Air, Food & Water

From field to fork, city to town, people need safe air to breathe, clean water to drink and nutritious food to eat. Our research looks at the various aspects of these vital resources to understand how 7.7 billion people can get what we need to live while preserving the natural systems we depend on.


In the News


Daniel Swain for New York Times — In Southern California, a Wildfire That May Foreshadow a Hazardous Summer

The Post Fire in Los Angeles County burns over 15,000 acres, raising alarm for dangerous fire season in the West. Experts warn of overgrown vegetation after wet winters. “This is…

Wildfire Burns Across Southern California, firefighters try to mitigate wildfire


Stephanie Pincetl Co-Authors Research on Net Zero Urban Water

Founding Director of the California Center for Sustainable Communities and Chair of UCLA’s Environment and Sustainability Ph.D. program Dr. Stephanie Pincetl co-authored a study, “Advancing a Net Zero Urban Water Future in the United States Southwest.” Published in ACS ES&T Water, the research examines the feasibility of Net Zero Urban Water (NZUW) — cities becoming self-sufficient with local water sources. This is crucial for the water-stressed US Southwest, where the Colorado River can’t meet the demands of 40 million residents.


Elsa Ordway for Down to Earth — ‘The Congo more climate-resilient than Amazonia? Jury is still out’

Elsa Ordway, co-director of the Congo Basin Institute and Center for Tropical Research, recently collaborated with global experts in Cameroon to strategize a 10-year study on tropical forest ecology. The project,…

Photograph of the Yaoundé workshop shared by Elsa Ordway


Daniel Swain for New York Times —Storm-Battered Los Angeles Faces Another Day of Heavy Rainfall

UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain discusses the ongoing storm’s impact on Los Angeles for NY Times, sharing how the atmospheric river is causing widespread mudslides and severe flooding. “The major…

A man walking his dog on the edge of the Los Angeles River in the city on Sunday.Credit...Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press


Daniel Swain for New York Times — When the Storm Online Is Worse Than the One Outside

UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain discusses the challenges of combating misinformation about extreme weather events for the New York Times, emphasizing the difficulties meteorologists and climate scientists face in the…

The storm is based on weather patterns from the state’s “Great Flood of 1862.” GETTY IMAGES


From Farms to Cities: Percolating New Ideas for Water Security

Sustainable Conservation a non-profit and IoES practicum client partner produced this video from an event held Sept 6, 2017 Following winter rains that pummeled the state, it’s easy for California’s…

Why Marine Biology Matters to You in a High CO2 World

Robert Eagle Tripati, Assistant Professor, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability