During the Spring Quarter of 2020, the Center for Regional Change (CRC) hosted a series of virtual gatherings for current and prospective CRC Faculty Affiliates interested in discussing their research and possibly collaborating on future research on a variety of topics with other faculty and researchers affiliated with the CRC. Through these meetings, we hoped to explore ways the CRC can support faculty affiliate research interests and foster interdisciplinary collaborations across campus and with civic and community partners to support the building of healthy, equitable, prosperous, and sustainable regions.

The first event centered on sustainable communities. Attendees shared their research interests in land use, housing, transportation, and agriculture and urban growth. The next gathering focused on healthy families and healthy communities. This discussion examined the various interactions between topics such as urban design, landscape architecture, ecosystems, environmental health, transportation, schools, mental health and well-being, schools, children and youth, and youth participatory action research. The third gathering explored themes of climate action and focused on wide-ranging topics including the implementation of policies such as Senate Bill 1000 and Assembly Bill 617, environmental justice, climate justice, science and society, public transportation, and climate adaptation, mitigation, and resilience. The last gathering in the series focused on community-engaged research. This discussion explored citizen and community science, environmental health science, participatory action research, policy-oriented research, and related topics.

Several topics emerged from these conversations, including a white paper series, community engaged research in times of crisis, and a community of practice for youth participatory action research. Some faculty expressed an interested in developing a series of policy-oriented white papers which could focus on pressing issues of regional change, such as climate mitigation and housing gentrification and displacement. Other faculty were interested in sharing promising practices in community engaged research in times of crisis, such as adaptation, mitigation, and/or recovery following global pandemic and natural disasters. Several researchers are interested in cultivating a community of practice for academic and community partners interested in youth participatory action research.

The CRC will be surveying current and potential partners about their interest in pursuing these topics or collaborating on one of the following funding opportunities. If you are interested in participating, please complete this survey or email crcinfo@ucdavis.edu.