From Electric-taxis to Subsistence Farming: Development in a Post-Soviet Society

Bilkis Bharucha, Graduate student in International Agricultural Development and 2017 RIFA Fellow.

August 12, 2017

Upon arriving in the Republic of Georgia, I spent my first week in the village of Bediani (the name means “Lucky Village” in Georgian). Bediani is a fairy-tale village nestled deep in the mountains (elevation 850m), flanked by a clear mountain stream (the Khrami River), home to 150 residents, a psychiatric hospital, and a 7th-century nunnery. I stayed in a home provided by the Bediani Children’s Center, an orphanage/foster home.

The community of Bediani regularly hosts international guests, including former UC Davis students who first visited the village in summer 2016 for a D-Lab satellite training program established to activate ideas on agricultural entrepreneurship such as fishing, beekeeping, and cut-rose production. During my stay in Bediani, I was able to learn more about local interests in continuing to develop these small-scale projects, as well as to visit a nearby plot of land (70 acres) in Bareti, slated for agricultural activities later this year.

Figure 1 Rancher in Bareti

The remainder of my time has been spent in Tbilisi with the D-Lab team, where we worked with local graduate students and community members on project management training and building student-client relationships on topics in energy, environment, and agriculture. The training was conducted over a period of two weeks (July 24- Aug. 4) with students from three universities (Georgian Institute of Public Affairs, Tbilisi State University, and Rustavi Vocational College), school administrative staff, and local clients and community members, with a total of fourteen participants.

Students have been working on three projects with their clients and mentors: introducing an electric-taxi system to reduce environmental pollution, evaluating the feasibility of tea production in Bareti, and identifying social enterprises activities for populations affected by the establishment of a national park. Over the next month, I will continue to support project development with each group of students as they implement their findings. Engaging in capacity building activities with local students has been a valuable experience and promises strong local ownership of projects.

Figure 2 Students in D-Lab- Georgia Satellite Training II

Humphrey Fellows present their projects to a panel of UC Davis faculty and experts

The Humphrey Fellows finished their final session with the D-Lab project design workshop on Friday, December 2nd.

Humphrey Fellows refined their project ideas using evaluation matrices and then developed 1-page concept notes for their project ideas. Dr. Kurt Kornbluth, Paula Balbontin and Sean Maxson supported the Humphrey Fellows’ efforts to compile their concept notes which included the problem statement, problem description, stakeholder’s analysis, and an action plan for the Humphrey Fellows’ remaining time at UC Davis. For the second half of the session, Humphrey Fellows created 5-minute presentations describing their projects and presented in front of a panel of evaluators. The feedback panel consisted of Erin McGuire from the Horticulture Innovation Lab, Dr. Jim Thompson, a post-harvest management specialist, and Dr. Mark Bell of the International Programs office. Many of the projects designed by the Humphrey Fellows will move forward to the D-Lab I class for feasibility studies and the Global Poverty Seminar for collaboration with undergraduates to continue these projects after the academic year.

Bike-powered Blenders Workshop: Davis Bike Collective and UC Davis D-Lab Collaborative Project

In November, UC Davis D-Lab team, Davis Bike Collective, professor Jason Moore and more bike aficionados in Davis organized the first two-day Workshop: How to Build a Bike-powered Blender. This collaborative effort had the goal to guide people willing to learn about bike-powered technologies how to make their own smoothies when electricity is gone. During this hands-on event, students and members of the Davis Bike Collective followed a step-by-step process that can be summarized in disassembling, assembling, cutting, and finally welding all the different bike parts to create a low-cost bike-powered blender. Carlos Marroquin, founder of Bici-tec, was our leader, providing his input and guidance as a bike-builder with more than twenty years in the business. Carlos Marroquin is also part of the IDIN Network, one of our key partner that brings to UC Davis D-Lab projects related to agriculture, environment and energy from all over the world.

Davis Bike Collective donated the bikes (if you want to tune-up your bike and learn about bikes this is definitely the right place). Professors Kurt Kornbluth and Jason Moore supported this initiative with their experience building bike-powered technologies. We want to thank everyone who joined this workshop and invite UC Davis students to learn about future events at UC Davis D-Lab and Davis Bike Collective.

A view of the capital city, Tbilisi, before sunset.

“The Next Steps for the Georgia Regional Innovation Outreach Initiative”

November 18, 2016

Leanne Bolano

With fall quarter at UC Davis in full swing, this Blum Fellowship to the Republic of Georgia already seems far away. It is a strange feeling I think, because I distinctly remember that when I first arrived in Tbilisi, I thought a month was going to feel so long, and that I would have a lot of time in Georgia to fully absorb the country. But time passed so rapidly, especially when the training was ending and we were meeting with so many different organizations each day. And now, it has only been a couple of months since I left my friends and students in Georgia, and yet I feel like the trip was long ago.

It is an interesting experience, being in a completely new place for four weeks and overwhelmingly receiving information about the political and historical context, the social nuisances, the personal stories, the traditions and recipes, all while working so intimately with a small community like Bediani. It felt like I was constantly in front of a fire hydrant—everyone in the village wanted to tell me their narratives, teach me about the history of the different regions and towns, take me to visit different churches, feed me different traditional dishes, all at once.

A typical dinner in Bediani after a long day of work!

A typical dinner in Bediani after a long day of work!

This Blum trip was so critical in the development of this project. Though it was a short scoping mission, it allowed for the establishment of many valuable partnerships, the identification of different challenges pressuring economic and educational change, and the development of action items for the UC Davis D-Lab to take moving forward. This short and sweet experience allowed for the opening of many doors, both for UC Davis and Georgian institutions. Among some of the many ideas for next steps are: setting up a student, faculty, and curriculum exchange with Georgian universities, facilitating similar short, intensive, “D-Lab Satellites” trainings in different villages, and outlining an updated budget and timeline for the Community Supported Agriculture cooperative in Bareti.

Project client Kakhaber Bakhtadze and friends on the 75 acre Bareti land plot.

Project client Kakhaber Bakhtadze and friends on the 75 acre Bareti land plot.

I have learned the importance of international partnerships, and how they are mutually beneficial in different ways. Fostering healthy and frequent relationships between different global organizations is essential for international relations and development to thrive. It was a privilege to witness firsthand the reaping of investing into projects that serve as catalysts for future change. And it was also a privilege to see and appreciate the many team players and their contributions for this project to succeed. These include but are not limited to the Blum Center, the UC Davis D-Lab, the Humphrey Fellows Program, Global Affairs, the Bediani Regional Education Center, Academics Without Borders, and more! I hope I can continue to provide sustainable solutions to the different trials that underserved communities face, as I know how meaningful and rewarding this work is.

The UC Davis D-Lab Team (Dr. Kurt Kornbluth, Paula Balbontin, Leanne Bolano), BREC Founder and Humphrey Fellow 2016 Kakhaber Bakhtadze, and Deputy Minister of Agriculture in Georgia, David Galegashvili.

The UC Davis D-Lab Team (Dr. Kurt Kornbluth, Paula Balbontin, Leanne Bolano), BREC Founder and Humphrey Fellow 2016 Kakhaber Bakhtadze, and Deputy Minister of Agriculture in Georgia, David Galegashvili.

 

Project Exploration Modules for Humphrey Fellows

By Sean Maxson

UC Davis D-Lab is working with 11 Humphrey Fellows from around the globe to develop and explore their own projects focused on agricultural, environmental, and energy issues in their own communities.

UC Davis Humphrey Fellows Connects with D-Lab

Humphrey Fellow 3

Last Friday, D-Lab launched the first of three sessions of its Project Exploration Module for this year’s Humphrey Fellows. Through a series of 1-day workshop sessions early in their program, Humphrey Fellows will be provided with the development and design tools to explore their ideas, as well as an opportunity to connect with UC Davis students and faculty in their areas of interest.

For the first session, Fellows were introduced to D-Lab’s Design Process and participated in activities to explore the needs and opportunities of their target communities. Through in-class activities led by Professor Kurt Kornbluth and facilitators Paula Balbontin and Sean Maxson, Fellows developed project criteria and considerations for three potential projects they will look to build on during their 10 months here at UC Davis.

Humphrey Fellow 1 Humphrey Fellow 2

About the Humphrey Fellows

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program provides 10 months of professional enrichment and non-degree graduate-level study in the United States for accomplished mid-level professionals from designated countries. Along with Cornell University, UC Davis welcomes scholars with primary interests in agriculture or environmental science. This year’s fellows come with a wide diversity of interests from developing post-harvest management strategies for smallholder farmers to technologies to measure climate change’s impact on water supply.

 

Humphrey Fellows Map

This year, UC Davis is hosting Humphrey Fellows from 10 different countries: Gabon, Rwanda, Iran, Pakistan, Belarus, Thailand, China, Tunisia, Mexico, and Morocco

The Broken Road, A Short Reflection on Georgians’ Rural Infrastructure

Leanne Bolano, fourth year undergraduate student in Environmental Science and Management at UC Davis and PATA Blum Grant Awardee 2016.

September 12, 2016

The D-Lab Satellite, two-week intense training in Georgia at the Bediani Regional Education Center (BREC) has been completed, with much success. Although my students have so many great ideas pertaining to natural resource management, I cannot help but think about the challenges they will all face because of one simple artificial resource—roads. There are over 1000 kilometers of roads in Georgia that are deemed “some of the most dangerous roads in the world” [1]. But there are around 6943 kilometers of roads total in Georgia managed by its Department of Roads [4]. It is an interesting dilemma, because it would seem that communities in need would require the latest technological advancements in agriculture or engineering. But in fact, Bediani Village, like many other impoverished areas in the world, would benefit greatly from improvements to road infrastructure.

I can definitely say that I absentmindedly took roads for granted before I came here. In a grand position of privilege, I was genuinely shocked and rode in the car with disbelief as I journeyed from the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, to my project site in Bediani Village with my project client and BREC Founder, Kakha Bakhtadze. And that was nothing compared to our road trip to Batumi in Western Georgia. The roads in this trip were not only broken, but they were on the side of a mountain cliff most of the way for several hours. The governor of Bediani, Zviad Khapava, informed me that this trip should have only taken eight hours, but due to the bad condition of the roads most of the way, the trip duration lasted double that amount. And in other trips we took around Georgia, we experienced flat tires and scratched exteriors because of the rough terrain.

Although the people here in Georgia seem unfazed by this as they drive on these roads, the issue comes up in conversation at some point during the day, maybe at the dinner table or just in passing. I remember one day before I started teaching, my students informed me that it was “The Day of Bediani”, a local holiday established by a former villager who left Bediani to become rich, and came back to set this day. My students complained, “He comes every year on this day to throw an extravagant party with dancing and lots of food and vodka, yet doesn’t use his riches for real improvements, such as better roads”. And thus, even though a fraction of the village recognizes and celebrates this day, it was clear to me that those that I knew looked at the “holiday” with contempt.

One of the better roads in Bediani by the training center

One of the better roads in Bediani by the training center. (Georgia, Eastern Europe, Leanne Bolano)

In another example, while I was visiting our farm plot, I was excitedly spewing out some of my ideas for how to develop the 75 acres of land. I told them we could establish a training center where we would invite university students to take classes and work on the farm, and guest lecturers to teach. I also thought that we could invest money in constructing a parking lot so our guests could drive themselves to Bediani. Upon sharing these ideas, Zviad and Kakha told me that perhaps that would not be feasible. When I asked why, they regretfully explained how the rough drive might discourage folks from visiting the center in the first place.

It is disheartening to think that the dreams of my students and others in Georgia might be hindered by the inconvenient access to the project sites. Of course, it would be a misfortune if there were no roads at all—only recently has Georgia established its many roads, allowing travelers to bravely access towns and villages deemed historically, culturally, or naturally significant. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990’s, Georgia has been attempting to strengthen its role as a transit corridor between its many surrounding countries [4]. However, the number of travelers and the desire to brave those roads are only a small amount due to the condition.

But it seems the Georgian government is making it a priority to improve the quality of the roads. The government has recognized the importance of doing so, considering that Georgia is located between Asia and Europe [3]. There has been an identified desire for increased tourism whether eco-tourism, agro-tourism, or other types. The Georgian government also wishes to increase commerce to and from its own borders, to have a greater variety of goods [4]. Not only are they trying to make the roads safer for more comfortable and convenient travel, but they are also working against a tragic and staggering statistic—around 200,000 travelers die every year because of the dangerous roads [3].

Regardless of the dangers of the roads in this country, there is no doubt that these roads not only provide access but also breathtaking views. Some of the most scenic vistas in Georgia are located along these routes. From the Georgian Military Road to the Roki Tunnel, these areas attract daring, adventurous travelers each year [2]. But perhaps after some advancements in infrastructure, the enjoyment of these sights can be more inclusive. Some of the best pictures I took during my time in Georgia were from the car, or from a stop on the side of the road. So at the least, I am thankful to have been able to travel on these roads at all—our road trips definitely made for some unforgettable memories. But I hope my friends in Bediani get to make some easier trips sometime soon.

Beautiful canyon and stream off the road from our village. Beautiful canyon and stream off the road from our village.

Beautiful canyon and stream off the road from our village. Beautiful canyon and stream off the road from our village. (Georgia, Eastern Europe, Leanne Bolano)

Works Cited

[1] “Georgia – in BBC’s World’s Most Dangerous Roads Documentary.” GeorgianJournal. Georgian Journal, 19 Jan. 2013. Web. 05 Sept. 2016. http://www.georgianjournal.ge/discover-georgia/21905-georgia-in-bbcs-worlds-most-dangerous-roads-documentary.html/

[2] “Dangerousroads.” Georgia. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Sept. 2016. http://www.dangerousroads.org/eastern-europe/georgia.html/

[3] “Improving Safety on Georgia’s Roads.” Agenda.Ge. Agenda.Ge, 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 5 Sept. 2016. http://agenda.ge/news/52587/eng/

[4] “Roads of Georgia.” GIRCA. GIRCA, 2016. Web. 5 Sept. 2016. http://girca.org/

 

Peter Nasielski, D-Lab Summer Intern Designs and Builds A Wash Station For The IRC New Roots Farm In Sacramento

This summer, Peter Nasielski, 3rd year undergraduate student of Industrial Design, with support from the UC Davis Blum Center is building a vegetable wash station for the IRC New Roots Farm in Sacramento. Starting in Winter 2016, the project is a part of a D-Lab I class soon to be implemented and tested during the next couple of weeks.

Timothy Chapman, Program Coordinator of The New Roots Farm, an initiative of the International Rescue Committee in Sacramento, was in need for design skills and knowledge around water saving techniques. The challenge was how to optimize the use of water at the farm, specifically at the vegetable wash station.

During D-Lab I, a group of D-Lab students took the challenge and identified and ranked the different alternatives for water saving and developed the first draft of a long-term water-recycling project for the wash station. Technologies such as rainwater harvesters and mulch basins were attractive for the client. Later in D-Lab II, Annie Li, graduate student in Community Development, Peter Nagielski, undergraduate student in Industrial Design and Reem Fatayerji, Major in International Relations piloted a first wash-station prototype that allowed them to test different materials and identify opportunities to improve the previous wash station’s designs.

This Summer 2016, as part of his internship at the UC Davis D-Lab is building the wood structure and the mulch basin for the New Roots Farm that will allow our client to clean their produce and get them ready to sell. We will share pictures and more details about how to build a vegetable wash station soon! Stay in touch.

It Takes A Village, My Experience as A PATA Blum Grant Awardee

Leanne Bolano, fourth year undergraduate student in Environmental Science and Management at UC Davis and PATA Blum Grant Awardee 2016.

August 26, 2016

For two weeks of my trip in Georgia, I will be leading and teaching a training to 20 participants in a town called Bediani for the Bediani Regional Education Center (BREC), a branch under the Bediani Children’s Center (BCC). Bediani, located in the Tsalka Municipality of Georgia, has a small but mighty population count of 160. Most of those inhabiting the area are children, many of whom were displaced following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and sought extra support and resources from BCC.

Now, over 20 years later, there is a desire in the village to receive the necessary education that would enable the community to implement a series of projects. These projects would allow the area to be self-sustained financially, covering a wide range of topics. Seeing as the land in Tsalka is very fertile and the surrounding environment would support agriculture quite well, the project ideas of the students all relate to better utilizing Bediani’s natural resources. They include commercial flower production, educational beekeeping, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm that works as a weekly box system, and more. Thus each day, the students receive time with me to learn how to develop their ideas into a business plan and time with a guest lecturer to learn the basics of agriculture, natural resources management, and entrepreneurship.

 

View of my students in the newly renovated BREC training room on the first day of class.

View of my students in the newly renovated BREC training room on the first day of class.

As I have now completed the first week of this training, I am genuinely and totally impressed by these students. The first day of the training felt like a breeze, because there was no heavy material to teach. The activities were light, and consisted of a lot of icebreakers and crafty games. The response was very positive, and so I thought the rest of the training would be as easy. But alas, come Tuesday, both the students and I were having more trouble than anticipated. It became clear that the material was more arduous and complex than the students expected. On the flip side, I am challenged every day to improve and adjust my means of communication, given the language barrier. Although I may feel that I’ve explained something from the lesson perfectly in English, I am slowly learning that it is not guaranteed that it will translate the same way in Georgian. This makes casual conversation a struggle, but it is especially important to consider when teaching a new topic to a room full of expectant, yet confused villagers. But upon realizing this, the week took a turn for the better. I think both my students and I adjusted to each other’s’ perspectives, and gained a bit more patience. And now I see their drive, their creativity, their willingness and hunger for learning. It is so fulfilling to witness.

Me teaching the first lesson as my project client, Kakhaber Bakhtadze, translates.

Me teaching the first lesson as my project client, Kakhaber Bakhtadze, translates.

I see how passionate these people are about improving their quality of life in the village, and how excited they are to become equipped with the skills they need to use their natural resources in an efficient and sustainable way. I believe that my work here as a Blum Fellow is teaching me to consider the differences in cultural and educational values, and use those considerations to better interact and connect with different groups of people. I know these lessons will prove to be valuable as I move forth in my academic and professional career; but as of right now, I am just thrilled to wake up each day Bediani and see what new dreams and wishes my students have for their community.

UC Davis D-Lab: An Invitation to Design for the Other 90%.

By Paula Balbontin

UC Davis D-Lab connects students willing to create sustainable solutions that serve international community partners facing poverty and inequality challenges.

Challenge #1: How to Create an Adjustable PET Bottle Stripper?

Miguel Chavez, Director of the Innovation Center of Vila Nova Esperança (IC-VNE) and his team located in Sao Paulo, Brazil were running out of ideas. The PET Bottle Stripper, one of the existing technologies created to reuse plastic bottles in Sao Paulo and promote environmental and social sustainability, was not as productive as they expected. The main reason: The PET bottle stripper could not be adapted to different bottle sizes. Should they build multiple PET bottle strippers for each bottle size or may be go to the market and find a new one? The need to bring new ideas and knowledge to find solutions to this challenge moved Miguel to look for external support.

On Spring 2015, the case was presented to the UC Davis D-Lab II class, where students interested in learning about waste recycling technologies and willing to apply their knowledge to solve real world problems were invited to join the team. Two graduate students, Ryan Pang and Daniel Quinn accepted the challenge. How to adapt an existing PET bottle stripper and improve its performance while keeping costs as low as possible?

With the hope to find new ways to improve the PET Bottle Stripper at the Center, Miguel acted as a mentor and advisor while Professor Kurt Kornbluth and Jorge Espinosa assisted as D-Lab mentors, guiding the students through the design process and providing resources to pilot their designs at D-Lab.

Weekly meetings with Miguel, in-class mentorship, and guidance on benchmarking, prior art research, and evaluating ideas under a design criteria previously established, provided the students with the tools needed to create three designs piloted at D-Lab.

“The results were consistent, the design allowed different plastic strip sizes, accommodates different bottle sizes, ability to replace razor blades, and most importantly, it is safe to use”.     D-Lab Students, Spring 2015.

 

Two Weeks, 50 Participants, One Challenge: IDDS Education, Bogotá

Two weeks, 50 participants from all over the world and one challenge: finding new ways to improve education in Bogota, Colombia.

Paula Balbontin

International Development Design Summits (IDDS) are happening all over the globe and are growing faster with more than 700 alumni.

In June 2016, the summit took place in an old train station with a circus in its backyard. 50 participants came together from Colombia, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, El Salvador and the United States in pursuit of a common vision: to improve education in Bogota, Colombia while learning about design, innovation and co-creation, knowledge. The guiding philosophy of IDDS is the idea that sustainable solutions for undeserved communities start with a deep understanding of our clients’ needs. With this understanding, the IDDS team built a collaborative environment with high schools and NGOs involved in education, design and development, to provide both partners and participants with enough information to start working and building sustainable solutions. During the summit, the participants visited schools, met with mentors and had brainstorming sessions–a small part of the overall IDDS experience. Music, traditional Colombian food and people with amazing life stories were also an important part of the IDDS model. The C-Innova innovation center supported the prototyping and building process by providing a workshop space: La Casa de la creatividad (the house of creativity) full of building tools, recyclable materials and paintings to play with and let our imagination take flight.

In September 2016, new IDDS opportunities are coming! Join the IDIN Network. Contact us: pbalbontin@ucdavis.edu or repishti@mit.edu

Visit to MIT D-Lab and IDIN

May 18, 2016

In May, Professor Kurt Kornbluth, Director of UC Davis D-Lab and Paula Balbontin visited the D-Lab and the IDIN Network offices at the MIT in Boston. Both D-Lab and the IDIN network are partners of UC Davis D-Lab. The International Development Innovation Network (IDIN) works with more than 600 innovators around the world, facilitating education and resources in the agricultural, environmental and energy sectors. One of the most successful activities are the IDDS. The International Development Design Summits (IDDS) are hands-on design experiences that bring together people from all walks of life to create low-cost, practical innovations to improve the lives of people living in poverty. The UC Davis D-Lab supports this network by connecting UC Davis students and innovators through projects.

Related link:
IDIN Network

Collaborative efforts between Blum Center UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis

May 2, 2016
Kurt Kornbluth, Associate Director of the UC Davis Blum Center and Director at UC Davis D-Lab and Paula Balbontin, Graduate Student Researcher at UCD D-Lab visited the University of California, Santa Cruz Blum Center On Poverty, Social Enterprise and Participatory Governance. In this opportunity, Nancy N. Chen, current Director at Blum Center UCSC, Heather Bullock, incoming UCSC Blum Center Director, and Melissa Caldwell, Faculty Affiliate at the UCSC Blum Center, shared their work and initiatives regarding their academic programs and funding opportunities with the goal to identify potential partnerships and collaborations, specially around food and health issues. Finally, the meeting was also a great instance to talk about challenges and learn from each other.
This visit was also a great opportunity to meet the Everett Program and all the initiatives that they have, specially those targeted to poverty alleviation. We will keep working on identify potential alliances between the UC Davis D-Lab and the UCSC Blum Center and the Everett Program.

Marshmallow Challenge at the Global Poverty Seminar last Winter 2016.

As part of the Global Poverty Seminar: Think Big, Start Small, UC Davis undergraduate students were given a challenge to build a tower made of spaghetti, string and tape. Not only were they tasked to build a tower, the tower needed to support a marshmallow on the top! In 18 minutes, teams worked closely to design and build the towers. This experience showed the importance of learning to work through a problem and adapt quickly.

Dr. Kornbluth Awarded UC Davis Climate Champion

Dr. Kurt Kornbluth is being named a University of California Faculty Climate Action Champion for his leadership on climate change. A mechanical engineer, Kornbluth is founder and director of the UC Davis D-Lab and of the Program for International Energy Technologies (PIET) Lab.

The UC Office of the President has granted one faculty member at each UC campus this award, which is to be used for a community engaged research projects with students this academic year.

No stranger to such projects, Kornbluth has created over the past several years a curriculum of project-based, experiential courses designed to address issues like global poverty, inequity, energy and climate change. The Climate Action Champion award will allow him to focus on increasing UC Davis’ capacity for Zero Net Energy with projects that are aligned with UC’s goal of climate neutrality by 2025.

With the $25,000 award, Dr. Kornbluth plans on creating a curriculum for both graduate and undergraduate students to advance the carbon neutrality initiative on campus.

Related content:

Kurt Kornbluth, UC Climate Action Champion
UC announces first Faculty Climate Action Champions
Climate Action Awards Support and Research on Technology and Awareness
Climate action champions: Kornbluth, Napawan, Simpson, Snyder

Updated 1/19/2016: New related content

D-Lab Workshop for Humphrey Fellows

October 9th, 2015

Fellows from the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program at UC Davis, attended a workshop hosted by Dr. Kornbluth to learn and gain experience with the newest energy efficiency techniques available on campus. During the workshop, the interdisciplinary group of fellows also learned user-based design techniques that could be applied during their prototyping stage in their projects.

The UC Davis Humphrey Program comprises of mid-career professionals from Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. The fellows at UC Davis concentrate in areas such as agricultural development and environmental science.