PAC discusses rural-urban interface
The UC President's Advisory Commission (PAC) met via Zoom on March 22.
Vice President Humiston provided updates on COVID-19 operations, the UC ANR budget, recently completed strategic plans for the division and the research and extension center system, and the status of land sales in Davis, at Hansen REC and at South Coast REC.
PAC members had a lively discussion on ways to effectively capture input from the full commission on both emerging issues and longer-term topics of interest. VP Humiston suggested that UC ANR could host monthly “special topics meetings” to be led by each of our statewide program and initiative leaders so that the PAC may communicate directly with UC ANR personnel regarding needed research, programs and opportunities. This new initiative is scheduled to launch by early May with the first topic being integrated pest management.
In the afternoon, President Drake joined the group for presentations and discussion on the rural-urban interface.
Darren Haver, assistant vice provost and director of South Coast REC and Orange County UCCE, kicked-off this section of the agenda with a presentation outlining the concept for a new UC ANR “Hub for Urban Living.” The vision is to establish a network of researchers from multiple institutions, government and community agencies, and the private sector who are interested in engaging in a physical and virtual, interdisciplinary space that connects the power of research to address short and long-term issues impacting the sustainability of urban life. A systemwide hub design workshop is scheduled for May 18 to further develop the concept.
Three PAC members also presented on related topics. Paula Daniels, co-founder and chair of the Center for Good Food Purchasing, talked about regional food systems; Connie Stewart, executive director of initiatives at Humboldt State University, gave a presentation on UC-CSU partnerships; and Lucas Frerichs, associate director of state policy at The Nature Conservancy, talked about private-public research partnerships.