The Bryson Interdisciplinary Climate, People, and the Environment Program (CPEP) was established in 1991 by an endowment from an anonymous donor honoring Professor Emeritus Reid A. Bryson. CPEP builds on the tradition of interdisciplinary research and instruction initiated by Reid Bryson and his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Bryson's work has significantly advanced the understanding of the interrelations among climate, natural resources, population, and culture. The endowment notes the urgency of global problems that center on the interrelation of climate, people, and the environment and the need for high quality science and scientists trained in these interrelated areas.
In practice, the program seeks to attract individuals with backgrounds in areas such as archaeology, geomorphology, history, ecology or paleoecology, and physical geography, and then, through CPEP-CCR, helps develop their expertise in climate so that they can work effectively at the interface of problems of climate, people, and the environment.
The Bryson Interdisciplinary Climate, People, and the Environment Program is part of the Center for Climatic Research (CCR) and is administered by the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies (IES) in cooperation with the College of Letters and Science (L&S) and the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS).
The program includes: (1) the Reid A. Bryson Distinguished Professorship of Climate, People, and the Environment; (2) an Interdisciplinary Fellows Program for supporting postdoctoral investigators and/or graduate students and for bringing speakers or short-term visitors to the campus; and (3) a provision for research seminars and occasional symposia and newsletters.
The Program is under the general supervision of a Board consisting of the Director of the Nelson Institute (IES), the Dean of L&S, the Director of the CCR, the Chair of the AOS Department, and the Chair of the IES Faculty. More direct supervision is by a Management Subcommittee consisting of the Director of IES, the Director of CCR, and the Chair of AOS.