Interschool Research

UC Irvine faculty and students are engaged in several major interdisciplinary sustainability research (pdf) and teaching endeavors, often in conjunction with communities facing sustainability challenges. A sampling of current initiatives:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • UCI OCEANS – UCI OCEANS offers 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.
  • FloodRISE  – This NSF-funded project seeks to understand what factors and conditions allow parcel-level prediction of urban flooding to catalyze behavioral change in flood vulnerable communities.
  • UCI Water-PIRE – This NSF-funded project catalyzes, through research and education, the development and deployment of low-energy options (LEOs) for improving water productivity while protecting human and ecosystem health. Watch the UCI Water-PIRE undergraduate program video here.

To learn more about interschool sustainability scholarship at UC Irvine, or to feature your work on this page, please email