Luce Environmental Science to Solutions Initiative

UC Santa Barbara

Oct 20, 2010 No Comments


The Luce Environmental Science to Solutions Initiative is operated as a Fellowship Program that provides funds to enhance, not fully support, Ph.D. student education; it welcomes students from mathematics, life or physical science, social science and engineering. Luce Fellows receive training in communication and data management, and have opportunities for collaborative research and real world problem-solving. Students experience the advantages of cross-disciplinary teamwork and become acquainted with political, legal, and economic dimensions of environmental challenges. The fellowships are three years in duration and have been awarded to two cohorts, one starting in 2008 and one starting in 2010. A key component is a course in communicating science with guest speakers including a senior program officer from a major foundation, local journalists, and representatives from environmental nonprofit organizations. The students learn to communicate their research in formats such as press releases and interviews for a range of audiences. A highlight of the program is the opportunity for Fellows to work together to design and host their own working groups at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). NCEAS encourages collaboration and data synthesis by convening scientists from diverse backgrounds to address interdisciplinary environmental and ecological questions. The first cohort of Luce Fellows divided into three working groups on (1) the impact of damage to coral reef ecosystems on human populations that feed on reef fish, (2) the best management techniques for rebuilding depleted fisheries, and (3) ways to integrate social science and biological variables in studies of water quality.


John M. Melack, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management

University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106

What are you up to now?

Our second cohort of PhD students have completed their class in global change ecology, are taking a class in informatics, and have just finished selecting their working group projects.

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