Special Initiatives

Gifts from generous donors are enabling us to apply the Bass Connections model of interdisciplinary, team-based inquiry to special research and engagement initiatives.

All Babies and Children Thrive (ABC Thrive)

ABC Thrive leverages the innovative research, education, clinical care and outreach capabilities of Duke University and Duke Health to promote optimal development in children from prenatal to age five. The initiative will support interdisciplinary teams of experts who will identify, validate and disseminate best practices for use by parents, educators, health care providers and community stakeholders to ensure that every child has the best possible start in life, with a particular emphasis on three goal areas:

  • Prenatal and early childhood health and wellness
  • Community outreach
  • Applied technology to achieve scale

Read more about ABC Thrive

Biodiversity Conservation

This special initiative was formed in support of wildlife conservation programs at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and environmental research and education at Duke. The first three funded projects:

  • Deploy ocean evidence gap maps to target conservation efforts
  • Use drones to monitor and evaluate the health of coastal ecosystems
  • Analyze the role that African forest elephants play in seed dispersal and forecasting ecological changes resulting from reduction of elephant populations.

Read more about Biodiversity Conservation

Energy Access Project

In 2017-18, Duke University launched the Energy Access Project to develop new, collaborative ways to meet the energy needs of some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities, without exacerbating climate change. In 2018-19, two Bass Connections project teams are tackling this challenge by using:

  • A “ground-up” approach to better understand the economic, political, geographic and cultural challenges to energy access in Zambia
  • Satellite imagery to create an energy infrastructure map of the world.

Read more about the Energy Access Project