Research to Make a Better World

The UC Berkeley Rausser 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, Rausser research is focused on societal issues. 

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

Research Centers

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 Forests carries out research, outreach, and education designed on human interactions with California ecosystems.  In addition to research on five research forests, Berkeley Forests works across California's forested regions and wherever fire and natural vegetation interact.  Through this work, it hopes to better understand current and future risks from fires, air pollution, pests and diseases; the effects changing climate and changing social needs have on the growth and yields of timber species; water supply and quality; greenhouse gas fluxes related to forest vegetation, soils and harvested wood products; and how all of these will affect rare plant and animal species. Berkeley Forests was created through the merger of the Center for Forestry and Center for Fire Research and Outreach – a reflection of the inextricable link of forests and fire in California.

Berkeley Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity is devoted to the investigation, dissemination, and application of science to the critical issues facing national, state, and local parks, and equivalent protected areas.

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 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 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) is dedicated to helping the world transition from a carbon-based fuel strategy to one that incorporates sustainable, environmentally friendly fuels into a balanced portfolio of responsible, renewable energy sources. A partnership between UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the EBI also includes multiple sponsors from across the energy sector with interests in advanced energies, biomaterials, green chemistry and industrial biotechnology.

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. 

Research Facilities


A group of research plants in the Oxford Tract greenhouse.

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

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 Research

Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Fellowships

SPUR: Sponsored Projects for Undergraduate Research

Cal Energy Corps

Undergraduate Student Travel Grants