The mission of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute is to discover and disseminate new knowledge that contributes to sustaining natural resources and promoting social well being in the San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra Nevada regions of California and related regions worldwide, though integrating research in the natural, social, and engineering sciences. 

Southern California is known for being both environmentally conscious and having the worst air pollution in the nation. The Center for Environmental Research and Technology is a vital source of research into how pollution interacts with the atmosphere, and how vehicle and transportation systems can work more efficiently while doing minimal damage to the environment.

The Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems is dedicated to increasing sustainability and social justice in the food and agriculture systems.  The Center operates the 2-acre Alan Chadwick Garden and the 25-acre Farm.  Both sites are managed using organics production methods and serve as research, teaching, and training facilities for students, staff, and faculty.

Awarded a grant in 2008, the Green Materials Program will foster research and graduate level training on the development of non-toxic products, such as electronics, plastics, lighting products, fuels, and pesticides to mitigate environmental pollutants.  The Green Materials program will bring together public health, toxicology, material science, engineering and social science experts to work on innovative approaches to reducing health and environmental hazards associated with materials used in society.

The Tahoe Environmental Research Center is dedicated to research, education and public outreach on lakes and their surrounding watersheds and airsheds. Lake ecosystems include the physical, biogeochemical and human environments, and the interactions among them. The Center is committed to providing objective scientific information for restoration and sustainable use of the Lake Tahoe Basin.

The goal of the Environmental and Sustainability Initiatives is to identify environment and sustainability questions that require collaboration across disciples within the university, and to build partnerships with entities beyond the university, to provide knowledge to inform policy as well as contributing to solutions and adaptation to address present and future environmental problems.

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