February ColLABoratories build connections and support seed grant proposals

March 6, 2024

Can we remove microplastics from the oceans using artificial intelligence? How do narratives about dystopian futures inform climate change research today? How can I find partners and access funding sources for my work on air pollution and its inequitable health impacts?

These are some of the questions that emerge when machine learning experts meet engineers, when chemists and historians sit next to each other, and when public health researchers connect with philosophers. They were among the topics discussed during the series of ColLABoratories hosted last month.

Organized by Yale Planetary Solutions (YPS), ColLABoratories invite scholars and practitioners to exchange ideas and envision a bold future for Yale’s role in addressing the environmental challenges we face. Each session, organized by theme, creates space for transdisciplinary connection. Attendees from across campus brainstorm and discuss ideas, float concepts for ambitious new projects, and form partnerships. February’s workshops addressed Health, Wellbeing, and Pollution; Poverty, Justice and Equity; Urban, Infrastructure, and Energy; Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; and Climate, Biodiversity, and Ecosystems.

To encourage proposals for the next round of Yale Planetary Solutions Seed Grants—due April 5—the February ColLABoratories also featured facilitators who shared their experiences leading YPS-funded projects in 2022 and 2023. These facilitators shared tips for a successful seed grant experience, ranging from understanding timelines for hiring to having clear roles defined for each member of the project team. Kym Pinder, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Dean of the Yale School of Art and Annie Lin, Project Specialist spoke about the Cool Murals project. Professor Narasimha Rao shared his experience as advisor to a project on energy justice in New Haven. Others discussed their work on the health impacts of urban heat, the Yale Bird Friendly project, and collaboration conducted between plant scientists across disciplines and scales.

YPS looks forward to hosting more ColLABoratories later this spring. To propose a theme for one of these sessions, please email planetarysolutions@yale.edu.

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