New project director named for Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative

Author: Brandi Wampler

Danielle Wood
Danielle Wood

Danielle Wood, associate director for research in the Center for Civic Innovation at the University of Notre Dame, has been named project director of the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN), a key program of the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative

ND-GAIN works to enhance the world’s understanding of adaptation through knowledge, products and services that inform public and private actions and investments in vulnerable communities. Through various research tools, the ND-GAIN team aims to motivate communities to build social, physical and natural systems that save lives and improve livelihoods, protect our environment and strengthen market and policy positions. 

“ND-GAIN is a publicly available, transparent resource providing important details for government officials, climate change experts and communities looking for tools to assess their adaptation needs,” said Wood. “I look forward to leading this initiative and supporting communities and leaders that want to move the needle on climate change adaptation.”

As project director of ND-GAIN, Wood will oversee the program’s Country Index and Urban Adaptation Assessment. The Country Index, released annually, is a measurement tool that helps governments, businesses and communities examine risks exacerbated by climate change. The Urban Adaptation Assessment (UAA) is a new measurement tool that assesses the climate risk and readiness of more than 270 cities in the United States and allows users to explore a city’s adaptability to climate hazards.

ND-GAIN was previously led by Patrick Regan, former professor of political science and peace studies.

“For the last three years, Pat nurtured the program through his leadership of the Kresge-funded UAA project, and brought additional new perspective the Country Index. We are grateful for his work on both of these novel climate adaptation tools. His efforts were critical in making this program what it is today and we wish him all the best in his new endeavors,” said Jennifer Tank, director of the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative and Ludmilla F., Stephen J. and Robert T. Galla Professor of Biological Sciences. “We are excited to see how Danielle brings new perspectives on resilience planning and community engagement, as well as evaluation expertise to this role, to further develop ND-GAIN moving forward.”

The Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI) at the University of Notre Dame brings together more than 50 researchers across diverse disciplines to help people and ecosystems adapt to climate change, mitigate the effects of land use impacts, predict species occurrences in a shifting world and improve water quality. The initiative works hand-in-hand with partners to support research that matters to society, answering the most critical environmental questions of our time. To learn more about ND-ECI, visit To learn more about ND-GAIN, visit

Contact: Brandi Wampler, research communications specialist, Notre Dame Research,, 574-631-8183; @UNDResearch

Originally published by Brandi Wampler at on Aug. 22.