Prairie Research Institute

Center for Advanced Climate Solutions


The Center for Advanced Climate Solutions (CACS) at the University of Illinois was established to foster innovative solutions to address emerging challenges driven by climate change. CACS helps coalesce and expand significant University climate expertise, research, training and student interest. It is unique in its focus on the burgeoning need for solutions-driven research and professional training to address the generational and grand challenges caused by climate change. Specifically, the Center works to:

  1. Accelerate the development of practical climate solutions through innovative, integrative research
  2. Increases competitiveness for external and private funding for climate solutions
  3. Educates and trains students for the quickly growing cross-sector demand for climate consulting

CACS is led by the Prairie Research Institute and Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE), with partnership from Civil & Environmental EngineeringGeography & Geographic Information ScienceNuclear, Plasma, and Radiological EngineeringSchool of Labor and Employment RelationsAtmospheric Sciences, the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute, the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, the National Center for Supercomputing ApplicationsAgricultural and Biological Engineering, and the Discovery Partners Institute.

Advancing Climate-Solutions Research

CACS is an institutional investment to harness the myriad expertise, research acumen, and strong partnerships between University academic units and research institutes to focus on climate solutions that require cross-sector collaboration for successful development and implementation. CACS facilitates opportunities for cross-campus research targeted to developing solutions to climate challenges in:

  1. Climate hazard mitigation
  2. Building climate resilience in urban living
  3. Climate change and One Health
  4. Decarbonizing the economy

CACS is uniquely positioned to marry the wealth of expertise and fundamental research in academic units with the applied research and stakeholder outreach at UIUC research institutes. Furthermore, CACS leverages strong external partnerships with private industry and government entities to ensure climate solutions research, training, and engagement modalities are addressing the demonstrated needs of these partners.

Climate Training

Local to federal government entities, private industry, and NGOs recognize the need to rapidly reduce carbon emissions and look to climate consulting to lead this transition, from developing more sustainable and resilient supply chains to assessing the climate vulnerability of global assets to responding to climate-focused policies and mandates. CACS is helping position UIUC as a global leader in climate consulting education and training by integrating climate-related curriculum and expanding training and research practicum opportunities for students, thereby meeting the quickly growing demand for a workforce ready to infuse solutions-focused climate expertise across a wide swath of societal and business sectors. CACS, in coordination with its academic unit partners, is developing a series of certificate programs for micro-credentialing in climate consulting. These certificate programs will provide a unique training experience for existing students and those already in the workforce who are focused on developing solutions for climate challenges and implementing these solutions at scale.