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Public Service Research Program

Photo: Talks & Presentations

Past PSRP Seminar Series, Workshops & Forums



2008: Climate Change Solutions & Implementations Seminar Series

The John Muir Institute of the Environment’s 2008 Environmental Solutions Series on climate change solutions and implementations from the public and private sector informs the campus community about the policy, science and business driven by needs to address climate change, and how that transforms funding, green innovation and academics.  The series is part of a campuswide emphasis on science and policy to address global climate change. PSRP organized the series for JMIE.

2006-2007: Searching for Environmental Solutions: Challenging Issues, Scientific Investigations, and Policy Implications; Monthly Series


The search for solutions to environmental problems involves finding ways to successfully link science with policy. This presentation series examines environmental issues that are of critical importance primarily in California, but which also have implications and applications to other regions. Over the course of the year, speakers will take a problem-focused approach. They will discuss current scientific findings, various tools that help us to deal with environmental problems, and potential applications of research to decision-making, management, and policy implementation. Our goal is to foster ongoing analysis of critical environmental issues and relevance to policy, as well as to demonstrate that solution-oriented research can make a difference. The series is sponsored by PSRP and JMIE and take place on Tuesdays from 12 - 1 pm, 3201 Hart Hall, UC Davis Campus

  • October 10 - California Water Problems: Solution-Oriented Approaches - Jay Lund, JMIE & Civil & Environmental Enginerring
  • November 7 - Agricultural Effects on Water Quality in California Michael Johnson, Director, Aquatic Ecosystems Analysis Laboratory
  • December 5 - Can We Keep Lake Tahoe Blue? Geoff Schladow, Director, Tahoe Environmental Research Center
  • January 9 -Impact of Climate Variation and Change on Mosquitoes and the Viruses They Transmit - William Reisen, Center for Vector-Borne Disease Research
  • February 6 - Can Environmental Law Learn to Swim? The Challenges of Protecting and Restoring Aquatic Environments in California - Holly Doremus, School of Law
  • March 6 - Global Sustainability: The Dilemma of Scale - Deb Niemeier, Director, JMIE & Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • April 10 - Towards Environmental Health in the San Joaquin Valley – Kent Pinkerton, Director, Center for Health & Environment
  • April 24 - Beyond the Peripheral Canal: Envisioning Futures for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta - Jay Lund & Peter Moyle, JMIE
  • May 8 - Wildlife Connectivity and Landscape Division by Roads and Highways - Fraser Shilling, Researcher, Environmental Science & Policy, Center for Road Ecology
  • June 5 - Challenges in Conserving Plant Diversity: Endemism, Urbanism, and Global Warming - Mark Schwartz, Environmental Science & Policy

2005-2006: Coastal Environments and River Deltas at Risk; Monthly Series

A 2005-2006 Critical Environmental Issues Series of monthly talks presented by UC Davis researchers was sponsored by JMIE, PSRP, and International House and examined coastal environments and river deltas that have been affected by human actions. All talks were from noon to one pm at 3201 Hart Hall on the UC Davis Campus. The series examined coastal and riverine systems from an international and geographic perspective focusing on the relationship between people and the place in which they live and the decisions that are made. The impetus for the series was the New Orleans Disaster and we began by examining and comparing two river deltas - Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta and the Mississippi Delta.

  • October 12 - The Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta: Flooding and Landscape Change - Jeff Mount, UC Davis, Center for Watershed Sciences
  • November 9 - Rivers and Cities: Challenges in New Orleans and Elsewhere - Ari Kelman, UC Davis, Department of History
  • January 11 - Is the Delta Smelt a Canary? Natural and Anthropogenic Impacts on CA Coastal and Delta Fisheries - Bill Bennett, UC Davis, Center for Watershed Sciences, Bodega Marine Laboratory
  • February 8 - Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Pacific Coast and River-Deltas - Susan Ustin, UC Davis, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, CalSpace, CSTARS, WESTGEC
  • April 12 - Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Coastal Environments - Ken Verosub, UC Davis, Department of Geology
  • May 10 - Interactions Among Flows, Fish, Hippos, and Termites: Ecology of the Okavango Delta, Botswana - Peter Moyle, UC Davis, Center for Watershed Sciences, Putah-Cache Bioregion Project, Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology


2008 Colloquium: Engaged Scholarship - Linking University Research and Engagement

California Campus Compact sponsors a yearly northern California regional colloquium addressing issues of civic engagement and universities. This is the third year on graduate education and research universities. The previous two colloquia have examined university endeavors in civic engagement, service learning, and university community engagement programs. This year we turn to linking research with engagement and outreach efforts on an institutional, programmatic, and individual level.  The forum is held on the UC Davis campus and is a collaboration of UC Davis programs and California Campus Compact.


2005: On Salmon and Tribes - The deterioration of the salmon fishery and health of a Northern California tribe in the Klamath River watershed; Panel and Video Presentation

On June 2, 2005, a panel discussion and video documentary examined how the lives of Native American people are impacted by the loss of salmon due to the damming of the Klamath River. This complex case of the Karuk Tribe is under the national spotlight as an important case of tribal social and environmental justice. The Karuk tribe, whose 3,300 members make up the second-largest Indian tribe in California, have said that dams on the Klamath River have destroyed the salmon runs on the river, depriving the tribe of their traditional diet. They have been fighting to remove several dams along the Klamath River to revive salmon runs and regain their health. As heard on NPR's All Things Considered and reported in the Washington Post.

The purpose of the panel and video documentary "Salmon on the Backs of Buffalo" was to introduce the UC Davis community to the complex issues surrounding water diversions, health of the Karuk people, and decline of the salmon fishery. The panel consisted of representatives from a public agency, a nonprofit organization, the university, and a member of the Karuk tribe and was moderated by Edward Valanda, Sicangu Lakota Nation and Assistant Professor, Dept. of Native American Studies, UC Davis. It was sponsored by JMIE, PSRP, the Putah Cache Bioregion Project, and the Department of Native American Studies.

The talks focused, first, on the Klamath River fishery and impacts on the tribe with the decline in the fishery, and, secondly, on governmental and legal actions.

  • The Status of the Fishery: Peter Moyle, Assoc. Director, Center for Integrated Watershed Science & Management; Fish Biologist, Department of Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology, UC Davis
  • Impacts on Way of Life: Ron Reed, Cultural Biologist and Traditional Dipnet Fisherman, Karuk Tribe of California
  • Impacts on Health: Kari Norgaard, Environmental Sociologist, Center for Population Biology, UC Davis
  • Affects of Dams: Russ Kanz, Environmental Scientist, State Water Resources Control Board Division of Water Rights
  • Dam Re-Licensing Issues: Kelly Catlett, Hydropower Reform Policy Advocate, Friends of the River

Link to Presentation Flyer


2005 Forum: The Future of the Region

In Spring 2005, The UC Davis Putah Cache Bioregion Project invited community, local businesses, groups and organizations, UCD students, faculty and staff, to participate in a hands-on workshop series addressing difficult questions about growth and development in "Our Region" and how we can shape a future with vibrant and healthy human and natural communities. The series was designed with the idea that regional social, economic and environmental interest/actions do not operate separately, but are interrelated and that it is necessary to examine these interactions in order to understand and change them.

A mix of factors -economic, social, ecological, political- affect land use, natural resource management, planning and community development in our region. Complex problems are often rooted in the tensions between these interests, and the relationships between them are difficult. At the same time new tools and approaches offer possibilities for developing compatible resolutions to these interdependent interests. The goal of the series was to provide a forum to engage in these issues and to increase understanding about the challenges and opportunities of growth and development in the region. The series, held in the evening in downtown Davis, focused on issues at increasing scales.

I. Development in Davis: Constraints, Opportunities and Trade-offs
A discussion about challenges and opportunities related to growth and development in Davis. This session looked at current issues relating to growth management, different types of development, adequate and affordable housing, maintaining community character, economic development and tax revenues, and future development of the University. Specific issues such as the Covell Village Development Proposal, Measure J and future development of the University provided a case study context for the forum.

II. The Future Yolo County: Common Goals and Challenges for Managing Growth and Developing Healthy Communities.
In the rapidly developing Central Valley, productive agricultural land, valuable natural resources, and a growing population create a mix of demographic, socio-economic, and ecological considerations. The people of Yolo County will need to consider these issues in making difficult decisions about its future. With reference to the updating of the Yolo County Master Plan, (intended "to guide development of the unincorporated area toward the most desirable future possible," and combine "minimum urbanization with the preservation of productive farm resources and open space amenities."), this session provided a forum to examine and exchange ideas about new ways to envision the relationship of cities/towns to rural areas in Yolo County.

III. Regional Perspective: The problems and potential of regional planning strategies.
The third forum provided a regional context for thinking about growth and development. Many of the complex problems facing communities are common to the region. Regional or cross jurisdictional approaches to planning are increasingly popular, but conflicting goals and interests often preclude or complicate planning efforts that are regional in scale. This discussion looked at current planning efforts within the Sacramento region and asked what opportunities and limitations exist for increasing regional planning efforts.

Forum co-sponsors were PCBR, PSRP, JMIE, UC Davis Extension, Geography Graduate Group, Community Development Graduate Group.

Link to flyer

2004 Workshop: Lessons from Sierra Watershed Assistance Program

This workshop examined the successes and challenges of an innovative liaison-based assistance program in getting data and analysis into local and regional decision-making processes in the Sierra Nevada. Lessons learned from this multi-year project were found to be applicable to collaborative natural resources management and planning efforts in California. Key ingredients to successful partnership models for scientific, technical and organizational assistance were identified. Questions raised included: How best are such services provided? What is the role of the State? How do assistance programs help build democracy?

Link to Workshop Agenda

To learn more about the project to which this was the culminating workshop please see our community-based environmental project Getting scientific data and analysis into local decision-making in the Engagement & Outreach section.