From summer 2017 through spring 2018, the Rutgers Earth system science community embarked upon its first integrated strategic planning process. This process engaged over five dozen faculty members from across six schools at Rutgers. The common message that emerged from the strategic planning committee meetings and town halls is that Rutgers is already a national leader in the Earth system sciences, but that, through the Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (EOAS), we can and must enhance our leadership by increasing collaboration and integration across relevant schools, departments, programs, and centers. Such integration is necessary both to maintain Rutgers’ competitiveness and also to serve broader societal purposes: growing fundamental understanding of the past, present, and future of the Earth system, and leveraging this understanding to advance equitable civic stewardship of our regional and planetary environment.
This strategic planning document begins by discussing the planetary context, history, and accomplishments of EOAS to date, then presents the mission and vision of the Institute. It analyzes the strengths of the EOAS community, as well as the challenges we face both in general and by comparison to our peer institutions. Based on this analysis and the discussions during the strategic planning process, it presents a series of six goals and associated objectives that will strengthen the EOAS community’s core program of exploration, enhance integration of Earth system science disciplines and programs, and link ongoing efforts to enhance our contributions to regional and global environmental stewardship.