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2019-20 TGIF Grants Awarded, by the numbers:
- 29 of 44 submitted projects funded
- Total funds awarded: $295,615.77
- The Committee returned 6 projects for possible revision and re-submission
- Projects awarded in 2019-20 involved students from 23 different majors
Spring Grant Cycle
- Containerized Bicycle Storage, $19,926.16
- Project lead(s): Jeffrey P. Bruchez (UC Davis Transportation Services, Bicycle Program Coordinator) and Ramon Zavala (UC Davis Transportation Services, Transportation Demand Manager)
Project description: Every year, thousands of bicycles are abandoned on the UC Davis campus, taking up bicycle parking stalls which invite problems like theft and ADA accessibility. The Bicycle Program with UC Davis Transportation Services mitigates this issue by impounding abandoned bicycles and upcycling them for new owners through their bi-annual auctions. With their auction cancelled due to public health concerns (COVID-19), their inventory is at capacity, with no room to take on new impounds or offer long-term, secure bicycle storage. They will purchase storage containers which will allow us to increase their capacity and continue to serve their cyclists in the Aggie community.
- Tercero Resident Garden, $16,738.00
- Project lead(s): Colette Curran (Landscape Design Architecture) and Skylar Johnson (UC Davis Student Housing and Dining Services Sustainability Specialist)
Project description: The Tercero Resident Garden will be a space where all Segundo, Tercero, and Cuarto residents can learn about sustainable horticulture and growing their own food. The garden will feature diverse plants including California native plants, drought tolerant plants, and edible plants along with sustainable infrastructure including compost tumblers, and gardening equipment. Regardless of prior gardening knowledge or experience level, Student Housing residents will have many opportunities to get involved, including open volunteer hours and garden workshops and programs.
- Aggies Grow Veggies (previously Gardening For All), $14,085.50
- Project lead(s): Borah Lim (International Agricultural Development), Stephanie Tsai (Entomology), and Katharina Ullmann (ASUCD Student Farm Director)
Project description: In a collaboration with Net Impact Davis, the UCCE Master Gardener Network, the EC Gardens, and the ASUCD Student Farm, we will host a series of gardening workshops and start an online gardening community that will support UCD students in growing their own food.
- UC Davis Formula Electric Racecar, $8,238.76
- Project lead(s): Peter Milam and Yash Taneja (Mechanical Engineering)
Project description: Formula Racing at UC Davis is an on‐campus student‐run organization, focused on the research and development of electric‐powered vehicles. The club consists of undergraduate mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, and business students, who strive to take their skills learned in the classroom and apply them to create a more environmentally responsible type of transportation. Formula Racing at UC Davis seeks to accomplish their mission through their three goals of engaging students, developing successful race cars, and supporting their community and environment.
- SMART (Sustainable Management and Revolutionary Technology) Shed Green Roof, $6,805.00
- Project lead(s): Hunter Ottman (Landscape Architecture), Timothy Crowell (Sustainable Environmental Design), Haven Kiers (Assistant Professor, Human Ecology), Dave Fujino (Executive Director of CA Center for Urban Architecture), and Loren Oki (Specialist in UC Cooperative Extension)
Project description: The SMART (Sustainable Management And Revolutionary Technology) Shed Green Roof, consisting of more than 50 pre-planted modules containing a mixture of California native grassland species, will be constructed atop an irrigation control shed at the “SmartLandscape” site on the UC Davis campus. This Green Roof will primarily be used to test and measure reductions in building temperatures, specifically, temperatures inside the irrigation control shed in the summer months before the green roof is added and then again a year later in the summer after it has been installed. A second key goal of this project will be to use cutting-edge irrigation technology to monitor water use and ultimately develop an industry-wide standard for green roof irrigation. As a tertiary function, this design will also trial untested California native grassland plants for their adaptability to a green roof environment, with the end-goal of mimicking local native habitats and extending the area available for native species.
- The Climate Reality Project: 24 Hours of Reality, $4,000.00
- Project lead(s): Megan Phelps (Environmental Science & Management) and Kimberly Evans (Environmental Science)
Project description: 24 Hours of Climate Reality was held online and hosted speakers, climate yoga, a music making workshop, a grief ceremony, a documentary screening, and an Indigenous elder. This project aims to stimulate conversation and action regarding the climate crisis.
- Mobile Bicycle Repair Vehicle and Trailer, $7,000.00
- Project lead(s): Robert P. St. Cyr (ASUCD Bike Barn General Manager), Clara Ginnell (Engineering), and Meg Davis (Engineering)
Project description: The ASUCD Bike Barn is offering a pedal powered mobile bicycle repair shop to extend bicycle repair services beyond the physical building, so we can provide bicycle repair services throughout the campus. In addition, we have a trailer that will provide low-cost pick-up and delivery of already assembled bikes and boxed bikes requiring convenient transport to the main shop.
- Air Quality: DIY Sensor Testing, $ 5,200.00
- Project lead(s): Emily Schlickman (Assistant Professor, Human Ecology), Peter Nelson (Computer Science and Electrical Engineering), Corbin Harrell (Computer Science and Electrical Engineering), Nakita Andrikanis (Computer Science), and Shinkini Ray (Computer Science)
Project description: This is a pilot project to develop a low-cost DIY sensor that can be affixed to bikes and used across campus to collect data on localized particle pollution. The primary drivers for the project include: the high cost of traditional monitoring systems, the increased risk of particle pollution, the spatial gaps in current air quality assessments, and the often invisible nature of environmental data. By using UC Davis as a testing ground for deploying low-cost DIY sensors, the project aims to democratize air quality data, empower members of the Davis community to build their own devices, raise awareness about particle pollution, and to speculate about how this data could inform future design work across campus.
Winter Grant Cycle
- Climate Justice Storytelling Video Series, $8,800.00
- Project lead(s): Bernardo Bastien (PhD Candidate in Geography), Raiza Pilatowsky (PhD Candidate in Geography), and Evelyn Shu (Environmental Policy Analysis & Planning)
Project description: The Climate Justice Storytelling Video Series will create a short video series explaining how the ongoing climate crisis impacts multiple people, specifically from the perspective of a UC Davis undergraduate. By transforming local stories of how communities cope with climate change, they aim to unveil the importance of power relations and justice.
- S2E-Science to Empower: Building Environmental Justice Research Tools to Empower Communities Struggling Against Environmental and Social Injustices, $11,000.00
- Project lead(s): Linda Mendez-Barrientos (PhD Candidate in Ecology), Jessica Rudnick (PhD Candidate in Ecology), and Angie Ye (Environmental Policy Analysis & Planning)
Project description: Indigenous and disenfranchised communities and hundreds of endangered species around the world are suffering environmental injustices, disproportionately bearing the burden of exposure to harmful pollutants, loss of habitat and ecosystems services, and unsustainable rates of natural resource extraction. This multidisciplinary research and action project aims to build a network of students, scholars, and practitioners at UC Davis and abroad to collaborate in a data-driven co-production model to assess, track, and support communities’ needs in combating environmental injustices.
- City Nature Challenge, Everywhere!, $7,544.50
- Project lead(s): Isabella Jimenez (Landscape Architecture)
Project description: The City Nature Challenge will implement a city-wide marketing in Davis aimed at increasing involvement before, during, and after the global City Nature Challenge (April 24-27) and to encourage the Davis community to participate in citizen science through the National Geographic-California Academy of Natural Sciences application iNaturalist.
- Cup and Cloth, $19,936.53
- Project lead(s): Dhanya Indraganti (History and Anthropology), Akshita Gandra (Psychology), and Annie Wang (Materials Science & Engineering)
Project description: Cup and Cloth aims to increase awareness and enable usage of reusable menstrual products among the UC Davis community. At their sustainable menstruation workshops, they will provide the essential information needed to use sustainable menstrual products and distribute the products themselves to students, free of cost. They hope to make periods on campus more affordable, environmentally friendly, and healthy.
- Davis Freedges, $3,482.76
- Project lead(s): Sabrina Denton (Environmental Science & Management), Ernst Bertone Oehninger, (Graduate Group in Ecology) and Aditi Sinha (Managerial Economics)
Project description: The Freedge, a community fridge, allows all community members to either leave excess food or take donated food, subject to local health and safety regulations. The Freedge reduces food-waste and increases food access for the food insecure.
- UC Davis Chapter of Engineers Without Borders: Peru Water Quality and Quantity, $4,892.00
- Project lead(s): Semaj Troupe (Chemical Engineering) and Olyvia Raymer (Civil Engineering)
Project description: La Huaylla is an agricultural community of about 250 households in Northern Peru, served by a deteriorating water distribution system that often cannot meet the demands of the population. The UC Davis Chapter of Engineers Without Borders is working to increase the quality and quantity of water delivered to the community by forming a five-year partnership with the community and tackling the associated problems. During these five years, the team has conducted an assessment trip, two implementation trips, and two monitoring and evaluation trips where the team along with the community members have created a sustainable solution to the community’s water problems.
- Solar Powered Generator for Whole Earth Festival $20,000.00
- Project lead(s): Kennedy Field (Art History and English) and Samantha Wah (Design)
Project description: This project will being a solar powered generator to the Whole Earth Festival. This will help Whole Earth Festival and UC Davis work towards being a zero-emission festival and campus.
- Davis Night Market, $4,876.35
- Project lead(s): Ernst Bertone Oehninger (Graduate Group in Ecology), Jordan Freeman (Department of Entomology & Nematology Lab Assistant), and Valerie Weinborn (Department of Food Science & Technology Postdoctoral Scholar)
Project description: The Davis Night Market recovers food that would otherwise go to waste from Davis restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores, and make it available for anyone in need. Whenever possible, they minimize our carbon footprint by picking up the food by bicycle, instead of cars. Currently, 85% of their pick-ups are made by bikes with adapted bike trailers. Our Health & Safety permit allows us to deliver prepackaged food to the general public, so they will begin using individual to-go boxes to package all leftover food at the restaurants. In order to expand their operations to every weekday and get more volunteers and donors, they will use funding to buy food-grade, compostable boxes, materials to rebuild donated bike trailers and marketing essentials.
- UC Davis Chapter of Engineers Without Borders: Bolivia Sanitation Project, $17,820.00
- Project lead(s): Alyssa Estrada (Civil Engineering), Katie Nelson (Computer Science and Engineering), and Lauren Chew (Civil Engineering)
Project description: The UC Davis Chapter of Engineers Without Borders has made a five 5-year commitment aiming to eradicate open defecation and improve health practices/education throughout the agrarian community of Parque Colani, located in the Andean mountain range of Bolivia. This project provides UC Davis students with the opportunity to apply their experience in engineering design and project management in order to raise the community’s standard of living. The goals for UC Davis students working on this project are to build two-pit compostable latrines and accompanying handwashing stations for 10 households in the community, to foster strong relationships with the Aymara-speaking community
members, and to address female hygiene concerns.
- Sustainable Living and Learning Communities East Entry Project, $18,957.68
- Project lead(s): Carol Hillhouse (ASUCD Student Farm Associate Director), Raquel Navarro (Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems), and David de la Pena (Assistant Professor, Department of Human Ecology)
Project description: The SLLC (Sustainable Living and Learning Communities) East Entry Project will create and implement a student/community-centered design and sustainable management plan for one of the small semi-natural habitat areas left on the North side of campus. The Project will a) design borders, pathways, and minimal signage that connects with surrounding SLLC projects, creating opportunities for students to experience the sanctuary of wild space, and offering education about habitat preservation and the critical ecosystem services that minimally-disturbed spaces are able to provide. The project will allow for management of invasive and encroaching trees, broken fencing that borders the road and ASUCD Student Farm organic vegetable production fields and, ultimately, develop a sustainable stewardship plan for the wooded area and immediate surroundings that is respectful of this special habitat while serving the needs of neighboring students.
- Herbicide-Free Campus Organic Weed-Management Program, $11,210.00
- Project lead(s): Sophie Borison (Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems) and Kit Nga Chou (Environmental Science & Management)
Project description: As a part of the UC-wide herbicide-free campaign, UC Davis is transitioning away from its use of glyphosate, a known carcinogen identified under California’s Prop 65 and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, that poses risks to the health of our campus environment, and the students, staff, and faculty that live, work, and play here. Through a partnership between Herbicide-Free UC Davis and the Arboretum and Public Garden, this project proposes the creation of an Organic Weed-Management Program where Arboretum employees, with the help of the UC Davis community, will pilot 100% organic weed-management strategies on campus green spaces, free of synthetic herbicides, to create a safer, healthier, and more sustainable environment.
- Footing University Nitrogen, $1,850.00
- Project lead(s): Shona Paterson (Environmental Science & Management), Maya Bhadury (Environmental Policy Analysis & Planning), and Breanna Xiong (Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology)
Project description: The Footing University Nitrogen (FUN) group researches and raises awareness about nitrogen pollution on campus. In the past the UC Davis FUN group has quantified a metric for the amount of nitrogen emitted by campus and proposed scenarios to reduce that footprint. This year, they aim to bridge the gap between research and public awareness by creating an interactive map, spatially showing real and embodied emissions on campus in addition to outreach efforts at events on campus.
- UC Davis x .blacktogrey, $3,000.00
- Project lead(s): Mira Segaran (Environmental Science & Management), Hayeon Park (Biological Systems Engineering), and Claire Armstrong (English)
Project description: The Zero Waste and Sustainability Club at UC Davis is collaborating with .blacktogrey, a company that converts old, unwearable clothes into new sustainably made garments. This circular economy approach to “new” clothing aims to disrupt the fashion industry and reduce the amount of textile-related waste that goes to landfill each year (3.8 billion pounds). The Zero Waste and Sustainability Club has designed graphics related to the Davis community as well as sustainability and waste reduction, which will be printed on the .blacktogrey garments. The club will make these garments available for purchase to UC Davis students, staff, faculty, and visitors as a sustainable alternative for purchasing new garments on the UCD campus.
Fall Grant Cycle
- Carp-Deum (Dependent Ecosystem Urgent Management), $12,769.00
- Project lead(s): Kimberly Luke (Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation) and Andrew Rypel (Professor, Department of Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology)
Project description: The purpose of the Carp-Dependent Ecosystem Urgent Management, Carp-DEUM, Project is to demonstrate a viable solution (pilot project in a section of the Waterway) for improving water quality and preventing harmful algal blooms, HABs, in the UC Davis Arboretum via carp exclusion. Common carp and their close relatives engineer ecosystems through bioturbation of the benthic substrates, continuously uprooting vegetation and introducing trapped phosphorus from sediment into the water. With the removal of carp, there will be less phosphorus mixed into the water, aquatic vegetation will be able to establish itself, and algal blooms will be reduced.
- UCD Arboretum Learning by Leading AquaFree Demonstration Garden, $12,000.00
- Project lead(s): Christopher Huang (Plant Science)
Project description: The UC Davis Arboretum Sustainable Horticulture Learning by Leading undergraduate team designed and built an AquaFree Demonstration Garden project on a prominent site in the west end of the Arboretum utilizing drought tolerant plant species from California and other dry ecosystems. The purpose of these gardens is to demonstrate and test promising California and desert plants by growing them under 3 different very-low-water irrigation regimes (including zero), which will show which plants are capable of withstanding the increasingly hot and arid climate of the Central Valley with no or very little irrigation.
- That's a Wrap on Saran, $400.00
- Project lead(s): Jacqueline Zamora (Environmental Policy Analysis & Planning), Nikki Yang (Sustainable Environmental Design), and Malia Helms (Biological Systems Engineering)
Project description: This project aims to make UC Davis students aware of the amount of single-use items they may commonly use, and give them ways to reduce their waste. By offering an opportunity to create their own zero waste wax wraps, students will have the incentive and access to make the sustainable swap to leave behind traditional plastic film food wrap.
- Growing Green Fleet in the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, $18,080.00
- Project lead(s): Karyn Utsumi (Environmental Science & Management), Noreen Mabini (Ecological Management & Restoration), and Nina Suzuki (UC Davis Arboretum and Public Gardens)
Project description: This project will add an electric Gator Turf Utility Vehicle to the vehicle fleet, as an initial transition a fleet that is not powered by fossil fuels. All 130 students in the UC Davis Arboretum Learning by Leading Program will have access to the e-Gator for use on UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden projects.
- Davis Senior High School Rain Garden, $6,570.00
- Project lead(s): Chris Huang (Landscape Architecture) and Riley Sholes (Landscape Architecture)
Project description: The UC Davis Student Leadership in Green Infrastructure (SLGI) group intends to collaborate with Davis Senior High School students, teachers, and staff to design and implement the Davis Senior High School Rain Garden demonstration project at a key location on the high school campus. This space floods during the rainy season, has significant pedestrian circulation, erosion, and soil compaction issues and currently lacks any significant planning to promote biodiversity and habitat value. The redesign of this space calls for a 1,150 square foot rain garden designed to capture impervious area runoff from nearby sidewalks and rooftops, solve site circulation and erosion problems, and create an aesthetically-pleasing landscape area that can adapt to both drought and wet conditions.
- UC Davis Airport Pollinator Garden, $4,402.53
- Project lead(s): Shona Paterson (Environmental Science & Management), Natalie Ruckstuhl (Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology), and Robert Bohn (UC Davis Riparian Reserve Senior Museum Scientist)
Project description: This project plans to convert an unused site by the UC Davis Airport into a hedgerow planting. The planting will comprise primarily of two parts: a section of native grasses and a pollinator garden.
- The Climate Reality Project Events, $6,031.00
- Project lead(s): Megan Phelps (Environmental Science & Management), Evelyn Shu (Environmental Policy Analysis & Planning), and Greta Gledhill (Environmental Policy & Planning
Project description: This project encompasses two Climate Reality Projects: 24 Hours of Reality: The Truth in Action and Talking to Your Relatives About Climate Change.
- DIY Eco Materials Library, $20,000.00
- Project lead(s): Eldy Stephanie Lazaro Vasquez, Erik Contreras, Emily Carlson, and Beth Ferguson (Department of Design)
Project description: The DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Eco Materials Library will collect and display the most comprehensive collection of eco materials (bio-based plastics, bio-resins, bio-silicones, bio-composites, living matter such as bacteria & fungi) that best fit the needs of undergraduate and graduate students in the campus, inspiring their work and moving towards a zero-waste and sustainable design practice. This project will be hosted in The Prototyping Lab in Cruess Hall and it seeks to engage the broader student design community in the life cycle analysis of materials used in their projects, raise awareness and participatory responsibility in the use of new innovative and sustainable materials, stimulate reflection and mobilize students to change behavior in waste production, foster sustainable development and promoting a circular economy where waste and environmental impact move towards zero.