEWS) are deeply intertwined in global food production, supply chains, and water and energy management. The TN is investigating transformative capacity across scales from local communities to the entire IMW region.

Innovative and Equitable Governance and Institutions

The TN is focused on innovating ways to elevate equity and justice through integrating science and new collective responses into governance systems and institutions at the local and regional scales.

Featured Project

This project aims to provide water access, food security, and energy independence to Native American communities in the San Juan River Watershed through the implementation of small-scale food, energy, and water (FEW) systems.

The project will involve training community members and students in the science and engineering of solar nanofiltration and greenhouse design, as well as renewable energy 18 generation. The outcomes include co-designed water purification systems and a PV-integrated greenhouse, the development of a greenhouse systems operations manual, and a cost-cycle analysis of the system.

The project will also develop curricula and conduct outreach to educate the next generation indigenous workforce and promote STEM research. The project aims to counter the environmental injustices that Navajo communities have faced and to center environmental justice by involving and training Indigenous partners and students. 

Read more at the Native Science Report

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