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The Kwajalein Atoll Sustainability Laboratory

The Kwajalein Atoll Sustainability Laboratory (KASL) is located on Ebeye Island within Kwajalein Atoll in the northern reaches of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, 2400 miles southwest of Hawaii. The 94 islands of the atoll sit 10 feet or less above sea level, and the climate threats they face are severe.


Recognizing those threats, the Marshallese and the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) established a Sustainability Laboratory on Ebeye with participation from multiple academic and international institutions. That lab is designed to help discover climate adaptation methods and tools that might help the Marshallese - and eventually low-elevation coastal populations everywhere - as the impact of climate change spreads.


Ebeye has about 12,000 people living on 80 acres – one of the highest urban population densities in the world. They’re mostly young and very poor and speak a low-density language. Ebeye is, however, located within a 30-minute ferry ride from an international airport that sits within a well-provisioned US military base, so transport logistics can be efficient. 





       Ebeye Island



KASL is owned and managed by the Marshallese as a non-governmental non-profit, and the Board of Directors is 100% Marshallese. ONR, in turn, supports all climate adaptation research within KASL aimed toward the physical, economic, and social support of the Marshallese. Research sectors at KASL include:


  • cultural preservation

  • water

  • food

  • energy

  • shelter

  • sanitation

  • healthcare

  • communication

  • transportation

  • education

  • job creation, and

  • ecosystem regeneration.


KASL is a distributed testing laboratory, and any proposed experiment at KASL should use an integrative design technique encompassing a subset of those sectors. The Test Plan should also include an Overview of how the proposed experiment will help address climate change, biodiversity loss, natural resource shortfalls, environmental degradation, economic inequity, physical safety, or persistent identity. For this last, remember that the Marshallese face a climate-driven diaspora away from their home islands. Remaining Marshallese, no matter where they are, is important to them.

KASL has multiple testing venues, including the ocean's surface, water, and seabed; air above the ocean and over the islands; land; the lagoon; the electromagnetic spectrum; and infrastructure within both dense urban island settings and sparsely-populated outer islands. KASL can also accommodate ethically-validated social science research, and islander participation can be arranged.


More information is available at and from the KASL Research Director, Dr. Eric Rasmussen, at or on cell and Signal at +1-360-621-3592.

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