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Toward Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Systems in the Anthropocene with Sam Markolf

CITRIS Research Exchange - Spring 2021 - Cristina Davis, Sara-Jayne Terp, Sam Markolf

TALK TITLE: Toward Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Systems in the Anthropocene with Sam Markolf

SPEAKER: Sam Markolf, Assistant Professor, UC Merced

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ABSTRACT: The Anthropocene, informally referred to as the ‘Age of Humans’, is not only characterized by humankind’s outsized influence on ecological and planetary systems, but also pervasive and accelerating climatic, technological, social, economic, and institutional change that appears to be positioned as critical drivers of our future infrastructure and urban systems. This talk will discuss an evolving portfolio of work that outlines and analyzes some of the key issues, implications, and dynamics between infrastructure systems and emergent properties of the Anthropocene. Topics of focus include climate change and climate nonstationarity, interdependencies between infrastructure systems, complex interconnections between infrastructure and broader social-ecological systems, and opportunities/challenges for applying artificial intelligence in this context. Ultimately, it is posited that these (and other) emergent properties of the Anthropocene warrant consideration in the design, implementation, and management of infrastructure systems if broader sustainability and resilience objectives are to be met.

CITRIS Research Exchange with Sam MarkolfBIO: Samuel Markolf is an assistant professor within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Merced, where his research broadly focuses on applying systems-thinking to sustainability and resilience challenges facing cities and infrastructure systems. Prior to joining UC Merced, he was an Assistant Research Professor at Arizona State University and a Research Fellow within the NSF-sponsored Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN). Sam earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, Masters in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a joint-Ph.D. in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Engineering & Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.

ABOUT SERIES: CITRIS Research Exchange delivers fresh perspectives on information technology and society from academic, industry, and civic leaders. Free and open to the public, the CITRIS Research Exchange Seminar Series is a weekly dialogue highlighting leading voices on societal-scale technology challenges. Each one-hour seminar takes place on Wednesdays and starts at 12 pm.

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