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The 2012 UCI Environment Institute Sustainability Science Team is a cohort of doctoral students from across the UCI campus including political science, history, psychology, civil and mechanical engineering.

The goal of the team is to define a specific problem in sustainability science, develop an approach to understanding the problem and determine and measure solutions when possible. Taking a transdisciplinary approach, the team has identified a broad question of mutual interest and determined where cross-pollinizing our differential skills, knowledge bases and interests would achieve the greatest outputs. The idea we have identified for investigation is a hybrid between sustainability and what most may recognize as the “sister city phenomena.” By fostering connections between neighboring communities, be they urban and rural, urban and suburban, or suburban and rural, we hope to identify the mutual benefits, shared resources, and co-dependencies that provide a basis for synergistic sustainability programs capable of producing greater environmental benefits than either area might achieve alone.