Colorado School of Mines has established the Earth Resources Institute (ERI), which will work to educate and inform policymakers and other stakeholders about pressing issues in the critical areas of earth, energy, and the environment. Through research and policy analysis, ERI will foster collaborative partnerships with established research institutions, universities, and government agencies around the world.


‘The vital mission of ERI at Mines is to inform and shape sound public policy with solutions-driven research, education, and outreach,’ said Mines President Bill Scoggins. ‘A policy institute such as this is a natural fit with Mines’ specialized expertise, and we have the unique qualifications required to become a prominent resource for those engaged in public policy discourse. Since our founding in 1874, Mines has been dedicated to serving industry and society, and with this institute we are marshaling our expertise to help decision makers address some of the highest-stakes challenges shaping our future.’

ERI will be housed within the Division of Economics and Business and will further establish Mines as a focal point for innovative and influential quantitative analysis. ‘The ERI initiative provides Mines an institutional base from which to leverage a rich set of faculty resources across campus. It puts us on the map in terms of global public policy issues and analysis in our focus areas,’ said Michael R. Walls, interim director of ERI. ‘Mines is already known as one of the nation’s top engineering and applied science universities, and ERI will open a wealth of opportunities to further extend our reach.’

Research at ERI will promote rigorous quantitative analysis based on sound economic and scientific principles. Study topics will include rare earths and critical materials, climate and carbon policy, pollution regulation, global trade and the environment, minerals policy, and energy security.

‘As the recent U.S. action on a climate pact with China illustrates, this is a policy domain that is entering a critical stage of development. Now is the time when social science can make a big difference in informing the debate. It’s rare to have such a concentration of expertise on energy and environmental economics and policy in one academic institution, and this positions Mines really well to serve that need,’ said Associate Professor Jared Carbone.

Initial activities and initiatives to be pursued at ERI include a distinguished lecture series, the development of a topics-based annual conference, a visiting scholars program, and collaborative research initiatives both within the university and with external research partners.

Learn more about the Earth Resources Institute: Policy Analysis for Earth, Energy and Environment at