UCLA Centers and Institutes

Royce Hall illuminated in green


More than 400 faculty and thousands of students from every corner of campus are actively engaged in environment and sustainability education and research. Although each campus group works toward a unique mission, we collaborate across areas of expertise to accomplish shared goals. Together we lead by example, putting cutting-edge science into action and demonstrating solutions to complex sustainability problems in Los Angeles and around the world.

  • B. John Garrick Institute for the Risk Sciences
  • The Garrick Institute for the Risk Sciences is structured to be the umbrella organization of research centers in the University of California, Los Angeles to address domain-specific research and development needs. The risk sciences are an integration of several disciplines rooted in logic and plausible reasoning that have emerged for the purpose of quantifying and managing the risk of complex natural and engineered systems and processes.
  • California Census Research Data Center
  • The California Census Research Data Center (CCRDC) seeks to provide qualified researchers across California with the opportunity to perform statistical analysis on non-public Census microdata. CCRDC is a joint project of the US Census Bureau and UCLA and UC Berkeley, partnering also with Stanford University, the University of Southern California and UC Irvine. The secure RDC environment supports qualified researchers while protecting respondent confidentiality with state-of-the-art tools and processes.
  • California Center for Population Research
  • The California Center for Population Research (CCPR)'s research spans a range of demographic and population issues in five broad areas of study. CCPR also is a leader in the collection of data for population research and in the creation of new data collection and analysis methods. 1) Contemporary family and household dynamics; 2) Neighborhood dynamics and individual welfare; 3) Inequality and social/economic mobility; 4) Social dimensions of health; 5) Life cycle and long-term change.
  • California Center for Sustainable Communities
  • The California Center for Sustainable Communities (CCSC) conducts research on water, energy, and urban ecosystems at numerous scales, with grants from the City of LA, the County of LA, state and federal agencies. We work to develop replicable methods that inform policy regionally, statewide, and potentially nationally and internationally. Our research is used to advance knowledge among communities of scholarship and practice about ways to advance equitable urban sustainability and resilience.
  • California Nano Systems Institute: Sustainability
  • Nanotechnology is vital to the maintenance of a sustainable environment for future generations. Our diverse teams are meeting the grand challenges of today and anticipating problems before they arise. Aligned with the UCLA’s Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, California Nano Systems Institute (CNSI) members have taken lead positions in the development of more efficient, cost-effective nanomaterials and devices that generate, store, and conserve energy as well as strategies to remediate emissions from industrial processes and pollutants in the air, water and land.
  • Center for Clean Air
  • The Center for Clean Air investigates the source, the transport and transformation, and environmental and society impacts of local, urban, regional, and global air pollution. Members of the center investigate formation mechanisms and dynamics, human exposure and health effects, and address real-world policy driven questions of how to most effectively move toward clean air in our cities. We focus on Los Angeles, but strive to produce results that can be applied at locations around the world.
  • Center for Clean Technology
  • One of the greatest challenges facing our nation is to ensure a healthy and sustainable environment, while maintaining the competitiveness of our industry and our high standard of living. The goal of the Center for Clean Technology (CCT) is to create a science, technology and human resource base for the rational design of clean, sustainable and economically competitive technologies.
  • Center for Climate Science
  • The Center for Climate Science conducts research that helps communities better understand how climate change will affect them and how to respond. We work with communities to produce information they can put into action, and we engage the public so they are empowered to advocate for their futures. In the process, we build interdisciplinary research teams that bring to the table expertise in climate science, ecology, policy, and other vital fields. We also train the next generation of scientists to think outside the traditional boxes of academia and solve problems in the real world.
  • Center for Corporate Environmental Performance
  • The Center for Corporate Environmental Performance coordinates research and teaching on the environmental impact of corporations and market responses to green strategies. The center partners with corporations to improve their environmental performance while remaining competitive.
  • Center for Diverse Leadership in Science
  • Climate disruption, water scarcity, depleted soils, undrinkable water, species extinctions, and the loss of nature take something away from every human on the planet. Inclusive science can help solve these problems. But today’s scientific leadership is ethnically and culturally homogenous. We need to grow and nurture diverse leaders who will solve environmental problems and create pathways to sustainability. How do we create diverse leadership? Transformation occurs when we start on college campuses, with hands reaching out to communities, K through 12 schools, families, and retired individuals seeking ways to contribute to society. Learn more about the Center for Diverse Leadership in Science on their website.
  • Center for Earth Systems Research
  • The Center for Earth Systems Research (CESR) conducts research in the physics and biogeochemistry of the Earth’s atmosphere, cryosphere, and oceans. In addition, CESR is a base for a broad, cooperative effort to develop, test, and apply comprehensive numerical modeling capabilities for the Earth’s climate‐for periods extending over previous millennia, the present, and the coming centuries of anthropogenically induced changes.
  • Center for Energy Science and Technology Advanced Research
  • The Center for Energy Science and Technology Advanced Research (CESTAR) is an interdepartmental research center whose mission is to provide a common focal point for collaboration and synergism among researchers at UCLA involved in energy related research. Currently CESTAR is organized around four specific energy thrust areas: Fusion Energy, Hydrogen, Materials for Energy Applications, Energy Conversion, and Energy Conservation.
  • Center for Environmental Genomics
  • The mission of the Center for Environmental Genomics is to bring together experts from a variety of fields, such as environmental health sciences, molecular toxicology, nutrition, and molecular epidemiology, to conduct multidisciplinary research and research training on issues related to environmental exposures and gene-environmental interaction on the risk of cancer and other diseases.
  • Center for Environmental Research and Community Engagement
  • The Center for Environmental Research and Community Engagement is focused on interdisciplinary projects spanning environmental science and engineering, chemistry, policy, regulation, public health, risk assessment, and communication. It provides underserved communities with testing of air, soils, or water at no or greatly reduced cost and assists communities with interpretation of data on contaminant levels.
  • Center for Environmental Statistics
  • The Center for Environmental Statistics (CES) analyzes and models data sets describing traffic counts, trip generation, urban economics, water supply, water quality, weather, seismicity, wild fires, and air quality of locations mostly in Southern California. In addition, we work with researchers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on analyzing remote sensing data collected from space.
  • Center for Health Advancement
  • The Center for Health Advancement produces knowledge that helps decision-makers in all sectors to formulate policies and programs that improve the health of all communities. Our job is to identify those underutilized opportunities to transform health that are supported by strong evidence and show the difference they can make for the well-being of all members of a community, because the major determinants of health disparities are social, economic and environmental.
  • Center for Healthy Climate Solutions
  • The UCLA Center for Healthy Climate Solutions (C-Solutions) focuses on protecting people and communities from the effects of climate change. The center equips decision makers with solutions that will reduce inequities and benefit their economy, environment, and health. Alongside their partners, the center uses evidence-based best practices that improve health and resilience, now and for generations to come.
  • Center for Occupational and Environmental Health
  • The Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) is one of three centers created in 1978 by legislation that mandated that the State of California establish education, research and service programs in occupational health. In 1990, COEH expanded its scope to address environmental health. The center’s education and research serve government, industry, schools, health professionals and the general public. Areas of expertise include health risks in the workplace, pesticides and other toxic chemicals, the impact of built environments, air pollution, and more. COEH also facilitates seminars, symposia, and training.
  • Center for Performance Studies
  • The Center for Performance Studies (CPS) was founded in 2005. With Sue-Ellen Case as the founding director, CPS has explored performance as an organizing concept for thinking about the performed nature of gender, race, and sexuality. CPS now turns its eyes to the world through an exploration of global encounters through research, performance, and community building. CPS hopes to support global and comparative approaches to performance studies as a way to chart out the new frontier of this constantly-morphing field.
  • Center for Public Health and Disasters
  • The Center for Public Health and Disasters promotes efforts to improve community resilience and to reduce the health impacts of disasters and global climate change.
  • Center for Research in Engineering, Media and Performance
  • The Center for Research in Engineering, Media and Performance (REMAP) bridges the world-class faculty, staff and students of TFT and Samueli to explore new enriching cultural forms and empowering social situations enabled by the thoughtful interweaving of engineering, the arts and community development. The Center provides a uniquely positioned creative environment that embraces and promotes people, projects and investigations that can have resonant, long-term impact on the relationships among culture and technology.
  • Center for Social Statistics
  • The Center for Social Statistics (CSS) is a new center, in partnership with the California Center for Population Research (CCPR) at UCLA, to enhance population research with state-of-the art statistical methodology. CSS affiliates work on filling in methodological gaps in statistics that align with their individual research areas. Projects needing long-term collaborative work that result in new statistical methodology will be directed toward an affiliated methodologist. Drawing on local, national and international researchers, the center also hosts a seminar series with topics on statistics in the social sciences and a workshop series that works on researchers’ methodological approaches in their applied social science research.
  • Center for Social Theory and Comparative History
  • The core of the Center for Social Theory and Comparative History's intellectual work is the biweekly colloquium series, which runs more or less every other Monday during the Winter and Spring quarters. Each year the colloquium series is organized around a single theme, with each session intended to build upon the previous one. In recent years, the colloquium series has focused on contemporary issues in historical context.
  • Center for the Study of Women
  • The UCLA Center for the Study of Women works towards a world in which education and scholarship are tools for social justice feminism, improving the lives of people of all genders.
  • Center for Tropical Research
  • The unifying goal of the senior scientists, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students at the Center for Tropical Research (CTR) is to understand the biotic processes that underlie and maintain the diversity of life in the tropics and to advance conservation efforts that protect endangered species and habitats. Core research investigates the impacts of human activities, including climate change, on biodiversity and conservation efforts.  
  • cityLAB
  • cityLAB explores the challenges facing the 21st century metropolis through research and design, expanding the possibilities for cities to grow more livably, sustainably, and beautifully.
  • Counterforce Lab
  • The Counterforce Lab is an initiative by Professor Rebeca Méndez in the department of Design Media Arts at UCLA, that uses art and design to develop new collaborative insights, disciplines and methods to research, create, and execute projects around the ecological impacts of anthropogenic climate change.
  • Digital Cultures Lab
  • The Digital Cultures Lab (DCL) offers a unique, people-focused analysis of new technologies as they spread across the world. We examine and discuss the means by which new media technologies impact economics, cultures, politics, labor, and the environment through our collaborations with global partners. We share our insights publicly through digital platforms, monthly blog-posts, interviews, consultancies, and collaborative research projects.
  • Digital Mural Lab
  • The Digital Mural Lab led by UCLA Professor Emeritus Judith F. Baca is the leading research, teaching and production facility in the country devoted to the creation of large-scale digitally generated murals, public art productions, and community cultural development practices.
  • Easton Technology Management Center
  • The mission of the EasThrough innovative courses, creative workshops, high-profile events and immersion in the most vital areas of disruptive business culture, the Easton Center prepares the next generation to understand the growing number of leadership issues and interdisciplinary tech-based solutions that can have a positive impact on consumers, businesses and society.ton Technology Management Center is to develop leaders who shape technology’s future
  • Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
  • The Emmett Institute is the nation’s leading law school center focused on climate change and the environment. Students and faculty work on energy, water and land-use law and policy at the local, national and international levels. And through the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic, students help to represent nonprofits and other public interest clients in litigation and regulatory matters.
  • Energy Design Tools - Home Energy Efficient Design
  • Researchers in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design have developed a suite of free easy-to-use energy design software programs including Home Energy Efficient Design (HEED) which shows home owners, builders, and architects how much energy and money they can save by making various design or remodeling changes. Users can easily draw in the floorplan of their house and can select from lists of standard wall and roof construction and different types of windows. The latest version adds new features including allowing changes to electric and gas utility rates plus rates for oil and propane, offering various kinds of operable window shading, allowing thermal mass to be added or removed, and the home’s calculates carbon footprint. Climate data is available for over one thousand locations around the world. This climate data can be graphically analyzed using another tool called Climate Consultant.  
  • Hydrogen Engineering Research Consortium
  • UCLA's Hydrogen Engineering Research Consortium (HERC) aims at research/development and education/public outreach efforts that will help accelerate the realization of the Hydrogen Economy.
  • Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
  • The Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES) is a cross-campus research institute educating the next generation of environmental leaders and moving science into action. IoES undergraduate and graduate programs unite natural science, social science, law, public policy, and humanities to understand multidimensional environmental challenges. Students and faculty collaborate on cutting-edge research, and IoES partnerships put expertise to work with businesses, nonprofits, agencies and communities. IoES also develops new narrative, media and communication initiatives that amplify the institute’s impact and raise consciousness of environmental issues.
  • Institute for Carbon Management
  • The Institute for Carbon Management (ICM) draws on UCLA’s world-class resources: Engineers, scientists, policy experts and financial strategists are joining forces to find solutions to the pressing problem of carbon dioxide emissions. This is at the core of our mission: As one of the world’s greatest public research universities, UCLA’s primary purpose is the creation, dissemination, preservation and application of knowledge for the betterment of our global society.
  • Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
  • The Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) is a multidisciplinary research center dedicated to the study, teaching, and discussion of labor and employment issues. Through the work of its units - IRLE Academic Unit, Center for Labor Research and Education, Human Resources Roundtable and the Labor Occupational Safety and Health program – the Institute forms wide-ranging research agendas that carry UCLA into the Los Angeles community and beyond.
  • Institute for Society & Genetics
  • Real-world problems of the 21st century consistently involve both biological and societal processes. The UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics is unique among American institutions by incorporating scientists fully in the process of understanding ethical, legal, and societal impacts of the applications of their genetic and genomic research. We aim to educate the public to understand, discuss, and make informed decisions about issues in biotechnology, genetics and genomics. We promote all forms of diversity, because genetic research and discussions surrounding technological developments will be enriched by, and will co-evolve with, the cultural diversity of the voices in those discussions.
  • Institute of Transportation Studies
  • Each year dozens of Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) faculty, students, and research staff collaborate on a wide array of transportation policy and planning studies, ranging from an analysis of the travel trends and transportation needs of immigrants and low-income workers, to the testing and evaluation of innovative fare programs to increase public transit use.
  • Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering
  • The Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering (JIFRESSE) is a scientific collaboration between UCLA and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to improve understanding of global climate change and to develop future projections about its effect on regional climates and environments. The Institute serves as a center for multi‐disciplinary research focused on the Southern California region including studies of the atmosphere; coastal ocean and land surface; and the physical, chemical and biological interactions among them.
  • La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science
  • The UCLA/La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science works to conserve California’s biodiversity and ecosystems through research, education and public programs. They work with a broad set of partners to fund scientific research and educational activities that inform and enable conservation management through university-agency cooperation to meet the conservation challenges facing 21st century California.
  • Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies
  • The Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS) is an incubator for new research and collaboration on storytelling, communications, and media in the service of environmental conservation and equity. We are a diverse network of faculty and students from across disciplines who explore how today’s environmental challenges connect to longer histories of imagining the natural world. At LENS, we begin with the idea that these challenges are as much cultural and political as they are scientific and technological.
  • Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies
  • The Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies promotes the study, understanding and solution of regional policy issues, with special reference to Southern California, including problems of the environment, urban design, housing, community and neighborhood dynamics, transportation and economic development.
  • Luskin Center for Innovation
  • The Luskin Center for Innovation is an interdisciplinary research center focused on sustainability, with initiatives including advanced transportation, clean energy, climate action, and sustainable water. The center conducts world-class research to inform real-world policy and partners with civic leaders in federal, state and local agencies as well as with nonprofit organizations and business associations. The center teams with scholars and students from across UCLA and the broader UC system.
  • Marine Center
  • At the IoES Marine Center, we study the sensitivity of marine environments to anthropogenic impacts. With 44% of the world’s population living within 100 miles of the coastline, coastal systems are particularly vulnerable to human-made stressors such as pollution, eutrophication, and sea level rise. A majority of our research therefore focuses on these particularly sensitive coastal areas. But human impact on the ocean does not stop at the coast. The effect of Climate Change is detectable in all ocean systems including phenomena like temperature rise and pH decline. The IoES Marine Center has therefore dedicated its research to understand the breadth of human impacts on the oceans both locally and worldwide.
  • Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden
  • The Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden is actively used as a research and teaching site by faculty from UCLA and other nearby colleges and universities. In addition to the Garden, MEMBG hosts the UCLA Herbarium, a collection of preserved plant specimens used for a variety of research activities.
  • Program on Understanding Law, Science & Evidence
  • The Program on Understanding Law, Science & Evidence (PULSE) explores the complex and multi-faceted connections between law and science, technology and evidence. PULSE engages in cutting-edge and interdisciplinary research and innovative programming to examine how basic “facts” about our world, provided through science and credited as evidence, influence venues of law and policy making.
  • Resnick Center for Food Law & Policy
  • The Resnick Center for Food Law and Policy is a think tank at UCLA that seeks legal and policy solutions in support of a food system that yields improved health and sustainability outcomes for all.
  • Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment
  • The mission of the Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment (Skoll Center for SIE) will serve to attract and develop the most innovative ideas and thought leadership to advance the power of entertainment and performing arts to inspire social change. The Skoll Center for SIE will provide a structure to measure the impact and effectiveness of social responsibility on the entertainment and performing arts industry and global society. It will launch research initiatives that explore the development of a new field in social impact entertainment research and practice; inspire students and faculty to use the power of story to make a difference and inspire social change; galvanize the public to action to foster positive social change; develop meaningful partnerships between the public and private sectors to create new models to drive social change; and engage local, national and global communities about how the industry impacts global society through film, television, animation, digital media and theater.
  • Smart Grid Energy Research Center
  • The UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center (SMERC) performs research, creates innovations, and, demonstrates advanced wireless/communications, Internet and sense-and-control technologies to enable the development of the next generation of the electric utility grid – The Smart Grid. SMERC also provides thought leadership via partnerships between utilities, government, policy makers, technology providers, electric vehicle and electric appliance manufacturers, Department of Energy research labs and universities, so as to collectively work on envisioning, planning, and executing the smart grid of the future.
  • The Now Institute
  • The Now Institute is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to understanding and improving urban environments. We consult for cities around the world including Port-au-Price, Haiti; Madrid, Spain; and Los Angeles, USA. Our current focus is on creating urban sustainability through urban agriculture in Los Angeles as well as links between WASH infrastructure and cultural resilience in Haiti.
  • UCLA Anderson Forecast
  • UCLA Anderson Forecast has provided forecasts for the economies of California and the United States. 
  • UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
  • The Center for Health Policy Research improves the public’s health through high-quality, objective, and evidence-based research and data that informs effective policymaking. We advance this mission through policy analysis, policy-relevant research, public service, community partnership, media relations, and education.
  • UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge
  • The Center for Neighborhood Knowledge (formerly the Center for the Study of Inequality) conducts basic and applied research on the socioeconomic formation and internal dynamics of neighborhoods, and how these collective spatial units are positioned and embedded within regions. CNK is dedicated to translating its findings to inform actionable neighborhood-related policies and programs that contribute to positive social change.
  • UCLA Rothman Family Institute for Food Studies 
  • The UCLA Rothman Family Institute for Food Studies embodies UCLA’s commitment to interdisciplinary study and the cross-pollination of research fields, student engagement and public outreach to become a world leader in using food as a lens to guide and inform public policy, community organization, education, public health and medicine, environmental justice, and the arts.
  • UCLA Stunt Ranch Santa Monica Mountains Reserve
  • The Stunt Ranch Santa Monica Mountains Reserve is a preserved natural chaparral habitat (naturally burned in 1995) used for research and education. While researchers track the re‐growth of vegetation on the charred slopes, facilities reconstruction and University‐community outreach are top priorities of the reserve’s project and faculty managers.
  • UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate
  • The UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate advances thought leadership in the field of real estate by generating influential research, educating the next generation of leaders and providing meaningful forums for industry professionals and policymakers.
  • University of California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology
  • The University of California's Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (UC CEIN) is working to ensure the responsible use and safe implementation of nanotechnology in the environment through a multi-disciplinary approach to research, knowledge acquisition, education and outreach.  By bringing together researchers of many disciplines across the nation and the world, UC CEIN is leveraging multiple efforts to ensure that national and international communities can continue to make use of nanotechnology to benefit the global economy and society without harmful impacts to the environment.
  • Water Resources Group
  • The UCLA Water Resources Group is composed of faculty and researchers from the IoES and across the campus who have expertise in water resources, here in California, the nation and around the world. The Water Resources Group creates a “portal” for the public to identify experts across the campus, helps faculty and researchers work together, and create partnerships with governments, companies and nonprofits to address the big water challenges the world faces.
  • WORLD Policy Center
  • The WORLD Policy Analysis Center engages in a rigorous research process to gather and transform massive quantities of legal and policy data into the quantifiable, accessible, user-friendly resources found on this website, including interactive maps, tables, and downloadable datasets. With an international, multilingual, and multidisciplinary team, WORLD works to carefully select and analyze the best global sources of information to minimize errors. In addition, WORLD analyzes this data to identify effective policies and laws, publish original research, and offer evidence-based policy recommendations. Through partnerships with organizations around the globe, WORLD aims to translate its global policy data into community- and country-level improvements.