UCSC’s Center for Coastal Climate Resilience awards over $4.6 million to support California coastal projects

Scientists measuring a salmon
“Restoring Chinook Salmon on the Klamath River to Rebuild Resilient Tribal Fisheries and Increase Food Security for Tribal Members” is one of the new CCCR implementation grants.

The UCSC Center for Coastal Climate Resilience has awarded over $4.6 million in funding to 23 UC Santa Cruz research groups for pilot projects and implementation projects supporting efforts to fight climate change in coastal communities across California and beyond. Funds for these grant programs came from the California State Budget Act of 2022-23.

The pilot funding initiative intends to foster previously unfunded research projects, collaborations, and creative works that address coastal climate-related impacts and solutions. Fifteen pilot projects were selected that will receive up to $100,000 each. 

The implementation funding program supports projects that speak to the impacts to coastal communities from climate change, deliver clear outcomes and solutions, and engage partners to address the challenges from coastal climate change. Seven projects were selected for this program and will receive up to $500,000 each.

“Through the Center for Coastal Climate Resilience, we were able to fund 23 projects that address a broad range of resilience challenges and will produce actionable outputs,” said John MacMillan, vice chancellor for research. “The pilot projects will jump-start innovative approaches, while the implementation projects will engage federal, state, community, and tribal partners to develop and scale solutions rooted in current work. We are excited about the potential of these projects to substantively advance resilience efforts in California and worldwide.” 

The project teams include:

Pilot Awards

  • “Coastal Monitoring for Adaptation Planning and Beach Safety Using Network of Video Cameras,” led by Alex Pang, professor of computer science and engineering.   
  • “Working Group Proposal: Accelerating Biological Adaptation to Climate Change,” led by Beth Shapiro, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.
  • “Disaster rebuilding costs and climate adaptation and mitigation: are we building back better?” led by Galina Hale, professor of economics.
  • “Greener Greenhouses: LiFi and RF-Backscatter Enabled IoT Monitoring for Drought Resilient Food Production,” led by Katia Obraczka, professor of computer science and engineering.   
  • “Evolutionary resilience in kelp for climate adaptation,” led by Malin Pinsky, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.
  • “The Probability Engine: Using Augmented Reality and 3D Printing to Envision Futures of Resilience to Sea Level Rise,” led by micha cárdenas, associate professor of games and playable media. 
  • “Engaging Coastal Climate Vulnerable Communities in CA Policy Making on Solar Geoengineering,” led by Sikina Jinnah, professor of environmental studies.
  • “Electrochemical water desalination for coastal homes and agriculture,” led by Yat Li, professor of chemistry.
  • “Climate Action Lab: Combining Science & Art to Help Coastal Communities Understand and Respond to Climate Risks,” led by Jennifer Parker, professor of art.
  • “Increasing Coastal Climate Change Impacts on Pinniped Breeding Habitat: Prediction, Planning, and Mitigation,” led by Rachel Holser, assistant research scientist for the Institute of Marine Sciences.
  • “Augmenting the California Firefighter Toolkit with Usable and Smart Data-Driven Technology,” led by Ricardo Sanfelice, professor of electrical and computer engineering.
  • “Turning the Tide: Understanding Access Social Inequalities in Coastal California,” led by Katherine Seto, assistant professor of environmental studies.
  • “Dynamic Planning, Sensing, and Policies for Optimized Mobility in the Future Workforce,” led by Carlos Martinez, assistant professor of Latin American and Latino studies.
  • “Bio-intensive No-till Research for Climate-Smart Mini-Farms & Urban Gardens,” led by Joji Muramoto, assistant adjunct professor of environmental studies.
  • “Designing Just and Fire Resilient Landscapes in Coastal California,” led by Andrew Mathews, professor of anthropology.
  • “Integrated Rainwater to Food Systems for Santa Cruz,” led by Alexie Leauthaud-Harnett, assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics.

Implementation Awards

  • “Promoting Resilience of the Dungeness Crab Fishery to Climate-Induced Harmful Algal Blooms,” led by Kristy Kroeker, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.
  • “Restoring Chinook Salmon on the Klamath River to Rebuild Resilient Tribal Fisheries and Increase Food Security for Tribal Members,” led by Eric Palkovacs, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.
  • “Sustaining Recharge Net Metering to Benefit Aquatic Systems and Water Resources in a Changing Climate,” led by Andrew Fisher, distinguished professor of Earth and planetary sciences.
  • “Coordinated Fire Management for Resilient Coastal Prairies,” led by Karen Holl, professor of environmental studies.
  • Evaluation of Cost-Effectiveness and Equitable Distribution of Adaptation Benefits through CoSMoS ADAPT,” led by Borja Reguero, associate research professor at the Institute of Marine Sciences. 
  • “Carbon Dynamics in Coastal Wetlands – Understanding Controlling Processes to Assess Wetlands Nature-Based Climate Mitigation Potential,” led by Adina Paytan, research scientist at the Institute of Marine Sciences. 
  • “Democratizing Access to Climate-Change Scenarios to Support Climate-Resilient Coastal Conservation,” led by Erika Zavaleta, Howard Hughes Medical Institute professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.

“These projects will help address some of the pressing needs we already see in addressing climate change and help build campus capacity to assess and confront the coming climate challenges,” said Mike Beck, director of the Center for Coastal Climate Resilience.