Press Archive

Regional Workbench Consortium Wins SD American Planning Association Award

SDSC Technologies Support Superfund Basic Research Project

Published 07/08/2004

This digital elevation model of the Southern California-Northern Baja California region includes both land and sea floor terrain features. This unique dataset has been assembled with data from active members of the Regional Workbench Consortium including institutions on both sides of the border, with a common interest of linking science and policy for better regional planning. Data sources include US Geological Survey elevation models from the SRTM NASA project; Mexican topography from the INEGI Mexican mapping agency; US seafloor data from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), Geologic Data Center; and Mexican seafloor data from the CICESE Research Center, Ensenada, Baja California.

The Regional Workbench Consortium (RWBC), part of the Superfund Basic Research Project (SBRP) at UC San Diego and a San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) partner, received a First Place Award in the category of Academic Leadership and Service from the San Diego Section of the American Planning Association. The award was presented at the June American Planning Association Awards ceremony, and makes the RWBC eligible to compete for a statewide award from the California Chapter of the American Planning Association.

"The challenges our region faces today are complex, intertwined social, economic, and environmental problems, and the solutions come from interdisciplinary efforts," said consortium co-organizer Keith Pezzoli, co-director of the Outreach Core of UCSD's SBRP and a faculty member in UCSD's Urban Studies and Planning Program. "This award reflects the truly remarkable collaborative nature of the Regional Workbench Consortium, which is becoming a model for partnerships in our region."

An outreach activity for the SBRP, the RWBC is a collaborative network of university and community-based partners dedicated to enabling sustainable city-region development. As part of this effort, SDSC researchers Richard Marciano, director of the Sustainable Archives and Library Technologies (SALT) Lab in SDSC's Data and Knowledge Systems (DAKS) program, and Ilya Zaslavsky, director of the DAKS Spatial Information Systems Lab, are integrating advanced knowledge-based and spatial information systems technologies into a network of tools and information in the RWBC's website. Zaslavsky is providing interactive mapping technologies and Marciano is applying historical information science in the RWBC's regional planning setting.

The RWBC promotes multidisciplinary research and service learning to build understanding of how problems of environment and development interrelate across local, regional, and global scales. With a forward-looking perspective, the RWBC focuses on the Southern California-Northern Baja California transborder region, especially the San Diego-Tijuana city region and coastal zone.

The RWBC is also a member of two important networks with worldwide focus, the Global Planning Educators Interest Group (GPEIG), an organization in the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning that promotes a global point of view in U.S. planning education and practice; and the Network for Science and Technology for Sustainability, based at the Center for International Development, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

UCSD's SBRP has the goal of implementing modern scientific approaches to identify and characterize the genomic stress responses that are brought on by waterborne pollutants found at Superfund sites. The program consists of nine research projects, seven of them biomedical, along with research support, administrative, and outreach and training activities including the RWBC. - Paul Tooby.

Related Links

Regional Workbench Consortium ( RWBC) -
UCSD Superfund Basic Research Project ( SBRP) -
National Superfund Basic Research Program -
UCSD-TV documentary on the RWBC (28min) -
San Diego Supercomputer Center ( SDSC) -