WeÂ knew it all along, and now itâs official: UC Irvine is cool.
ForÂ the third year running, UCI made the list of the top 10 âCoolest Schools,â announcedÂ today by Sierra magazine. The annual ranking salutes U.S. colleges andÂ universities that help solve climate problems, make significant efforts toÂ operate sustainably, and help prepare the next generation of leaders in thisÂ arena. Judged on education, research, operations and management practices, UCI placedÂ ninth.
âWeÂ are extremely pleased to once again be among the top 10 âCoolest Schoolsâ inÂ the nation,â UCI Chancellor Michael Drake said. âI am especially proud of ourÂ consistency, being one of only three U.S. campuses to be included on the listÂ for three consecutive years.â
WendellÂ Brase, UCI vice chancellor for administrative and business services, said theÂ application and evaluation process was rigorous. âThere are many goodÂ institutions on this list, all doing great things in the area ofÂ sustainability. We are pleased to be part of such an outstanding group,â he said.
UCIÂ has traditionally scored well for its efforts to reduce automobile traffic toÂ and from campus, energy-efficient buildings, waste diversion andÂ water savings. On the academic side, UCI manages three field research sitesÂ within the University of Californiaâs Natural Reserve System and has partnershipsÂ with another five locations within California and abroad; operates 37 researchÂ centers, institutes and programs related to sustainability; and has more thanÂ 175 faculty members involved in collaborative research and instruction across an array of relevant issues.Â AmongÂ UCIâs highlights:
- Researchers at the National Fuel Cell ResearchÂ Center invented the core technology used in the worldâs firstÂ tri-generation fuel cell and hydrogen energy station.
- UCIâs Department of Earth System Science wasÂ the first academic unit anywhere devoted to studying the entire planet. ItÂ celebrated its 20th anniversary last September.
- The SmartÂ Labs Initiative, now the campusâs showcase project in President ObamaâsÂ Better Buildings Challenge, safely reduces energy use in researchÂ laboratories, which typically account for two-thirds of the energyÂ consumed on most research university campuses.
- The SummerÂ Sustainability Series, launched in 2011, was held again this summer. ItÂ attracted 75 emerging leaders from 25 countries to share ideas about how science,Â law and governance contribute to sustainability.
- The new California Plug Load Research Center,Â or CalPlug, a public-private research partnership established in 2011 withÂ funding from the California Energy Commission, aims to improve energyÂ efficiency in the use and design of consumer electronics.
- The CenterÂ for Land, Environment & Natural Resources was created this year toÂ leverage the UCI School of Lawâs expertise in environmental, naturalÂ resources and land use law.
BobÂ Sipchen, Sierra magazineâs editor-in-chief, said he feels privileged to connectÂ with and learn from traditional institutions evolving in nontraditional ways.Â âWith their ever-growing emphasis on environmental responsibility,â he said, âtheseÂ schools are channeling the enthusiasm of their students, who consistently citeÂ climate disruption and other environmental issues as the most seriousÂ challenges their generation must confront, while demonstrating leadership forÂ other civic institutions.â
TheÂ top 10 âCoolest Schoolsâ for 2012 are:
- UC Davis
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Stanford University
- University of Washington
- University of Connecticut
- University of New Hampshire
- Duke University
- Yale University
- UC Irvine
- Appalachian State University
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is aÂ top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service.Â Led by Chancellor Michael Drake sinceÂ 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of CaliforniaÂ system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 facultyÂ and 9,000 staff. OrangeÂ Countyâs second-largestÂ employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4 billion. For more UCIÂ news, visit www.today.uci.edu.
News Radio: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line forÂ conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. Use of this line isÂ available for a fee to radio news programs/stations that wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.