Department changes name to Urban Planning and Public Policy

July 2017

The Department of Planning, Policy and Design has been renamed to the Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy to better reflect the research fields and degree programs the department offers. The name change was finalized after a lengthy vetting process within the School of Social Ecology and across the UC Irvine campus.

The new name will create a more inclusive intellectual home for current and future faculty, students and alumni.

Crowded conditions on airplanes induce stress, and sometimes altercations

June 2017

A record 234 million people are expected to fly this summer -- crammed into aluminum cylinders with uncomfortable seats and a host of strangers. The crowded conditions on commercial airplane flights contribute to stress that can lead to altercations and dysfunctional behavior, according to Dan Stokols, Chancellor's professor emeritus.

"People are like cattle being squished together, to get as many people on that plane," Stokols told the Washington Post. "And so tempers can flare. It’s a situation where people feel vulnerable."

Studying pesticide exposure in Ventura County farmworker communities

PhD student wins award for research on pesticide application in farmworker communities.

In Ventura County, some neighborhoods back up to hillsides of oak trees and scrub. Residents of other neighborhoods, however, aren’t so fortunate, with homes next to farm fields sprayed with heavy doses of pesticides.

It’s possible to limit that pesticide application, but stakeholders are often constrained in their efforts to do so. Kaitlyn Alvarez Noli, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Planning, Policy and Design, is seeking uncover the inner workings of why – and was recently awarded a $20,000 Haynes Lindley Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship to support her work.

90 million people displaced: how to solve the global refugee crisis.

May 2017

Today, 90 million people live in some form of refugee, transition or flood camp -- more than have ever lived in such camps in human history. Richard Matthew, professor of planning, policy and design and director of the UCI Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation, says it's possible to solve the humanitarian crisis, but solutions face resistance.