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Patty Guerra

UC Merced-Led Project Wins $1 Million NSF Engines Development Award

The Circular Bioeconomy Innovation Collaborative (CBIO Collaborative) has been awarded $1 million from the U.S. National Science Foundation's (NSF) Regional Innovation Engines program for "Advancing Circular Bioeconomy Technologies in North San Joaquin Valley."

The CBIO Collaborative is among the more than 40 unique teams to receive one of the first NSF Engines Development Awards, which aim to help partners collaborate economic, societal and technological opportunities for their regions.

Students Gain Experience (and Money) Doing Career-Oriented Work in New Program

Sarif Morningstar wondered something: "What happens if I grow plants using fog?"

The UC Merced student's efforts to find an answer to that question led to a research project they got paid to conduct. That in turn led to an opportunity to study plant biology in the UC Davis Ph.D. program.

Like Morningstar, many undergraduate students at UC Merced can get paid to do research under the newly adopted Learning Aligned Employment Program (LAEP).

Events at UC Merced Aimed at Reducing Food Waste

Roughly a third of all food worldwide goes to waste.

Outside of the obvious direct costs, that waste has numerous other repercussions: much of it goes to landfills, where it generates methane, a greenhouse gas. Resources such as water and seeds are squandered. And at the same time, one in four people are experiencing food insecurity.

"We're wasting all this food when folks are going hungry," said Erin Meyer, Sustainable Food Programs coordinator for UC Merced.

What's The Future of Agriculture? It's Everyone Working Together, Summit Speakers Say

While UC Merced's Experimental Smart Farm is focused on technology and automation, it's also about machine-human collaboration.

That was among the messages UC Merced's representatives shared in a panel discussion at the "What's the Future of Agriculture in California?" symposium, held Thursday, March 30, at California State University, Fresno.


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