FY11 Projects

WaterLab Project: Center for Integrated Water Research

Submitted by Brent Haddad, Professor of Environmental Studies and Director, Center for Integrated Water Research

Proposed by Steve Bruce

Approved July 2010


UCSC’s Center for Integrated Water Research (CIWR) and the City of Watsonville have agreed to establish a Water Teaching and Research Laboratory (WaterLab) at Watsonville’s state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility.  This laboratory will host scientific investigations into water treatment technologies, courses on water management, field trips, and conferences on water management. Part of UCSC’s commitment to WaterLab is the installation of UCSC’s reverse osmosis water treatment technology, a system owned by UCSC that has sufficient capacity to provide water to a small town.  The system has been in storage for some time and prior to transport to and installation at the Watsonville site requires either a thorough operational readiness review or exchange for a smaller, fully-functional unit which the manufacturer has offered.  Funds will provide, transport and install a reverse osmosis water treatment unit to the Watsonville facility, allowing UCSC to launch WaterLab and begin vital fresh water research and student instruction.


1.     Provide opportunities for students to learn about urban water management, reuse of water for environmental and agricultural purposes, protection of oceans from urban wastewater, and relationships between water treatment technologies, costs, and operational needs.  

2.     Develop unique curriculum and research opportunities involving undergraduates, along with internship and senior thesis opportunities and conferences.

3.     Coordinate with regional community colleges and California State University, Monterey Bay to encourage transfer students to UCSC in Environmental Studies and other water-related fields.

4.     Work with and learn from a neighboring municipality that has a state-of-the-art water treatment program that protects the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, coastal wetlands, and coastal groundwater aquifers, and provides high quality reclaimed water to regional agriculture.

5.     Establish UCSC’s reputation as an innovator in water research and teaching.

Amount funded: $15,000 with the proviso to provide a letter from campus counsel confirming that the appropriate legal review has taken place for the contractual agreement with the City of Watsonville.

Staff involved in the project:

Kivette Koeppe, Administrator, Center for Integrated Water Research

 Community Partner:  The City of Watsonville


Campus Sustainability Internship Program

Submitted by Aurora Winslade, Sustainability Manager, Business and Administrative Services/Sustainability Office

Sponsored by Loren Steck

Approved August 2010


The Campus Sustainability Internship (CSI) program will partner student interns with campus staff and faculty mentors to work on projects focusing on topic areas identified in the 2010 Campus Sustainability Plan such as water, waste, climate, transportation, site stewardship, food systems, buildings and facilities, etc. 2010-2011 will be the "pilot year" for the program.

  • Students will be recruited from diverse majors on campus and apply through a competitive process requiring submission of cover letters, references, and resumes.
  • Selected students will commit to 15-18 hours per week for the academic year to work on a specific sustainability topic and define, during the first quarter of the internship, at least one project to be completed during that year.
  • They will assist with research, implementation, and advocacy for integrating sustainability into campus life and operations, and meet regularly with project mentors and the Sustainability Manager.
  • They will participate in a 2-unit course throughout the year to supplement their hands-on project work. 


  1. Support students to effectively engage with campus policy, long-term structures, and institutional transformation for sustainability.
  2. Create a meaningful, hands-on learning experience that will further their understanding and ability to engage at an institutional/political level.
  3. Provide the campus with a knowledgeable, passionate, and dedicated student workforce to assist with and help lead campus greening efforts.
  4. Build bridges between the student sustainability movement, the faculty-led sustainability efforts, and the staff-focused sustainability work.
  5. Create a viable model that can be sustained over the long-term with contributions from campus units and justified based on work outcomes.

Amount funded: $11,600 to prove viability of the program.  In future years, unites will be asked to contribute funding for interns, and the Sustainability Council will be asked to contribute to the cost of the program.   Funds will also be used as a challenge to raise additional funds through the Annual Fund telephone outreach program.

Faculty and staff involved in the project:

  • Dean of Social Sciences, Sheldon Kamieniecki
  • Chair of Environmental Studies, Daniel Press
  • Engineering Faculty, Suresh Lodha
  • Environmental Studies Lecturer, James Barsimantov
  • Vice Chancellor, Business and Administrative Services, Tom Vani
  • Interim Campus Architect and Associate Vice Chancellor, John Barnes
  • Interim Director of Physical Plant, James Dunne
  • Recycling Coordinator, Dave Wade
  • Director of the Natural Reserves, Gage Dayton
  • Procurement Specialist, Kathryn Cunningham
  • Director of Transportation and Parking Services, Larry Pageler


Visualization Tools for Astronomy

Submitted by Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, Associate Professor, Astronomy and Astrophysics

Sponsored by Gary Novack

Approved October 2010


With the advancement of computer technology and numerical algorithms, complex astrophysical phenomena are now accessible via simulation almost as if they were accessible via experiments in the laboratory.  But humans are visual creatures, and numbers alone do little to feed our physical understanding and intuition. To fully realize the scientific and aesthetic potential of these simulations, we also need sophisticated visualization tools like those developed and routinely used in game design and digital media.  These tools would dramatically aid our ability to teach and convey complex ideas, and distill complex physical concepts with visual, visceral impact. The Theoretical Astrophysics Santa Cruz (TASC) Center will play a leading role in bringing sophisticated visualization tools to the astrophysical community.

  • TASC will provide cutting-edge, scientific simulations as raw material for research collaborations between students in digital arts and computational science.
  • This project will merge the already outstanding programs in the Digital Arts and New Media and Game Design with the strength in astrophysics at UCSC.
  • Graduate AV Fellows will work closely with individual faculty members and their research groups during the summer months, to exchange expertise and skills while working on specific visualization products. 
  • Undergraduate AV Fellows will participate in all research, but will be primarily responsible for the design and development of the TASC web presence. 
  • A close-out event will be held at the end of the summer in which all Fellows and involved faculty share the products of their work.


  • Increase the scientific impact of work done within TASC and the profile of theoretical astrophysics at UCSC at the local, national, and international level.
  • Improve graduate and undergraduate education at UCSC by facilitating cross-disciplinary research.
  • Teach the general public about science and the universe.
  • Showcase our work at fund-raising events and astronomy presentations in venues as diverse as Google Sky; Mt. Hamilton Observatory; the De Anza, Morrison, and Adler Planetariums; the NASA Ames Hyperwall; and the UCSC’s Visualization Center.
  • Provide artists with the opportunity to bring phenomena that are beyond the scale of human senses into visible, visceral reach.
  • Improve fundraising through both private and federal sources.
  • Improve quality of graduate student applicant pool in collaborating departments.

Amount funded: $20,000 to provide 50% summer support for three graduate students and 100% summer support for one undergraduate for the first year of this project.

Faculty and staff involved in the project:

  • TASC Members
  • Bruno Sansó, Chair of Applied Mathematics and Statistics   
  • Steve Thorsett, Dean of Physical and Biological Sciences
  • Jeffrey Kongslie Correa, Director of Development, PBSci
  • Sandy Faber, Chair of Astrophysics
  • Paul Koch, Chair of Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • Jennifer Gonzalez, Chair of Digital Arts and New Media, and contact for program
  • Michael Mateas, Professor of Game Design, and contact for program
  • Michael Bolte, Director of UCO/Lick Observatory
  • Lisa Hunter, Director of Institute for Scientist and Engineer Educators and contact for program.


Contribution to Gabriel Zimmerman Scholarship Fund

Submitted by Joop Rubens, Associate Director of Development, Social Sciences

Sponsored by Ken Doctor

Approved January 2011


UCSC alumnus Gabriel Zimmerman was the Community Engagement Director for Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, and he was killed in the January 2011 Tucson shooting. The Gabriel Zimmerman Scholarship Fund was established in his honor with a goal to reach $50,000 by Feb. 1 to create an endowment that would provide need-based scholarship aid to support undergraduate students in the social sciences division who are passionate about social issues and committed to public service. 


  • To recognize an outstanding alumnus who died in the course of duty in public service.
  • To provide aid to students who plan to pursue public service for which Gabe Zimmerman was an exemplar.

Amount funded: $2,500 to use as a challenge for a one-to-one match within a 6-month deadline (by July 2011)


Green Kitchen Project

Submitted by Stephen R. Gliessman, Ruth and Alfred Heller Professor Emeritus of Agroecology

Sponsored by SB Master

Approved March 2011


The Green Kitchen will be a central component of the Sustainable Living Center’s (SLC) hands-on education and demonstration site for small-scale sustainable living, with a focus on food systems from the garden to the table.  Incorporating the latest in sustainable building technologies, the Green Kitchen will be the first place on the UCSC campus where students can gain real-world experience with solar technology, energy conservation, sustainable cooking, renewable energy, and agroecology.  Being linked with the Electrical Engineering Department, the facility will also be a living laboratory for students to research alternative energy technologies and systems. With the completion of the Green Kitchen, students will explore connections between sustainable food systems, green technologies, and healthy communities.  This will be one of the few programs nationally that fully integrate sustainability with academic programs and hands-on learning, and is positioned to become a model for other campuses around the world.


  • To build a facility that will help UCSC maintain its leadership in sustainability education.
  • To be a national model for how to create opportunities for students to engage with sustainability at every step in the food system.
  • To teach students how to better reduce their carbon footprints while learning that food – from how we grow it to how we cook it and share it – can be sustainable.
  • To graduate students who will be advocates for change in our food systems on the broad scale, and conscious consumers and energy savers at home and in their communities.

Amount funded: $15,000 to be timed so that the funds put the project over the top and make it possible to reach the goal of $250,000, as well as leverage other fundraising.

Faculty and staff involved in the project:

Vivan (Bee) Vadakan – SLC Sustainability Education Coorinator

Bethany Hecht – SLC assistant

Mira Michelle – PICA program coordinator

Faculty who are members of the SLC faculty advisory committee:

Barbara Rogoff – Professor in Psychology

Ronnie Lipshutz - Professor in Psychology

Jeff Bury – Associate Professor in Environmental Studies

Flora Lu – Assistant Professor in Latino and Latin American Studies

Ali Shakorui – Professor in Engineering

George Brown – Professor in Physics


Bridging the Gap Symposium

Submitted by Lesley Brander, Director of Development for the Arts

Sponsored by Gary Novack

Approved May 2011


The first Arts Division Film Symposium is designed to engage and reconnect alumni in Film and Digital Media.  The multi-event program will start on Friday evening, June 3 with a reception and film screening to honor retiring faculty member Chip Lord.  On Saturday, June 4, there will be all-day roundtable discussions, screenings of films by alumni, students and faculty, and a VIP dinner and evening program with special guest speakers.  This event will showcase the Arts Division at a major level of excellence, and will be key in bringing back successful alumni to campus.


  • Reconnect alumni to campus, to the Arts Division, and to each other.
  • Alumni/student mentoring.
  • Enhanced visibility for UCSC and its alumni’s successes.
  • Build alumni and donor pride and ownership in the Arts.
  • Fundraising and stewardship opportunities.
  • Possible alignment in the future with a corporate sponsor that would be ongoing.

Amount funded: $10,000 to help sponsor this inaugural event.

Faculty and staff involved in the project:

David Yager, Dean of Arts

Lesley Brander, Director of Development for the Arts

Alison Lucas, Chief of Staff, Arts Division

Monica Grant, Senior Director of Development for the Arts

Faculty in Film and Digital Media:

Larry Andrews

Chip Lord

Eli Hollander

Peter Limbrick

Irene Gustafson

John Leanos

Sharon Daniel


Warren Sack

Soraya Murray

L. S. Kim


Summer Internships for Serious Games

Submitted by Jane Pinckard, Associate Director, Center for Games and Playable Media

Sponsored by Steve Bruce

Approved June 2011


To create a paid summer internship for a team of 2-3 students to design and create a playable experience designed for children age 8-10 to raise awareness about recycling Styrofoam. This will apply research and technology developed in the Computer Science curriculum to a practical project, drawing on artificial intelligence, interactive storytelling and natural language dialog systems.  It will kick-start a new focus in the Game Design Program on Serious Games, a subset of the game industry that focuses on games with social or educational impact.  This will seed and provide a model for a new ongoing summer program focusing on a curriculum of Serious Games study and development in support of the Game Design program.


  • To provide students with a real time opportunity to produce a serious game; from consulting with client goals, designing the experience, play-testing, and implementing to the public.
  • To promote creative problem solving and team building/leadership skills.
  • To raise awareness of the University’s commitment to recycling, ecology, and community service, and engage the global community on how to think about global resources via games.
  • To engage new partners outside the University, including foundations, health care services, other educational and nonprofit institutions, and corporations.
  • To bring together businesses in Santa Cruz specifically and California at large around the mission of promoting healthy ocean ecology and recycling.

Amount funded: $15,000

Faculty and staff involved in the project:

Jane Pinckard

Michael Mateas

Noah Wardrip-Fruin

Jim Whitehead