Our Work

UC-DRN is delivering activities that are synergistic and achieved through a coalition of researchers, administrators, students, and partners. They are divided into the following five categories:

1. EXPERTISE PORTAL: The portal connects faculty, students, partners, and others with UC’s intellectual resources on crises, resilience, disaster risk management, climate change, and related themes across disciplines and campuses. Example: the portal can match agencies seeking resilience expertise with faculty in the UC system (For more information, contact jleitmann@gmail.com)

2. INCUBATING INNOVATIVE RESEARCH: A UC-based effort to incubate innovative research on resilience will begin with seed grants and knowledge-sharing events. It will support UC talent in conducting critical research, including a grant program to allow researchers to rapidly collect data and conduct analyses around crises Example: a research partnership has been developed with UCSB’s Natural Reserve System on wildfires and another is being prepared on climate change (For more information, contact leroy.westerling@icloud.com)

3. APPLIED LEARNING: Local, regional and global opportunities will be developed and supported to pursue applied research and student internships with partners in the UC system and externally with organizations like the California Governor’s Office, American Red Cross, and the World Bank. Example: a Dean’s Disaster Resilience Fellows program is being piloted at UC Santa Barbara (For more information, contact mrnicopascal@gmail.com)

4. DISASTER & RESILIENCE TRAINING: Beginning with identifying and connecting existing academic offerings on crisis and resilience across the UC system, we will create and support systemwide resilience studies to train the next generation of leaders on disaster management and resilience building.  Example: a systemwide online course has been developed on Addressing Concurrent and Cascading Disasters (For more information, contact doglesby@ucr.eduzilber11@berkeley.edu or mrnicopascal@gmail.com)

5. PARTNERSHIPS: Opportunities will be pursued to link UC resources, programs and research with relevant partners in the US and abroad.  Twinning and other partnership arrangements would share knowledge, build capacity and could lead to joint research, academic offerings, faculty and student exchanges, and other outcomes.   Examples: partnerships have been developed with the University of Chile system and the American Red Cross (For more information, contact rschooley@ucsd.edu or mrnicopascal@gmail.com)

What might these actions look like?

As an example of how the UC DRN would enhance the role of the UC system in disaster resilience, consider the COVID-19 crisis. Faculty across the UC system worked on more than 300 research initiatives designed to combat the pandemic. At one campus alone, experts studied coronavirus mutations, infection prevention, community mobilization, the impact on world economic markets, and tracking the prevalence of COVID-19 in sewage and water resource centers. Consider: how much more could be accomplished if dedicated yet disparate minds could work efficiently together to develop solutions to our most daunting challenges?