A more sustainable human-nature relationship

HARC in the News


By EurekAlert

Can human beings and the natural environment find a way to coexist? Deteriorating U.S. infrastructure coupled with extreme weather events—and other effects of climate change—have heightened the stakes involved in achieving such harmony. While technological advances may help mitigate negative impacts, peaceful coexistence may depend on what actions humans are willing to take.

That’s why Y.C. Ethan Yang, a civil and environmental

engineer working on issues at the food-water-energy nexus, incorporates data on human behavior into the computer modeling he uses to help improve the resilience of our life-sustaining systems. Such data, however, can be hard to come by.


We can measure the rainfall, we can measure the temperature, etc.—but the human behavior data is really, really difficult to get. I actually work with a lot of social scientists as well as psychologists to try to figure out the best way to incorporate their data into our models in order to simulate human behavior better.

Y.C. Ethan Yang, Civil and Environmental Engineer