Symposium to Celebrate Sustainability Research at UC Riverside

April 19 symposium will explore sustainable development research solutions to counteract negative environmental impacts

Living the Promise campaign logo

An Apr. 19 symposium at UC Riverside will focus on sustainability research.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The University of California, Riverside will host a symposium on Wednesday, April 19 that will examine the concept of renewable nature, and how UCR’s environmental, energy, and sustainable development research solutions are creating a healthier planet. The event, “Living the Promise Symposium: Renewable Nature,” is free and open to the public.

The symposium features a faculty panel discussion and reading from Susan Straight, distinguished professor of creative writing. A reception will showcase artwork by Kellie Flint, M.F.A. graduate student, among other UCR research displays.

The symposium begins at 6 p.m. in the UCR Botanic Gardens. Parking in lot 13 is free for the event. Reservations are requested and can be made online.

“Living the Promise Symposium: Renewable Nature” is the sixth in a series of symposia that reflect key themes of the university’s comprehensive fundraising campaign announced in October 2016. The $300 million campaign will conclude in 2020 and seeks funding for student support, faculty research, and infrastructure. Campaign themes align with goals outlined in UCR 2020, the university’s strategic plan.

Kathryn Uhrich, dean of UC Riverside’s College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and a professor of chemistry; will moderate the April 19 discussion. The following UC Riverside researchers will be panelists:

Michael Allen

Michael Allen

Michael Allen, distinguished professor of plant pathology, microbiology, and biology in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Allen is the director of UCR’s Center for Conservation Biology and chair of the department of biology. His research is concentrated on understanding the effects of human activities on ecosystem biodiversity and functioning. Recently, he has worked with the county of Riverside and Southern California regional agencies on multiple species habitat conservation efforts.

Juliann Allison

Juliann Allison

Juliann Allison, associate professor of gender and sexuality studies and public policy in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the School of Public Policy. Allison is the associate director of the Center for Sustainable Suburban Development, and chair of the department of Gender and Sexuality Studies at UCR. Her research and teaching interests emphasize political economy, environmental politics and policy, and community-based social change, especially as it relates to the gender dimensions of conflict resolution and environmental sustainability.

Emma Aronson

Emma Aronson

Emma Aronson, assistant professor of plant pathology and microbiology in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Aronson investigates how dispersal and environmental filtering influence the formation of soil microbial communities. Her lab’s projects investigate the impacts of global and environmental change on soil microbially-mediated greenhouse gas fluxes, and wind and invasive species as mechanisms for microbial dispersal. Her work is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation.

Marilyn Fogel

Marilyn Fogel

Marilyn Fogel, Wilbur W. Mayhew Endowed Professor of Geoecology in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Fogel is the director of UCR’s Environmental Dynamics and GeoEcology (EDGE) Institute, which uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine global climate and environmental change. For nearly 40 years, her research has concentrated on understanding the flow of elements through modern biogeochemical cycles, and extending into the fields of paleontology and astrobiology, searching for evidence of life in the universe beyond our planet.

Louis Santiago

Louis Santiago

Louis Santiago, associate professor of physiological ecology in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Santiago examines the relationship between plants and the environment, including how trees and shrubs respond to extreme drought. His work addresses how changes in the composition of natural plant communities as a result of climate change will affect the amount of water available for agricultural and societal uses. He has studied tropical forests for more than 20 years and regularly travels to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama to conduct research.

Susan Straight

Susan Straight

Susan Straight, distinguished professor of creative writing in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Straight is the author of eight novels and two books for children, an essayist, short story writer, and reviewer. Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and Lannan Literary Prize. Her novel “Highwire Moon” was a National Book Award finalist in 2001 and “A Million Nightingales” was shortlisted for the 2006 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Fiction. She received the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008, is currently director of the Master of Fine Arts Program, and serves on the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at UCR, where she has taught since 1988.

The next Living the Promise symposium will take place on May 8 and will address the theme of New Voices and Visions.

More information about the comprehensive fundraising campaign is available at campaign.ucr.edu.

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