Fellows in the News

A new National Science Foundation (NSF) Coastal SEES grant supports a team of researchers from seven institutions — UC Merced, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA, Stanford University, the Carnegie Institution for Science and Oregon State University — in forming an interdisciplinary “uber-university” to study the relationships between fog, climate change, redwoods and the human response.

Named The Summen Project, after the Native American word for “redwood,” the $1.75 million, three-year study is part of NSF’s Coastal Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) program, a $13 million push to study coasts around the world.


While the project will provide information about coastal redwood resilience and establish a foundation for future work, it will also investigate whether learning about climate change impacts to the iconic redwoods can influence people’s perceptions of, and eventually behaviors related to, climate change.

"We believe that, when people learn about climate-related impacts to a species that is particularly iconic — in this case, the coastal redwoods — their perceptions of climate change will become more salient, personal, and pressing," said project co-leader Associate Professor Nicole Ardoin of Stanford Graduate School of Education and Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. “As a result, their interest will be piqued and their climate-related behaviors may be influenced, as well.”

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