Mission, Vision, & Values

From the Director

Every passing day seems to offer an alarming new report about the health of our planet. From endangered species and ecosystems, to wildfires and rising seas that are erasing landscapes as we know them, the message is clear: Our environment, the key to our wellbeing and survival, is in deep trouble. 

Ironically, this is happening at a point in our collective history when it feels like our knowledge and ingenuity are boundless. We know, for example, how to manage a landscape so that species can thrive while fire risks are kept low. We know how to generate energy, and how to move ourselves from Point A to Point B, without emitting the greenhouse gasses that threaten our climate. We have at our fingertips the knowledge and the technology to make a more sustainable world. 

And yet, for the most part, we fail to act.

It’s this irony that motivates the work of every single student, staff member, and scientist at the Wrigley Institute. And behind our interdisciplinary work is a mission that’s as bold as it is important: We strive each and every day to diagnose and understand the environmental challenges in front of us, to turn scientific discoveries into actionable solutions, and to account for the human factors that stand in the way of – or grease the rails toward – a more sustainable future. 


Dr. Joe Árvai, Director

A portrait of Joe Arvai, Director of WIES.

Environmental Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Environmental justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are central to our mission of inspiring global environmental solutions through frontier education and research. These values guide our work every day as educators, researchers, and staff to address existing and emerging inequities impacting our institution and communities. We pledge to provide a safe, inclusive, and responsive environment for members of our community to authentically engage in meaningful learning, research, and engagement opportunities; to create access to programs and resources for everyone; to uplift and give recognition to diverse voices; and to ensure that we remain accountable as an organization to prioritize equity in everything we do.