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Archive for the 'Research' Category

The Evolution and Future of LEDs and Laser Diodes

May 6th, 2013 @ 1:27 pm by Camille Kirk

Professor Shuji Nakamura at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

Professor Shuji Nakamura at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

World renowned for his research and development of nitride-based semiconductors, Dr. Shuji Nakamura’s work includes some of the most important breakthroughs in modern materials science, including the very foundation for LED lighting. His innovations and inventions continue to improve the quality and efficiency of LEDs for lighting, electronic devices and other applications.

For this year’s Don Aumann Memorial Lecture in Lighting Efficiency, Professor Nakamura will discuss the past, present and future of LEDs and laser diodes, including their impact on energy conservation and lighting design. Attendees will be eligible for 1.5 CEUs through the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).

Date: May 7, 2013
Time: 5:00 – 7:30 pm
Place: UC Davis Conference Center Ballrooms A & B
Cost: Free and open to the public
Complimentary catering will be provided

RSVP NOW (click) to attend.

The Don Aumann Memorial Lecture in Lighting Efficiency reflects the shared mission of UC Davis and the California Lighting Technology Center: achieving sustainability through education.

 

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Water: Fact or Fashion?

February 25th, 2013 @ 10:30 am by Camille Kirk

Guest blogger Alicia Brown, a third-year Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning major, Sustainability Showcase Curator and Green Offices Intern, writes about the latest installation in the Memorial Union Sustainability Showcase, located in the east wing, near the Information Desk and AggieCard Office.

Water: Fact or Fashion? Display in the UC Davis Memorial Union Sustainability Showcase.

Water: Fact or Fashion? Display in the UC Davis Memorial Union Sustainability Showcase.

The Sustainability Showcase has opened its second exhibit for viewing on the first floor of the Memorial Union! The theme of the exhibit is Water: Fact or Fashion and features disposable water bottles and issues surrounding water quality and use. Water is a vital aspect of our everyday lives, but when faced with the facts, is choosing to drink bottled water a necessity or a product of our society’s consumerism? Why do people pay more for their water than they need to?

When thinking about water, it’s hard not to consider safety and equity on a global scale, but the issues hit close to home as well–in the Central Valley where tap water is unsafe due to high concentrations of nitrates from agriculture, households are paying 4.6% (3 times the affordability threshold recommended by the EPA) of their income on relatively safer bottled water. Is this out of necessity or is it a fad? How do we solve the problem of water equity in our own state? These are some of the thought-provoking questions the exhibit invites you to explore.

With interesting visuals and a collection of water bottles from across the country and around the globe, Water: Fact or Fashion is intriguing and engaging.

Some of the collection's water bottles from around the world.

Some of the collection’s water bottles from around the world.

An interactive portion of the exhibit allows viewers to become part of the ongoing conversation about water.

Comment board, with a "Question of the Week" about water policy and use.

Comment board, with a “Question of the Week” about water policy and use.

The Showcase is a collaborative project between departments to provide information about various sustainability issues in keeping with UC Davis’ reputation as a #1 Cool School. Make sure to stop by and check it out! The exhibit is located on the first floor of the MU between the Corral and the Information Desk.

If you are interested in creating your own sustainability themed exhibit or have any thoughts and suggestions, please contact student curator Alicia Brown at the Office Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability (aibrown@ucdavis.edu).

Many thanks to John O’Connor of H2O’C Engineering for giving us permission to display part of his collection of water bottles as well as visuals from his presentation.

 

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Bioresources Symposium: Turning Organic Wastes into Renewable Energy

August 20th, 2012 @ 7:46 am by Camille Kirk

Photograph of digester tanks and piping

Right now, figuring out how to get renewable energy from organic materials is hot, hot, hot!

At UC Davis, we have a pilot biodigester, using technology developed by Professor Ruihong Zhang, which has resulted in a spin-off company, Clean World Partners (CWP). CWP has developed a scalable system for biodigesters, and UC Davis is working with CWP on a biodigester which would allow us to transform some of our “waste” into energy.

We are not the only ones interested in this technology: To that end, UC Davis Extension is presenting the 7th Annual California Bioresources Alliance Symposium on September 11-12, 2012, 8:30am-5:00pm, at the California EPA Building on I Street in Sacramento.

This conference will focus on how to evaluate which waste conversion systems are most effective, and where organic waste conversion can be best integrated for production of biogas from biosolids, food processing residuals, and other wastes.

Session topics include:

  • Bioresources policy and institutional issues
  • Economics of digesters
  • Evaluating the alternatives for the future
  • Evaluating alternatives for today
  • Urban residuals to power and fuel
  • Forestry products and fire ravaged lands reclamation

On the second afternoon, attendees will tour facilities operated by Clean World Partners, and see biodigesters convert organic waste to renewable energy, soil amendments, and other useful byproducts.

Registration is open through UC Davis Extension, and is $175, which includes morning refreshments, lunch on Tuesday, September 11 and the field trip on Wednesday, September 12. Student enrollment is $35 (valid student ID is required at check-in).

 

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Sustainable Development for the 21st Century: The Role of the Modern University

August 17th, 2012 @ 3:20 pm by Camille Kirk

The guest post below comes to us from Paul Dorn, Director of Marketing & Communications for the College of Engineering, UC Davis. Paul is also an extraordinary bike commuter, and has written The Bike to Work Guide. Below, he shares information about an upcoming conference that will directly demonstrate the link between higher education and sustainability.

 

UC Davis Solar Panel Installation

Solar panel installation in the parking lot of the Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at UC Davis in 2011

The College of Engineering at UC Davis is sponsoring a free one-day conference, Sustainable Development for the 21st Century: The Role of the Modern University, on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at the UC Davis Conference Center, located near Mondavi Center on the university campus. The event is free, but requires online registration.

According to Diran Apelian, an organizer of the Sustainable Development conference and a visiting faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at UC Davis, the event will offer a great opportunity to address sustainability across a widevariety of interconnected disciplines. “Technology, by itself, cannot do the job,” says Apelian. “Sustainable development requires a holistic, inclusive blend of education, technology/innovation, and public policy/political cooperation.”

Too often, according to Apelian, many sustainability challenges are regarded as distinct, separate topic, when in fact they are all components of a needed systemic approach to sustainable development. A healthy population requires affordable nutrition; optimal food production relies upon availability of water and energy; climate change and energy use are affected by population growth and availability of renewable sources of energy; and housing and shelter must address local and community needs.

“UC Davis is well positioned for a leadership role in providing implementable solutions for a sustainable future,” says Apelian. “With a wealth of achievement in agricultural and biological sciences, UC Davis will be at the heart of assuring the future of food, water, and healthcare. UC Davis offers — across the entire United States — the perfect setting for productive information exchange and advancement, toward a better and more sustainable future.”

 

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Super Cool!

August 14th, 2012 @ 4:18 pm by Camille Kirk

#1 Cool School UC DavisToday, Sierra magazine released their 2012 Cool Schools results, and UC Davis ranked #1! So, we are the Coolest School. Officially.

Wow! That’s fun! This is a nice honor in our field.

We are really proud of our campus for achieving this ranking. Thank you to everyone—students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends—who’ve made decisions and taken actions that helped our campus to get to this point.

This year, the sixth time Sierra has run this survey, they changed their methodology to use the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System. STARS asks many questions about dozens of sustainability metrics; it’s an extensive survey and probably the most comprehensive one we’ve ever completed. Participating in Cool Schools this year has given us a chance to perform one of the most complete assessments of our work in sustainability to date.

Winning the #1 ranking is great—it really is—but it is even better to be able to look at the progress we’ve made, identify areas for further work, and plan for next steps.

Let’s celebrate this year and keep moving forward. Here’s to yet more innovation and implementation!

Read more about our award and watch a fun “video postcard” from Sierra‘s student correspondent about why UC Davis is the Coolest School in 2012.

 

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Endless Opportunities in the Environmental Field

August 13th, 2012 @ 9:18 am by Camille Kirk

Guest blogger Alicia Halpern, a UC Davis sophomore Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning major, shares an essay below that she wrote for the Enviance March Madness contest about green campuses:

Students work in D-Lab with Professor Kurt Kornbluth

What sets the environmental program at UC Davis apart from other schools is the breadth of opportunities available to undergraduate students. There are an incredible number of environmental majors to choose from. You can major in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning, Environmental Science and Management, Environmental Toxicology, Ecological Management and Restoration, Wildlife Conservation, Sustainable Agriculture and many more. Many fields are environmentally related. At Davis, whether you are interested in climate change, water, energy, wildlife conservation, agriculture, transportation, or a different environmental issue, there is a major that will allow you to study your passion in depth.

Even more exciting are the opportunities to learn from and work with faculty who are doing cutting-edge research on the environmental problems facing society. As an undergrad at UC Davis you have the chance to do research with faculty who are at the forefront of fields such as sustainable agriculture, energy efficiency, climate change, and more. More than half of all undergraduates at UC Davis participate in research while they are here. By getting involved in research you are able to apply what you learn in the classroom to help find real solutions to society’s greatest environmental challenges.

Another reason why Davis is a great place for students who are passionate about environmental issues is that sustainability is truly integrated into daily life. It is the norm for students to get to school and around town by walking, biking or taking the bus. There is a student farm and the campus takes things such as energy and water efficiency very seriously. All of this combines to mean that you can focus on whatever aspect of the environment you are most passionate about, both in the classroom and out. The opportunities within the environmental field are endless when you go to UC Davis.

– Alicia Halpern, student at University of California, Davis

Don’t miss the companion video that fellow student Phillip Tran made and posted on YouTube. The video shows that rain or shine, we bike! And, take the bus, compost, recycle…

 

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2012 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, by the numbers!

August 10th, 2012 @ 12:46 pm by Camille Kirk

Dr. Mitchell Thomashow gives the keynote address at the 2012 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, Monday, June 18

In homage to Harper’s Index, here are some fun facts about the 2012 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, hosted at UC Davis, June 18-22:

Whew!

UC Davis is so honored to have had the chance to share our campus and host our colleagues for the 2012 conference. Conference attendees enjoyed five jam-packed days of sharing sustainability best practices, going on field trips, eating delicious meals, hearing an inspirational keynote, and meeting new people. Our weather cooperated nicely, and we celebrated colleagues who accomplished award-winning projects during a reception and dinner at the beautiful Shields Oak Grove in the Arboretum.

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this conference a blazing success!

Special thanks go to UC Davis Custodial Services and Building Maintenance Services for all of their incredible help that far exceeded our expectations, Arboretum and Grounds for their gracious work with us, Dining and Catering Services for the beautiful, healthy and delicious food that made everyone so happy, and Conference and Event Services for their phenomenal work above and beyond the ordinary conference planning.

-UC Davis Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability

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Excited for the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference!

June 18th, 2012 @ 4:52 pm by Camille Kirk

We are thrilled to welcome nearly a thousand of our higher education colleagues who are advancing sustainability on their campuses. Higher education is providing leadership in showing how we the world can integrate more sustainable practices into our own daily lives.

The California Higher Education Sustainability Conference is an important communication channel to keep all of us in the forefront, and we are so proud to be hosting it this year.

As hosts, we are excited to show off all the sustainability work that we’ve been doing at UC Davis. Here are sneak peeks at a campus sustainability self-guided tour map and Global Leadership in Sustainability brochure that we’ve made for the event.

See you at the conference!

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UC Davis Dining Services Is Accepting Proposals for Go Green Grants

March 2nd, 2012 @ 11:00 am by Camille Kirk

Today’s blog post comes from guest writer James Boushka, Marketing Director for UC Davis Dining Services:

Under the Go Green Grants program, UC Davis affiliated students, staff, faculty, and departments are eligible to apply for funding to research, develop, design, and implement solutions to campus sustainability challenges.

UC Davis Dining Services is offering a total of $3,000 to fund innovative projects fostering a more sustainable campus. The second funding cycle calls for applications to be submitted by April 25, 2012.

The Go Green Grant Fund is generated by sales from the voluntary meal plan program, known as Join the Club. Join the Club meal plans offer non-residents with a selection of block meals for use in any of the dining commons.

“This is the first year we [Dining Services] are providing a means for the campus community to implement a sustainably-themed project that educates or works towards fostering a more sustainable campus,” said Brenan Connolly, General Manager of Resident Dining. During the first funding cycle in fall 2011, the Go Green Grant Fund provided funds to Aggie ReStore, Wild Campus, Environmental and Sustainable Living Program, and the Salad Bowl.

“UC Davis Dining Services recognizes the value in student engagement and education related to environmental and food sustainability through projects and student-organized activities,” states James Boushka, Marketing Director for Dining Services. The Go Green competition is open to all undergraduate students, graduate students, professional students, faculty, and staff at UC Davis in all departments and disciplines.

Campus community members should check out the Go Green Grant Fund request for applications and grant guidelines at http://dining.ucdavis.edu/sus-green.html. The applications are due April 25th, 2012.

All questions can be directed to the Go Green Grant Fund Office at dininggogreen@ucdavis.edu.

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California Higher Education Sustainability Conference Call for Proposals

December 9th, 2011 @ 2:40 pm by Camille Kirk

Call for Proposals
California Higher Education Sustainability Conference
Hosted by UC Davis

June 18th-22nd, 2012
Submissions Due: January 20th, 2012
http://cahigheredusustainability.org/program/callforproposals/

The California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC) highlights cutting-edge case studies as well as research, curriculum development, and community partnerships. This unique event is jointly organized by independent/private colleges, California Community Colleges, California State Universities, and the University of California creating the opportunity for dialogue across institutions.

The CHESC seeks speakers who have crossed silos within their institutions to create sustainable change, infuse concepts of sustainability into curriculum, and/or to pursue research questions related to sustainability (especially where the research has or could be applied to campus sustainability). We are especially excited about proposals where a connection has been made across academic and operational departments. In the words of Fritjof Capra:

“The more we study the major problems of our time, the more we come to realize that they cannot be viewed in isolation. They are systemic problems, which means that they are interconnected and interdependent.”

Campus staff, faculty, students, and administrators are encouraged to submit proposals on case studies, pilot programs, and replicable best practices. We are equally interested in projects where a key lesson was learned and projects that were successful in the traditional sense.

This year potential speakers will be asked to submit proposals that highlight or create a link between at least two of our core topic areas (click the titles below for more information on each):

a. Climate Action Planning
b. Curriculum
c. Energy
d. Food Systems
e. Green Building
f. Healthcare
g. Institutionalizing Sustainability
h. Local (Regional Case Studies)
i. Procurement and Business Services
j. Research
l. Social Equity
m. Student Affairs and Auxiliaries
n. Transportation
o. Waste Reduction and Recycling
p. Water and Landscape

During this call for proposals process, we will also be accepting proposals for:

Poster Show
Throughout the conference, we will highlight posters that describe research, creative activities, and best practices related to sustainability. This is an opportunity for students, faculty, campus staff, and administrators to present and communicate their work from the past academic year to a diverse audience.

Student Convergence
The convergence is a post-conference, half-day workshop on Thursday, June 21st, 2012. It will highlight new student campaigns, upcoming projects, and skill sharing workshops. Students will also have a chance to network with other student leaders from California Community Colleges, California State University, University of California, and Private campuses throughout the state collectively as well as with students from their own systems. The convergence is free, and students can attend it without attending the main conference.

For more information, please visit our Call for Proposals website.

Please share this announcement with your colleagues and contact Katie Maynard, Event Manager, if you have any questions: 805-448-5111; kmaynard@geog.ucsb.edu.

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