Grand Challenges will have a distinctly interdisciplinary approach

By Lauren Cheesman

The Grand Challenge team is taking steps to learn more about how to best implement UCLA research to improve sustainability. We’re excited for our plan to interview professors over the course of this quarter, and we are continuing to find ways to involve undergraduates in research for the Grand Challenge.

This past week, we have been researching professors' projects in order to learn more about how they can be applied to the Grand Challenge. We previously had it narrowed down to those working on water technology or energy generation and storage, but recently added professors focused on humanities. This will include those involved in environmental economics and environmental law, which means we will have a larger interdisciplinary focus.

We were also able to set up interview times with professors. Already, 12 professors are eager to speak with us, so hopefully this response will carry on with others! We want to ask professors not only about their research, but also what strategies they think will be most effective for undergraduates to contribute to Grand Challenge research.

Although we are continuing to plan the mundane logistics and details that must be done before interviews, we are still looking forward to learning from the professors who are dedicated to the Grand Challenge. Once undergraduates are involved, scholars of all ages and backgrounds will soon be dedicated to making Los Angeles 100% sustainable in energy, water, and biodiversity by 2050. The research we conduct will have a direct impact on strategizing how the Grand Challenge can be implemented most efficiently and effectively here at UCLA.