Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.82
Liaison Richard Demerjian
Submission Date March 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, Irvine
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
3.00 / 3.00 Richard Demerjian
Assistant Vice Chancellor
Office of Environmental Planning and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
Research Opportunities for Community College Teachers (ROCCT) Sustainable Water Program

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus?:
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above:

UCI’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and UCI Office of Access and Inclusion have partnered with four local community colleges to provide traditionally underrepresented students with the tools to develop, implement, and monitor green technologies needed to address California’s growing water crisis.

The result is Research Opportunities for Community College Teachers (ROCCT), a three-year, $600,000 National Science Foundation grant that designates UCI as a Research Experience for Teachers (RET) site, and the gathering point for participants from four local community colleges: Irvine Valley, Saddleback, Cypress and Fullerton. The program started in 2016.

The worsening water crisis in California comes at a time when engineers are ill prepared to design and build civil infrastructure responsive to the challenges that lie ahead. This program will immerse community college engineering teachers in a multi-disciplinary research experience to identify and mitigate (through engineering design) human health concerns associated with capturing, treating, and reusing dry and wet weather urban runoff.

Program Objectives:
-- Contribute to the development, implementation, and monitoring of green technology for treating and reusing urban runoff;
-- Forge new alliances between units within UCI (Engineering, Social Ecology, Undergraduate Education), and between UCI and local community colleges and government agencies;
-- Catalyze educational innovation in community colleges that service students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields;
-- Generate new teaching modules on urban water sustainability that utilize cutting edge pedagogical techniques designed to create excitement about STEM education

UCI provides financial and material support for this program through funding program staffing, providing building space for the program, and providing course materials.

For more information about the ROCCT Sustainable Water Program: http://rocct.water.uci.edu/


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
UC Irvine Regional Resilience Project (RRP)

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (2nd partnership) (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (2nd partnership):

The UC Irvine Regional Resilience Project (RRP) is an ongoing research and community engagement project focused on climate change impacts, social equity, vulnerabilities, and action in Orange County, California, and its borderlands. RRP partners with Orange County Environmental Justice (OCEJ) to identify research and policy allies, link with existing and emerging sustainability and climate networks in Orange County, and document the multiple worlds that exist in this relatively small geographic area.

Increasingly, municipalities are looking regionally for support, knowledge sharing, and partnership to address local climate challenges. Since 2016, RRP has sought to better understand the matrix of existing activities and budding opportunities to enhance equitable climate preparedness in Orange County. RRP aims to co-generate ways to address and heal the racial and class divides between communities ready for climate justice and those just beginning climate-focused work.

UCI RRP facilitates these discussions through workshops and trainings. Additionally, in 2017, UCI RRP published a new report, "Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Investments in and around Orange County: Observations on Place, Purse, and Politics." The purpose of this report is to increase understanding of current Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) investment trends in Orange County, and its borderlands with a lens toward assessing whether, and to what extent, inequities may exist in how funds are disbursed.

Project collaborators include OCEJ Project Director Yenni Diaz, UCI Community Resilience Projects’ Abby Reyes, UCI Assistant Professor of Public Health and Chicano/Latino Studies, Dr. Alana LeBron, and UCI historian Dr. Kristina Shull. Former collaborators include Kimberly Serrano and OCEJ advisory board members Dr. Michael Montoya and Dr. Adonia Lugo.

UCI provides high level staff support, physical office space, and business and administrative services to RRP through the UCI Community Resilience Projects, a unit within the UCI Office of Sustainability (approximately 30% time of UCI Community Resilience Projects Director Abby Reyes is dedicated to the RRP). UCI Community Resilience Projects provides institutional financial support for RRP by applying its fundraising expertise to raise funds from external sources for RRP activities at the level of approximately $52,000 annually. In addition, UCOP funds one, year-long student fellowship through the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative that supports one student fellow to work on RRP through UCI Community Resilience Projects.

For more information about UC Irvine Regional Resilience Project: http://communityresilience.uci.edu/regional-resilience-project/


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
Shadetree Partnership

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (3rd partnership):
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (3rd partnership) (Yes, No, or Unknown):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (3rd partnership):

The Shadetree Partnership is a non-profit dedicated to growing and planting shade trees in the Orange County community through volunteer tree planting projects. During the 28 years that UCI has hosted the Shadetree program campus, the program has planted over 26,500 trees in public spaces in the community through volunteer tree planting projects.

Trees planted through the program have multiple sustainability benefits to the communities served, including urban heat island mitigation and carbon sequestration. UCI provides material support for the program by providing land, utilities, operational support and other resources to the volunteer tree nursery and volunteer tree planting projects.

Volunteer planting projects have included multiple projects in underrepresented communities in Orange and Los Angeles Counties. Projects undertaken in underrepresented communities involve key stakeholders in the planning, decision-making including the project design to meet key community needs, and implementation of each project. The volunteer-run on campus tree nursery hosts multiple outreach events each year engaging local students and youth programs in public service and education through propagating and caring for seedlings and trees.

UCI provides material and financial support for the Shadetree Partnership by providing the land at no financial cost for the nursery and operations. The campus also funds staff support to Shadetree and funds the costs of annual volunteer tree planting events.

For more information about the Shadetree Partnership: http://shadetreepartnership.org/ and http://www.ceplanning.uci.edu/CommunityPlanning/CommunityPlanningPartnerships.html


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information in this credit was provided by:

Stanley Grant, Ph.D.
CO-Principal Investigator, Professor
UCI Civil & Environmental Engineering
(949) 824-8277
sbgrant@uci.edu

Abby Reyes
Director, Community Resilience Projects
Office of Sustainability
(949) 824-2489
abigail.reyes@uci.edu

Matt Deines
Senior Planner
Environmental Planning & Sustainability
(949) 824-4929
mdeines@uci.edu

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.