We conduct research that helps communities better understand how climate change will affect them and how to respond. We work with communities to produce information they can put into action, and we engage the public so they are empowered to advocate for their futures. In the process, we build interdisciplinary research teams that bring to the table expertise in climate science, ecology, policy, and other vital fields. We also train the next generation of scientists to think outside the traditional boxes of academia and solve problems in the real world.
Solving complex sustainability problems is not something conventional academia is well set up to do. Traditionally, university researchers pursue fundamental science questions in their specific field and publish their findings in journals. That work is important, but it doesn’t necessarily reach communities—and the urgency of climate change demands that we do better.
Our Center aims to transcend disciplinary boundaries and bridge the gap between science and society. At the same time, we seek to expand the capabilities of climate science so that climate change projections are ever more useful in planning for the future.
We focus on big sustainability problems that communities are already facing and that climate change promises to worsen. We’ve taken on some of the toughest issues facing California, such as the sustainability of our water resources and our ability to manage wildfire.
We start our process by working with resource managers, policymakers, and other community leaders to understand their information needs. We then create detailed climate change projections that help them plan for the future, and work to ensure they get translated into action.