Research

Current

“Critical Habitat: A History of Thinking with Things in Nature”

An animal, plant, and mineral are at the heart of this book, along with a person: Paul Ehrlich. The animal is the Bay checkerspot butterfly. The plant is California dwarf plaintain. The mineral is serpentine.

“Coastal Access in California”

The California coast is reaching a tipping point of becoming out of reach for many Californians. Our research and policy report “Access for All: A New Generation’s Challenges on the California Coast” includes new results from a statewide voter poll and a series of Southern California beach surveys, as well as a new analysis of economic barriers to access to the coast. The analysis probes why 62 percent of California voters told a recent poll that coastal access is a problem, and even more said limited affordable options for parking and overnight accommodations and limited public transportation are problems in the parts of the California coast nearest to them.

Download our report and explore our interactive online version of “Access for All: A New Generation’s Challenges on the California Coast.”

“Environmental Bonds Should Equitably Benefit All Communities: Looking Forward Based on an Analysis of Prop 84”

In 2006, California voters approved Proposition 84, a bond measure authorizing $5.4 billion in spending on projects to improve parks, natural resource protection, and water quality, safety, and supply. Most of that money has now been spent.Where was the funding spent? Who benefited? And were funds spent according to the priorities stated in the measure approved by voters? Prop 84 is a good case study for examining these questions: the measure sought to ensure equitable distribution of bond funds by prioritizing investments in various sections. Some sections of the measure explicitly prioritized funding for disadvantaged communities, for example, including sections on parks and safe drinking water, while other sections more vaguely prioritized bond expenditures. And some sections did not prioritize investments in any specific manner, instead allocating funds to agencies in general categories. The results are telling.

Read our report and explore the data here.

“Bending the Curve: Ten Scalable Solutions for Carbon Neutrality and Climate Stability”

Can global warming really be stopped? A new report from 50 researchers and scholars from across the University of California system says yes—in part by using scalable lessons learned from the system’s own pledge to go carbon-neutral by 2025.

Read more about the report, on which I was senior editor, here.

“City Nature”

Nature is unevenly distributed in and across cities despite the fact that much else about cities scales with size. The City Nature project combines spatial analysis of parks and other natural areas in cities with innovative mining of planning document text, photographs, social media and published historical narratives to explore why.

Visit the City Nature website.

“Crowdsourcing for the Humanities: Year of the Bay”

A large collaborative project to crowd-source a new, public environmental history of the Bay Area with libraries, museums, archives, nonprofit organizations, scholars, researchers, the media, and the public during the Year of Bay in 2013.

Visit the Year of the Bay website.