New to the Institute
The Institute of the Environment and Sustainability expanded its Board of Advisors in late 2012. Added members include a legislative professional, solar power specialist, alternative fuel expert, corporate responsibility authority, architect, and engineer. The new advisors are Cindy Montanez, Ken Button, Peter Gross, Jack Baylis, Alexandria Jackson, and Andy Cohen.
Professors Jon Christensen, Ursula Heise, and Allison Carruth joined the university faculty roster to broaden the field of environmental humanities at UCLA. Christensen (Department of History) and Heise (Department of English) hold joint appointments with the Institute and Carruth is an affiliate. Environmental historian Christensen taught the Institute’s first undergraduate course on environmental communication during Winter Quarter.
Christa Gomez joined the Center for Tropical Research in January 2013 as an administrative analyst after working with UCLA's Division of Cardiology for 12 years. A true-blue Bruin, Christa is also an alumnus and has been employed with the UCLA School of Public Health and UCLA Extension.
The Corporate Partners Program welcomed new members from a variety of industries such as entertainment, law, and alternative energy. The latest partners are Participant Media, Roll Global, Viacom, Paramount Pictures, CBS, Ziffren Brittenham, Bad Robot, Leonard Green & Partners, Verengo Solar, Toyota, Lambert Media Group, Phillips 66, Capital Group Private Client Services, Mattel, Fox, and the Angeleno Group.
Education & Research
Professor Magali Delmas received a $446,912 grant from the National Science Foundation for her ongoing research tracking energy use in individual homes and testing what motivates people to reduce their power usage. The ENGAGE project investigates how real-time energy-usage information, down to the appliance level, influences conservation behavior. By placing advanced energy-metering technology in more than 100 private residences, the project tests how people respond to messages on the health or environmental benefits of energy conservation versus the monetary savings.
The California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA developed an energy map of Los Angeles that lets residents find how much electricity the average customer in their neighborhood uses, see how a neighborhood's energy use relates to its average income level, and track energy use over time. This is the most highly interactive map of L.A.'s energy use ever created and should help policymakers pinpoint the best locations for future energy-efficiency programs, show residents whether they are using more or less energy than their neighborhood average, and highlight the important links between land use and energy use, among many other applications.
The Institute of the Environment and Sustainability partnered with the UCLA School of Law to produce a sustainability strategy for the city of Los Angeles. "Vision 2021 LA: A Model Sustainability Agenda for Los Angeles' Next Mayor and City Council" is the first comprehensive environmental plan for L.A. and addresses all the major impacts the city has on the environment — from energy, air and water, to environmental justice and the green economy. It contains 11 target areas, 24 goals, and hundreds of benchmarks to ensure accountability.
The IoES hosted a Sustainability Across the Curriculum workshop to show educators all over the university how they can adapt or change their classes to include more about the environment and sustainability.
IoES Adjunct Professor and California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA Director Stephanie Pincetl received a National Science Foundation grant. The four-year $1.5 million award will support urban eco-hydrology and water sustainability research.
A study by IoES researchers Suzanne Paulson, professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, and Yifang Zhu, associate professor of environmental health sciences, found that air quality improved dramatically in Los Angeles during the weekend closure of the 405 freeway in July 2011. "Carmaheaven" resulted in improved air quality up to 83 percent.
The IoES hosted the second annual An Evening of Environmental Excellence on March 5 in Beverly Hills. The gala recognized the environmental leadership of Former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Al Gore and Environmental Media Association co-founder Lyn Lear. Musician Jason Mraz and comedian Sarah Silverman performed at the event for over 400 attendees, including: Barbra Streisand, Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, Jeff Goldblum, Larry King, Courtney Cox, J.J. Abrams, and Zach Braff. The benefit raised more than $1 million to support IoES education, research, and outreach.
Decision-makers and researchers participated in the IoES, Canadian Studies Program, and California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA hosted “Urban Sustainability in North American Cities Symposium” on Feb. 26. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a panelist alongside Former Mayor of Toronto, David Miller, made headlines at the event when he announced that the city will move off of coal-based energy by 2025. Check out highlights from the symposium including video, audio, and presentations.
The Institute’s Corporate Partners Program, in collaboration with the UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Fink Center for Finance & Investments, hosted “The Financial Implications of Going Green” on Jan. 16. The symposium focused on the economics of environmental corporate practices and featured a panel discussion with high-level executives from businesses with proven corporate sustainability records.
The UCLA La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science christened a new field station in the Santa Monica Mountains at the beginning of the year. The La Kretz Center Field Station will support biodiversity and ecosystem conservation research and will facilitate this work by providing short and long-term accommodations for field researchers, a venue for meetings, seminars, and small classes, office space, and storage areas for gear and equipment.
Institute of the Environment and Sustainability efforts received local, nation, and global attention. Coverage appeared in print and online publications, as well as radio and television. Reporting about the IoES appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the Atlantic, Scientific American, CNN, USA Today, Reuters, Yahoo! News, the Huffington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, UCLA publications, various scientific journals, as well as KPCC Southern California Public Radio, KNX Business Hour, National Public Radio, KCET, KCAL Channel 9, and NBC Channel 4.
Published: Friday, April 19, 2013