Research to Make a Better World

The UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources is proud to be an integral part of the number one public research university in the world. From working on climate-change related issues to studying agriculture and energy policy, to understanding the metabolic causes of human disease, CNR research is focused on societal issues. 

In addition to the laboratories affiliated with individual faculty members, CNR is home to numerous topic-based centers and facilities that sponsor and conduct research and cut across disciplines and departments.  

Research Centers

Colorful vegetables

Colorful vegetables

Berkeley Food Institute is a coalition of five schools and colleges across campus. It works to catalyze and support transformative change in food systems and to promote diversity, justice, resilience, and health, from the local to the global. 

Berkeley Water Center, a partnership with the College of Engineering, takes a comprehensive approach to water resources research and management that reflects the conditions of the 21st century: diverse water interests, variable and uncertain supply, increasing demand, and inadequate structural and institutional infrastructure. 

Center for Fire Research and Outreach has a mission to coordinate emerging research and tools regarding wildland fire in California and other Mediterranean climate regions, including facilitation of working groups devoted to specific fields or topics of research and management that relates to fire. 

Center for Diversified Farming Systems brings together researchers, writers, and practitioners in the areas of agroecology, science, technology and society, agricultural economics, and rural sociology to find solutions to the world’s most pressing agriculture-related issues and to launch the next generation of agricultural leaders

Center for Effective Global Action is a hub for research on global development, with a network of over 50 academic researchers at several universities measuring the impacts of large-scale social and economic development programs and integrating economic analysis with expertise in agriculture, public health, education, engineering, and the environment. 

Center for Forestry disseminates knowledge concerning forested ecosystem processes, human interactions and value systems, and restoration and operational forestry management practice. Through interdisciplinary teams of academics, Cooperative Extension specialists, students, and public agencies, it performs research projects, public education activities, and policy analysis on issues affecting California’s forest lands.

Center for Green Chemistry seeks to bring about a generational transformation toward the design and use of inherently safer chemicals and materials, through research and community engagement. 

The Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI), was created to apply advanced biological knowledge to the area of bioenergy development. A broad interdisciplinary effort, the center draws on faculty from across UC Berkeley— many from the College of Natural Resources, including its director, plant and microbial biology professor Chris Somerville. Working together with the University of Illinois-Urbana and the energy company BP, EBI is the largest public-private partnership of its kind in the world.

Plant Gene Expression Center uses molecular, genetic, and biochemical approaches to conduct fundamental research in plant molecular biology, including disease resistance, light perception, the circadian clock, vegetative growth, and reproduction, elucidating the essential genes and networks within which they operate. 

Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health, founded in 1999, works with community groups to develop and evaluate practical programs to support healthy eating and active living, with a focus on children and families in diverse communities. 

Research Facilities

Biological Imaging Facility is a core miscroscope imaging lab specializing in widefield, confocal, deconvolution, and super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. 

Energy Biosciences Institute is a public-private partnership created to apply advanced biological knowledge to the area of bioenergy development, focusing thus far on two primary areas: cellulosic fuels (derived from nonfood plants) and fossil fuel microbiology.

Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectroscopy Facility provides expertise regarding the use of mass spectroscopy and inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy.

Geospatial Innovation Facility provides leadership and training across a broad array of integrated mapping technologies, with a goal of helping people better understand the changing world through the analysis and visualization of spatial data.

Oxford Facilities Unit, known as the Oxford Tract, is a plot of land adjacent to the Berkeley campus that is home to a large greenhouse facility, an insectory, a student organic garden, and experimental field plots.

The Gill Tract is an experimental field plot in use by faculty members in various agriculural and plant sciences, and is home to an ongoing community engagement project.

Financial Support for CNR Research

Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Fellowships

SPUR: Sponsored Projects for Undergraduate Research

Cal Energy Corps