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Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability

Ecology for the City

The Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability (CUES) strives to connect students, faculty, and community in a common effort to research, educate, and empower change to inform and inspire a more sustainable future on Butler University’s campus, in Indianapolis, and globally. The CUES operates from two theoretical frameworks: the traditional ecological understanding of the interactions between and among organisms and their urban environment (ecology “in” the city) and a systems ecology perspective where the city itself is viewed as an ecosystem (ecology “of” the city). Through these dual lenses, we work to solve real-world sustainability problems facing today’s cities, or ecology “for” the city.

Because we recognize the importance and complexity that humans bring to the system, we aspire to connect disciplines—from biology to business and beyond—in the topic areas of zero waste, the built environment, food systems, social change, and ecological systems in order to establish best practices for a more sustainable society.

CUES initiatives, programs, and projects aim to progress cutting edge urban ecology and sustainability research, inform the public of scientific knowledge, and empower citizens to create individual and social change using the motto research, educate, partner, empower.

Learn more about the Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability at Butler University and follow us @ButlerCUES on Facebook and Twitter.

Interdisciplinary Research with Real World Impact

We strive to create a more sustainable world through research and collaboration with experts from natural and physical sciences, social sciences, health sciences, business, communications, urban planning, the arts, and education. 

Curricular Innovations

The CUES is enriching Butler curriculum with sustainability learning outcomes across departments through CUES staff-led courses and nearly $1M in funding from the National Science Foundation to implement campus farm-situated curricula in ten different disciplines.

Sustainability at Butler

Butler leads dynamic sustainability projects that create a positive environmental legacy for current students and future generations.

Sustainability Leadership Cohort

Through the Sustainability Leadership Cohort, student interns and volunteers experience real-world internships that provide tangible skills for any career. The SLC focuses on a collaborative model, where student peers provide support to one another to receive a holistic view of sustainability.

A Living Example of Sustainability

The Farm at Butler serves as a model for urban agriculture and a place-based hub for research, education, and outreach both on campus and in the Indianapolis community.

Community Partnerships that Expand Impact

We don’t accomplish all this on our own! The CUES relies on community partnerships that support both project and student success.


Student Sustainability Groups

Interested in connecting with other Butler students interested in sustainability? Join the Green Council, Food Recovery Network, STES CONNECT, and/or the Butler University Beekeeping Association.

Faculty Resources

The CUES aims to establish collaborative interdisciplinary programs committed to excellence in urban ecology and sustainability applied research and learning by engaging with Butler faculty from all disciplines.