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Sustainable 2nd Century

Sustainable 2nd Century

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Our Research

Developing sustainable solutions

UC Davis research may start in the laboratory or field, but its impacts are felt around the world. Whether it is national leadership in plug-in hybrid electric vehicle research, real-world demonstrations of new lighting technology or re-calculating livestock contributions to global warming — our research is making a difference and making headlines.

Research news

  • 10.15.14 — After the crash: Butterflies rely on connections amid changing climate

    Butterflies in Canadian mountain meadows rebounded after a severe population crash. Why? It’s all about connections, found a study by UC Davis in collaboration with Western University in Ontario, Canada, and other North American institutions.

  • 9.24.14 — Good catch: Fishermen clean ocean of lost crabbing gear

    California’s rugged North Coast lays claim to one of the state’s most valuable commercial fisheries: Dungeness crab. Millions of pounds of this meaty delicacy are pulled in each year from Morro Bay to the California-Oregon border, making for an industry valued at $32 million to $95 million per year. But there’s another catch: Many of the thousands of crab pots set in the sea don’t make their way back. Now, a group of fishermen collaborating with UC Davis are working to remove the lost crabbing gear from the ocean and sell it back to the original owners under what they hope will be an economically sustainable model for future cleanups.

  • 9.16.14 — Global shift to mass transit could save more than $100 trillion and 1,700 megatons of CO2

    More than $100 trillion in public and private spending could be saved between now and 2050 if the world expands public transportation, walking and cycling in cities, according to a new report released by UC Davis and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. Additionally, reductions in carbon dioxide emissions reaching 1,700 megatons per year in 2050 could be achieved if this shift occurs.

  • 9.11.14 — University lights the way for hospital energy savings

    As ambulances at a Vacaville hospital speed off to their next patient, an ultrasmart, energy-efficient system is lighting the way. Installed in partnership with UC Davis, the lighting system now illuminates the emergency vehicle routes, parking lots and outdoor walkways of the NorthBay VacaValley Hospital. The system is reducing outdoor lighting energy use at the 24-hour site by 66 percent, saving about 29,000 kilowatt-hours annually -- enough to offset the greenhouse gas emissions of 7.2 tons of waste.

  • 8.19.14 — California has given away rights to far more water than it has

    California has allocated five times more surface water than the state actually has, making it hard for regulators to tell whose supplies should be cut during a drought, UC researchers reported.

  • 8.14.14 — State of the lake: High (tech) and dry at Tahoe

    Lowering a white disk off a boat and into Lake Tahoe’s blue waters was once the most widely used indicator of the lake’s clarity and health. Today, the Secchi disk is still an important tool, but 46 years after UC Davis first began continuous monitoring of Lake Tahoe, an array of new technologies and computer models are helping scientists better understand what has proven to be a complex ecosystem.

  • 8.14.14 — Why the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle rollout may now succeed

    A convergence of factors is propelling a market rollout of the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, according to a new study from the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis. A key to hydrogen’s potential success is a new smart solution that clusters hydrogen fuel infrastructure in urban or regional networks, limiting initial costs and enabling an early market for the technology before committing to a full national deployment, suggests the study.

  • 7.15.14 — Drought impact study: California agriculture faces greatest water loss ever seen

    A new report from UC Davis shows that California agriculture is weathering its worst drought in decades due to groundwater reserves, but the nation’s produce basket may come up dry in the future if it continues to treat those reserves like an unlimited savings account.

  • 6.18.14 — UC Davis and Dubai-based developer enter agreement to collaborate on sustainability research

    Diamond Developers, inspired by the energy-efficient West Village at UC Davis, is building its own sustainable city on the outskirts of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The company is collaborating with UC Davis to expand research and develop curricula related to sustainable communities.

  • 6.18.14 — Survey says: ‘California’s blackbird’ in sharp decline

    The population of California’s iconic tricolored blackbird has suffered a dramatic decline in the past six years, according to a new survey coordinated by UC Davis.

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