Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 63.09
Liaison Elida Erickson
Submission Date April 17, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of California, Santa Cruz
AC-9: Academic Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 10.00 / 12.00 Shauna Casey
Sustainability Programs Manager
Campus Sustainability Office
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Number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff engaged in sustainability research:

Total number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff engaged in research:

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that include at least one faculty or staff member that conducts sustainability research:

The total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that conduct research:

A copy of the sustainability research inventory that includes the names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:

Names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:
A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the research inventory:

We reviewed research statements on all faculty websites from all academic departments to identify those whose interests related in some way to sustainability. We circulated that list to UCSC's academic task force, consisting of 3 faculty representatives, and asked them to identify any missing faculty from that list.

A brief description of notable accomplishments during the previous three years by faculty and/or staff engaged in sustainability research:

1. Professor Carol Shennan (Environmental Studies) and Associate Researcher Joji Muramoto at the Department of Environmental Studies received over $2.3 million grants from USDA and the California Strawberry Commission during 2007-2012 to optimize anaerobic soil disinfestation, a biological alternative to soil fumigants, for strawberries in California. This work could provide an economically feasible non-fumigant alternative to California strawberry growers who produce over 85% of the US strawberries using the world largest amount of methyl bromide, an ozone layer depleter, and other toxic fumigants for pre-plant soil treatment. 2. Professor Michael Isaacson (Engineering) is the principle investigator of the Sustainable Engineering and Ecological Design (SEED) research program at UCSC, which recently received a five-year $4.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund clean energy research and educational programs. 3. Professor Sue Carter (Physics) has received a combined $2.4 million from US Discovery Grant and Abengoa Match and NSF DMR for research on photovoltaics and solar energy to develop a PV-powered greenhouse that enhances plant and algae growth; o develop copper sulfide alloy materials as a low cost, low energy, non toxic, and abundant material for large scale deployment of photovoltaics; and o develop nanostructured solar cells that can convert more than one electron per incident photon, as a pathway towards high efficiency photovoltaics. 4. John Vesecky and Brent Haddad and Tiffany Wise West have coordinated the GreenWharf initiative- an academic-public partnership consisting focused on renewable energy and other sustainability efforts at the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. With a renewable energy testbed including the first off-shore wind turbine to be permitted on the coast of California, installation of an electric vehicle charging station, retrofit of all street and pedestrian lighting to LED technology,and the successful launch of a self- and docent-lead EcoTour, the aim of the initiative is to provide a model for other coastal communities in diffusing energy efficient technology and education. The GreenWharf is also an interdisciplinary research hub with active engagement by students and faculty.
4. Professor Barry Sinervo and other UCSC researchers have developed an ambitious plan to use the UC Natural Reserve System (NRS) to detect and forecast the ecological impacts of climate change in California. Their proposal to establish a UC-wide Institute for the Study of Ecological and Evolutionary Climate Impacts (ISEECI) has received $1.9 million in funding, the largest of the new President's Research Catalyst Awards announced by UC President Janet Napolitano on December 10. UC Santa Cruz biologist Barry Sinervo will lead the institute, which involves all of UC's nine undergraduate campuses. The NRS is the world's largest system of university-administered natural reserves, offering a powerful opportunity for scientists to study how climate change will affect California ecosystems and the ecosystem services that people rely on, he said.

The website URL where information about sustainability research is available:

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