|Overall Rating||Gold - expired|
|Submission Date||May 3, 2013|
University of California, San Diego
ER-16: Faculty Engaged in Sustainability Research
|7.88 / 10.00||
The number of faculty members engaged in sustainability research:
The total number of faculty members engaged in research:
Names and department affiliations of faculty engaged in sustainability research:
A sampling of UC San Diego departments and faculty engaged in sustainability research include:
Arts and Humanities
California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2)
Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution
Jacobs School of Engineering
Rady School of Management
San Diego Supercomputer Center
School of International Relations/Pacific Studies
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Urban Studies and Planning
The website URL where the sustainability research inventory that includes the names and department affiliations of faculty engaged in sustainability research is posted :
A copy of the sustainability research inventory that includes the names and department affiliations of faculty engaged in sustainability research:
Brief descriptions of up to 4 recent notable accomplishments by faculty engaged in sustainability research, including names and department affiliations:
Sky imagers, and their algorithms, are the brain child of Jan Kleissl, an environmental engineering professor at UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering. Sky imagers are essentially fish-eye lenses that capture a 360-degree view of the horizon and generate a 3-D model of the clouds they observe. The devices are connected to a sophisticated forecasting system that uses what it observes to predict regional solar power availability in 15-minute increments.
So far, utilities have been struggling to integrate solar power into their energy portfolios because the output of energy generated by the sun is highly variable. To make up for the variability in output from renewable sources of power, utilities often run one megawatt of back-up power from traditional sources for every megawatt of power from alternative sources on the grid. Researchers hope to minimize the uncertainty by helping utilities predict and manage these fluctuations through solar forecasting. With a better understanding of how much and when power fluctuates, utilities will be able to schedule back-up power more accurately, saving as much as 50 percent of their operational costs in the process.
Food and Fuel for the 21st Century
UC San Diego’s new Organized Research Unit Food & Fuel for the 21st Century (FF-21) supports the development of innovative, sustainable, and commercially viable solutions for the renewable production of food, energy, green chemistry, and bio-products using photosynthetic organisms. FF-21 incorporates research scientists from the fields of biology, chemistry, engineering, economics, and policy to help facilitate the training of young scientists, including undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral scholars by integrating them into multi-disciplinary research teams. In addition, FF-21 facilitates the transfer of technology to the commercial sector, as well as facilitating discussions with regional, state, and national policy makers regarding the use of photosynthetic organisms for enhanced food production and energy independence.
One of FF-21’s affiliated centers, the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology (SD-CAB), unites science with industry to apply lab discoveries from biology, chemistry, and engineering to real world solutions. Some of the areas SD-CAB is studying include biofuel development; carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration; algal physiology and photosynthesis; genomic analysis of diverse algal species; molecular genetic analysis of algal gene expression; proteomic and metabolomic analysis of algal species; development of molecular tools for engineering algae; co-product development; water remediation; and economics and public policy.
Pesticide and Honey Bee Colony Collapse
James Nieh, a professor of biology at UC San Diego, headed this research project with graduate student Daren Eiri, the first author of the study. The study discovered that a small dose of a commonly used crop pesticide turns honey bees into “picky eaters” and affects their ability to recruit their nestmates to otherwise good sources of food. The experiments have implications for what pesticides should be applied to bee-pollinated crops and sheds light on one of the main culprits suspected to be behind the recent declines in honey bee colonies. Eiri said, “In other words, the bees preferred to only feed on sweeter nectar and refused nectars of lower sweetness that they would normally feed on and that would have provided important sustenance for the colony.” He also stressed, “In addition, bees typically recruit their nestmates to good food with waggle dances, and we discovered that the treated bees also danced less. Remarkably, bees that fed on the pesticide reduced the number of their waggle dances between fourfold and tenfold. And in some cases, the affected bees stopped dancing completely.” The two scientists said their discoveries not only have implications for how pesticides are applied and used in bee-pollinated crops, but provide an additional chemical tool that can be used by other researchers studying the neural control of honey bee behavior.
The Efficient Stove
For over 30 years, Professor Veerabhadran Ramanathan has been conducting original research in Climate and Atmospheric Science. As Director of the Center for Clouds, Chemistry, and Climate at the UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography, he conducts international field campaigns, develops unmanned aircraft platforms for tracking brown cloud pollution worldwide, and educates and trains the next generation of scientists. His major focus now is on developing practical solutions for mitigating global climate change and slowing down the retreat of the Himalayan glaciers. Project Surya, a cook-stove project which attempts to eliminate climate warming pollutants from traditional biomass cooking, is his first climate mitigation project.
The website URL where information about sustainability research is available:
Because UC San Diego does not officially track faculty members engaged in sustainability research, this conservative estimate is based on the number of instructional faculty involved in sustainability research and the total number of instructional faculty.
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.