University of California Merced will soon have its own institute dedicated to researching climate change and finding sustainable solutions thanks to a $1 million donation from an institutional partner.

Announced Dec. 9, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation awarded enough funds to create UC Merced’s Institute for Climate Research and Equity, which will house centers specializing in social justice and wildfire resilience and adaptation. The university expects to add more units as the institute grows.

Grant funds will fuel studies by faculty and students, financial assistance to graduate students, research equipment and competition awards.

UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz announced that the university will provide an additional $1 million for the institute, which was made possible by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Assembly Bill 179. The legislation was passed to help UC Merced research climate change, sustainable agriculture and clean technology.

“The Foundation is an unmatched advocate for just societies, equity and climate justice, and we are honored to work alongside them in advancing new knowledge and solutions in these important areas,” Muñoz said in a statement.

The institute’s project lead, Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Economic Development Gillian Wilson, said this investment is a confirmation that the university is committed to developing a deep expertise in climate resiliency.

“I am deeply thankful to the foundation for this vote of confidence, which provides resources that will empower our researchers to develop action-oriented solutions,” Wilson said in a statement.