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State Natural Resources Secretary Visits UC Merced for Campus Research Discussion

November 2, 2021

California Natural Resources Sec. Wade Crowfoot joined UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz and local leaders today (Nov. 2) to discuss the university-led research on drought, fire and broader climate resilience.

“The programs that are happening at UC Merced are remarkable. What a lot of Californians do not know is that the state uses a lot of the research that comes from this institution,” said Crowfoot.

As a campus with all buildings LEED certified campus and the first public research university in the country to achieve carbon neutrality, Muñoz said, UC Merced is committed to transformative research in sustainability and stewardship of the planet.

“Our faculty have taken this region not merely as laboratory but as inspiration, and indeed as home, and the urgency with which they seek to understand the interlocked effects of climate change and advocate for ways to halt or reverse them is inspirational as well,” said Muñoz.

“We have built a team of fire science researchers second to none — in demand by documentary filmmakers, local and international media and fellow researchers to explain to the world not just what is happening here but why,” he said.

During the roundtable discussion, Crowfoot heard from students, faculty and staff leading the campus's efforts, including professors Roger Bales, Joshua Viers and Leroy Westerling.

Prior to the discussion, Crowfoot participated in lab tours. The secretary said his visit would help him gain insights into solutions being pioneered by UC Merced researchers.