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SAFEGUARD is the culmination of our group thesis. Knowledge, data, creativity, all wrapped into a convenient package. 

We address climate change mitigation at the community scale by providing recommendations for effective strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). We performed cost-benefit analyses on 20 GHG reduction strategies such as installing efficient appliances, taking public transit and installing solar panels. Combined with relevant geographic requirements, these analyses informed development of our software model and serve as the basis for tailored GHG reduction plans. Dubbed SAFEGUARD, our software prioritizes reduction strategies based on cost effectiveness.

SAFEGUARD addresses the political feasibility of implementing strategies by allowing the user to override the software’s economic prioritization. Accompanying the software is a user manual and detailed methods describing the processes used to build the model and determine the required inputs. We have created a useful tool for consultants and governments to determine optimal greenhouse gas reduction strategies at the community scale.

Learn more about SAFEGUARD

China: Saturday

When you wake up at 6 am thinking it is 8 am you know you are off to the start of a great day (Thanks Gavin). The group got together around 7:30 am to grab breakfast snacks and take a walk through the local city park.

Walking in the park provided an amazing experience, during which we realized how much individualism is appreciated in China. All the locals in the park were truly doing their own thing—singing, dancing, tai chi, kung fu, and even some strange exercises we were previously unaware of. Here “The 5” experienced their first moments of being Chinese celebrities, as they were asked to tell children to stay off drugs for a local campaign.

After the fun at the park, it was off to meetings and work. While it took sometime to get settled into working conditions, all collaborators entertained lengthy conversations about baseline emissions and how the Chinese students might fit these calculations into the model. The real fun of the meeting came when discussion of optimization arose. The big question; “Should we optimize? And if so, using what?” While SAFEGUARD is meant to optimize strategies based on Cost($)/GHG they question of whether this was appropriate for China came up. The answer to the question was never determined, but it was decided that cost should necessarily be through out. Additionally, GDP and a “metric for ease of implementation” might be viable alternatives.

Following the wonderful discussion the entire group including advisors and Chinese students shared a wonderful meal, where it became very apparent that the Chinese believe that Americans eat way more than they do. After the meal “The 5” experienced their second chance at stardom as they were asked to be on Chinese television. Stoked at the prospects “The 5” could not turn down the opportunity and will be seen sometime in August on a Chinese channel near you.

The amazing day became night with a walk on a lake in the city, where locals could be seen dancing in unison and cruising around on boats adorned with bright red lights.

On a late night search for a supermarket, we saw an arcade. Aaron was mesmerized by the flashy lights; he darted across the street without paying any attention to the crazy drivers. As we walked inside, we were met with a teenage version of Las Vegas! There were so many games and lots of cigarette smoking. We played a racing game and a basketball game; I’m sure we will be visiting this place again soon!

“The 5” will sleep well tonight awaiting tomorrow's great adventure.

晚安 "Whan On" (Good night)

China: Friday

“The 5” finally met their Chinese counterparts for a great discussion session. The Dean of the Nanjing School of the Environment, Professor Bi, gave a wonderful introduction followed by the infamous presentation of our SAFEGUARD project. Wonderful discussion ensued, providing “the 5” with their most intense questions yet.

Lunch was a great cultural experience as we dove into hot pots, mountain potatoes, sticky rice, various soups and other delicious cuisine.

Following lunch, discussion continued and a barrier between cultures and languages came to the forefront of attention. Despite the obstacles a productive outcome was made leaving tomorrow’s work plan set. We will tackle the issue of data collection and baseline calculations for China communities.

Tonight we will enjoy the evening sites, food and drink with our new friends in an open-air market near the Confucius Temple.

您是不是要找 "Zai jian" (Good-bye)

China: Tuesday-Thursday

"Nǐ hǎo" (Hello)

After over 36 hours of travel the team arrived safely in Nanjing. The journey was filled with adventure and surprises—this is fluffy writing but actually true!

Along the way we stopped in Tokyo, Japan. Taking a break from sitting on airplanes, some of us enjoyed delicious sashimi while others marveled at the unique toilets in the restrooms. We landed in Shanghai to discover that we were too late to take the last train of the night; however with Ling and his girlfriend Elma as our trusty tour guides, we were well prepared for other arrangements. From 11:00pm to 5:50am, we wandered the streets of train-station-adjacent Shanghai, exploring unique sites and smells.

Allison, Gavin, Justin and Michael enjoyed a heated game of dominoes on the sidewalk in front of the train station while a crowd of Chinese onlookers gathered. The rest of the crew—Aaron, Craig, Ling and Elma—enjoyed some World Cup soccer in a nearby 24-hour McDonalds. The restaurant was packed, even at 3am (with sleeping people).

As the sun rose over Shanghai, the entire group met for an authentic Chinese breakfast of dumplings, churro-like fried dough, and an unidentified but delicious milky drink before boarding the train to Nanjing. The train ride was a grand experience filled with sleep, Chinese candy, and a very smooth train moving at speeds topping 218km/hr.

Once in Nanjing, a brief but exhilarating taxi ride and some walks around the city found us finally in our hotel, where the GP team of 5 were left alone to experience communications in China. “The 5” managed to mime their way to internet access, shower curtains and a delicious Chinese lunch.

Article: Santa Barbara Independent

The wonderful people at the Santa Barbara Independent took notice of our work as well. Awesome and thank you to Laura Tsunoda for such a well-penned story.
Bren School Students Head to China: Team Developed Software that Calculates a City’s Best Way to Go Green

"New software from USCB’s Bren School of Science and Management might facilitate a more environmentally responsible California — granted, it ain’t easy going green.

Five UCSB masters students-cum-alumnae programmed software that is designed to calculate a given city’s best gameplan to go green. It tailors to the specific needs of a community to calculate the most cost effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The software is called SAFEGUARD, and it, along with its makers, is en route to China..."

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