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The Institute of Computational Ecology (ICE) focuses on the application of novel and emerging technologies, innovative management strategies and multi-scale outreach programs to solve major natural resources problems. The institute designation formalizes the efforts of the entrepreneurial faculty who are driving transformative science and technology in the areas of river basin-scale ecology, green infrastructure, cyberinfrastructure, ecological restoration and sustainable natural resources. ICE builds on the strong project resume of the EPA-designated Center for Watershed Excellence.

Formerly known as the Institute of Applied Ecology, the name change is intended to better reflect the big data focus of the institute’s research, education and economic development initiatives, while underscoring strong interdisciplinary connections to Clemson’s Public Service Activities, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, College of Engineering and Science and the Restoration Institute.

ICE supports the Sustainable Environment Focus Area by expanding opportunities for Clemson University faculty and students to participate in statewide watershed research and education programs that support community-based, cost-effective watershed management programs. Over the past several years, 75 faculty and graduate students from multiple colleges have collaborated on natural resource projects throughout South Carolina. This faculty shares resources within their individual laboratories while supporting a common laboratory to bring graduate students from multiple disciplines together into a team environment.

The institute designation consolidated the existing Center for Watershed Excellence and Center for Applied Ecology in 2010 to support a comprehensive research and education mission linking land use, water, energy and climate change. The institute is affiliated with two SmartState Program™ Centers of Economic Excellence, the Sustainable Development Center and the Urban Ecology and Restoration Center.

       photo of Brad Putman on project site       photo of Jason Hallstrom       photo of staff in field at Aiken


  • Take the leadership role in solving water resources and watershed issues facing South Carolina by developing and applying novel science-based solutions to manage limited natural resources.
  • Expand ongoing partnerships with state and federal agencies, public stakeholders, and other institutions to foster multi-institutional collaboration, research, and outreach.
  • Transform natural resource monitoring and management by enhancing traditional ecological, forestry, agriculture, and aquaculture research methodologies with cyberinfrastructure applications.
  • Engage junior faculty from multiple colleges in innovative environmental, sustainable natural resources, and ecological restoration research of national significance.
  • Develop certificate and Professional Masters programs in watershed management, restoration ecology, green infrastructure, and sustainable natural resources.


  • Solve major environmental problems facing the nation through novel ecological applications, technologies and methodologies that will transform natural resources management, conservation, and restoration.
  • Expand education and research opportunities in applied ecology by linking campus faculty and students with Research and Education Centers and natural resources projects throughout South Carolina.