Research Centers, Institutes, and Programs

//Research Centers, Institutes, and Programs
Research Centers, Institutes, and Programs 2017-11-02T10:04:07+00:00

Research Centers, Institutes, and Programs

Below please find centers, institutes, and programs at UC Irvine that address sustainability-related research matters.

Advanced Power and Energy Program

The Advanced Power and Energy Program at UCI addresses the development and deployment of efficient, environmentally sensitive, sustainable power generation and energy conversion worldwide. At the heart of this endeavor is the creation of new knowledge brought about through fundamental and applied research, and the sharing of this knowledge through education and outreach. Industry is actively engaged and vital to this effort. Built on a foundation established in 1970 with the creation of the UCI Combustion Laboratory and the 1998 dedication of the National Fuel Cell Research Center, APEP is an umbrella organization that addresses the broad utilization of energy resources and the emerging nexus of electric power generation, infrastructure, transportation, water resources, and the environment.

AirUCI Institute

The Atmospheric Integrated Research at UCI (AirUCI) Institute addresses the urgent challenges we face in air and water quality, human health, climate change, as well as green technology through the integration of research, education, and outreach.

Arboretum

The UCI Arboretum is a 12.5-acre botanic garden and research facility located approximately one mile from UCI. The Arboretum features plants and communities from the California Floristic Province and also has an extensive collection of South African species. As a part of the School of Biological Sciences, the Arboretum hosts a diversity of research projects, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and post-doctoral scholars. In addition to providing shade cloth growing facilities, the Arboretum is the only site on the campus where “common garden” experiments can be conducted.

Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation

The Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation was launched at UCI as part of a larger consortium of Blum Centers across the University of California (UC) campuses that operate on the idea that a world-class university must be a force for tackling the world’s most daunting challenge – poverty. The Center’s mission is to enable a new generation of students and researchers to ask and address critical questions about economic development that are key prerequisites to devising effective and innovative approaches to alleviating contemporary poverty both locally, in Orange County, and abroad.

California Institute for Hazards Research

The California Institute for Hazards Research was founded to better coordinate natural hazards research across the UC system. Research areas for the institute include the understanding and prediction of natural hazards and the ways to reduce their impact on society. The institute will collaborate with local, state, and federal governments and organizations on natural disaster research, education, and preparedness.

 California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology

The California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology – known as Calit2 – is a two-campus multidisciplinary research institute. One of four UC Gray Davis Institutes for Science and Innovation, Calit2 divisions at UCI and UC San Diego leverage academic expertise with industry experience to conduct cutting-edge research in diverse fields. The goal: to develop innovative information technology-based products and services to benefit society and ignite economic development in the region and state. The more than 200 UCI faculty and students affiliated with Calit2 are actively engaged in projects based on the digital transformation of energy, the environment, healthcare, and culture.

California Plug Load Research Center

UCI is home to the new California Plug Load Research Center, or CalPlug, a public-private partnership established in 2011 with research funding from the California Energy Commission to improve energy efficiency in the use and design of appliances and consumer electronic devices – anything that plugs into an electrical outlet.

Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy

The Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy (CBGHP) serves as a reference point for research, policy development and advocacy concerning science, biotechnology, bioethics and healthcare in the United States and abroad. The CBGHP engages multiple stakeholder communities: scholars, policy makers, civil society, healthcare providers, the judiciary and the general public, highlighting the collaborative role and function of law in responding to state, federal and international healthcare concerns. With a mission to educate the public and serve as a catalyst for the advancement of society through research, educational outreach and advocacy, the Center engages three major initiatives: Public Health and Legal Policy; Reproductive Justice; and Biotechnology and National Security.

 Center for Complex Biological Systems

The UCI Center for Complex Biological Systems promotes research and education in the area of systems biology broadly defined, which includes aspects of synthetic biology, genomics and functional genomics, computational biology, mathematical biology, biophysics, bioengineering and molecular biology. The goal is to develop a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of complex biological systems and their behaviors.

Center for Demographic and Social Analysis

Founded in 2007, the Campus Center for Demographic and Social Analysis formalizes a decade of highly productive collaboration between researchers in a dozen departments. With nearly 50 faculty affiliates and 30 associated graduate students, C-DASA is the focal point for a host of population-related research activities at UCI. Expertise in child and youth outcomes; demographic, spatial and social network methodologies; social inequality; and health and well-being make C-DASA a leading center for research on the well-being of local, national, and global populations. C-DASA provides small seed grants to encourage multi-disciplinary projects, collaborative studies, grant proposals, and research by junior faculty. Support for C-DASA comes from the Office of Research. The weekly Population, Society and Inequality Seminar Series fosters dialogue on current research, funding opportunities, analytic approaches, and new data sets.

Center for Disaster Medical Sciences

As societies become more complex and interconnected, the potential for natural disasters increases. The consequences of global climate change have exacerbated, created, or are in the process of inducing conditions that require an adaptive management response to disasters and medical and public health needs. This includes an evolutionary approach as new challenges arise from increased fire probability to higher predicted seasonal flooding events, coastal erosion and landslides, and an increase in certain, particularly vector borne and novel emerging, infectious diseases. UCI’s Center for Disaster Medical Sciences is adapting to these new challenges so that environments can be maintained in ways that correspond with a management methodology that makes resilience and continued sustainability possible. The Center is at the forefront of the emerging field of disaster medicine, offering innovative approaches to optimize disaster management through research, education, training, and public policy. Current research focuses on surge capacity and crisis care, disaster triage, earthquakes, simulation training, and disaster nomenclature.

Center for Embedded and Cyber-Physical Systems

The Center for Embedded and Cyber-Physical Systems (CECS) is a premier research organization focusing on research and educational aspects related to embedded systems. With applications ranging from green technology to information appliances, network and wireless communication, robotics, medical devices, smart homes for the elderly and disabled, automotive, rail and aviation technology sectors –they are changing the way we live. The Center is composed of more than 27 faculty members and 65 graduate students representing five Schools and eleven Departments across campus.

Center for Environmental Biology

The Center for Environmental Biology in the School of Biological Sciences was established in March 2010 to facilitate research, education, and outreach in biological science to help develop innovative new solutions to environmental problems. Biological resources are a critical component of environmental sustainability. Land, aquatic, and marine ecosystems provide many essential functions that sustain air, water, climate, food, and social systems. It is increasingly challenging to manage these resources in response to multiple stresses and environmental disturbances such as climate change, pollution, land use change, and exotic species invasions. New advances in biological research are providing methods to better understand how organisms and ecosystems influence the environment and how they respond to environmental change. Working in partnership with ecosystem and resource managers, UCI faculty are collaborating to conduct solutions-oriented research in environmental biology, and to educate the next generation of environmental biologists and stewards of biological resources.

Center for Ethnography

Established in 2006, the Center for Ethnography has worked to develop a series of sustained and diverse theoretical and methodological conversations across disciplines, academic and applied, both to probe the state of ethnographic practice and to influence the current changes in how ethnography is conducted, reported, received, and taught. The center supports innovative collaborative ethnographic research as well as experiments on the theoretical and methodological functioning of ethnography amid contemporary cultural, social and technological transformations.

Center for Evolutionary Genetics

The application of molecular and genetic tools to evolutionary questions provides answers to some of the most fundamental questions in biology. For example, phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses illuminate the evolutionary history of life, population genetics provides insight into current processes of gene flow and natural selection, and studies that incorporate experimental evolution and functional genetics can give us a preview of future evolutionary trajectories. The utility and power of modern genetic techniques can be applied to a diverse array of academic disciplines, including studies of aging, behavior, infectious disease, cancer, genomic evolution and the domestication of plants and animals.

Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies

The Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies (CGPACS) is a multi-disciplinary program founded in 1983, housed in the School of Social Sciences, and dedicated to promoting scholarly, student and public understanding of international peace and conflict. CGPACS-affiliated faculty (more than 60 faculty from 7 schools across campus), guest speakers, and affiliated graduate students work on the military/strategic, economic/environmental and cultural/normative motives, processes, and consequences of both peace and conflict. Current CGPACS programs approach the theme Thinking past the Unthinkable: Opportunities and Challenges for Global Peace in three related areas: Biosecurity and the New Realities of Global Warming; Financial Crisis: Peace and Conflict in the New Normal; and Rethinking Peace and Conflict after the Arab Spring. Biosecurity and the New Realities of Global Warming, the first CGPACS sub-theme, is particularly relevant to sustainability. Global warming poses a challenge to received wisdom about peace and conflict in the world. Bringing together the considerable expertise on the UCI campus, in partnership with local, regional and international experts, CGPACS looks at the numerous challenges to peace and potential for conflict posed by peak water and peak oil.

Center for Globalization, Law, and Society

The Center for Globalization, Law and Society (GLAS) is the umbrella center for the study of international, transnational and comparative law at UCI School of Law. The Center organizes presentations, conferences and other events, and is a focal point for cutting-edge research on the development and operation of law in a globalized world. As a premier research center, it builds understanding of law’s roles and constraints in addressing issues that transcend national borders, including the economy, human rights, health, and the environment. The Center brings together scholars of international, transnational and comparative law with social science researchers to build understanding and spur exchange on how to address transnational problems in a more effective and just way. UCI is one of the world’s leading centers for the interdisciplinary study of law and society. The Center builds on these existing strengths by expanding connections between the law school, campus, and local, state, national, and global communities of scholars and affected constituencies.

Center for Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing

The Center for Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing (CHRS) brings together faculty and researchers to advance the knowledge of the water and energy cycle at scales ranging from the local watersheds to continental scales. Researchers focus on land-surface hydrologic processes, their spatial and temporal variability, and the use of remote sensing information and computer models to improve both the understanding of these processes and the ability to model them in order to predict the impacts of natural and anthropogenic variables on water resources. A primary goal of CHRS has been to develop the means to extend the benefits of federal space and weather agencies’ vast technological resources into applications that can assist hydrologists and water resource managers worldwide.

Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources

The Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources (CLEANR) strives to make UCI School of Law a nationally recognized site for scholarship, education, community outreach, and public engagement on environmental, natural resources, and land use law. CLEANR adopts a broad understanding of law to include judicial decision-making, legislation, regulation (including administrative guidance and policy), and alternative forms of dispute resolution. The center also adopts a broad understanding of environmental problems to include issues pertaining to environmental health, pollution control, land use, natural resources, public lands, and energy. CLEANR has hosted or co-hosted eight interdisciplinary conferences on a range of environmental topics, including offshore drilling, environmental health and law, water conservation in Mexico, the Arctic, California coastal conservation, climate justice, ice melt, and pesticides. Center programming includes an annual environmental law lecture series, an environmental literature and film series, and an international interdisciplinary summer institute for future sustainability leaders. Future programming also will include convening of focused environmental dispute resolution processes, interdisciplinary research funding, and policy papers.

Center for Learning in the Arts and Sciences

Founded in 2001, the campus Center for Learning in the Arts and Sciences focuses on developing effective interdisciplinary methods for helping all students to understand key concepts in the arts and sciences, with a special interest in civic competence and scientific knowledge. The Center has a strong focus on investigating methods by which communities and the natural environment may be sustained and thrive.

Center for Occupational and Environmental Health

The UC Centers for Occupational and Environmental Health were established in 1979 under a mandate from the California legislature with the goal of improving research and training on injuries and occupational disease prevention in California. The University established centers in Northern and Southern California, and later the Southern center was divided into one center at UCI and the other at UCLA. The centers were established to train occupational health scientists and professionals, conduct research on occupational and environmental health issues, and provide services to the public, employer, and workers in Southern California. UCI’s center houses programs in Environmental Health Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Environmental Epidemiology, and Toxicology. Affiliated faculty and staff reside within the School of Medicine, the School of Social Ecology, and the Program in Public Health.

Center for Research in International Studies

The Center for Research on International Studies is designed to promote research connections among all faculty and students at UCI with international and global interests. Promoting synergies enhances the prospects for both addressing the global issues of today and educating the next generation of global citizens.

Center for Research on International Immigration

The Center for Research on International  Immigration focuses on policy-related research concerned with immigration and immigrant settlement, including the role that immigration plays in affecting population dynamics and the economy. Broadly speaking, the Center’s research involves projects on what kinds of immigrants come, what happens to them when they are here, and what effects they have on America.

Center for Research in Sustainability, Collapse-preparedness and Information Technology (RiSCIT)
In his keynote address at a 2012 NSF-funded National Academies symposium, John Holdren, head of the US Office of Science and Technology Policy and chief science advisor to the nation, spoke at length about climate change, and described a need for both mitigation – the reduction of the magnitude of change – and adaptation – the mobilization of responses to change. Holdren advocated for the development of technology that focuses on “meeting human needs [and] wants at lower cost with reduced use of material resources [and] reduced environmental impact.” The Center for Research in Sustainability, Collapse-Preparedness & Information Technology (RiSCIT) seeks to engage with this challenge, in part due to the potential for “greening through IT” – that is, making civilizations more environmentally sustainable via IT interventions and in part as means of preparing for civilizational collapse. The goal of the RiSCIT center is to provide a central focus for research on the role of informatics and computing in supporting the transition to sustainability and addressing the potential to prepare for civilization-scale collapse.
Center for Solar Energy

The Center for Solar Energy was established in 2007 to pioneer research in solar energy conversion. Presently, solar energy provides an insignificant fraction of the United States’ overall energy needs, and fundamental scientific breakthroughs will be required to change this state of affairs. The mission of the Center for Solar Energy (CfSE) is to study the fundamental scientific principles of solar energy conversion and to educate scientists, students, and the general public about harnessing our most abundant energy resource.

Center for the Study of Democracy

The Center for the Study of Democracy sponsors research and education aimed at improving the democratic process in the United States and expanding democracy around the world. The Center’s research activities focus on developing a better understanding of the conditions fostering democratic development and democratic processes in the United States and internationally.

Center for Trauma and Injury Prevention Research

Since its inception in 2004, UCI School of Medicine’s Center for Trauma and Injury Prevention Research has demonstrated its commitment to the reduction of the associated personal and societal burden of traumatic injury by conducting multidisciplinary research, translating research into policy and practice, serving as a regional and national resource, and working in close partnership with communities. This is part of the University’s institutional and cultural commitment to sustainability as trauma injuries increase through climate change challenges and the prevention of injury becomes a focused societal need.

Center for Unconventional Security Affairs

Global environmental change, technological innovation, economic globalization, and the spread of democracy have dramatically transformed the security landscape. While the incidence of war has declined, other, unconventional threats have moved onto the agenda, such as climate change, cybercrime and complex disasters. These threats to human security and national security have become as important as the traditional threat of war. Security today depends as much on investments into promoting sustainability, alleviating poverty and facilitating cooperation as into intelligence and defense. The Center for Unconventional Security Affairs (CUSA) was established in 2003. Its Unconventional Security Research Group studies and develops solutions to unconventional security challenges through interdisciplinary field research. CUSA’s Transformational Media Lab explores the use of media in communicating these challenges and moving people from concern to action. The eARTh Studio provides a platform for artists who create art informed by these issues. CUSA also focuses on supporting leaders in the business, government and non-profit communities who are trying to address these challenges, and on educating the next generation of leaders by integrating students into all aspects of the Center’s activities. In 2010, the Center launched a Sustainability Seminar Series that continues today.

Center in Law, Society and Culture

The Center in Law, Society and Culture brings together UCI faculty and graduate students who share interests in law, society, and culture, broadly defined. Issues of interest to center affiliates include race, law and justice; law and literature; critical legal theory; legal consciousness; law and space; legal philosophy, culture and policing; the interaction of local and international legal cultures; globalization; migration; knowledge production; law, science, and society; and law and history.

Community Knowledge Project

The Community Knowledge Project is a practice that explicitly addresses the systems and structures of inequality in which all humans and non-humans live. The Community Knowledge Project is inspired by the Environmental Justice Movements around the globe where expertise itself is challenged and redefined. Coburn (2006) nicely details the promise of local knowledge for a new generation of scholars that seek a connection rather than domination or mastery over their subjects/objects of interest. His is an introduction and a doorway into a situated knowledge making practice that includes, on equal footing, expert and local knowledge makers. Neither takes an upper hand for Coburn. Rather, expert and local knowledge practices share many qualities that make the dichotomy only useful as a mnemonic, not as epistemological or ontological truism. Because community health issues are inherently multidimensional, students from all departments and backgrounds are encouraged to become involved.

Community Outreach Partnership Center

Initiated in 2001, the Community Outreach Partnership Center (COPC) builds bridges between UCI and local communities. The Center harnesses university resources – faculty, student, and institutional – to help address key regional challenges. COPC projects are guided by a commitment to “community engagement.” The Center uses applied research, training and instruction, and outreach to help build and sustain healthy communities.

FloodRISE

FloodRISE is a UC Irvine-led research project to promote resilience to coastal flooding in Southern California. The project uses advanced computer models to map flooding hazards on a house by house basis, and flood risk information is made accessible to residents, businesses and civic leaders through innovative communication strategies. The goal is to enhance flood risk planning and policies and to promote cost effective interventions. Research takes place in the lowlands surrounding the largest estuaries in Southern California: Tijuana River and Newport Bay. This place-based investment in Southern California coastal communities is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Greenhouse

The UCI Greenhouse is a 9,000-square-foot growth facility that supports teaching and research needs for the School of Biological Sciences. The Greenhouse is divided into 15 growth areas that are individually programmable for temperature. Greenhouse Staff provides watering, pest management, and basic maintenance for plants used in research and teaching. Additional facilities include common-use lab space, a lath house adjacent to the Greenhouse for plants requiring ambient conditions, an autoclave for soil sterilization, and storage space for greenhouse supplies, which are provided by investigators. Limited environmental growth chamber space is also available.

Health Policy Research Institute

UCI’s Health Policy Research Institute is a multidisciplinary research unit that conducts health services research, comparative effectiveness and quality-of-care research. The Institute focuses on the assessment and improvement of the quality of health care, especially care for chronic diseases, with an emphasis on understanding and reducing disparities in health and healthcare for racial/ethnic minorities and vulnerable populations.

Institute of Transportation Studies

The Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) – a UC organized research unit with branches at Irvine, Davis, and Berkeley – was established to foster research, education, and training in the field of transportation. Research at ITS covers a broad spectrum of transportation issues spanning the fields of engineering, planning, economics, computer science and public health. ITS-Irvine serves as headquarters for a major six-campus Multicampus Research Program and Initiative funded by the UC Office of the President on Sustainable Transport: Technology, Mobility and Infrastructure. Current funded research projects at Irvine focus upon: intelligent transportation systems, particularly advanced transportation management systems; analysis and simulation of urban traffic networks; transportation system operations and control; travel demand forecasting for both person and freight transportation; analysis of complex travel behavior; transportation/land use interactions, particularly those which encourage alternative modes of travel; planning and evaluation of advanced public transit systems; transportation pricing and regulation; energy and environmental issues, particularly demand for alternative fuels and assessing the greenhouse gas and air quality impacts of traffic and truck operations and associated pollution mitigation strategies; effect of land-use on transportation demand; and the growth of automobile use in the U.S. and Western Europe.

National Fuel Cell Research Center

The NFCRC was dedicated in 1998 by the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission and is affiliated with the Advanced Power and Energy Program at UCI. The goal of the NFCRC is to facilitate and accelerate the development and deployment of fuel cell technology and fuel cell systems; promote strategic alliances to address the market challenges associated with the installation and integration of fuel cell systems; and to educate and develop resources for the various stakeholders in the fuel cell community. The NFCRC addresses the role of stationary fuel cell systems for both distributed and central plant generation of electricity, back-up power, powering laptops and cell phones, co-generating heat and cooling, and tri-generating hydrogen as a transportation and an industrial feedstock. The NFCRC addresses the role of mobile fuel cell systems for powering automobiles, trucks, buses, locomotives, ships, and long-distance trucks, and deploys fuel cell vehicles to address hydrogen generation, fueling, and public preparation for a future hydrogen economy.

Newkirk Center for Science and Society

The Newkirk Center for Science and Society promotes research in the natural and social sciences to enhance the quality of life. It finds ways to develop and share research knowledge with the public and policy makers so they can make informed decisions on vital policy issues on law, education, environment, health care, crime, and public infrastructure. Among these are the Center’s “Toward a Sustainable 21st Century” seminar series, begun in 2007, and the Summer Seminar Series: “Empowering Sustainability on Earth,” launched in July 2011. Emphasizing health, the environment, community development, education, and law, the Center embraces the following principles in its operations: enabling scientists to connect more easily with policy makers, practitioners, and citizens; assisting the community to connect to the development of science intended to serve its needs; harnessing the multidisciplinary capacities of UCI and the UC system-wide.

 Coastal and Marine Science

The oceans are of vast importance, and marine species and ecosystems are at risk. Human impacts on marine habitats are greatest in areas of high population density, including the Los Angeles metropolitan area, which is adjacent to a productive and diverse stretch of coastline. Researchers at UCI are tackling many of the pressing environmental concerns that impact oceans at both local and global scales, including the effects of pollution, climate change, marine debris, invasive species, nutrient loading, and biodiversity loss. Locally, UCI faculty are at the forefront of coastal ocean monitoring and are leading restoration and conservation efforts in Orange County.

Social Ecology Research Center

Affiliated with the School of Social Ecology, the Social Ecology Research Center promotes research that links natural and socio-cultural domains, transcending individual disciplines and bridging critique and action. Current research projects include Social Ecology of Resilience and Sustainability, Ecology and the Neighborhood, and Climate Narratives.

UCI Combustion Laboratory

The UCI Combustion Laboratory, (UCICL) is one of the components of the Advanced Power & Energy Program (APEP) at UCI. The UCICL is addressing the challenges associated with the combustion of alternative and fossil fuels by developing and applying (1) advanced experimental capabilities including specialized test rigs, laser and conventional diagnostics; (2) numerical tools; and (3) statistically designed testing to problems of practical relevance. These tools are necessary to unravel the complex, multidisciplinary nature of combustion that heretofore has eluded understanding. A fundamental understanding of the interaction between turbulent mixing and chemical reaction is required if practical combustion systems are to be improved beyond the current state of the art.

UCI OCEANS

Oceans are important for the Earth System but are vulnerable to human impacts such as climate change, overfishing, and pollution. Across campus, researchers at UCI are tackling pressing marine and on-shore environmental concerns and investigating questions at both global and local scales. This Initiative will offer a fresh take on ocean research and education by embracing a vision and approach that spans the natural sciences, engineering, social science, arts, education, law, and governance and is thus distinct from other marine research institutions. With the unique collection of interdisciplinary research approaches and strong community support, UCI OCEANS is poised to become the flagship organization for urban ocean studies, while simultaneously contributing to high impact global-scale ocean research. Twenty-nine faculty from eight schools are part of this Initiative.

UCI Salton Sea Initiative

The Salton Sea Initiative is an interdisciplinary collaboration based at UCI and working to promote understanding about the sustainability challenges facing the Salton Sea region. This work takes many forms: facilitation and collaboration on various research efforts in the natural and social sciences; teaching, curriculum development, and empowering our students to teach; and working with regional partners to create avenues for public discourse about the future of the Salton Sea. The Salton Sea Initiative is one of the initiatives sponsored by UCI’s Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor through the Office of Academic Initiatives.

UCI Sustainability Initiative

The Sustainability Initiative provides a platform for interdisciplinary scholarship on the critical climate, environment, and resource issues confronting society. The Initiative aims to infuse sustainability across UCI empowering students and faculty with the rich institutional history of impactful research and promotes collaborations with diverse communities on and off campus in developing solutions to challenges affecting California and the globe. Community-engaged scholarship and practice are integral to UCI’s excellence as a research university and underlie how the university creates knowledge to serve society. Specific goals of the Sustainability Initiative include: transform sustainability education at UCI; embrace climate neutrality as an institution; enable skills sharing and capacity building for transformation; communicate the legacy of UCI’s sustainability scholarship and practice; facilitate connection and resource sharing on and off campus; incubate new projects by faculty, staff, and student leaders; and reinforce campus efforts to inspire, enable, and evaluate public impact through interschool research, education, and engagement. The Sustainability Initiative is one of the initiatives sponsored by UCI’s Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor through the Office of Academic Initiatives.

 UCI Water-PIRE

Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) is an NSF-wide program that supports international activities across all NSF supported disciplines. The primary goal of PIRE is to support high quality projects in which advances in research and education could not occur without international collaboration. Climate change and global population growth demand creative, low-energy, multi-disciplinary, and multi-benefit approaches to sustaining water resources. This PIRE will catalyze, through research and education, the development and deployment of low-energy options for improving water productivity while protecting human and ecosystem health. The project links five different universities in two water-stressed regions of the world (southwest U.S. and southeast Australia) with unique and complementary expertise in the development and deployment of rainwater tanks, biofilters, and waste stabilization ponds for potable substitution and watershed protection.

 UCI Water Energy Nexus Center

The UCI Water Energy Nexus Center (UCI WEX Center) promotes comprehensive and trans-disciplinary approaches to water efficiency, energy efficiency, and greenhouse gas reduction in an urban environment with a diverse, rapidly growing population. The UCI WEX Center’s mission is to advance the understanding of the water environment and the energy-water nexus for urban areas and their surroundings in order to assist people and institutions in their efforts to promote health, enhance the efficient use of water and energy resources, and protect environmental values. UCI WEX Center aims to promote excellence in urban water research and education at UCI by facilitating the integration of research in basic and applied science, engineering, and social sciences. It also aims to bridge with entities outside academia to advance societal and industrial applications of fundamental and applies research to inform and aid policy makers and to educate the public on urban water sustainability in Orange County, California, the United States and beyond.

 UC Network for Experimental Research on Evolution

NERE, the Network for Experimental Research on Evolution, is a UC Multicampus Research Program funded and administered through the UC Office of the President and its constituent UC campuses. NERE (pronounced “near”) supports collaboration, communication, and graduate education concerned with research on biological evolution. A number of UCI researchers are affiliated with NERE.

UC Research and Education in Green Materials Program

The goal of the Research and Education in Green Materials program is to transform the research education of a new cadre of graduate students to approach materials science, toxicology, environmental engineering and technologies, and the social sciences through selective engagement collaboratively to transform what some call “our current toxic material society” into a “green material society.” California, as the world’s sixth largest economy, is both a source and sink for consumer products manufactured with material components that remain poorly characterized with respect to potential impacts on human health and environmental quality. The program is designed not only to pinpoint toxic risks but also to develop effective strategies for managing the risks while paying attention to consumer preferences, the bottom line for manufacturers, and the role of government policies in protecting the public.

Water UCI

The interschool Water UCI Initiative fosters collaboration in the fields of fundamental and applied water science, technology, engineering, management and policy. Water UCI team tackles “grand challenges” – high-consequence, high-uncertainty problems that entail unprecedented mitigation costs, have the potential to generate social conflict, and may be approaching irreversibility. California is used as both a point of departure to address global water issues and a benchmark for applying innovations in areas such as water resource monitoring, groundwater management, wastewater recycling and demand-side management. Water UCI activities focus on interdisciplinary research, curriculum development, and community outreach events. Water UCI is one of the initiatives sponsored by UCI’s Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor through the Office of Academic Initiatives.

M. Keck Carbon Cycle Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory

The Keck Carbon Cycle accelerator mass spectrometry (KCCAMS) facility was set up to use carbon isotopic techniques, primarily AMS, to advance understanding of the carbon cycle and its linkages with climate.