Faculty Climate Action Champion Award Announced
Steven Allison, an associate professor of ecology in the departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Earth System Science, has just received a $25,000 Climate Action Champion Award. Dr. Allison will use this award to develop an integrated training program for graduate students with career interests in climate sustainability.
President Napolitano created the year-long climate action fellowship award to be given to one faculty member on each campus for the 2015-2016 academic year. The award was designed to promote faculty leadership in scholarship and teaching about climate-action solutions. Each campus selected a faculty climate action champion after soliciting proposals from faculty of all disciplines for activities that engage students and provide campus-wide leadership in carbon neutrality and sustainability issues. At UC Irvine, the Academic Senate worked with the Sustainability Initiative’s faculty Executive Committee to administer the award.
Interdisciplinary and community-engaged approach to climate education
Dr. Allison developed an integrated training program that will engage faculty and non-academic partners to train a cohort of climate scholars from multiple graduate programs at UC Irvine.
Students in the program will translate big ideas into tangible and effective climate solutions. Community partners with expertise in environmental challenges will help design academic programs and provide internship opportunities for graduate students. In return, our partners will benefit from fresh ideas and access to well-trained graduates ready to tackle climate-related problems. The program will emphasize transferrable skills in data analysis, communication, and professional development that are essential for climate-related careers inside and outside academia. More broadly, skills training and partnerships with non-academic organizations will build UC Irvine’s institutional capacity to address climate challenges facing our society.
About Dr. Steven Allison
Dr. Steven Allison is an Associate Professor of Ecology in the departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine. He holds a PhD in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and is an Early Career Fellow of the Ecological Society of America. Dr. Allison teaches introductory ecology and ecosystem ecology, and his research focuses on ecosystem responses to climate change. Specific projects address the resilience of microbial communities to drought and the effect of rapid climate change on carbon losses from southern California ecosystems. Dr. Allison is also building new mathematical models that incorporate feedbacks among microbial communities, carbon cycling, and climate change. This work aims to improve predictions of global warming consequences for ecosystems. Dr. Allison maintains a vibrant research group with undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars working collaboratively to make scientific advances relevant for climate sustainability.
- Padhraic Smyth, Computer Science/Statistics
- Steve Davis, Earth System Science
- Kristen Davis, Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Valerie Olson, Anthropology
- Alan Terricciano, Dance
- Additional collaborators will be engaged as the project progresses