A group of students are inventing a "jalapeno popper" which is a cross between a bell pepper and a jalapeno pepper. The group has been cross breeding the plants for five seasons and are a few seasons away from a final product. The group was photographed at the student farm where they meet every Tuesday to tend to the plants and discuss their progress. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Learn About the 2021-2022 PIRI Grant Recipients

The Public Impact Research Initiative (PIRI) was established through Public Scholarship and Engagement (PSE) to recognize and support research that is cogenerated with community partners, is of mutual benefit, and has a positive public impact.

Seed Grants

Building the Tools of Land Sovereignty: Aiding Lisjan Ohlone Networks in Building Governmental and Financial Tools

UC Davis leads: Professor Gregory Downs and Assistant Professor Justin Leroy, Department of History, College of Letters and Sciences
Collaborator: Sogorea Te’ Land Trust

This seed grant proposal seeks to establish an ongoing connection between UC Davis and the Sogorea Te Land Trust and Lisjan Ohlone peoples.

Evaluation of Wildlife Rewilding on Livestock Producers in a Patagonian Working Landscape

UC Davis lead: Assistant Professor Justine Smith, Department of Wildlife and Conservation Biology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Collaborator: Fundación Flora y Fauna Argentina

Restoring wildlife populations is a central goal in conservation, yet it can come at a real and perceived cost to local livestock producers. A lack of agency and empowerment experienced by producers contributes to animosity towards rewilding efforts.

Identifying and addressing ecological knowledge gaps in managing California’s low-elevation ecosystems to minimize the negative impacts of wildfire, and enhance post-fire recovery

UC Davis leads: Professor Valerie Eviner, Associate Professor Jennifer Funk, and Professor Mary Cadenasso, Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Collaborators: California Native Grasslands Association, Pepperwood Preserve, and Tuleyome

While fire is a natural part of many of California’s ecosystems, the recent increases in wildfire intensity, frequency, and size are unprecedented. Particularly since current wildfire regimes are different from past manager experiences, there is a need to develop a new conceptual understanding and management framework for California’s fire-prone ecosystems.

luk’upsíimey/North Star Collective: Niimiipuu/Mayan Connections – Language Revitalization in Chiapas, Mexico

UC Davis leads: Professor Inés Hernández-Ávila, Department of Native American Studies, College of Letters and Science
Collaborators: luk’upsíimey/North Star Collective; Beth Piatote, Department of Native American Studies, UC Berkeley

This particular project proposes what will be a historic collaboration between the luk'upsiimey/North Star Collective and Mayan writers in Chiapas, Mexico, with the intention of deepening our understandings regarding the over twenty-five year history of a flourishing movement of language revitalization through the promotion of creative writing currently underway in Chiapas, partly due to the San Andrés Accords that were signed between the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and the Mexican federal government.

Reuniting Families: Understanding the impact of immigration prison decarceration due to the COVID-19 pandemic on detained immigrants and their families

UC Davis lead: Assistant Professor Caitlin Patler, Department of Sociology, College of Letters and Sciences
Collaborator: American Civil Liberties Union

The COVID-19 pandemic marked an unprecedented change to U.S. immigration detention whereby the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) litigated court orders mandating the decarceration of immigration prisons to ensure social distancing and protect health.

UC Davis – Wellspring Women’s Center partnership to build understanding of COVID-19 vaccine confidence among diverse, low-income women in Sacramento

UC Davis lead: Professor Ester Apesoa-Verano, Professor Sheryl Catz and Postdoctoral Scholar Susan Miller, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing
Collaborator: Wellspring Women’s Center

This project will support a new partnership between the Wellspring Women’s Center and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. Ester Carolina Apesoa-Varano, a sociologist and Associate Professor of Nursing, is the lead investigator.

Bridge Grants

California BIPOC Youth Perspectives about COVID-19 Pandemic: A Community Engaged Participatory Research

UC Davis lead: Professor Natalia Deeb-Sossa, Department of Chicana/o Studies, College of Letters and Science
Collaborators: Empower Yolo; Rosa Manzo, Associate Director of Medical Education, UC Merced; Skye Kelty; Postdoctoral Fellow in the Joint Graduate Group in Pharmacology and Toxicology, Rutgers University

With our partners, we will: 1) pilot a model of narrative-driven, community-based participatory research that centers the voices, experiences, and needs of low-income and working communities in California now deemed essential, 2) produce and communicate narratives with these communities in order to inform and influence ongoing “disaster governance” (see Tierney 2012) and 3) refocus the public narrative about young BIPOC and “essential” workers during the pandemic who are at greatest risk of illness and economic disaster.

Deepening Co-Creation of Research for Yurok Food Sovereignty

UC Davis lead: Associate Professor Katherine Kim, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine
Collaborator: Nature Rights Council

Yurok country, the region of the Klamath Basin encompassing the Yurok Tribe reservation, has been defined in recent times as a food desert even though there are abundant natural resources that historically sustained the population.

Understanding WIC participant responses to vendor policy enforcement

UC Davis leads: Professor Tim Beatty and Ph.D. student Charlotte Ambrozek, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Collaborator: California Department of Public Health: Women, Infants and Children Program

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides targeted nutrition assistance for low-income pregnant and postpartum women and their children under 5.