Quick facts:

  • Established in 2002 at the University of Vermont with support from the Gund Family.
  • 25+ faculty from across UVM are Gund Fellows.
  • 35 graduate students from across UVM are Gund Graduate Fellows.
  • A global network of 100+ Gund alumni and 30 Affiliated researchers.
  • Directors: Taylor Ricketts (2012-17), Jon Erickson (acting, 2009-12), Robert Costanza (2002-10)
  • Effective April 2017, GIEE will transform and broaden into the Gund Institute for Environment, following a $6 million gift from the Gund Family.


  • Led the Vermont Climate Assessment in 2014, the first university-led state climate assessment in the U.S.
  • Key roles in major global initiatives, including UN climate change conferences, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity.
  • Created the Vermont Genuine Progress Indicator, which was adopted by Vermont government in in 2013.
  • National leader in Ecological Economics, an academic field that grounds economics to natural sciences.
  • Helped Burlington, VT, become a UN Center of Excellence for Sustainability in 2014.
  • Created first ever map U.S. wild bee declines.
  • Director Taylor Ricketts has been named by Reuters among world’s most influential environmental scholars for three years straight.
  • Gund research drove a 2016 International Whaling Commission resolution recognizing the environmental importance of conserving whales
  • Bloom, a PBS series on Lake Champlain water quality, received Emmy award in 2011.

 Other achievements:  

  • Created Economics for the Anthropocene (E4A), an innovative international graduate program with McGill University, York University and UVM.  
  • Scholars have published more than 600 scientific papers, including landmark studies on the value of nature, biodiversity conservation, climate-smart agriculture, sustainable entrepreneurship, water quality, sustainable farming, and others.
  • Alumni have pursued successful careers in business, government, NGOs and academia, including World Bank, WWF, IBM, Burton, Princeton, Cambridge, Ceres and Cabot Creamery. Partnerships have included: European Union, City of Burlington, Green Mountain Coffee, Virgin Atlantic, Tiffany & Co., CGIAR, Natural Capital Project, Nature Conservancy, USDA, EPA, Harvard, Stanford, McGill, U. of Havana, and state agencies.
  • Attracted funding from government agencies, NGOs and private sector, including NASA, Google, NSF, USDA, Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Norman Family Foundation.
  • Global media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and the Guardian have covered Gund research.
  • Gund scholars are regular source of expert witnesses for state and federal governments on environment issues, including climate change, water quality, carbon tax, endangered species, harmful pesticides.
  • Held 30+ experiential learning ‘Ateliers’ in Cuba, Brazil, Iceland, Ukraine, Ethiopia, Peru, Dominican Republic, Philippines, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Vermont.

Find recent research highlights on the Gund News webpage


Basil D.N. Waugh