Centers, Programs, and Institutes

Sustainability is at the core of everything I believe.

President Carol L. Folt

Please click on each Center, Program, or Institute below to view more information on it, including a link to that organization’s own web site.

The Center for Sustainability Solutions is a newly established university-wide center that leverages, elevates and enhances USC’s existing sustainability-related teaching, research, and outreach. Its unique mission is to advance the application of basic science and technological solutions to specific urban contexts, with an eye on developing practical solutions and sound public policy for a sustainable and equitable future.

Center for Sustainable Cities conducts research, education, and community outreach to address sustainability challenges facing metropolitan regions. With 25 affiliate faculty, the center hosts events, provides public education, conducts policy research, and has an excellent record in scholarly publication.

Climate Change in the Southern California Bight 2020 – A main scientific goal of the Climate Change in the Southern California Bight 2020 project is to increase communication and promote collaboration between the diverse groups of researchers that deal with all aspects of ocean climate change issues in our area.

iLAB – The Innovation in Integrated Informatics LAB (iLAB) research group focuses on the acquisition, modeling, and analysis of the data needed for user-centered built environments, and the design of novel algorithms and visualization techniques to improve built environment efficiency, while increasing user satisfaction.

Loker Hydrocarbon Institute – Loker’s mission it to pursue the long-range development of hydrocarbon chemistry and to develop new fuels and materials, as well as to provide environmentally sustainable solutions to energy generation problems.

METRANS – The METRANS Transportation Center was established in 1998 through the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) as the first University Transportation Center in Southern California. METRANS is a joint partnership of the University of Southern California (USC) and California State University Long Beach (CSULB). Its mission is to foster independent, high quality research to solve the nation’s transportation problems; train the next generation transportation workforce; and disseminate information, best practices, and technology to the professional community. Sustainability and energy efficiency often figure as central to these goals.

Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) – PERE, under the direction of sociologist Manual Pastor, conducts research and facilitates discussions on issues of environmental justice, regional inclusion, and social movement building.  It conducts high-quality research in focus areas relevant to public policy concerns and reaches to those directly affected communities that most need to be engaged in the discussion. Its main projects revolve around issues of environmental justice, regional equity, and social movements.

Spatial Sciences Institute – Specializes in building GIScience models, spatial decision support systems, and tools, as well as spatial data capture, remote sensing, spatial analysis, the modeling of environmental and human health outcomes, urban ecology, conservation, and sustainability.

USC Sea Grant – USC participates in the National Sea Grant College Program. USC Sea Grant’s primary responsibility is to contribute to solving the problems of the Urban Ocean, while recognizing the opportunities for coastal commerce, recreation and improving the quality of life in coastal regions such as Southern California. Focus areas include climate change science and adaptation planning, coastal management policy and planning, etc.

USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies – The mission of the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies is to encourage responsible and creative decisions in society by providing an objective source of marine and environmental science and fostering an understanding of the natural world among people of all ages. It includes the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island, which is both center for research and a leader in sustainable operations within USC. With dozens of affiliated faculty from departments across USC, research areas include aquaculture, ocean acidification, Channel Island habitat research, and oceanographic data analysis.

SoCal Environmental Health Sciences Center – Housed USC Health Campus, SCEHSC is a NIEHS-funded center which works to reduce the burden of adverse effects from the environment by rapid identification and better characterization of environmental threats to public health through increased understanding of the basis for environmental diseases and personal susceptibility and by active engagement with communities and policymakers.