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Support Research Initiatives

The Bren School is a leading center of environmental research conducted by faculty, PhD students, postdoctoral students, and master’s students. Research is pursued in the following: 

  • Natural sciences - including microbiology, ecology, and other environmental sciences 
  • Earth Sciences – including hydrology, geography, and geomorphology
  • Political Science and Law as they relate to the environment 
  • Environmental Economics and other Social Sciences 
  • Computer Science and Geo-Informatics 
  • Industrial Ecology – including life cycle assessment, material flow analysis, and risk management

A number of programs, initiatives, centers, and other entities provide further points of connection and collaboration between researchers at Bren and colleagues in other departments and universities. Learn more about Bren research.

Aquaculture nets on a blue ocean

Funds are needed to support existing, and seed emerging, research initiatives. Some examples include: 

Sustainable Aquaculture Research Center (SARC)

The future of food from the sea is closely linked with aquaculture. Marine fishery catches have been maximized – future growth in global seafood is in the aquaculture industry. How sustainable, profitable, and equitable can aquaculture be? To address these questions, the Sustainable Aquaculture Research Center (SARC) is working with partners locally and globally to explore, test, implement, and scale-up innovative solutions for aquaculture. Comprised of leading experts in aquaculture, marine ecology, fisheries, economics, life cycle assessment, physiology, and conservation, SARC works to develop place-based scientific solutions that enhance aquaculture, human health, and marine conservation. 

Sustainable Nanotechnology Initiative (SNI)

Nanotechnology is the science of the super small, and the ability to manipulate atoms and molecules on the nano scale can revolutionize a myriad of everyday and specialty products. Engineered nanoparticles are already found in items including clothing, baby products, cosmetics, and medicine, with the industry expected to become a $1 trillion business in this decade alone. Yet, for all the promise, of nanotechnology, little is known about the environmental and health implications of engineered nanoparticles. In tandem with the UC Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, SNI supports a growing society-wide effort to address the vital need for the safe and responsible development of nano-enabled products. 

Center of Excellence in Life Cycle Assessment 

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a scientific approach to quantify environmental impacts of products throughout the life cycle from raw material extraction to manufacturing, assembly, distribution, use, and disposal. LCA has evolved into a truly multidisciplinary field of science, however many institutions struggle to translate research into real-life business and policy applications. The Center of Excellence in LCA aims to significantly advance LCA theory, application, and education by creating and disseminating cutting-edge knowledge through the Bren School’s network of multidisciplinary experts, field practitioners, and educators. 

Strategic Environmental Research Initiative (SERI) 

SERI leverages the Bren School’s strength in interdisciplinary problem-solving by creating new collaborations aimed at developing timely solutions to some of the biggest environmental problems of our time. SERI is currently focusing on fire – wildfire risk and climate change, and increasing concern in the western U.S. SERI Fire is working to facilitate collaboration among natural and social scientists, with the intention of filling knowledge gaps and developing management strategies to prepare for, and respond to, wildfires in a changing climate. 

Firefighters combating wildfire perimeter with hoses

Want to get involved? Reach out to the Bren School for more information about supporting Research Initiatives.

Lotus Vermeer

Assistant Dean of Partnerships & Development
(805) 893-3712
lvermeer@bren.ucsb.edu

Beth Pitton-August

Director of Development
(805) 893-5047
beth@beth.ucsb.edu