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.

Learn About the 2024-2025 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.

Cultivating Youth and Community Resiliency: A Citizen Science Approach to Land Stewardship for Wildfire Mitigation in Maui, Hawaiʻi

Heidi Ballard, Professor and Faculty Director, Center for Community and Citizen Science, School of Education
Jadda Miller, Graduate Student, Graduate Group in Education

Partner Organization(s): Kihei Charter SchoolKipuka Olowalu

This community science project aims to empower high school field ecology students in Maui, Hawaiʻi, with the knowledge and skills to mitigate wildfire impacts through landscape assessment, cultivation of native plant species, and increase their understanding of traditional Hawaiian land stewardship practices.

Toxic Air Pollutants in California Environmental Justice Communities

Clare Cannon, Associate Professor, Human Ecology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Alex Sanchez, Graduate Student, Environmental Policy and Management Graduate Program

Partner Organization(s): Rise South City 

This community-engaged research project partners with Rise South City to deploy a novel, low cost air quality sensor to measure toxic metals in a frontline environmental justice community the San Francisco, Bay Area.

Helping to Improve Air Quality in Rural Communities by Raising Awareness About Unaccounted-for Emissions from Agricultural Soils

Ian Faloona, Professor, Land, Air, & Water Resources, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and Air Quality Research Center
Heather Lieb, Graduate Student Researcher, Land, Air, & Water Resources

Partner Organization(s): Comité Cívico del Valle (CCV), Central California Environmental Justice Network, National Parks Conservation Association 

Six of the top 10 US cities most polluted by daily particulate matter (PM) reside in California’s Central Valley, along with four of the top 10 most polluted by ozone.

Stories of Agri-Cultural Justice from California's Central Valley to the Mississippi Delta

Erica Kohl-Arenas, Associate Professor, American Studies, College of Letters and Science, and  Faculty Director, Imagining America

Partner Organization(s): Pan Valley Institute (American Friends Service Committee)

Long time collaborators Erica Kohl-Arenas (American Studies and Imagining America, UC Davis) and Myrna Martinez-Nateras (Pan Valley Institute of the American Friends Service Committee) will bring together food justice cultural organizers, what we call Agri-Culture, in California's Central Valley.

Advancing Tele-eye Care Accessibility for Individuals and Families with Cognitive Impairment: A Community-Engaged Approach

Yin Allison Liu, Associate Professor, Ophthalmology School of Medicine
Oanh Meyer, Associate Professor, Neurology, School of Medicine
David Bissig, Assistant Professor, Neurology, School of Medicine

Partner Organization(s): Olleyes, Inc., Alzheimer's Association Northern California and Northern Nevada Chapter, Sacramento County Health Center

Our objective is to establish connections with community partners to assess the feasibility of implementing a tele eye care program.

Stewarding Future Veterinary Professionals: A Collaboration with Breakthrough Sacramento

Alexis Patterson Williams, Associate Professor and Chair of Teacher Education, School of Education
Carrie J. Fino, Professor, Population Health & Reproduction, Veterinary Medicine
Faheemah N. Mustafaa, Assistant Professor, School of Education
Monae Roberts, Chief Diversity Officer, School of Veterinary Medicine
Amy Young, Outreach Manager, Center for Equine Health, School of Veterinary Medicine

Partner Organization(s): Breakthrough Sacramento

Animals play important roles in our lives and contribute to society. Pet ownership and demands for veterinary care continue to rise, but the shortage of veterinary professionals makes access to veterinary care challenging, especially in underserved and rural communities.

A Community Co-Envisioned/Co-Created Bilingual (Spanish/English) Documentary: Impact of COVID-19 on Latine/x Immigrant Communities in South Philadelphia, PA (USA)

Alicia Rusoja, Assistant Professor of Education, School of Education

Partner Organization(s): A group of community members in Philadelphia, not affiliated with a specific organization.

This project will translate to a public audience, via a short documentary film, an ongoing five- year-long participatory action research study (2021-2026), co-designed and co-led with Latine/x undocumented and documented immigrants.

Deferred Action for Labor Enforcement (DALE) Research and Policy Initiative

Leticia Saucedo, Professor, School of Law
Raquel Aldana, Professor, School of Law
Shayak Sarkar, Professor, School of Law

Partner Organization(s): Arriba Las Vegas Worker Center

Undocumented workers are some of the most vulnerable workers in the U.S. labor market, in large part because they risk deportation in addition to other forms of employer retaliation for workplace complaints.

Uncovering Diverse Histories of Yolo County

Cecilia Tsu, Associate Professor, History, College of Letters and Science
Kate Bowen, CHSSP Elementary Consultant, California History Social Science Project, College of Letters and Science
Dominique Williams, Ethnic Studies Coordinator, California History Social Science Project, College of Letters and Science Letters and Science

Partner Organization(s): Yolo County Archives

This project seeks to pilot a program that can serve as a model to research the untold local histories of underrepresented groups and to translate that research into curriculum for K-12 classrooms.