The UC Davis Humanities Institute’s Environmental Humanities supercluster is a multi-disciplinary research group designed to facilitate faculty study of complex envirocultural problems, support graduate students and postdoctoral scholars working in the field, and collaborate with communities affected by environmental challenges. It brings together the large number of UC Davis humanities scholars in individual departments and programs who are already working on environmental issues to share resources, works-in-progress, and mentoring responsibilities with their colleagues and the public.

As UC Davis celebrates its centennial and Californians face 21st century challenges defined by the collision of industrial, ecological, and cultural systems, the expertise of humanities scholars in analyzing and addressing environmental problems will be of as much importance as the scientific knowledge and techniques that UC Davis already generates.

Thanks to grant support from the 20th Anniversary-UC Presidential Humanities Initiative Program, the Environmental Humanities group was designated one of the DHI’s “superclusters” for 2008-09. Competitive and strategic, superclusters receive one year’s additional seed money to fund a project that will engage a broad audience and serve as a springboard to a larger, ongoing initiative. In May 2009, the Environmental Humanities cluster, along with humanities faculty from UC Merced, hosted “California, the University, and the Environment,” a two-day multidisciplinary research conference at UC Davis.