Iryna Dronova, assistant professor of landscape architecture & environmental design at the College of Environmental Design, was awarded a Berkeley Collegium grant for her project proposal titled “Empowering Urban Design Innovation Using Cutting-Edge Environmental Science Tools” in April.
Each year, the Collegium aims to find ways to integrate research and discovery into the Cal undergraduate experience, narrowing the gap between teaching and research. Each spring the Collegium invites proposals for projects that narrow the gap between teaching and research. Grant awardees receive up to $20,000 to support their projects.
Dronova proposed a research module integrating modern environmental monitoring and computer-based microclimate modeling for ecological analysis & ecological analysis laboratory courses (LDARCH 110 & 110L). Her goal is to “empower undergraduate students with cutting-edge methods and environmental monitoring tools to evaluate thermal outcomes of urban designs and improve their effects on human thermal comfort,” according to Dronova’s project proposal.
Motivated by increasing thermal hazards in urban regions and the lack of practices to evaluate thermal outcomes of landscape designs within urban planning and landscape architecture disciplines, Dronova hopes to teach students new methods of environmental monitoring and modeling that would make evaluations increasingly feasible, and in turn help students to become more effective future landscape stewards and environmental visionaries.
The project proposal involves a semester-long suite of research activities including field collection of urban microclimate data, computer-based microclimate modeling and incorporating outcomes into a proposal for urban design renovation followed by research presentations.
Ultimately, the teams will be asked to develop alternative design solutions to improve microclimate conditions and test their proposals using modeling. The teams will present their results and design innovation ideas at the end-of-semester symposium. Dronova also plans to disseminate this project as a peer-review publication and educational conference presentation.
About the Berkeley Collegium:
The Berkeley Collegium is charged with the mission of fostering innovation and excellence in undergraduate teaching at UC Berkeley. Its members are among Berkeley’s most creative, inspiring, and effective teachers, and theCollegium provides this group of exceptional faculty members with resources for initiatives that will elevate teaching, especially at the undergraduate level, across the campus. The Collegium leads the identification and development of new ideas, supports their implementation, and assesses their success. It also partners with other campus organizations that would benefit from its advice and assistance. For more information, visit their website.