Water UCI fosters collaboration among UCI faculty, students, researchers, and others in order to respond to opportunities for boundary-spanning research, education, and outreach.
Below are some of the Water UCI outreach highlights.
Local Middle School Water Conservation Challenge
UCI student volunteers partner with local middle school science teachers from Irvine Unified School District to help develop conservation ideas with students. They teach students about the California drought and mentor them as they develop innovative strategies for conservation. Some 40 undergraduate and grad student volunteers help the students develop water conservation ideas and transform them into presentations given at UCI in May 2017. Round one of this program was held in 2015-16 and was crowned by an evening event featuring 25 students from South Lake Middle School in Irvine, California (May 23, 2016) who presented their projects that ranged from water-savings ideas for outdoor landscaping to indoor use reduction, new technologies, and local household-outreach initiatives.
Water Saving Workshop
The Water Saving Workshop was jointly sponsored with the Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD). On October 1, 2016, Water UCI conducted a workshop with 40 community residents at IRWD’s Learning Center. Attendees learned how to reduce their water bill with tips for using less water, what types of plants and landscaping they could use to reduce their water consumption, and what rebates and incentives were available from their local water district. Presentations were given by Water UCI post-doctoral researcher Shannon Roback, IRWD Water Efficiency Manager Amy McNulty, Landscape Architect David Kern and Drip Irrigation Specialist Anita Matlock on topics ranging from California’s historic drought and the impact and expectations due to climate change, California water governance and provision, gardening with drought tolerant species and irrigation.
Water UCI Art Exhibit – Plastic Ocean Project
Water UCI, in conjunction with the UCI OCEANS Initiative, hosted an art exhibit titled, “What Goes Around Comes Around,” in January 2017. The traveling art exhibit featured art made from plastic pollution captured from the Pacific Ocean. The opening reception featured talks by the exhibit artist, Bonnie Monteleone (University of North Carolina, Wilmington) and UCI professors Simon Penny (School of the Arts) and Francois Primeau (Earth System Science) at the opening reception. A visiting student group from a middle school in Laguna Beach will be touring the exhibit in January.
Water UCI Film Series
Cinema can afford a powerful means of conveying contemporary water problems in their social and cultural context – especially if they feature opportunities for follow-on discussion with expert panelists. In March 2017, Water UCI will host its first film series event, the showing of Roman Polanski’s Chinatown – a film selected by the Water UCI faculty core group for its historic significance to Southern California. A panel of Water UCI core faculty will discuss the film with the audience during a Q&A after the movie. Water UCI will continue this series on a quarterly basis.