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Sustainable 2nd Century

Sustainable 2nd Century

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Our Research: Research Groups

UC Davis is a global leader in sustainability-related research, applied technology and transformative projects that advance knowledge and serve as models for the world. Campus institutes, centers and other research groups help focus multidisciplinary research on critical topics of sustainability. The following are some examples:

Agricultural Sustainability Institute

The Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis provides a hub that links research initiatives and education in sustainable agriculture and food systems throughout the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the University of California and the state.

University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program
The UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program is a statewide program that provides leadership and support for scientific research and education in agricultural and food systems that are economically viable, conserve natural resources and biodiversity, and enhance the quality of life in the state's communities. SAREP serves farmers, farmworkers, ranchers, researchers, educators, regulators, policymakers, industry professionals, consumers and community organizations across the state.
Long Term Research on Agricultural Systems
UC Davis’ Long Term Research on Agricultural Systems project has been evaluating the sustainability and environmental impact of conventional and alternative agriculture since 1993. The 100-year main experiment and various shorter experiments are focused on improving the sustainability and environmental impact of agriculture.
Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems
The Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems project was established at UC Davis in 1988 to study the transition from conventional to low-input or organic farm management in the Sacramento Valley. Close ties to the agricultural community keep the farming philosophy realistic and the focus on meaningful research questions.

Air Quality Research Center

Air pollution research and education at UC Davis focuses on urban and regional smog, indoor air quality, global climate change, health and environmental effects, and intermedia transfers of contaminants into water, soil and organisms. Many departments, laboratories, faculty, staff and students are engaged in solving these air pollution problems in the service of industry, governments and nonprofit organizations.

California Environmental Law and Policy Center

Part of the UC Davis School of Law, the center participates in interdisciplinary environmental research and policy initiatives, and focuses on translating its environmental scholarship into effective public policy at the regional, state, national and international levels. 

Center for Regional Change

The center brings together faculty and regional stakeholders for solutions-oriented research on community development dimensions of sustainability including affordable housing, youth development and environmental health.

Energy Institute

The UC Davis Energy Institute coordinates energy research and education on campus and facilitates interactions with other institutes, laboratories and programs across the nation and around the world. 

Energy Efficiency Center
As a catalyst for new knowledge, interdisciplinary collaboration and creative partnerships, the center endeavors to be an agent of change in an energy-hungry world.
California Lighting Technology Center
The center helps industry and government apply energy-efficient lighting ideas through technology development and demonstrations, as well as outreach and education activities in partnership with electric utilities, lighting manufacturers, lighting professionals and governmental agencies.
Western Cooling Efficiency Center
The center's mission is to partner with stakeholders to identify technologies, disseminate information and implement programs that reduce cooling systems' electrical demand and energy consumption in the western United States.
California Wind Energy Collaborative
Formed as a partnership between UC Davis and the California Energy Commission, the collaborative is a centralized, state-level forum for wind power issues,.
California Geothermal Energy Collaborative
This statewide collaborative develops research priorities, collects technical information and is instrumental in communication between between the California Energy Commission and geothermal stakeholders.
California Biomass Collaborative
This statewide collaboration of government, industry, environmental groups and educational institutions works to enhance the sustainable management and development of biomass in California for the production of renewable energy, biofuels and products.
California Solar Energy Collaborative
The collaborative assists the state, key stakeholders and the California Energy Commission in developing and expanding the utilization of solar power in California.
Integrated Renewable Energy Systems Collaborative
The collaborative focuses on integrating principles and technologies and the mutual benefits of building-, community- or utility-scale programs.

Institute for Transportation Studies

The Institute for Transportation Studies brings together engineers, social scientists and ecologists to create knowledge and technology that lead to better investments and smarter policy.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Research Center
The center’s goals are to provide technology and policy guidance to the state, help solve research questions and address commercialization issues for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
Sustainable Transportation Center
The center’s scope is defined by three areas of emphasis: regional transportation planning, environmental planning and review, and energy policy. Within each area, the center supports behavioral research, systems analysis and planning, and policy tools.
Urban Land Use and Transportation Center
The center aims to support the design and implementation of new land use and vehicle demand policies through research, education, and public outreach. Models and methods developed at the center will support the development of policies that encourage sustainable cities and regions.

John Muir Institute of the Environment

The John Muir Institute champions science and technological innovation, provides campuswide leadership, hosts centers and projects, and seeds research and educational initiatives to solve real-world environmental problems. The institute links science and technology to policy by providing the intellectual setting for interactions between researchers, regulatory agencies, policymakers and the public.

Center for Watershed Sciences
The center is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of critical issues in watershed science — with a focus on the sustainable and cost-effective restoration and management of stream, lake and estuarine ecosystems.
UC Davis Natural Reserve System
Six reserves are administered by the Davis campus: Bodega Marine Reserve, Eagle Lake Field Station, Jepson Prairie Reserve, Donald and Sylvia McLaughlin Reserve, Quail Ridge Reserve and Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve. These reserves provide secure sites for long-term environmental research, education and public outreach.
Tahoe Environmental Research Center
The center is dedicated to research, education and public outreach on lakes and their surrounding environments. Lake ecosystems include the physical, biogeochemical and human environments, and the interactions among them. The center is committed to providing objective scientific information for restoration and sustainable use of the Lake Tahoe basin.
Public Service Research Program
The program addresses environmental issues at the interface of research and scholarly outreach. The program also focuses within UC Davis to increase the capacity of university members to conduct environmental outreach or engagement; to collaborate with communities, public entities, and policymakers for improved decision making; and to practice scholarly and civic engagement.
Center for Health and the Environment
The center initiates and fosters interdisciplinary research programs in the areas of environmental health and toxicology that cross the traditional boundaries of medicine, engineering, agriculture and the sciences.
Center for Small Affordable Water Systems
The center provides technical assistance to help small, public water systems comply with minimum drinking water regulations, thereby increasing the availability of safe water for all Californians.
Road Ecology Center
The center integrates the dispersed disciplines of road ecology on campus to build a coherent state-of-the-science body of principles useful to transportation planning; disseminates this information broadly to the professional communities, to students and environmental scientists, to agencies and to public interest groups; and creates analytical methods, professional practices and institutional processes to support sustainable transportation.
Environmental Justice Project
The project's mission is to encourage and develop interdisciplinary research on environmental justice.
Forest Biology Research Center
The center fosters research and graduate education in forest biology, with research areas in genetics, physiology, ecology, pathology, entomology and silviculture.

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