Current Projects

Current Projects

The University Climate Change Coalition (UC3) Collaborative Sustainability Fellowship Program is focused on solutions to pressing climate and environmental issues that require collaborative approaches to problem solving. We are focused on building and supporting multi-disciplinary cohorts of students, community members, staff, and faculty to mobilize and accelerate efforts to achieve climate resilience, environmental protection and social equity goals. Our Fellows work on collaborative projects with a high emphasis on building and/or advancing local capacity and relationships via real-world outcomes.

Hydrology:
The overarching goals of this project are to determine the baseline hydrologic characteristics of the Sopori Ranch and Farm to provide insights into how best to preserve the local ecosystem, increase infiltration and decrease run off, while also providing avenues for sustainable farming practices on the farm.
Ecology:
The goal of this project is to address the preservation and protection of Sopori Ranch by supporting the conservation of upland plant community health, native vegetation, a functioning water cycle, and thriving livestock operation. This will be done by monitoring the area and collecting relevant data, such as vegetation and wildlife information. Monitoring methods will be taught to student volunteers and the research findings will ultimately be presented to community members and stakeholders to support discussions of steps forward.
Engagement:
This aspect of the Sopori Ranch project addresses the exploration of different farming and sustainable rangeland management techniques, and finding a balance between promoting ongoing sustainable agricultural activities and preserving/restoring habitats. These ideas will be collated through information interviews with community members and stakeholders and shared with the Arizona Land and Water Trust.
Storytelling:
The overall goal of this project is to communicate the history and importance of Sopori Ranch, and to create a dialogue between community members, students, and stakeholders. This will be done by collecting stories of the history of the ranch and connect them to current events and members of the Tucson community. This will be done through conducting and recording interviews and developing a media placement plan for Sopori Ranch.

The Climate Action Community Listening Sessions project seeks to engage a wide variety of Tucson’s citizens in the generative process of envisioning a resilient, sustainable community that has a special focus on materially supporting the residents of Tucson who are on the frontlines of climate impacts.  The focus is on indigenous communities, communities of color, youth, elders, the houseless community, and outdoor workers. We are training community members to facilitate conversations within existing networks and organizations.  To create meaningful and transformative change for our community, there is an imperative to facilitate deep, intersectional, and interdisciplinary relationships with community partners to collectively support the development of the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP). The primary deliverable is to identify climate action priorities for the Tucson region for the CAAP.

The primary objective of the Tucson GSI project is to “establish, implement and disseminate a Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) maintenance protocol for the City of Tucson via a collaborative, participatory dialogue process.” The team also aims to engage the community in capacity building through training programs for GSI maintenance, complete a process of implementing, testing, monitoring, and evaluating the newly developed GSI protocol, and share the findings of their project widely. The primary desired outcome of the overall project is increased collaboration within the City of Tucson and between the city government and community members on GSI maintenance. Related desired outcomes include better natural resource management practices by the City of Tucson and increased resilience of both human communities and natural ecosystems. Other desired outcomes of both the project and the work by UC3 interns on the guidebook and brochures are a better-trained Arizona workforce for stormwater management through a curriculum designed and aided by student input, and opportunities for UArizona students in experiential learning.

We are interested in learning about additional project ideas for our cohorts. If you would like to suggest projects for UC3 Fellows to pursue that advance local sustainability and climate action, please contact Neha Gupta, UC3 Program Coordinator (nehagupta@email.arizona.edu) We encourage you to submit as much detail as possible, including suggested project leader(s), partners (including organizations), expected products or outcomes,  suggest forms of collaboration, and progress to-date (if applicable).