LIFE: Linked Institutions for Future Earth


LIFE, or Linked Institutions for Future Earth, aims to create an international network of researchers, institutions, and experimental sites/field observations dedicated to advancing the quantitative predictive understanding of the Earth surface system.  LIFE is a Virtual Institute, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) program, working to catalyze global research activities efficiently and economically while mentoring and creating international research opportunities for junior researchers.


The objectives of LIFE include:

1. Creating a global network of leading institutions to understand and predict the evolution of the Earth-surface environment under natural and human-induced change;

2. Cultivating a culture of action-oriented research; and

3. Creating a forum for sharing data, ideas, and expertise while mentoring young researchers within a global interdisciplinary environment.






Upcoming Activities:



University of California, Irvine

November 15-17, 2016

-- Funded by NSF and EU --

The scope of this meeting is to bring together two projects of global reach funded by NSF (LIFE) and EU (ECOPOTENTIAL) to coordinate scientific, programmatic, observational, and educational activities towards an accelerated understanding of earth surface processes and ecosystems as complex social, hydrological, and geo-biological systems undergoing change under climate and human stressors.   It aims to establish a long-term institutional partnership for scientific and educational exchange. 

LIFE (Linked Institutions for Future Earth) is an international network of institutions, researchers, and experimental/field sites dedicated to advancing the quantitative understanding of earth surface processes and environment change.  LIFE is sponsored by the Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) initiative of NSF, aiming to catalyze global research activities efficiently and economically while mentoring and creating international research opportunities for junior researchers.

ECOPOTENTIAL is a European-funded H2020 project that focuses on developing a unified framework for ecosystem studies and management of internationally recognized Protected Areas, blending Earth Observations from remote sensing and field measurements, data analysis and modeling of current and future ecosystem conditions and services. ECOPOTENTIAL considers cross-scale geosphere-biosphere interactions at regional to continental scales, addressing long-term and large-scale environmental and ecological challenges.

Meeting Organizers: 

Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, Travis Huxman, Matthew Bracken, and Kailen Mooney (Univ. of California, Irvine), Antonello Provenzale (National Research Council of Italy, Pisa) SS.



LIFE - Sponsored Videos:

1.  The Human Era:  A World of Changes 

featuring Patrick Hamilton (Science Museum of Minnesota) and Chris Paola (University of Minnesota)

2.  Eating Water:  Agriculture and Climate Change 

featuring Kate Brauman (University of Minnesota)

3.  Acidifying Oceans:  Oceans and Climate Change 

featuring Kevin Theissen (University of St. Thomas)

4.  Hot Air:  Atmosphere and Climate Change 

featuring Tracy Twine (University of Minnesota)





Learn more about the LIFE approach, our core network, and our seven interconnected programs.

Submit comments or corrections to Efi Foufoula-Georgiou at