Future Assets

Jay Lund, Director of UC Davis Watershed Sciences
Jay Lund, Director of UC Davis Watershed Sciences

Successful students and sufficient water are vital to California’s future.

Recognizing this and driven by a mission to foster a productive, vibrant and sustainable California, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation has partnered with UC Davis to strengthen the link between policy and practice in two key areas—education excellence and environmental sustainability.

Together, UC Davis and the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation are working to advance engagement in science, technology, engineering and math- (STEM) related fields. A $1.6 million grant from the Foundation has allowed UC Davis professors to partner with local K-12 teachers to develop STEM-literate Californians who are able to compete in the 21st century.

An equally urgent issue is the unprecedented threat facing the most essential building block of life—water. UC Davis’ Center for Watershed Sciences – a leading California academic institute on water management – is helping to address the state’s complex and pressing water management issues. By combining the talents of biologists, economists, engineers, geologists, hydrologists, lawyers and others, the Center is exploring the multi-faceted aspects of the state’s increasingly difficult water challenges so viable solutions can be implemented.

A $10 million gift from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation will allow the Center to accelerate and sustain this work by supporting  new research tools, new faculty, and improved facilities, all with the goal of advancing sustainable water management in California. This investment in the Center’s capacity will strengthen its ability to develop new programs and collaborate with state agencies and other funders.

“California’s problems will become more challenging as the climate changes and water demands increase,” said Jay Lund the Center’s director. “This gift significantly strengthens our ability to stay ahead of potential water crises with forward-thinking insights and innovative solutions.”