2021 Global Affairs Seed Grant Projects Aim to Solve Global Challenges

People working on Seed Grant projects, including lake research
Photos of the "Lake Modeling to Support Sustainable Development and Climate Resilience in Northern Patagonia" Seed Grant project team working in Chile, led by S Geoffrey Schladow, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center. (Courtesy of S Geoffrey Schladow)

By Bonnie Shea, executive director of communications and marketing, Global Affairs

11 seed grant projects bring together researchers from across UC Davis and the world

The sixth annual International Connections Reception, hosted by Global Affairs on March 4, brought together the UC Davis community in an online forum to celebrate several award and grant programs, including the 2021 recipients of Global Affairs Seed Grants for International Activities. These grants are offered in partnership with the Office of Research and colleges and schools to faculty taking on innovative research, service, and engagement projects around the world.

“We’re proud to partner with other campus units to provide these grants for interdisciplinary and international teams advancing UC Davis’ strong commitment to solving global challenges,” said Joanna Regulska, vice provost and dean of Global Affairs.

“I’m thrilled to see that projects cross disciplines, institutions, and borders, and that they are driven to help shape a better tomorrow," said Regulska.

Seed Grant projects foster long-term international research collaborations, create innovations in internationalizing the curriculum in support of the Global Education for All initiative, and grow or build global partnerships. Since 2001, the program has supported 253 diverse projects, generating significant partnerships, research outcomes, and external funding. 

This year’s 11 projects bring together more than 24 researchers across UC Davis and collaborating institutions worldwide, fostering collaborations to advance groundbreaking research. Projects include addressing misinformation crises, providing advocacy and trainings to improve legal protections for asylum seekers, improving tools for language learning, assisting farmers and researchers in efficiently managing water and nutrients, teaching educational and environmental goals in culturally-responsive ways, and more.

Seed Grant project team working with Mapuche leaders at Lago Villarrica in Chile
The "Lake Modeling" project team, led by Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center S Geoffrey Schladow, working with Mapuche leaders at Lago Villarrica in Chile. (Courtesy of S Geoffrey Schladow)

2021 Global Affairs Seed Grants for International Activities Projects

A Partnership Across Borders to Improve Legal Protections for Asylum Seekers (Colombia and Venezuela)

Raquel E. Aldana (Professor of Law, School of Law) with Holly Cooper and Amagda Pérez (UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic Co-Directors)

Co-Creating an Educational and Culturally-Relevant Environmental Monitoring Program for Indigenous Maya Youth in Southern Belize

Heidi Ballard (Professor and Founder and Faculty Director of the Center for Community and Citizen Science, School of Education) with Erin Bird and Michael Dobbins (Postdoctoral Researchers, School of Education)

Creating a Community of Practice of Scholars of Forced Migration (Latin America)

Amanda Crump (Assistant Professor of Teaching in International Agricultural Development, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences) with Sarai Lillian Acosta and Lena Allison Pransky (International Agricultural Development Graduate Students)

An International Collaboration to Use Electron Microscopy to Understand How Cells Make Protein (United Kingdom)

Christopher Fraser (Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, College of Biological Sciences)

Permeable Roadside Infrastructure for Road Drainage, Sewage and Stormwater Treatment: Conceptual Studies, Road Map, and Team Building (Costa Rica and Kenya)

Maureen Kinyua (Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering) with John Harvey (Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering)

Seasonal Subtropical Highland Climates Impact on Dairy Cattle Health in Central Mexico Using Cryptosporidium as a Biomarker (Mexico)

Xunde Li (Associate Researcher of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine) with Edward Robert Atwill (Professor of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine)

Deciphering Rules of Cell Division Plane Orientation in Land Plants Through a Collaboration (Israel)

Bo Liu (Professor of Plant Biology, College of Biological Sciences)

Crop Manage: a Decision-Support Tool for Farmers and Researchers in Botswana

Jeffrey Peter Mitchell (Extension Specialist in Plant Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences)

Supported by the Gurdev S. and Harwant K. Khush Seed Grant

Left to right: The Crop Manage project team: Jeff Mitchell, cooperative extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, Seoleseng Tshwenyane and Otsoseng Oagile, professors at the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Gaborone, Botswana; and Michael Cahn, water management advisor with UC Cooperative Extension in Monterey County.
Left to right: The "Crop Manage" project team: Jeffrey Peter Mitchell, cooperative extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, who is collaborating with Seoleseng Tshwenyane and Otsoseng Oagile, professors at the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Gaborone, Botswana; and Michael Cahn, water management advisor with UC Cooperative Extension in Monterey County. (Courtesy of Jeffrey Mitchell)

The Design and Implementation of an Online Corpus Query Tool for Spanish Learners’ Errors (Spain)

Claudia Sánchez-Gutiérrez (Assistant Professor of Spanish, College of Letters and Science) with Agustina Carando (Assistant Professor of Spanish, College of Letters and Science) and Kenji Sagae (Assistant Professor of Linguistics, College of Letters and Science)

Supported by the Richard F. Walters Seed Grant

Lake Modeling to Support Sustainable Development and Climate Resilience in Northern Patagonia (Chile)

S Geoffrey Schladow (Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, and Director of the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, Office of Research)

Preparing for a research dive in Lago Panguipulli.
The "Lake Modeling" project team, led by Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering S Geoffrey Schladow, preparing for a research dive in Lago Panguipulli in Chile. (Courtesy of S Geoffrey Schladow)

Integrating Cognitive and Cultural Approaches to Empower Youth Against Misinformation (Georgia)

Narine Yegiyan (Associate Professor of Communication, College of Letters and Science)

Narine Yegiyan
Associate Professor of Communication Narine Yegiyan in Georgia. (Courtesy of Narine Yegiyan)

Made Possible by Donor Support

Thanks to the commitment and support of generous donors Gurdev S. and Harwant K. Khush and Richard F. Walters, two projects — "A Decision Support Tool for Farmers and Researchers in Botswana" led by Jeffrey Peter Mitchell (College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences), and "The Design and Implementation of an Online Corpus Query Tool for Spanish Learners’ Errors" led by Claudia Sánchez-Gutiérrez with Agustina Carando and Kenji Sagae (College of Letters and Science) — received the Gurdev S. and Harwant K. Khush Seed Grant and the Richard F. Walters Seed Grant respectively.

2021 International Connections Reception Award Announcements

The International Connections Reception also acknowledged the recipients of other awards and grants:

The Global Education for All Steering Committee and Global Education for All Fellows were recognized for their efforts in advancing the campus goal to provide 100% of students—undergraduate, graduate, and professional—with global learning experiences that change their lives and our world. The Global Strategy Advisory Committee was recognized for their engagement in strategic conversations to coordinate, elevate, and shape global engagement at UC Davis.

More Global Laurels

In 2020, UC Davis was named one of only four universities to receive NAFSA’s 2020 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Campus Internationalization, and as the only university to earn the Platinum Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research and Engagement from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, or APLU.


About Global Affairs at UC Davis

Global Affairs brings the world to UC Davis, welcoming more than 10,000 international students, scholars and leaders, and hosting programs that inspire global curiosity, understanding and engagement. Compelled by the valuable outcomes of thinking globally, we make transformative opportunities a reality by supporting the thousands of students and faculty learning and researching globally—and by facilitating collaborations that tackle the world’s most pressing challenges through more than 150 global partnerships.

Putting our vision of a UC Davis community that engages, thrives, and leads in this interconnected world into action, Global Affairs is in pursuit of an ambitious goal: Global Education for All.

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