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Welcome to the UC Davis Muir Institute of the Environment's
Quarterly Newsletter: Planet Matters

We are a community of researchers, faculty and staff dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing environmental and human health problems.
Read on for a quarterly message from our director, highlights, upcoming events, news, job postings, and spotlights on JMIE fellows and staff. We look forward to connecting with you!
Director's Message
As demonstrated in this version of Planet Matters, the Muir Institute continues to make great strides in helping to solve pressing environmental and human health challenges. Our Centers and Initiatives are bearing new partnerships, growing collaborations, and producing cutting edge science and solutions for decision makers, communities, and business enterprises. But we also know that we must lead by example. To that end, I am so grateful for our >150 staff, additional 150 affiliates, countless students and postdocs, and more than 300 faculty collaborators for leading the charge to flatten the COVID-19 curve. Our rapidly implemented social distancing protocol, and remote-work policy, shows that we are doing our part. While we have entered uncharted waters -- and we are in the midst of a marathon not a sprint -- I can’t help but notice how our collective actions offer a glimpse of what we can do with other massive challenges facing the world today. 
 
- Director Benjamin Z. Houlton
Muir Institute Highlights
Sara Nichols Departs Muir Institute
Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives, Sara Nichols, moved to Seattle in December. We wish her all the best as she continues to build an exciting career in climate and environmental policy.

Under Sara’s impressive organizational, strategic, and communication skills, the Muir Institute has expanded substantially in breadth, depth, and impact. Sara spearheaded the One Climate Initiative, which was selected as a Big Idea for the UC Davis fundraising campaign. Sara also helped to advance the writing of several grants, yielding more than 5 million dollars of new research revenue. As a stalwart of the EPM program, Sara helped to catapult this nascent idea into a full-fledged graduate program of international distinction.

Sara assisted in the launch of the California Collaborative of Climate Change Solutions, tying together the UCs, National Labs, Cal Tech, Stanford, and CSU system, an effort spearheaded by the Muir Institute. Her impact goes well beyond the walls of campus. We wish Sara the absolute best in her transition to Washington and are thankful for her abundant contributions to the Muir Institute.
UC Davis One Climate Initiative: Give Day Coming April 17-18
⬆ Click above for new video! ⬆
UC Davis is poised to lead the world in developing global climate solutions, leveraging our proven track record of interdisciplinary research for maximum societal impact.  At the John Muir Institute for the Environment, our One Climate Initiative will lead the way forward to planetary resilience by using a holistic approach to catalyze a powerful, diverse nexus of change-makers – integrating across discipline with partners in industry, government, NGOs and communities to scale solutions. 

Understanding how to protect people and our planet is more important now than ever. Through a state-of-the-art carbon farming consortium, the collaborative development of new technologies and climate policies, and high-impact research, outreach and student training, One Climate will deploy solutions that improve quality of life, now and for generations to come.
 
Don’t miss a chance to be a part of something big! Please consider donating on April 17-18, and help spread the word through our One Climate Challenge! 
Learn More about Give Day
NBC Interviews Director Houlton on Greta Thunberg and Climate Change
“She represents the best of humanity,” said Benjamin Houlton, a professor of global environmental studies at the University of California, Davis. “She frightens those in power right now because she has a very clear message and she’ll continue to be an important crusader.”
Read the Full Article Here
*Due to recent developments regarding COVID-19, all Muir Institute Events are postponed/cancelled until further notice. Thank you for your understanding!*
Center News
UC Davis Magazine Interviews Director Houlton on Carbon Farming
Climate Models Show Increase in Wildfires
Muir Institute Research Scientist, John Durand, on the Bold Actions Needed to Stop COVID-19
Fellow Spotlight
Professor Ayako Yasuda is an internationally recognized financial economist known for her work on private equity, venture capital, and ESG/impact investing. She is currently Professor of Finance at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. Professor Yasuda's work, which spans asset management, financial intermediation, and corporate finance, advances our understanding of the economics of private capital markets as well as the non-financial drivers at work in responsible investing. Her recent groundbreaking research “Impact Investing” (forthcoming in the Journal of Financial Economics) won the Moskowitz Prize for sustainable and responsible investing in 2016, and was a runner-up for the RAFI Best Paper Award for ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) in 2019.
Getting to Know Us
DAVID BUNN


 
This quarter we will be highlighting long-time Aggie, David Bunn! David recently began as the new director of the EPM program, a unique professional degree developed by the Muir Institute and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, to train the next generation of environmental professionals. David brings a unique mix of academic, public agency, and private sector experience, and we are excited to have him on board.
 
🎓Education: B.S. in Wildlife Biology, M.S. in International Agricultural Development, and a Ph.D. in Ecology, all from UC Davis! 🐮
 
⭐️Fun Fact: As an international project manager at the One Health Institute in the School of Veterinary Medicine, he coordinated research, training, and capacity-building activities in East and West Africa and in Nepal over a 9-year period.
Quarterly Quote
"Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt."

- JOHN MUIR -
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