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The goal of the Department of Integrative & Global Studies (DIGS) is to create societies that are socially inclusive, culturally vibrant, economically prosperous, and ecologically sound. Research and teaching are closely aligned as faculty and research staff collaborate with students and local partners around the world from government, academia, and business to explore diverse topics with local and global impacts.

DIGS faculty work to push the limits of what is possible through:

  • Interdisciplinary approach - Our research staff and faculty combine training and experience in geography, economic development, urban policy and planning, environmental philosophy and policy, water, energy, and more.
  • Theory and practice - DIGS faculty research extends from the highly theoretical to the immediately applicable. It is at this intersection we seek to make important contributions to sustainability research and the communities in which we work.
  • Educational research - In addition to sustainability-related research, the faculty maintain an action-oriented research program focused on experiential, project-based, cross-cultural undergraduate education initiatives—including WPI’s Great Problems SeminarInteractive Qualifying Project and Global Projects Program.

Scholarship and Applied Research

Collaborating with departments, programs, faculty and staff across campus, DIGS faculty members address research topics from environmental sustainability and social justice, to resource management and public health, to policy development and planning, and more—all to support the needs of local and global communities. From this diversity of research interests that converge on the goal of addressing today's most pressing problems and grand challenges, the department is uniquely positioned to have real-world impacts.

Research Focus Areas

  • Climate Change
  • Sustainable Community Development
  • Food, Water and Energy Resources Management
  • Experiential/Project-based Learning Programs