Sustainable California
Sustainable California connects you to what your University is doing to ensure the future vitality of our state. Become part of how we are developing real-world solutions for all Californians so together we can meet the 21st century challenges of global climate change and increasing demands while maintaining California's unique biodiversity and sustaining the human and environmental health of California.
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UC Merced - Innovate to Grow
9/9/2019
Innovate To Grow is the School of Engineering's marquee event showcasing UC Merced student ingenuity and entrepreneurship. The innovation and entrepreneurial thinking embedded in our culture are signatures of our programs and highlight the unique student experience for undergrads on our campus.
Adaptable Societies
8/10/2019
Anthropogenic climate and environmental change are among the most immediate threats to global sustainability, including the sustainability of human populations. Although these changes are happening at a rate never recorded before, climate and environmental changes per se are not unprecedented. Moreover, prior environmental changes have sometimes been accompanied by social and technological innovations that mitigated the impact of environmental change on human populations. We...
Our California Watershed
4/18/2019
An overview of the complex relationship California has with its watershed, and the downstream effects of what changing climate and growing population have on sustaining this essential resource.
Cracking the Myths Behind Snow and Solar Panels
2/1/2019
Solar panels are often thought of having the biggest impact during warm months, but turns out they work just as well in the winter. Check out this video to see just how well snow and solar go together.
Water's Signature
12/4/2018
Katherine Markovich, PhD teamed up with fellow graduate students Stephen Maples and Lauren Foster in the NSF Climate Change Water and Society Integrative Graduate Education Research Traineeship (CCWAS IGERT) to study water resources in Chile. Using water's signature, the isotopic values for snow, rivers, and groundwater, Dr. Katie Markovich is developing an understanding of Chile's water portfolio under different climate conditions. Like many of Graham Fogg's students at UC...
Living Laboratories: The UC Natural Reserve System
10/3/2018
UC Natural Reserve System lands are home to dozens of vulnerable animal and plant species. These range from some of the state's rarest amphibians to endemic plants to icons of the West such as bighorn sheep. Studies conducted at the 39 reserves of the NRS informs how these species are managed, which helps preserve the Golden State's extraordinary biological diversity.
Scientists "can work in protected areas that allow them to follow the biology and the ecosystem dynamics...
BIOTA: The Central Valley Vernal Pools
9/28/2018
The Vernal Pools and Grasslands Reserve is natural area managed by UC Merced for research, outreach, and biodiversity preservation. This important ecosystem represents part of the 5% of vernal pools historically remaining in California, home to numerous rare and endangered flora and fauna such as species of fairy shrimp, tiger salamanders and amphibious plants. Often overlooked, the Central Valley of California hosts a wealth of wildlife. The student-driven Biota Project...
Managing Private Land for Public Benefit
9/24/2018
Grand initiatives such as the National Parks program, begun in the late 1800s, are for many people a hallmark of land conservation. However, the majority of land nationally (~60% overall; ranging from <5% to >95% on a state-by-state basis) is privately owned. These private lands can have conservation value too. Join Rangeland Manager Billy Freeman and UC Merced Management Professor Catherine Keske as they explore McKenzie Ranch, in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California...
Bioeconomics of Sustainable Fisheries
9/20/2018
Globally, over the past century, coastal fisheries have faced overharvesting and mismanagement. California is no exception. This video recounts stories from fishermen, and others engaged in commercial fisheries, about the decades-long struggle to replenish stocks through a variety of management measures. Through their experiences, we discover the many successes in recovering stocks, the capricious nature of the biology of some species, and also emerging challenges for managing...
Water Supply and National Security: Beyond the Brink
8/23/2018
Drought, climate change, an aging infrastructure and growing population threaten the water Californias San Joaquin Valley uses to supply most of the nations produce and a large proportion of its livestock and dairy. "Adequate water for food for the nation is a water security issue, and its also a national security issue," says UC Merced CITRIS researcher Roger Bales in a new documentary examining water problems and solutions across the United States and globally.
Source
8/17/2018
Do you know where your water comes from? The iconic spring-fed trout waters of Mt. Shasta and High Sierra meadows are the key to California's water future. They are a major Source of the state's water supply, vital to its economy, its people and its fish. Yet, despite its significance, many Californians are unaware of where their water comes from and the need to protect and restore these important sources. They face a myriad of threats. From water bottling plants to hydroelectric...
The UC Merced Student Sustainability Proposal Writing Contest: Eva Cisneros - UC Merced Arboretum
8/9/2018
Eva Cisneros is a fourth-year student at UC Merced and seeks to improve campus life by offering the community a space to access nature and by providing a site for academic education and research through a UC Merced arboretum. Modeled on the UC Davis arboretum, Merced's site would follow the existing canal, cover five acres, and be focused on the unique climate, drought-tolerant plants and sustainable landscaping.
The UC Merced Student Sustainability Proposal Writing Contest: Yolanda Medrano - Sustainable Flooring
8/9/2018
Yolanda Medrano is a third-year student at UC Merced and is looking to make every step we take count for energy production. She proposes adding energy-producing floor panels to entrances to the library and other high-traffic areas to power doors, increasing building efficiency for the University's triple zero commitment. Though a costly investment, UC Merced would be the first university to invest in this technology, producing clean energy through walking, and effectively reduce...
The UC Merced Student Sustainability Proposal Writing Contest: William Fernandez - Prioritizing Bike Lanes
8/8/2018
William Fernandez is a third-year student at UC Merced who is an avid bike rider. He develops bike-friendly improvements to the two main roads to campus, Bellevue and Lake Roads. With his research, he details simple solutions while indicating that the alternatives are more taxing on the environment. His call to action to improve transit for many of the 8,000 students is titled BUSC: Balance, Update, Solar and Core. William hopes that the repairs to the bike lanes will help...
The UC Merced Student Sustainability Proposal Writing Contest: Eva Fernanda Ordonez - Improved Fleetmatic Mobile System
8/6/2018
Eva Fernanda Ordonez is a third-year student at UC Merced and wants to help students plan their daily commute to campus or the community. She used online surveys to study the barriers to sustainable solutions for travel and why students are not using the current system. By remodeling the Fleetmatic mobile app, Ordonez says that more people will commute together by bus, reducing individual vehicle emissions, improving air quality and student life, if the app and bus schedule is...
Implementing California's Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014
8/3/2018
Water is always a big issue in California. Thomas Harter, Professor and Specialist in Cooperative Extension at UC Davis, discusses the implementation of the state's landmark groundwater legislation known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. 
Recharged: Improving Freshwater Supply and Quality
7/26/2018
University of Santa Cruz hydrogeologist Andrew Fisher leads a team of researchers looking for better ways to capture runoff and use it to not only increase groundwater quantity, but also quality. They are using the Pajaro Valley on the central California coast, a productive and valuable agriculture area, as their practical laboratory, working with farmers and water managers to recharge groundwater. Recharge net metering is a novel practice of crediting groundwater.
Growing Groundwater through Homes for Microbes
7/26/2018
UC Santa Cruz researchers are finding simple, cost effective ways to clean captured storm-water as it percolates back into the water table, by employing native soil microbes already in the ground.
Wildfire and Droughts in Sierra Nevada Forests
7/23/2018
Though Sierra Nevada forests are adapted to frequent low-intensity fire, modern fire suppression has led to higher density of tree populations and fuels for higher intensity fire. Susie Kocher of UC Cooperative Extension discusses the relationship between drought and wildfire in the Sierra, and advises on strategies to alter the current fire regime.
Groundwater and Surface Water Interactions Under Water Shortage
7/20/2018
Thomas Harter, Professor and Specialist in Cooperative Extension at UC Davis, discusses how groundwater and surface water interact during times of water shortage. 
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