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Projects Updates for iSEE funding for Campus as a Living Lab (CALL)

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  1. Request for Meeting

    From: Guest, Jeremy S <jsguest at>
    Sent: Saturday, November 20, 2021 8:07 AM
    To: Verma, Vishal <vverma at>; Cusick, Roland <rcusick at>; Geiger, Sarah Dee <smurphy7 at>
    Cc: Rosenbery, Amy Nichole <husted at>; Khanna, Madhu <khanna1 at>; Cai, Ximing <xmcai at>; White, Morgan <mbwhite at>; Kokini, Eugenie Jenny <jkokini at>
    Subject: iSEE Campus as a Living Lab Proposal - Request for Meeting


    Vishal, Roland, and Sarah,


    Thank you for submitting a proposal for Campus as a Living Lab funding from the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE). I am pleased to share with you that your proposal was well reviewed. In particular, it was noted that the focus engaging with the 5th and Hill neighborhood is directly in-line with campus goals to address local sustainability challenges, as highlighted in the Illinois Climate Action Plan ( 


    At this time, we would like to move to the next step the proposal review process and meet with you and your team to learn more about your plans, discuss iSEE expectations for funded teams, and answer any questions you may have. I am copying Amy Rosenbery, who will help coordinate scheduling for a meeting some time between November 29-December 3 or December 6-10. For the meeting we will try to include (if possible) your full team, Madhu Khanna, Jenny Kokini, and me, as well as Ximing Cai and Morgan White who lead our Campus as a Living Lab efforts.


    One additional items is that we noted that CVs and Current & Pending documents were not included in the original submittal. Please submit these documents in advance of our meeting. Templates (if you require them) can be found on the seed funding website: Any similar format is acceptable, however.


    We look forward to discussing your proposed project in more detail. Amy will be in touch in the coming week to help find a time for us to meet.


    Have a wonderful weekend!

    - Jeremy


    Jeremy S. Guest, Ph.D.

    Pronouns: he, him, his
    Associate Professor

        Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

    Acting Associate Director for Research

        Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE)

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    3221 Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory, MC-250
    205 North Mathews Avenue
    Urbana, IL 61801-2352
    Phone:  (217) 244-9247
    E-Mail:  jsguest at 
    Guest Group Website:
    iSEE Website:

    IBM-Illinois DAI Website:

    Google Scholar Profile



    Eugenie Kokini replied saying that there is approved funding available and is expecting the budget to be released.

  2. iSEE Helps Bring in $34.7M in Grants

    In Fall 2021, the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) announced that it has successfully acquired or facilitated $34.7 million in external grants from various agencies during the past several months. Some highlights:

    This $10 million, four-year project, funded through the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Sustainable Agriculture Systems program with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as the lead institution, will study agrivoltaics in a variety of land types and climate scenarios in Illinois, Colorado, and Arizona. The goal is to maintain or increase crop yield, improve the combined energy and food productivity of the land, and diversify and increase farmers’ profits with row crops, forage, and specialty crops across a range of environments

    • iSEE has helped facilitate funding to enable geospatial data-driven scientific discovery at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and the resulting research will lead to better understanding of the risks and impacts of climate change and disasters

    The $15 million Institute for Geospatial Understanding through an Integrative Discovery Environment (I-GUIDE) will receive the funding over five years as part of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Harnessing the Data Revolution, which establishes five institutes across the United States to explore questions at the frontiers of science and engineering. Shaowen Wang, Professor and Head of Geography and Geographic Information Science and Founding Director of the CyberGIS Center for Advanced Digital and Spatial Studies, will lead the institute. Collaborating scientists and institutions will work with the CyberGIS Center in partnership with iSEE and the U of I’s Discovery Partners Institute.

    • $2.1M in additional five-year funding from the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation for U of I researchers, led by Evan DeLucia (Emeritus Professor of Plant Biology), Carl Bernacchi (U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service), and new co-PI Lisa Ainsworth (USDA ARS) to extend the campus’s enhanced weathering experiments using basalt rock on farm fields.
    • $2M+ from NSF’s Smart & Connected Communities program for a team led by Crop Sciences Assistant Professor Andrew Margenot to build a “Nutrient Management Community (NuMC)” to help farmers adopt effective and trusted tools that will help address critical water quality issues.
    • A $1.7M USDA NIFA subaward for Margenot and Crop Sciences Professor Emily Heaton to help identify ways to diversify the corn belt ecosystem and increase rural prosperity.
    • A $1M, two-year grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to bolster an iSEE 2020 seed-funded project to turn ash into energy. The Rapid AI-based Dissection of Ashes using Raman and XRF Spectroscopy (RADAR-X) Project is led by Civil & Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Nishant Garg.
    • Several other awards of $1M or less.

    See the attached file for the iQ Fall 2021 to read this article in its original form.

    Attached Files: 
  3. iSEE Seeks Interdisciplinary, Campus as a Living Lab Research Proposals

    iSEE has issued a call for proposals to support interdisciplinary research projects related to sustainability, energy, and environment, as well as for its Campus as a Living Lab (CALL) program for projects related to Illinois Climate Action Plan goals.

    The iSEE seed funds are available to promote research collaborations among faculty and scientists across campus that will improve their potential for attracting external support. Research teams working in any of the five thematic areas of interest to iSEE can use the funding to collect preliminary data or other information and to develop a strong proposal that can be submitted for external funding through the Institute in 2022-23.

    A successful proposal will involve applicants from at least two different disciplines and two different departments and is limited to a maximum of $30,000 for a year. The deadline is Nov. 9, 2021.

    See the attached file for the iQ Fall 2021 to read this article in its original form.

    Attached Files: 
  4. iSEE Requests 'Campus as a Living Lab' Seed Fund Proposals; Deadline Nov. 9

    iSEE is calling for proposals to support interdisciplinary research projects that tie directly to Illinois Climate Action Plan objectives. The funding enables development of preliminary data and collaborations with campus sustainability sites and projects; and preparation of external funding proposals through the Institute. Deadline Nov. 9.


    iSEE Requests 'Campus as a Living Lab' Seed Fund Proposals; Deadline Nov. 9

  5. Fall 2020: iSEE Quarterly Update (iQ)

    The Fall 2020 iSEE Quarterly Update (iQ) was released with the following message from Madhu Khanna, the Interim Director of iSEE:


    Dear Colleagues,

    Attached, please find attached the Fall 2020 “iQ” – the quarterly update from the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE).

    It has been two months since I became interim director of ISEE.  It has been exciting to see ISEE bring in multimillion-dollar research grants, launch a new research initiative in regenerative agriculture, and help coalesce sustainable agriculture research on our campus during this period.

    Our Certificate in Environmental Writing has engaged students in making insightful contributions to a new issue of Q Magazine. We have also expanded our opportunities for education and scholarly discourse with several online events, including those on nuclear energy and geothermal energy research.

    We formally launched the new Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP 2020) on Oct 20, 2020. This ambitious plan is the result of the hard work of campus sustainability folks who worked hand-in-hand with Facilities & Services and incorporated the vision of hundreds of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members into a plan for the next five years and beyond — all the way to carbon neutrality no later than 2050!

    I am so grateful to Evan Delucia for his efforts over the first seven years as the first director of our Institute. He has left iSEE as a vibrant part of the Illinois community, and I am working with our outstanding ISEE staff to expand upon the work already begun — as evidenced in this six-page update.

    Please take a quick look at those updates and more in “iQ.” For more regular news, please sign up for our E-newsletter at

    Wishing you a successful end to the fall semester,