The research and travel awards program is an annual funding opportunity for UC Davis students in social science-oriented departments and graduate groups within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Students will use this funding for summer travel and/or research, as well as a master’s thesis/doctoral dissertation improvement grant. These awards are made possible through the generous funding of the UC Davis Institute for Social Sciences, in partnership with the Center for Regional Change.
Project: Knights Landing Environmental Health
Our case study seeks to investigate environmental exposures through a mixed-methods, community-based participatory research approach in the rural, agricultural community of Knights Landing, CA. Our goal is to help improve the health of Knights Landing residents while contributing to the environmental justice literature. This award will make it possible to conduct summer travel.
Project: Sustainable Development in Rural Satoyama Villages, Japan
Partnered with local organizations in rural Satoyama, Japan, the Noto Satoyama Meister Program, and Satoyama-net Ayabe, I would implement my research in the summer of 2017 on how the establishment of social capital contributes to the revitalization of the rural villages and the conservation of traditional agricultural knowledge. The research would provide an assessment and understanding for financial resource-limited rural areas to undertake a sustainable development via social capital.
Project: Strategies to Improve Communication in Afghanistan Surrounding Gender and Women's Development Policies
I am planning to conduct evaluation-oriented research by evaluating how gender policies are currently being designed, and more importantly, who is involved in the process. This project will be implemented in two phases: (1) interviews with the state institutions, and (2) conduct non-governmental organization (NGO) and focus group discussions in collaboration with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. The project is aimed to further explore policy challenges and provide constructive recommendations intended to improve communication across state institutions and NGOs who are working on women's status development.
Project: Homeless Advocacy Groups in the Sacramento Region
Meg Pannkuk is a Masters Student in the Community Development Graduate Group. Funding from the research award will be used this summer as she conducts a research project in partnership with homeless advocacy organizations in the Sacramento region, helping homeless individuals access shelter and create alternative housing solutions. Using a participatory action research approach, she hopes to better understand how and to whom certain services are made accessible.
Project: Promotion of Sovereignty and Autonomy for Indigenous Groups in Guatemala
This award will allow me to utilize translation and interpretation services when conducting interviews with monolingual elders of the Q’eqchi’ group who speak their native language of the same name. I also intend to travel to different sites to conduct interviews in Mayan communities throughout Belize, Mexico and Guatemala. My goal is to document Mayan ancestral agro-ecological methods and help develop curriculum for an indigenous agricultural high school that centers on these methods.
Project: Measuring the Distributional Impacts of Price Changes on Urban Water Consumption by Customer Class
I will use this award to develop a survey of community awareness of water issues in Modesto, California. In conjunction with other research, the survey responses will help me parameterize a model to optimize information flows for sustainable behavioral change to conserve water.
Project: How Rural Residents of the Central Coast Perceive and Care for Daily Exposure to Toxic Pesticides
This funding will help me cover accommodation and travel expenses for my fieldwork in the Salinas Valley. My research focuses on how local residents live with the cumulative exposure of toxic agricultural pesticides beyond agricultural fields, and how they come to care for the latent, long-term, and transgenerational effects.
Project: A Liquid Bubble
I am very grateful to have won the summer travel grant from the Center for Regional Change and the UC Davis Institute for Social Sciences. I will use this grant to present my paper, "A Liquid Bubble? The potential speculative bubble in the market for superstar wines 2003--2016" in a special session on wine and finance at the annual conference of the International Network for Economic Research at the Universite de Bordeaux, France. Not only will this be a great opportunity to present my work in a professional and international setting, but it will expand my network within the academic community and allow me to exchange ideas with leading international researchers in my field.