01 May 2010

Habitat for Humanity

I guess this is technically a plug for my club :), but this has been my first semester as an officer (Fundraising Coord) for Habitat, and I just wanted to reflect on how fun this past semester with Habitat has been. The thing that obviously jumps out at me

Continue reading "Habitat for Humanity" »

Posted by Katarina Makmuri at 9:39 | Permalink

09 October 2009

Breast Cancer: Everyone deserves a lifetime

Before skipping school to attend the SFO Breast Cancer 3Day, I spammed all my Professors and GSIs with emails excusing my absence from class and to make up any work that I will miss. Let me just say...Boy was that a stressful process!!! Juggling the workload I had at that time with deadlines meant for two weeks later is something I never want to repeat. Without the accommodating and understanding responses from my Professors and GSIs, I would have forfeited about one fourth of my final grades. So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU Berkeley teachers.

As part of our agreement, my Japanese sensei requested a written email from my team captain for proof of my involvement with the 3Day. Faren Shear's beautifully articulated emotions and ideas perfectly explain the essence of the Breast Cancer 3Day cause. If you have the time, please read her email and visit her site!

On October 2-4, 2009 Amelia and I will be just 2 of over 300 crew members supporting the walkers on the San Francisco Breast Cancer 3 Day. It’s a 60-mile walk over three days to raise money for breast cancer. The net proceeds will support the combined efforts of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust (NPT) Breast Cancer Fund in their mission to fund access to care and find a cure for breast cancer. We’ll be serving as crew members on a Pit stop team, giving our time and service to the walkers for three days.

When I heard that one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer, I knew I had to do something about it. I don’t have a lot of money, and I can’t find a cure for cancer, but I found that this was something that I could do. About 40,000 will die from the disease. That’s why I’m doing this - to do something bold about breast cancer.

I am very thankful that Amelia has decided to give her time and effort to this cause, I could not do this job supporting the walkers without her. She has already been working hard planning for the weekend and also fund raising for the cause. I know she will miss her commitments at school, but this is a life experience that I look forward to sharing with her and know from my past work with the 3 Day that there are always many important life lessons to be learned in the service of others.

Continue reading "Breast Cancer: Everyone deserves a lifetime" »

Posted by Amelia Nguyen at 9:51 | Permalink

24 September 2009

Walk dammit!

It's my first protest! Check out the activism:

Continue reading "Walk dammit!" »

Posted by Josephine Wong at 5:59 | Permalink

09 September 2009

Taking the Long Way Around

Greetings internet world!

This is my first post... and quite appropriately so since I've only recently become a Molecular Toxicology major. So about that... it's a long story. I started at Cal in 2006 as a Chemical Engineering major. After about a year in that major, I decided it wasn't a good fit (I couldn't pass Math 1B even after a few tries) and I really wasn't happy. I searched for another major that would improve my mood and settled on Molecular Toxicology. It took both my sophomore and junior years (summer school included) to work towards meeting the minimum requirements to be eligible for filing a petition to change major. Those two years of college were nuts! At one point I was taking a full course load at Cal, working part time and taking a 5 unit class at night at Laney City College in Oakland!

All the hard work was worth it... after 2 years of working to meet the requirements I finally received notification of my acceptance into the College of Natural Resources as a Molecular Toxicology major! YAY!!! I have a major!!! I can graduate next spring!!! HOORAY!!

What? Graduate in spring 2010? You've only been there 4 years... and you changed your major your senior year?? These are questions probably running through your mind about now... Thanks to the guidance from advisors in both College of Natural Resources and College of Chemistry, and due to endless hours of planning my schedule... and due to my advisors' support, I enrolled in classes for Molecular Toxicology while I was still a Chemical Engineering major on paper. It sounds like a great plan initially and it looks like it's going to work out just fine for me... but it could all horribly backfire. Here's how: by taking classes for molecular toxicology for two years but not actually having that major, if my petition to change major wasn't accepted I would have effectively had lots of course credit that wasn't applicable for any degree and my time at Cal would not have resulted in earning a Bachelor's degree. No pressure, right?

So now enough about that... and a little bit about who I am. I'm a first generation college student raised in a small town in the high desert of Southern California. My mother and I were born in the same hospital, and we both graduated from the same middle school AND the same high school (we even had some of the same teachers). I love the Bay Area, and hopefully will never leave. I'm a campus ambassador for the university which means that I give campus tours out of the Public Affairs office. I have been an active member of UC Rally Committee since my freshman year. That's about me in a nutshell.

On Friday I'm participating in a Strawberry Creek clean up project to help remove invasive species. I'm really looking forward to splashing around in the creek for a few hours.

My class schedule this semester is as follows: PH 162 (Public Health Microbiology), PH 162L (the microbiology lab), MCB 104 (Genetics), IB 117 (Medical Ethnobotany), and two PE classes, Introductory Taekwondo and low intermediate swimming.

There will be additional, fancier blog entries to follow. :)

Continue reading "Taking the Long Way Around" »

Posted by Leighna Baxter at 2:30 | Permalink

27 August 2009

So far....

Well so far the beginning of the school year has been super hectic with so much to do. After hanging out with friends who were returning to Berkeley I headed to neds and replica copy to get my physics and bio stuff.
Just sitting in my first bio lecture I could tell that this class would be a challenge. After bio lecture I went to Physics discussion and then went to an assortment of waitlisted/enrolled but might drop classes. I am signed up foe beginning Romanian, but I don’t know if I have the time for it, especially with Ancient Egypt and EALC 105. So today I went to Calapooloza, which is basically every club at Cal displaying what they do and handing out fliers in lower and upper Sproul and oh was it crowded. Tomorrow is Friday meaning the end of welcome week so check out the website and see what other fun things they have planned for tomorrow!

Continue reading "So far...." »

Posted by Fabian Collazo at 1:12 | Permalink

23 August 2009


If you plan on going to grad school or anywhere else after college than something that would be very helpful to ones application would be research experience. Since Cal loves us dearly they made URAP! Yay URAP! Well URAP basically is a website with a bunch of descriptions for research positions offered by professors and to get the position you have to fill out a URAP application, which includes a statement of purpose that is around 400 words each. In order to minimize shopping they restrict you to applying to 3 internships, which is bad for me because I have to pick 3 out of the 4 I want. Since URAP is open to all UC Berkeley students than the turn out tends to be really good for bio spots with some openings receiving up to hundreds of responses. So check it out!


Continue reading "URAP!" »

Posted by Fabian Collazo at 7:05 | Permalink

17 August 2009

Plans for Fall

So as summer is coming to a close I am preparing for fall 2009 and all its difficulties grrr. I’m currently planning to take Bio 1A/L, Physics 8A, Near Eastern Studies 18 and EALC 105. I’m pretty scared for Bio as I have heard plenty of rumors about the labs and professors and as a Bio lover I’m freaking out. Even though I want to take physics I am not enrolled and am like hawk status checking the schedule every minute to see if anybody has dropped. Haha its’ even on my favorites for maximum speed. NES 18 is about ancient Egypt and I have heard is a rather chill class and the material seems rather interesting. EALC 105 is a film class that I am taking with a friend purely for fun and it is suppose to be easy and who doesn’t want to learn about movies?

Continue reading "Plans for Fall" »

Posted by Fabian Collazo at 7:26 | Permalink

06 August 2009

Join me in the fight against breast cancer

Please support me as I take an amazing journey in the fight against breast cancer! The Breast Cancer 3-Day is a 60-mile walk over the course of three days. Net proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure and National Philanthropic Trust, funding important breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment.

Our Story

My mommy's best friend, Laurie, is a breast cancer survivor for more than a decade. Since the day of the diagnosis, their lives have become intertwined with the national breast cancer efforts to prevent and possibly cure this cancer. Along the way, they bonded with hundreds of new friends, but also lost many precious buddies too. This year, I am finally old enough to experience what they see and feel at these 3 day events! Please support our cause with any kind gestures; either through raising awareness of breast cancer or with monetary donations. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Continue reading "Join me in the fight against breast cancer" »

Posted by Amelia Nguyen at 2:46 | Permalink

12 July 2009

It's Sunday, I'm Bored


I just remembered that there was a cool Discovery Channel show on two and a half hours ago. This is one of the times I wish I had TiVo, instead we have TFC, The Filipino Channel. Their erratically scheduled programming includes such wonderful hits such as Wowowee where the male host sings the same song...everyday and further demeans the women (dancers, contestants, cohosts, etc) to:

asf dancers

a) crazy
b) hot pieces of asses (one time they had a beauty pageant, and every question in their Q&A section was about boyfriends)
c) glorified mike holders and question askers

Continue reading "It's Sunday, I'm Bored" »

Posted by Josephine Wong at 2:31 | Permalink

01 July 2009

Broadening Horizons

With the ever competitive job market, having an edge is essential. A programmer with creative design experience, a physicist with political science aspirations, a polyglot with a teaching degree-having a little something extra, it certainly can't hurt.

Planning out my college courses for my brief two year stint here, I realize I've got a bit of extra space. I could:

Continue reading "Broadening Horizons" »

Posted by Josephine Wong at 3:42 | Permalink

26 February 2009

Summer school!

So I don't have to repeat myself, here's a link to my last year's blog about things you can do during summer... though it's a little too early to think about vacation (http://nature.berkeley.edu/blogs/freshfaces/2008/05/summer.php#more). But if you are thinking of doing summer classes, internships, or research you have to decide soon because spots fill out fast.

Anyways, I decided to take classes here at Berkeley this summer even though I don't really need to. I will take PoliSci 164 (Session A, which starts the week after the last final) and PoliSci 139a (Session D). I personally find it very difficult to bounce back to studying after long breaks (still recovering from winter break 08, sadly). Hopefully my summer classes would keep me busy and prepare me for Fall 09. As far as my college planning goes, it looks like Fall 09 is going to be my hardest semester.

Summer Telebears tip:
Don't be discouraged by waiting lists--talk to the department adviser and ask your chances of getting a class. Most of the time schedule.berkeley won't show the maximum seating until later. For example, when I signed up for PoliSci 164 the schedule says that max is 60 students. But when I visited the PoliSci adviser she showed me that there's actually 90 seating, although it was just set to 60 for the mean time.

Continue reading "Summer school!" »

Posted by John Cortez at 0:09 | Permalink

20 January 2009

Berkeley's Presidential Inauguration Celebration

...A public viewing of the inauguration of President Barack H. Obama [will be held] on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, in Sproul Plaza. A large screen will be installed at the main entrance to Sproul Hall, and proceedings from Washington, D.C. will be broadcast beginning at 7:30 am.

Being that today was (is) the first day of classes for the Spring 2009 semester, this public viewing offered everyone in attendance a chance to celebrate this momentous occasion together. The crowd was electric--jubilantly cheering, clapping, smiling, and hanging on to our 44th President's every word--more so (from what I gathered) than the crowd in D.C. I am very happy, proud, and humbled to have been able to witness this event. I am thankful that Berkeley was able to put this together.
(Pictures if you "continue reading")

Continue reading "Berkeley's Presidential Inauguration Celebration" »

Posted by Juan at 1:08 | Permalink

01 December 2008

Gift Ideas

Happy December! It's pretty incredible that there's only about 10 days left of actual classes before Finals. Most of us have a lot to think about: school, family, friends, and the holidays. I was thinking about this last point today--more directly, about gift ideas. Many of us, though, being students, are short on cash. Given this, I started to think about what gifts have meant the most to me and what gifts I would most like to give this season. Sure, there are books, electronics, and video games that I really enjoy. In addition to these, however, there are gifts that I've enjoyed even more because they were meaningful to me.

Look into adopting an endangered animal, a plot of land, or tree, for example, in the name of someone you care about who cares about these issues. Some organizations include: Defenders of Wildlife (I adopted a Dolphin for my girlfriend here a couple of years ago and had someone adopt a Panther in my name last year!), the World Wildlife Fund (we adopted a Polar Bear for my girlfriend's sister), and Adopt a Tree.

Being socially conscious individuals at Berkeley (for the most part), another great idea is to gift in someone's name to a non-profit that works for a personally--from the perspective of the recipient--salient issue. One local non-profit I found is Seva. They're located in Berkeley and have programs in 10 countries and Tibet that range from sight restoration to women's empowerment. They also focus on healthcare and education--two particularly important areas in development. Check out Seva's Gifts of Service page.

So this holiday season, give a meaningful gift if you can! Your recipients will enjoy them. I know I did! If you have any other gift ideas, post them up. I'm always looking for useful, relevant, and purposeful ones.

Continue reading "Gift Ideas" »

Posted by Juan at 3:29 | Permalink

23 November 2008

My First Game

Well after a year, 2 months, 3 weeks, and 5 days, I finally made it to a Cal Football game. No, I'm not ashamed to admit that it's taken me this long and perhaps the wait made it all the sweeter! Last year, I never took advantage of the free first year transfer student season tickets. I guess that, in some respects, it was a bad decision considering how much fun I had at the game, but in others it was good since it took me a little while to acclimate to Berkeley. (A note for incoming Freshmen and Transfers: in case you didn't know, you get free season tickets during your first Fall Semester, but they are in short supply.) Having my first game be The Big Game was sweet! I had seen Memorial Stadium before from afar--from Gayley Rd. and Stadium Rim Way--but this was my first time inside its walls.

Continue reading "My First Game" »

Posted by Juan at 2:55 | Permalink

18 November 2008

Volunteer and Donate

There is so many volunteering opportunities open right now in case you have free time. I know all these midterms and homework can suck up all available time, but volunteering will give you a good sense about yourself, especially if you need quick recovery from a bad midterm grade. I signed up to do Berkeley Project; however I didn’t go and just slept. I know it seems bad but hey I had a heavy week and I was just incapable of waking up at 8 am on a Saturday. I felt so bad that I didn’t go and on top of that I heard that it was a lot of fun. So to compensate for my selfishness I decided to donate at the blood drive in the alumni house and it was great. I wasn’t painful at all and the nurses made me laugh, which was nice of them. Not only did I feel good that I have potentially saved a person’s life, but they let me pig-out on snacks and juice afterwards, which was awesome. I am totally going to donate as much blood as I can from now on and so should everybody else.

Continue reading "Volunteer and Donate" »

Posted by Fabian Collazo at 1:12 | Permalink

17 November 2008

Tennis Tournament

I'm not even at the courts, yet I already feel nervous for tomorrow's match!!!

It's been a year since my last tournament. I've been horribly losing my matches recently (actually I lose pretty badly most of the time). Probably because I don't care enough about winning, I lack practice, or I've been playing against better people. Possibly all three.

It's weird, but I feel guilty of winning 0_o
It's really awkward that I feel bad for beating my opponents
(maybe that's why I keep losing, -_-" )

Anyways, I'll post again tomorrow after my match =D

Continue reading "Tennis Tournament" »

Posted by John Cortez at 1:47 | Permalink

05 May 2008

The Maker Faire: Hotdog Lightning


Pyrotechnics, robots, explosions, lasers, tesla coils, solar powered Arnold Schwarzenegger chariot.

I spent this past Saturday at the Maker Faire in San Mateo. The Maker Faire is a huge overwhelming spectacle of the most creative people in the bay area. I spent 10 hours there and still did not see everything it had to offer. I will try to recap some of the highlights:

This nightmarish thing:

An armada of cupcake people:

Some hotdogs cooked using lightning coming off a 25' tall tesla coil. Sorry, no video for this one just imagine lightning striking a hotdog and jumping from hotdog to hotdog down a 20' pole. As it got more intense the lightning began vaporizing the hotdog - this vaporization pulled hotdog bits into the arc and the color changed from brilliant purple to a vivid orange!

Continue reading "The Maker Faire: Hotdog Lightning" »

Posted by Eric Thurston at 5:00 | Permalink

25 April 2008

Temptations, temptations... part 1

Chapter 1 : Video Game Addiction

Midterms were over last week (at least for me), about time I caught up with all my readings (10 minutes ago, finally), and now I'm deciding what to do. It feels great that I have more time again, but I'm sure this won't last long; my final paper in College Writing R4B is due in three weeks and finals are up that same week.

Again, like always, I'm facing against the temptation to slack off and not do my homework in advance.

Continue reading "Temptations, temptations... part 1" »

Posted by John Cortez at 8:34 | Permalink

25 April 2008

Being a Transfer Student and Research

Here's my experience with doing research at Cal as a transfer student. I applied to SPUR to find a faculty project. I got the position but I definitely felt at a disadvantage while being interviewed. The first question: What research projects have you worked on at Cal? I'm thinking, well I've only been here for 4 months and they expect me to have a vast list of skills? Yes they do, fortunate for me I had experience doing a research class at DVC (the jc I went to). The next question: Could we get an email address to ask for a letter of recommendation? I'm thinking, in four months I'm expected to be buddy buddy enough with a professor to be asking him/her to take out of their busy schedule to write me a letter or rec? Yes they do. Fortunately for me again, I spent a lot of time in one of my professor’s office hours. The bottom line: If you're going to do research when you get to Berkeley you better spend that first semester doing all you can to boost your resume. Some things you can do: volunteer in a professor’s research and get to know at least one of your professors so you can ask them for a letter of recommendation.

Continue reading "Being a Transfer Student and Research" »

Posted by Marissa Ponder at 1:16 | Permalink

24 April 2008

Berkeley Parkour Club

So yesterday I took my first parkour lesson. For those of you who don't know, parkour is a French sport which combines running and gymnastics in urban environments. The underlying idea is that our bodies can do much more than just walk around on a horozontal plane as we do everyday. Instead those who practice parkour, called "traceurs" try to find the most efficent way to interact with their physical environments.

This video shows David Belle - the founder of the sport - performing some really advanced and showy parkour for a BBC commercial:

Continue reading "Berkeley Parkour Club" »

Posted by Eric Thurston at 5:55 | Permalink

31 March 2008

My First RPP Experience

So this afternoon, I went to my first RPP appointment. For those of you who do not know this, RPP is the Research Participation Program that gives undergraduate students a chance to participate in some of the research being conducted by graduate students and faculty researchers in the Department of Psychology. Since I am taking Psychology 2 this semester, I am required to participate in research experiments for a total of 5 hours.

I didn’t want to sign up for those experiments that would require putting wires around my head to measure some kind of brain activity, because what can I do if something goes wrong?! So I was trying to find survey-based experiment from the list of available studies online. Finally I decided to give a try on Experiment 73.

The experiment was scheduled in Tolman, and it was specified that the experiment would start right at the hour, not 10 minutes after. Tolman is that strange building that you can never figure out where you are. As I wandered around on the fourth floor, I thought that it would be such a good idea to just let us search for a room that does not even exist and record how long it takes us to figure that out! Anyway, after spending five minutes wandering around on the fourth floor, and I finally found room 4105.

Continue reading "My First RPP Experience " »

Posted by Yang Cao at 9:42 | Permalink

28 March 2008

Power in Numbers

If you're interested in making a difference you can see...

On March 29 at 8 p.m., switch off your lights for Earth Hour. Millions around the world will be doing the same in a global effort to demonstrate how a simple gesture can have far-reaching benefits for our environment. Join the Earth Hour movement and see the difference 60 minutes can make.

Earth Hour is a global event created to symbolize that each one of us, working together, can make a positive impact on climate change - no matter who we are or where we live. From Sydney to San Francisco, the World Wildlife Fund is spearheading this initiative in 25 cities across 6 continents.

Hope you're able to participate!

Continue reading "Power in Numbers" »

Posted by Juan at 0:30 | Permalink

17 March 2008

Trying something new

So this semester, I've decided to get more involved on Cal campus and spend less time studying! It's been a great goal. What have I done differently? Well, I've been swimming at least 2 days a week now(yay me, even though it seems pathetic!), joining more clubs, and signed up for a DeCal. This one decal is amazing- Relay for Life Decal! In the two hours on thursdays that I spend time there, we get to listen to a different speaker each time speaking about cancer, typical job professions in the health field. Then, we split up into our committees and plan for the much anticipated upcoming event: Relay for Life. For those of you who don't know what relay for life is about- it's a 24 hour event held( for cal, behind the RSF on May 3rd) where participants, people, volunteers spend one day to fight back cancer- hosting games, teams( where we walk for 24 hours straight), entertainer- make aware of cancer. Not only have I learned much more about different types of cancer, I've taken an active role in preparing for this event and I know it's going to be lots of fun!!! So, all you reading this, come!!

So, after I joined this, I became involved in CAC(colleges against cancer) club and we've been doing many fund raising activities to bring awareness about various cancers and going to volunteer events. The other club I joined was PILLS- it's a club for interested pre-pharmacy students. It's a great club in that it advises you on the classes you should take to get into pre-pharm grad school, the various opportunities that you can get involved in right now that involve this field, and just networking with other like-minded people. I find that making the choice to get more involved has created a great balance so far- academically and socially. Anyway, my next goal is to find an apartment for next semester, although I'm quite reluctant to search for one since I've heard that it's quite difficult?

Continue reading "Trying something new" »

Posted by Casey Wang at 6:34 | Permalink

16 March 2008

Pizza, Ping Pong, and Air Hockey

Have you ever heard of BERC? It stands for the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative, a 2-year old graduate student club that brings together people interested in energy, climate change, and sustainability. With over 400 graduate student members, the most active mailserv I've ever seen, and creator of the huge UC Energy Symposium that just went down on March 7th, I always thought it was a shame they didn't have a place for undergraduates. It's going to change this week:

**Cheese Board** Pizza, Ping Pong, and Air Hockey

Wednesday March 19th, 5pm-6:30 pm

Mulford, Room 260, CNR Student Resource Center

As a loyal reader of Fresh Faces, you're invited to the BERC Undergrad Kickoff Night! We want to have a fun, relaxing, time while introducing undergrads to the incredible opportunities and especially the community that is BERC. This event is for EVERYONE, grad students, undergrads, faculty and staff. There is no agenda, come eat, drink, be merry, and practice your leisure sports because the competition will be fierce.

The event will be organized by Harris Cohn (CRS) and I (EEP) who were appointed VPs of BERC Undergrad earlier this year. The title is still fuzzy, but our role isn't. Our plan is to first create a mentoring program where undergraduates interested in energy, climate change, and sustainability, can pair up with graduates students in business, law, engineering, public policy, and the many sciences: social, physical, biological, & environmental. Second, we're looking for sophomores or juniors who might be interested in taking over our role and developing something larger for future years -- like a BERC study abroad program, or renewable energy projects in developing countries.

Feel free to forward this announcement to your friends.

Drop us a line if you have any questions. We're looking forward to it, hope to see you there!
Harris Cohn (harriscohn@gmail.com) and Tay Feder (tfeder@gmail.com)

Continue reading "Pizza, Ping Pong, and Air Hockey" »

Posted by Tay Feder at 1:15 | Permalink

11 March 2008

Finally, some quality research!

I am extremely excited because I am going to be starting medical research at Kaiser Hospital! I will be assigned a few patients in a Crohn's Disease Study to which I have to perform various tasks including: calling patients during the study and making sure they are maintaining their medications and not taking new forms that may affect the study, sending their blood for lab work and then analyzing the data, preparing patients for surgery and observing the procedure, maintaining patient medical records and study questionnaire, working with the GI surgeon to investigate trends in the medications/study with the patients, and last but certainly not least writing a final report about the study for a possibility for publication to the study sponsor aka the pharmaceutical company. I am really thrilled about this position because this will be lab work in my area of interest instead of doing lab work in which I am preparing mice or running DNA strips. In addition, this research will help me determine whether I want to go into medical school to become a doctor or to become part of the growing medical research field. (And of course I am really excited because this is going to look fantastic on my resume!)

If you have any questions about the work I'll be doing (i have to read a ton of material about Crohn's Disease, study procedure, etc) feel free to ask!

Continue reading "Finally, some quality research! " »

Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 0:59 | Permalink

20 February 2008

Speaker - Martin Hammer

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Time: 7pm - 9pm.
Location: Ecology Center, 2530 San Pablo Ave, near Dwight Way, Berkeley.
Cost: Free.
Info: 510-548-2220 x233, erc@ecologycenter.org, www.paksbab.org.

Rebuilding with Straw Bale in Earthquake Affected Pakistan

Berkeley architect Martin Hammer recently returned from Pakistan where he has been working to bring straw bale and other sustainable building practices to the mountainous region devastated by the 2005 earthquake, which was responsible for over 80,000 deaths, and left millions without permanent shelter. He'll give us an update on the work he presented last year, as well as provide details about straw bale construction. Straw bale construction is earthquake resistant, energy and resource efficient, and an affordable solution to northern Pakistan's enormous reconstruction needs. Martin Hammer has been involved with the design, engineering, and construction of straw bale buildings since 1995, and is the lead author of the proposed straw bale building code for the State of California. In 2006 he co-founded Pakistan Straw Bale and Appropriate Building (http://www.paksbab.org ). Come join us for this informative talk and slideshow.

Continue reading "Speaker - Martin Hammer" »

Posted by Christina at 9:50 | Permalink

13 February 2008

Dr. John Francis

Today Dr. John Francis came to speak to my American Cultures & Natural Resource Managment course.

Experience of a lifetime.

He's the one who spent 17 years not speaking while he crossed the United States by foot. He currently spends 6 months every year walking around the world to raise awareness of environmental issues.

He's a UN delegate, and writes environmental policy.

Check out his website (his photo came from here):

Continue reading "Dr. John Francis" »

Posted by Christina at 5:55 | Permalink

05 February 2008

undergraduate research

So, I went to a undergrad research workshop yesterday. It was very informative. Before I went in, I had no idea why and how important doing research was, besides the fact that it looked good on a resume:). Anyway, as I was handed thick packets of info, I learned from others great ways to find a research topic. First off, though, you need to find a mentor. You can either find one first and then brainstorm topics, or have a research proposal in mind then find a mentor. Good hints I heard were that setting a specified number of hours to how much time your mentor would be devoting to you is a good indicator to how well you and the mentor will be able to make the best out of your research.

Research is a great opportunity to explore your interests and it's exciting- shows how motivated you are and how interested you are in your major. It shows you took initiative and of course, it's more of a hands-on application type of work, rather than reading dryly out of a textbook and going to lectures. Other tactics/alternatives I found out:

1. senior honor thesis- shows up on transcript
2. join OUR very own CNR undergrad research SPUR
3. URAP-i heard a rumor that they like junior transfers a lot!!
4. to find out what research you even want to do, start taking classes you are interested in. Perhaps, then, you can find a potential research topic!

Hope this helps to all the freshman/sophomores interested in undergrad research! I know it helped me!

Continue reading "undergraduate research" »

Posted by Casey Wang at 0:02 | Permalink

03 February 2008

California is Closing 48 State Parks

Part of the governor's massive state-wide budget cuts includes a significant reduction in aid for our California state parks, forcing the closure of nearly 20% of our parks.

Here's a map with the affected parks:

Here's the official stance of the state parks on this issue:

*Most* of these parks will be closed to public, and placed in a "caretaker status," which requires fewer full-time employees. Many will be closed with no care. The parks they have chosen have the least amount of traffic, generate the least revenue, and are dependent on volunteers. Previous budget cuts have made it impossible to do trail maintenance anyway, so why not shut them down (ACK!!!! If I had known, I would gladly have chipped in extra for admission!)

It is horrible, but it's good to read that the parks tried their best to find the parks that will make the least impact. I'm super sad, though, because Topanga State Park was a favorite for Tom and I to go backpacking. It's on the cutting block, along with several others that I've visited and loved, like San Simeon State Park, Benecia, Railtown, Sutter's Fort, Bolsa Chica, and Tomales Bay. Tomales Bay was one I visited recently with a class. There was some interesting geology there and unbelievably beautiful wetlands.

Here's a website where you can write a letter to the governor about your sentiments on the issue:

Continue reading "California is Closing 48 State Parks" »

Posted by Christina at 0:22 | Permalink

31 January 2008

Neat lecture on Microbes!

Today there's a guest lecture on campus that many will find of interest!

Dr. Edward F. DeLong is visiting from MIT to discuss his work on Genomics in Microbial Oceanography.
His seminar will be from 4-5 today, January 31, 2008 in 100 GPB.

Here is a link to one of his papers, to give you a better idea of his research:

Continue reading "Neat lecture on Microbes!" »

Posted by Christina at 4:27 | Permalink

31 January 2008

Thanks, Trey & Dana!

If you're in GPB or MB, you're going to meet the awesome Undergraduate Advisors Trey and Dana. If you haven't spent time with them yet, you will be required to meet them soon. Be sure to ask them all the questions you have about course requirements - they can tell you all about creative ways to meet your elective requirements, or let you know that you don't really need that insane MCB class you were planning on taking.

Now, something to know - they're new! And dangit - they know their stuff. But occasionally some paperwork gets lost in transitions like this, so don't be shocked if you need to remind them you've completed a requirement.

For any of you transfer students out there - you're going to want to make super good friends with Trey and Dana. That's because they approve all of your course substitutions. If you've attended another four-year school like me, it can get pretty tricky. Like most upper-division transfer students, I took almost all of my lower-division requirements at another school. That means that Trey and Dana have to work some magic to make each one of those count toward graduation. It can be tricky at times, but worth it to not re-take courses.

Continue reading "Thanks, Trey & Dana!" »

Posted by Christina at 1:57 | Permalink

15 January 2008

Busy Day in Oxford, Ohio

Today I visited with a large portion of the Botany faculty at Miami University of Ohio. This is one of the schools to which I have applied for graduate school. You can visit their Botany website here: http://www.cas.muohio.edu/botany/

Tom toured the little town and took photos while I met with faculty.

My schedule for today:
8:45am - Hotel pick-up by Dr. Prem Kumar (Post-doc in Dr. Kiss' lab)
9:00am - Dr. Linda E. Watson (Botany department chair)
9:30am - Dr. John Kiss (NASA-funded space Botany)
10:30am - Dr. R. James Hickey (fern systematist)
11:00am - Dr. Mike Vincent (herbarium curator)
11:30am - Dr. Quinn Li (genetics)
noon - Lunch with Prem Kumar (Post-doc for Dr. Kiss' lab) and Neela Kumar (PhD student Dr. Kiss' lab, vegetarian)
1:30pm - Dr. Richard Edelmann (electron and light microscopy specialist)
2:00pm - Dr. Nik Money - (Mycologist)
2:30pm - Dr. Beth Schussler (Biological sciences education researcher)
3:00pm - Dr. David Gorchov (Ecology)
3:30-5:15pm - Meet with Tom and discuss day.
5:30pm - Driving tour of campus with Dr. Kiss (Tom, too)
6:00pm - Dinner with Dr. Kiss (Tom, too)

The weather was cold, but not at all unbearable. Dreary in the morning, clear blue skies in the afternoon. People asked me often my impression of the weather. It was pretty. I liked watching the little flurries of snow caught up by the breeze.

Impressions of the program:
Well-established Botany program. Knowledgeable staff. Focus on teaching. Kind people.
Dr. Kiss is my favorite faculty member. His research is fascinating. The folks in his lab are kind and fun.

Drawbacks of the program:
May not be easy to petition into PhD program. Many encourage you to complete your master's, then move on to PhD.
Described by one graduate student as having "low expectations" (challenged by other students I met, who found it quite difficult to juggle teaching, their own coursework, and research)

Excellent funding
Diverse coursework offerings
Gentle people
Fun, fairly isolated college town, but driving distance from Cincinnati and Dayton.

I like it.

Continue reading "Busy Day in Oxford, Ohio" »

Posted by Christina at 7:46 | Permalink

10 January 2008


It's still vacation for Berkeley, but I'm in the middle of my second trimester here at International Christian University, Japan. Thus far, I've learned about international representations.

When I think about America, I think about immigration. It's a soup bowl of people. It may be a melting pot or a salad, but either way we're a unique culture of combinations. There is truly no uniting force in the USA except that we are ... here by accident or by purpose (whether our own or some other force). Going overseas, we represent this conglomeration of cultures. Yet, because it is a glop of cultures, when we represent, we are unable to represent the entirety. We do not have a common history, ancestors, or thoughts to bind us together. The question of what is an American is a difficult question.

Continue reading "Representing" »

Posted by K. Lee at 0:59 | Permalink

09 January 2008

Send Certified

The UC Riverside Biological Sciences Graduate Division has officially lost 2 of my transcripts, GRE scores, supplementary application information, check, fellowship application, and 1 (of 3 total) letter of recommendation.

5 separate envelopes. 2 of which sent from outside the state of California.

They tell me it's all lost in the mail. "If you sent it certified, we might be able to track it."
I didn't.

Let's have this be a lesson for all of us:
Choose to mail everything certified.

Oh, and... Don't plan on getting small-school attention from UC Riverside. No matter how small the program is that you're applying to, the school is massive and you can still fall through the cracks.

Continue reading "Send Certified" »

Posted by Christina at 5:09 | Permalink

04 October 2007

it's almost...

friday!!! wahoo! =] just a few more hours and then I will be over and done with my ancient babylonian seminar, then it's friday, the last schoolday of the week! As I write this, I have a big fat smile on my face because something about the weekend is so therapeutic.
and that's nice!
...what exactly do I do during the weekend? As I am writing this, I am beggining to realize that that I just plain...don't do much. I remember at the beginning of the year, I made the conscious decision to not inundate myself in extracirriculars like sports, clubs, jobs, etc. Sure, I considered it perfectly acceptable to join a club here or there that catch my attention, but I wanted to be sure that my studies were my number one priority. Fast forward a month and a half later and I am starting to get the feeling that it worked out all too well.

Continue reading "it's almost..." »

Posted by Angela Hsu at 2:47 | Permalink

04 October 2007

What? We've been in school for six weeks?

Six Weeks! (well now, it's a little closer to 7!) Of course, like many of you, I have NO idea where the time has gone. Let me try to recap: eighteen units, a staff position in one of the recruitment and retention centers, tutoring in San Francisco, facilitating a field studies course, and working. Just the typical life of a college student I suppose. Hmmm, as I sit here rolling my eyes and sense a little queasy feeling sink into my stomach I realize just how much that sounds like now that I put it out as a laundry list! As busy as it all seems, I am enjoying every moment of it!

Now to the breakdown of things
My courses.
SO, I am taking two public policy classes: the introductory class and a negotiations class, a class on environmental justice, an agroecology class, and an education class on literacy: individual and societal development. Classes alone are keeping me quite busy with the hands on work, service-learning components, and all the readings. I am actually on campus on Thursdays from 9:30am to 9pm, it's a good thing I have breaks inbetween classes or I don't know how i would survive.
Through PASS, Pilipino Academic Student Services, I serve as the assistant director of internal affairs, which in normal people's words would simply mean that I am in charge the behind the scenes component of the organization and also have the privilege of running the internship program and facilitating the Asian American Studies field studies course. This is a lot of fun because I get to hold my own meetings and work with Cal students towards understanding educational policies, developing leadership skills, and talking about topics that shape students today. At our last meeting this past Tuesday we went a little bit into the the Dream Act and current issues/stories in the media that point to inequality, assumptions, and racism/intolerance/discrimination that still exist in the world today. This included CNN footage about English in the United States, comments from Tom Tancredo (a presidential hopeful), and a comment on Desperate Housewives when Teri Hatcher's character had been told some news by a doctor and replied:
“Can I just check those diplomas because I just want to make sure that they are not from some med school in the Philippines?”

It was a good discussion and will continue into our next meeting. :)

I am also tutoring at the first bilingual Tagalog-English after-school program in San Francisco at the Filipino Education Center with students ranging in age from kindergarten to middle school. The students are so adorable and so intelligent, they have a lot of potential, hopefully we can help them realize it! Then there's the YMCA, where I work and coach. Right now I'm only teaching two classes. One is a Parent/Child 3/4 year old soccer class and the other is a 4/5/6 year old soccer class. I can probably tell you more about this in another entry. They're adorable too! The best part is that even though our miniature soccer goals are 5-10times the size of some of these kids they always impress you with their power kicks, dribbling, and goals.

Yes Life has been pretty busy, but so much fun! I'm definitely loving it.

Continue reading "What? We've been in school for six weeks?" »

Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 1:06 | Permalink

27 September 2007

hello hello!

hi =] right now it's 10:37 and i am taking a break from studying italian in the academic learning center in unit 3. If you're reading this and you live in unit 3, i strongly suggest you check it out! It's this really awesome study space underneath cafe 3, by the mailboxes, and it's basically study heaven (as nerdy as that may sound). I discovered this place last week when i started studying for my nutrisci midterm which was two days ago. my FIRST midterm ever. wow it feels weird to say that; I'm still getting used to the fact that i'm a college student taking college courses, living in a college dorm.
So today, I went to an informational meeting today about being a calso counselor. For those of

Continue reading "hello hello!" »

Posted by Angela Hsu at 2:37 | Permalink

24 September 2007

Giving Blood

Give Blood. Mwahahhaa.
At Berkeley, there are often blood drives going on in MLK. You should see this guy in a blood drop suit during those times.
In Japan at ICU, there was a blood mobile. It was pretty awesome. I gave 400 mL today. whee~~ Hehe. It was my first time giving blood. The people were really skillful. I remember when I needed an IVP at the Tang Center. It took them 3-4 tries (2 people) before they got a hold of my blood. And.. that was painful. But the blood drive people do this all day for a long time. They're really skilled and in one shot, the nurse got my blood. They know how to angle it so that it doesn't ache. Thus, its pretty much painless except for the pinch at the insert-tation. (Is that a word?) It was faster than I expected. yay! blood! It didn't even hurt when they removed it.

GO GIVE BLOOD! And sign up for Bone Marrow Donation at those Bone Marrow Drives.

Continue reading "Giving Blood" »

Posted by K. Lee at 1:30 | Permalink

21 September 2007

Moorea Program Details

Erin Martin asked 1) what program I'm in Moorea with, and 2) how I found out about this opportunity.

I'll answer the 2nd question first:
You find out about cool study abroad opportunities like this one while attending CNR's Welcome Week new student orientation. Someone in the CNR staff mentioned the program, and I thought, "I need to look into that."

Now for that 1st question:
I'm here in Moorea through a class offered under the course title ESPM 107 and IB 158. It's a semester of research in French Polynesia, 13 units of coursework that can typically count as the bulk of your elective units. Check out the past semester of blogs under "Tina" in the categories, to find a few more entries that give background on the program and a couple different tours of the Gump Research Station.

In the meantime, here are some more photos....

Continue reading "Moorea Program Details" »

Posted by Christina at 2:27 | Permalink

18 September 2007

First few days in Moorea

Well, we're here! Moorea is a truly beautiful island. And this program is just incredible! 22 undergrads learning how to become scientists. Goodness - the past few days have been a complete rush. No time to sit and rest- much less check e-mails and do research. Oh, but it's a good busy.
Before we left for the island, we had a few weeks of class where we learned what to expect from the island. During those few weeks, we did preliminary research on potential projects, went on a field trip to the Bodega Marine Lab, took a swimming and snorkeling examination, wrote a paper, and took our midterm. That coursework was mingled in with hunting down supplies, getting our visas, and all the other hassle that comes along with making sure we can leave the country safely.

Coming up on Moorea by boat, from Tahiti

Now that we're on the island, we've had a great time.
Monday we went on a tour of the island. Dr.Jerry Lipps and Dr. Carol Hickman gave us a geological tour of Moorea, from the estuaries, to the basalt mountains and the coral reefs. Beautiful!

Today we visited one of the Motus of Moorea. They're tiny coral islands off the coast of Moorea. Since the motu we visited was isolated from tourism, we were able to see how very close the fish would come to the shore -within feet, all happy and healthy. On the way there, we stopped to snorkel with domesticated stingrays, little sharks, and fish along the small barrier reef that surrounds the island. We also caught glimpse of a humpback wale from the boat on the way back to the station. Goodness - what a good day.

Continue reading "First few days in Moorea" »

Posted by Christina at 3:59 | Permalink

11 September 2007

Clubs and Dorm Activities

This is aka hazing week over in the Japan ICU dormitories. Each newbie in the dorms must wear a costume for the entire week. Mine is keropi. I have a kangeroo friend and a yellow power ranger friend in the other dorms. ^^ I'll try to get a picture up.

For clubs, I think that I will join the Baseball and Golf clubs. I've enjoyed Golf since my Wii days. (yes, that's the Nintendo Wii.) I've wanted to try out the real thing, but its quite expensive in the USA. At ICU, they transform the baseball diamond (not really transform) into a golf range, so it is free to practice. So I'll be around the baseball diamond a lot. I'll elaborate on this post later.

Continue reading "Clubs and Dorm Activities" »

Posted by K. Lee at 0:35 | Permalink

10 September 2007

Berkeley Campus MovieFest

Hey Everyone!

If you're looking for something fun to do on Friday at 7 then check out the Campus Movie Fest. The program works like this; when you sign up they give you a laptop and a digital camera and you have one week to complete a 5 minute movie. The work of the Berkeley film makers will be premiered at the event. $3 for students $5 for GA.

Movie Fest Details

Continue reading "Berkeley Campus MovieFest" »

Posted by Eric Thurston at 4:59 | Permalink

09 September 2007

The Gym

So tomorrow I'm thinking of heading over the 'the gym' for the first time this semester (I've been needing it, lol). I signed up last week in person with the Cal Rec Club at the Recreational Sports Facility on Bancroft between Ellsworth and Dana. It's only $10 for Cal students. You can also sign up online (here), but you have to pay with your CARS account. From what I've read it seems like they've got a lot of stuff over there, so I'm real excited! There are many facilities throughout campus but RSF is the largest one. Other facilities include things like tennis courts, pools, tracks, etc. If you want to learn more (wow this sounds like such a commercial) check out their main page: Cal Recreational Sports
I'll be at the RSF where I hope to encounter some cardio equipment and hit up the weight room. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Continue reading "The Gym" »

Posted by Juan at 2:01 | Permalink

05 September 2007


So here at Cal we have these things called DeCal classes. DeCal is short for democratic education at Cal and the classes are really a lot of fun. This semester I’m thinking of taking two DeCals: archery and swing dancing. I going to get course credit for swing dancing and practicing archery! I went to the swing class last night and more than a hundred people showed up but the class only seats 50. Wish me luck. I think I’ve got a good shot at it because I’m a lead with 9 months of Ballroom experience. Alas, there are about 5 girls to every boy, seems like I've got a moral imperative to dance with these girls. How very hard my life is... ;{p

Decal classes are nice ways to round out a schedule and take your mind off mind bending academic loads and because decals are only 1-2 units pass fail they can help you meet Cal’s semester minimum of 13 units. Three academic classes and one decal makes for a manageable and non-psycho semester. Learn more at http://www.decal.org/

Continue reading "DeCal" »

Posted by Eric Thurston at 4:16 | Permalink

04 September 2007

First week is over...15? more to go...

Wow so the first week was everything I did and didn't expect it to be. What I expected prior to starting class: lots of reading, being sooooo excited, enjoying having class at 2:00, finally getting into details of environmental issues that were broadly mentioned in lower division classes, expensive textbooks, and the joy of sitting around between classes on Cal's lawns.
Didn't expect: how nice everyone was, getting my car keyed (very crappy), how truly comfortable the CNR couches are, 25 page term paper, everyone talks in acronyms ( I even almost abbreviated many phrases in typing this), getting into a class being number 56 on the waitlist, CNR really does a "smaller" feel to it, and how much I miss my dog. Now let's recap what I've learned...

Continue reading "First week is over...15? more to go..." »

Posted by Marissa Ponder at 2:58 | Permalink

04 September 2007


What is SPUR?

It’s used by horseback riders, or those pretending to be on Halloween.
It’s a technical term in biology for an elongated sepal used to distinguish species within particular genera (ask your botany teacher, not me, I'm an economist paraphrasing wikipedia).
It’s a subsidiary summit of a parent mountain.
It’s a chain of steakhouses in South Africa (who knew?)
It’s an annual literary prize awarded by the Western Writers of America.
It’s a city in Texas.
Best of all it's a TLA (three letter acronym) for...

Continue reading "SPUR YOUR MIND" »

Posted by Tay Feder at 5:30 | Permalink

02 September 2007

Welcome Week..delayed

Sooo I'm finally getting around to talking about welcome week. As a transfer student I feel that it was worth going to some of the events but I will say it was mostly geared toward freshman. This is understandable since most new students are freshman. I think Calapoloza and Caltopia were good for everyone. There are so many student clubs which is a great way to get involved. I'm very excited for the cooking club, which is for cooks (me!) and people new to the whole not having mom around to cook. I highly recommend checking it out, their website is http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~cooking/ . There are also some clubs for cleaning up Berkeley (parks etc.) and Habitat for Humanity for volunteering on a bigger scale.

Continue reading "Welcome Week..delayed " »

Posted by Marissa Ponder at 2:46 | Permalink

23 August 2007

2 really cool events!

Tuesday, August 28; 4pm - 5pm in 2063 VLSB
Transfer Lab Research Workshop
If you're a transfer student, (or you can sneak in if you're just a regular junior or senior), here's the event for you. It's a workshop to show you how to get involved with research. The event is for all students in Biology-Related programs throughout the campus. There's SO MANY research opportunities for CNR students! Moreso than the L&S biology majors have available. Here's where you'll learn how to snatch your own coveted spot in a research lab, so you can make those MCB and IB friends drool with envy.

Tuesday, September 4; 9am - 12pm in 260 Mulford
CNR Student Resource Center Welcome Reception!
Ok, here's the perfect opportunity to explore the Student Resource Center (SRC), if you haven't already.

My favorite stuff about the SRC:

- New, soft Couches. It's a great place to take a break on those long days when you're stuck on campus.

- Computer lab. You have to sign in at the beginning of the semester so you have a login account, but after that, you're home free. There aren't too many computers, and usually they're in high demand, but dang they're handy. It's the closest computer lab to all of the CNR classes. Also, these computers have all the stuff you need, from word-processing to excel and internet. You can print stuff out there, too. Oh, and CNR students get to print 15 pages/day for free.

- Tables with a little tilt. While a odd at first, you soon realize that their tilted wooden tables are excellent for long reading assignments.

- Great place to meet people. It's a reliable, quiet place to study, where you see the same folks every day. By the end of the semester, you've made a new friend or two.

- Snacks during finals! At the end of last semester, they stocked up a little table with cookies, chips, fruit, coffee, and tea to entice us to spend hours on end studying in the resource center. It worked.

Continue reading "2 really cool events!" »

Posted by Christina at 0:44 | Permalink

23 August 2007

Find the right On-Campus job!

Check out the Work Study job listings website to find the perfect on-campus job.

Here are some jobs currently available on campus for students who love plants!

Job Title: Lab Asst III
Hourly Rate: $ 14.01
Positions: 3
Start Date: When filled
Description: Horticultural tasks general garden maintenance.
Qualifications: past experience
My comment: For this job, looks like they need someone who is comfortable pulling weeds, mowing lawn, and all sorts of other tasks. The pay is good, too! $14.01/hour for 16 hours/week.

Job Title: Clerk
Hourly Rate: $ 12.50
Positions: 1
Start Date: When filled
Description: Working in the Giannini Foundation Library of Agricultural Economics:
1. assist in card catalog revision--pulling cards
2. searching library database and routing current journals to faculty and staff
3. delivering and retrieving materials from departmental offices
4. searching Melvyl for books
5. revising reserve files--pulling printed journal files off the shelf, comparing them to a printed list
6. other library projects as needed
1. meticulous attention to detail
2. typing/basic computer skills
3. knowledge of the Melvyl database a plus
4. Library experience a plus
My comment: If you like libraries and plants, this is the place for you. The pay is pretty good for this one, too! $12.50/hour for 10-15 hours/week.

Job Title: Science, Nutrition and GardeningTeacher
Employer: Oakland Based Urban Garden (OBUGS)
Hourly Rate: $ 13.40
Positions: 2
Start Date: 9/17/2007 ending possibly before, but no later than 5/22/2008
Description: Teach Kids Gardening, Science, and Cooking! OBUGS is looking for students to teach K-5th grade garden-based classes. What is OBUGS? OBUGS, Oakland Based Urban Gardens, is a West Oakland-based nonprofit organization founded in 1998. Our mission to build healthy communities through programs offered to children, youth and families in a network of neighborhood gardens, green spaces and farmers’ markets. What We Do: OBUGS built and maintains four food-producing gardens in West Oakland. The gardens are used primarily for hands-on educational activities for children. We are looking for teacher assistants for the following programs:
1. In-School: Children in our in-school program learn about science, ecology, and nutrition. They do hands-on activities in the garden to support each day’s lesson.
2. After-School: Participants help plant, harvest, and maintain the gardens. They also practice healthy cooking, do art projects, and play aerobic games. The job: The job is 8 - 16 hrs./week. A one-semester commitment is mandatory.Students will work with a lead teacher to prepare for and teach the in-school and after-school classes. Students will have regular meetings with the supervisor to ensure they benefit from their time with OBUGS.
This job offers student employees: • $13.40/hr • Real teaching experience • Organic agriculture experience • A stand-out resume builder • Help build your community • Free organic veggies • Time spent with some very cool kids
Qualifications: • Experience leading children
• Gardening, science, and nutrition knowledge
• Enthusiastic and fun-loving
• Highly dedicated, punctual, and responsible
• Ability to stay on task, highly organized
My comment: If you like to teach kids, and you like gardening, here's a great opportunity to combine all of your passions and do something worthwhile with your spare time. $13.40/hour 5-10 hours/week.

Continue reading "Find the right On-Campus job!" »

Posted by Christina at 9:09 | Permalink

20 August 2007

Things to do during Welcome Week

AC Transit Class Pass: Go get your Class Pass, a sticker for your Cal 1 Card that gives you free, unlimited rides on AC Transit, and on BearTransit campus shuttles.

Bike License: Register your bike if you have one. It’s the law in Berkeley!

Cal 1 Card (Cal Photo ID): If you have not gotten your Cal 1 Card from CalSO, go get it from Cal 1 Card Office located in 110 Cesar Chavez Center, M-F, 9am until 5pm.

Calapalooza: This is a resource fair where you you’ll meet representatives from over 300 student organizations and campus services, as well as view performances by student groups on the Doe Library Steps. Thursday, August 23, 11am-2pm, Memorial Glade.

Caltopia 2007: This is a festival of fun, music and Cal Spirit. Friday-Saturday, August 24-25, 10am-5pm (closes at 4pm on Saturday), Recreational Sports Facility, 2301 Bancroft Way.

Chancellor's Receptions for New Undergraduates: This event is a daytime outdoor party at the home of the Chancellor.

Tuesday, August 21 – Thursday, August 23, 4pm-5:30pm, Chancellor’s Garden, University House, attire is business casual.
• Tuesday, August 21: Clark Kerr and Unit 2 residents
• Wednesday, August 22: Unit 4 (Bowles, Foothill, Stern), Channing/Bowdich apartments, International House, and off-campus residents
• Thursday, August 23: Unit 1 and Unit 3 residents

College and Major Orientations: Wednesday, August 22, Various Times. For more info, please visit http://welcomeweek.berkeley.edu/orient.html

Confirmed Class Schedule: If you need a copy of your class schedule, you can view and print a copy via Bear Facts at http://bearfacts.berkeley.edu.

Financial Aid Checks/CARS Refunds: Refunds are issued via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). With EFT, funds are deposited directly into your checking or savings account. Otherwise, a check will be printed and held for you to pick up at the Billing and Payment Services Office, 140 University Hall. To activate or update your EFT authorization, go to http://eftstudent.berkeley.edu.

Continue reading "Things to do during Welcome Week" »

Posted by Yang Cao at 0:08 | Permalink

01 August 2007

Yeah..I am already taking out my first aid kit!

I am really excited for fall 2007 because that will be the start of my official term as Healthworker for my sorority. If you haven't already lived in the dorms and met with many healthworkers or at leats heard about the healthworker program during CalSo then I'll fill you in quickly. Basically the Healthworker program is a division of the Tang center and is an efficient and student-run way to ensure safety and health awarness among the Berkeley students. There is a healthworker assigned to every sorority and fraternity house, every other floor in dorms, every co-op and in the Berkeley community. Healthworkers are chosen through an extensive application and interview process and then undergo a week training in the fall and spring semester plus they enroll in a Berkeley weekly class. Healthworkers are CPR and first aid certified and continuously learn about health related issues, health solutions, and the safety of college students. In additon to assisting anyone with basic medical needs, the healthworker is responcible for spreading awarness about health. As a sorority healthworker I have to always be on the look out for new health issues among my sisters including issues like stress, drinking, drugs, and safe sex. If a new problem arises or increases I am responcible for making presentations about prevention methods to my house. The healthworker job is full time 24/7 and is non-paid for a full year. A healthworker carries a lot of responcibilities but comes out in the end with a lot of knowledge and experience. You don't necessarly have to be a science major or pre-med to be a healthworker you just have to be dedicated, deciplined, committed, hardworking, responcible, approchable, and professional.

The healthworker program has been extremely successful and popular in Berkeley since its establishment in 1971. Only a handfull of schools have a program similar to the Healthworker program and Berkeley's program is often praised by other schools for its great impact and sucess!

I am really excited to start my fall training August 11th-16th before welcome week. If you are interested in the healthworker program for next year visit the UHS website or shoot me any questions and I'll be happy to answer them or direct you as best as I could.

Continue reading "Yeah..I am already taking out my first aid kit!" »

Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 1:36 | Permalink

02 August 2007

Relay For Life

Hey again. Relay for Life was on July 27-28 this year in my hometown. I've participated in Relay for Life for two years now and have joined American Cancer Society for three years now. Every year it's exciting. Every year brings wonderful feelings. Especially the luminaria ceremony. When all the participants gathered on the track for the luminaria ceremony, the glow sticks shone brightly and everyone walked the track while music played in the background. Then, we all discurssed how we, the participants are the "HOPE".Hope for cancer patients and cancer prevention. For now, I just want to share more info about recent cancer news. This was taken from http://www.cancer.org/docroot/NWS/content/NWS_1_1x_How_Much_Do_You_Know_About_What_Causes_Cancer.asp

Continue reading "Relay For Life" »

Posted by Casey Wang at 6:24 | Permalink

27 June 2007

Animals & Climate Change

Another great article - this one's about animal habitat-change research going on at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Link: http://sciencematters.berkeley.edu/archives/volume4/issue28/story1.php

As Director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, Craig Moritz is in charge of more than 710,000 animal specimens such as this albatross. Photo courtesy of Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.

We've all heard the news—climate change is altering the world as we know it. Seas are set to rise and glaciers to melt, drought to parch some lands and scorching temperatures to desiccate others. The effects on us humans are grimly predictable. We'll have to scramble to develop new cars to drive, lands to farm, and sources of water to drink.

But the fate of the birds and beasts who share our planet remains an open question. Will chipmunks and salamanders weather this latest shift in habitat and climate conditions by adapting, or might they fade into extinction? How did they respond to climate change over past millennia, and what can we learn from this?

Continue reading "Animals & Climate Change" »

Posted by Christina at 2:52 | Permalink

27 June 2007

Berkeley's at it again -Renewable Energy!

From the UC Berkeley press release:


DOE awards LBNL, UC Berkeley and partners $125 million for biofuels research

Robert Sanders, Media Relations | 26 June 2007

BERKELEY – Berkeley and the Bay Area cemented their position as the nation's center of alternative energy research with the announcement today (Tuesday, June 26) by the Department of Energy of a $125 million, five-year grant to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), the University of California, Berkeley, and four other partners to develop better biofuels.

Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman announced in Washington, D.C., research grants totaling $375 million to establish three Bioenergy Research Centers in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Madison, Wisconsin; and near Berkeley, California.

The California center, to be known as the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), involves six partners: LBNL, Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia), the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the UC campuses of Berkeley and Davis, and Stanford University.

"The selection of JBEI is a major vote of confidence in the Bay Area's growing leadership in the national effort to develop new and cleaner sources of renewable energy," said Jay Keasling, UC Berkeley professor of chemical engineering and JBEI's chief executive officer. Keasling also is director of LBNL's Physical Biosciences Division.

UC Berkeley, LBNL and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were selected earlier this year by oil company BP to receive $500 million over 10 years for an Energy Biosciences Institute to investigate future technologies for biofuels and ways of using the new tools of biology to enhance oil recovery and to sequester carbon. That research contract is due to be signed in July.

Continue reading "Berkeley's at it again -Renewable Energy!" »

Posted by Christina at 2:49 | Permalink

23 June 2007

A friend asked...

A friend who studies graphic design asked:
Speaking of,[plants] wikipedia tells me that "The classification of all flowering plants is currently in a state of flux." (as found in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnivorous_plants). Is that true? Why's it the case? I haven't read the full wiki article so I apologize if it's answered like two sentences down.

My response:
Yes, it's in a major state of flux! As more is understood about plant genetics, we're understanding plants much better.

Now that we're looking at the genetic data, we can look at the plants in a new context, and find new similarities. Now we're making the family trees from genetic base pair similarities, then adding the physical traits to that genetic tree. We're even trying to figure out what genes give rise to what traits, but we have only started mapping this out for a few test plants (arabadopsis, corn, and rice).

You see, botanists have always based their classifications on traits. Now, with genetics, we have more distinct traits on which we base the relationships (our traits are super basic - A,T,G...). The guys in the 16th century would say, "These plants have similar leaves (bark, flowers, number of flower parts, etc)." Those were their traits. Then they would make a family tree.

Older trees, for the most part, are matching up with current genetic findings - but not always! We're learning that many plants are not as closely related as we thought - and many plants are closely related that we never thought to put together. For instance, look at Dr. Charles Davis' work at Harvard: they used genetic data to determine that a family of leafless saprophytic flowers (otherwise impossible to place) is nested within the Euphorbiaceae - a very diverse group of flowering plants that includes old-world cactus-looking succulents, the rubber tree, and poinsettia.
Link from Science Magazine: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/315/5820/1812?maxtoshow=&HITS=20&hits=20&RESULTFORMAT=&author1=Davis%2C+C&andorexacttitle=or&andorexacttitleabs=or&andorexactfulltext=or&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&fdate=7/1/1880&tdate=6/30/2007&resourcetype=HWCIT
Link from Smithsonian Magazine: http://www.smithsonianmagazine.com/issues/2007/march/wildthings.php

My primary interest in plants is making genetic trees, then finding developmental similarities and differences, which will basically stand as tic marks on a tree. People can later compile these physical traits into a key, then use the key in the field to identify plants.

In the Specht lab, I'm working with ginger relatives (Zingeberales), and dessicant-tolerant (Cheilanthoid) ferns. This Fall, I'm hoping to work with woody tropical vines (Freycinetia and Pandanus).

Continue reading "A friend asked..." »

Posted by Christina at 1:01 | Permalink

23 June 2007

Work Party

At noon today, the Ridge House Cooperative is going to band together and do some major fix-it and gardening work. It's called a Work Party, and I'm looking forward to it. Last semester we had several garden work parties. After one of these parties, our garden looks awesome, our house is clean and tidy, and we're a closer, happier community. It's a great time to get to know folks. Here is a photo from a work party last semester.

Continue reading "Work Party" »

Posted by Christina at 0:49 | Permalink

17 June 2007

Off for summer!

So my summer vacation has effectively come to a close. No, I'm not going back to Berkeley for summer school. I'm actually heading to Asia for the next two months. I will be going with my Christian fellowship, ICA. There will be students going to different countries to teach English to high school students. People I've talked to have said that this program is very difficult and challenging, but also provides an avenue for a great deal of growth.

Alright, well, I best be getting ready to go. Have a good summer, everyone!

Continue reading "Off for summer!" »

Posted by Joel Kim at 3:35 | Permalink

29 May 2007

(re)discovering my culture

many people say that college is the place where you "find yourself." There is some truth to this but I mean it is all just a learning experience. Cal is different from where I grew up because of the diversity (though many *including me* would say that this is not enough) that Cal has to offer. Actually, I never grew up around too many Filipinos. At my high school I was always considered one of the token "brown students." My college counselor even called me in to her office to tell me "You are one of my top Mexican students, have you thought about applying to the Claremont Colleges?" When I explained to her that I was Filipino, she kept insisting that I was Mexican and said "I think I would know if you were Mexican or not, it also says so in my computer!" Actually, one of my classmates even asked me where in Mexico the Philippines was (maybe that little faux pas could be contributed to a geography/history teacher or the lack thereof). I never really thought about how big the cultural differences were until college, when I discovered so many other Pilipino students. I learned a lot about my cultural identity and history. I even joined one of the Pilipino organizations on campus. I watched a culture show a few weeks ago and was delighted to see so many dances, costumes, and languages many would just consider to be "ethnic," and am proud to be able to call them my own. http://pass.berkeley.edu

Continue reading "(re)discovering my culture " »

Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 0:15 | Permalink

19 May 2007

Whirlwind over, new storm on its way

Finals are done! Whew! To celebrate the end of the semester, I went with the Specht lab to the UC Botanical Garden, where we took a new lab photo and individual photos of each lab member with their plant of interest. It was very fun!

Click on this link to see more of the new photos! http://pmb.berkeley.edu/~specht/labmembers.html

With each semester that I pass all of my courses, I feel a little more worthy of a Berkeley education. The tradition of excellence here at UC Berkeley has messed with my mind since I've arrived on campus, and has made me feel like I'm not intelligent enough to be here. With each passing grade I say, "See, you can do this." With each A grade: "Ha! You can cut it in the scientific world!" My friend Benta and I speak often on our feelings of insignificance in the face of such greatness. One difference, though, she belongs here, and I don't! Just kidding. Well, not really...

Tomorrow I leave for Paris, France. I'll be in the Paris Herbarium for a week with Dr. Specht.

(image from www.myparisnet.com/wp-content/images/JardinDesPlantes000.jpg)

Continue reading "Whirlwind over, new storm on its way" »

Posted by Christina at 9:16 | Permalink

07 May 2007

Tour of Gump Station, Moorea

Here's a link to a virtual tour of the research center:

Wondering what to do while you're in Moorea? Here's a guide to hiking, and other great things to do while on the island.

Continue reading "Tour of Gump Station, Moorea" »

Posted by Christina at 0:54 | Permalink

04 May 2007

Researchers in Paradise

Here's an article that peaked my interest from Berkeley's Spring 2007 edition of the Berkeley Science Review:
It's about the Gump Research Station on Moorea Island, French Polynesia. Since I'm going there this Fall, I figure it's a great time to learn about it!

Link to the article, which includes all posted images:

Researchers in Paradise
A tour of UC Polynesia
by Erica Spotswood

On the island of Moorea, a mere ten miles from Tahiti in the South Pacific, lies the Gump Research Station, UC Berkeley’s best kept secret. Known more for its attractiveness as a honeymoon destination than for its value to science, Moorea has nevertheless proved itself over the last twenty years to be a place where certain kinds of biological and anthropological research questions can be particularly well addressed.

Continue reading "Researchers in Paradise" »

Posted by Christina at 5:09 | Permalink

25 April 2007

Good News! Research Abroad!

Today I got this e-mail:

Dear Moorea Applicant:
If you received this message, you are one of the 22 students selected
for the Fall 2007 course. Congratulations, this was a very
competitive process. We will hold an organizational meeting within
the next two weeks and I will let you know the day and time.

So... I applied to this program. We go here for a semester.

It's study abroad on steroids. More pretty photos:

You go to an island in French Polynesia. You learn stuff. You plan a research project. You carry it out. You have a full labs to your disposal. You get to know the 21 other students that are there with you. You practice French. You make a poster and present a paper back at Berkeley campus when you return. It's awesome. And somehow they decided to let me go!

Photos are taken from these websites:

Continue reading "Good News! Research Abroad!" »

Posted by Christina at 2:40 | Permalink

03 April 2007



Hmm? It's Spring already...? We...had a Spring Break? Whoa, looks like my seasonal quiescence got the best of me. Funny how time off flies by, and the next thing ya' know there's only a little over a month of classes left. I find it disturbing realizing that it's already time to rifle through the list of class offerings and try to find something that works for the Fall.

This semester I've offered my note-taking services through Cal's DSP - I'd recommend that if you take notes (I've yet to come across someone at Cal who doesn't...) you throw your name in the hat for semesters to come, as it certainly doesn't hurt to offer the help, and if chosen you do get paid for doing so. I like to think that it also helps with your own note taking, as you become aware that someone else will actually have to understand them!

Continue reading "Zzz..." »

Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 9:43 | Permalink

09 March 2007

The multinational energy company is coming, the multinational energy company is coming!

So maybe you’ve heard that our school is getting 500 million dollars from the multinational energy company formally known as "British Petrol" for the development for alternative fuels? "BP" seems to be as nice as you could hope a faceless multinational company would be - on the one hand they are the worlds leading producer of solar cells in the world, and on the other hand they've just extricated themselves from a very dodgy situation in Columbia involving paramilitary forces and local farmers.

I got a chance to attend a student round table discussion with Dean Ludden of the College of Natural Resources. A lot of the CNR students are really upset about this deal. From what I heard at the meeting some of the money is earmarked for the bioengineering of new enzymes to pull more fossil fuels out of our drying wells and 10 BP employees will become faculty here at Berkeley. Tenure track, student instructing, public statement issuing faculty. O_O Boy, this certainly doesn’t seem like a morally ambiguous situation!

The discussion was moderated by Professor of Bioethics, David Winickoff. He recommended the formation of a student ethics group to watch over the program. I’ve got a meeting on Monday with him to talk about what can and ought to be done. It's hard to keep up, this past week has been somewhat psychotic, midterms and papers and exploding roommates for days.

"One if by land, two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm."

Continue reading "The multinational energy company is coming, the multinational energy company is coming!" »

Posted by Eric Thurston at 2:41 | Permalink

07 March 2007

Ultimate Plant Search

Looking for photos of plants in a certain county of California? How about every plant legitimately recorded in California, searchable by family, genus, species, county, resource... etc?

Here's the ultimate search page. http://www.calflora.org/occ/ CalFlora searches an incredible array of herbaria, land surveys, Forest Service records, and other literature. Here's another search that they have with photos and distribution maps for each plant name you type in. http://www.calflora.org/

Continue reading "Ultimate Plant Search" »

Posted by Christina at 2:45 | Permalink

07 March 2007

Tilden BG!

Yesterday my California Plant Life visited the Tilden Park Botanical Garden. While we waited for our group, a couple of my classmates decided to climb an Oak. I started climbing with them for little while, but then they started climbing higher and higher... and I chickened out. They're crazy!

Christopher Hobbs
took us on a tour of the garden, pointing out plants that we have covered so far in class, and pertinent uses of many natives.

Here's a great little article that talks about the magic of the garden, from Bay Nature: http://www.baynature.com/v07n01/v07n01_botanic.html

Continue reading "Tilden BG!" »

Posted by Christina at 7:45 | Permalink

05 March 2007

What's related?

Oftentimes as I'm studying plant families, I wonder what their evolutionary relationship is. The Tree of Life web project compiles the phylogenetic work from biologists around the world. Its user-friendly format makes it easy to see genetic relationships.

The Tree of Life includes phylogenies of:
Land Plants
Terrestrial vertebrates

It also is an incredible resource for kids! Plenty of biology-related activities to keep your child's mind active with scientific goodness:
The Treehouse for Kids

Continue reading "What's related?" »

Posted by Christina at 0:56 | Permalink

04 March 2007

So Many People...

I was just ruminating today on the different people I run into around campus. I constantly see people that I know walking on the way to class. Even outside of class, I see people I recognize in the library, at stores, or in restaurants. I suppose this is all the result of my willingness to go out and talk to people and be actively involved. The huge campus of Berkeley seems less daunting when you know other people in it. So for those of you reading this in lecture (and shame on you for paying more attention to the internet than to the professor!), take the effort to get to know the person next to you. Who knows, you might just make a new friend.

Addendum (to tie this into CNR): I find that this is especially true in CNR. I walk into Mulford Hall (which is one of the halls for the college), and I run into people randomly. They may be people in my (soon-to-be) major, people in my classes, or people I just meet randomly in the area. I'm starting to feel more at home in CNR, just as I'm meeting new people and finding my place in our little college.

Continue reading "So Many People..." »

Posted by Joel Kim at 1:54 | Permalink

01 March 2007

Alpha Phi Omega

One activity I've pledged my life to is Alpha Phi Omega. It's a community service fraternity. (Yes, I'm a girl, and I'm in a frat.) It's co-ed.
Q: Why didn't they just make it a community service club? Why a frat?
A: Because if we're a frat, we get to have a secret handshake. ^^ Well that part is true, but originally, APhiO (as we like to call Alpha Phi Omega) was begun sort of as an extension of the Eagle Scouts (as in boy scouts). Later, we became unassociated, and now assist the Boy Scouts once in a while.
Q: What makes APhiO different from the other community service clubs?
A: AphiO is a community. You get to know the people that you serve with. You don't just serve with them, you also hang out together, eat together, and have fun together. It's a lifestyle. Mandatory fun is fun.
Q: So what do I do if I want to join?
A: Pledge next semester. It's too late now. mwahahhaahah

Continue reading "Alpha Phi Omega" »

Posted by K. Lee at 2:14 | Permalink

27 February 2007

Getting involved in campus

A wise EECS major once told me, "You're the one that chooses how great your Berkeley years will be be. You'll get out only as much as you put in."
When you come to Berkeley, it's quite easy to stay uninvolved. No one forces you to talk to your neighbors. You don't have to leave your room. You can stay isolated (perhaps miserable) if you so desire. People who say Berkeley sucks tend to be those that have no passion. On the other hand, you can be a person who has drive, ambition, and passion. You can jump into things at Berkeley. Join a club. Talk to the people older than you. Learn, live--really live. You might not have drive, ambition, or passion. That's fine too. Many of those people are actually a bit scary. ^^ j/p.... However, explore and find something that you like. Volunteer. Sing. Dance. Act. There's so many opportunities here. It's up to you to get started yourself. You're here, independent, and you get to mold yourself.

Continue reading "Getting involved in campus" »

Posted by K. Lee at 9:25 | Permalink

14 February 2007

learning at CNR....way more than a classroom education

As a new member of fresh faces, I will start with a little introduction. My name is Nicole (nikki) Fernandez and I am currently a third year undergraduate who recently switched from Molecular Environmental Biology to the Conservation and Resource Studies Major. So why do I love CNR? As one of the smaller colleges on campus CNR offers a nurturing, intimate environment where class sizes are smaller and more attention is paid to the individuals. I have loved my professors and have gotten to know many of them on a first name basis. One of the things that CNR offers that not many other offer are chances for field work or field trips. Yesterday, I took a little trip to Ano Nuevo State Reserve with my Wildlife Ecology class with Justin Brashares. So what exactly attracts people to the reserve and keeps people piling in from year to year?
That's right, it is the elephant seals. Mating season begins around December and lasts until about March. We saw a few pups that did not look too good. Our guide told us that about 60% of yearlings die, which according to my amazing wildlife ecology skills tells me that they probably have a type 3 survivorship curve. We also learned a few things about their feeding patterns, molting, behavioral patterns, mating and gestation, weaners, birth, and development. It was a lovely and welcome escape from the sometimes dreary classrooms of Berkeley.






Continue reading "learning at CNR....way more than a classroom education" »

Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 2:24 | Permalink

09 February 2007

Trash Your Trashcan

Great article in January 2007's edition of "Common Ground" - a holistic living magazine for the Bay Area. Check it out at http://commongroundmag.com/

7 Simple Steps to Trashing your Trashcan

Let's face it - we know better than to dispose when we should be Reusing, Reducing and Recycling. But we're busy, forgetful and, well, does it really make that big of a difference? You know the answer. So clip out these friendly reminders on how to bring your personal waste closer to zero. Just think: you'll never have to take out the trash again!

Continue reading "Trash Your Trashcan" »

Posted by Christina at 0:23 | Permalink

26 January 2007

What is SPUR?

Sponsored Programs for Undergraduate Research.
It's a program that allows you to come up with your own resarch project, with the help of a faculty mentor - and it gives your lab money to work on your research. Where does the money come from? Donations from Alumni in the College of Natural Resources!

What a great use of resources!

When you're studying the sciences at a credible institution you're expected to have a bit of research experience under your belt before entering the working world....

Continue reading "What is SPUR?" »

Posted by Christina at 3:31 | Permalink

15 November 2006

People's Park

I participated in Berkeley Project Day this past weekend. It was a lot of fun! Our project was to re-establish the Peace Garden at People's Park by turning the weedy soil and planting some hearty flowers. We also did a considerable amount of weeding, raking, and general cleanup around the park. I had a lot of fun meeting service-minded people and watching the progress of our projects. We stopped when we ran out of dumpster space.

Continue reading "People's Park" »

Posted by Christina at 2:31 | Permalink

12 October 2006

What is a "jerk"?

What is a "jerk"?

Definition 1:
The third derivative of position, the second derivative of velocity, or the first derivative of acceleration.

Definition 2:
Imagine that your friend was driving and you were in his car. Your friend saw the traffic light turned yellow and believed that he could make it. So he stepped on the gas pedal and you experienced a pull forward. Suddenly, the traffic light turned red and your friend had to stepped on the brake. You felt being pushed back and were like "Shoot, what a jerk..."

This is from my math professor when he was trying to explain higher derivatives and how useful they are in kinematics. So I guess the moral of the story is do not be intimidated by the huge lectures and do approach your professor during their office hours. They are very friendly and willing to help.

Continue reading "What is a "jerk"?" »

Posted by Yang Cao at 1:48 | Permalink

17 September 2006

Berkeley After a Football Game

Apparently, Cal students like to go to football games. And they are very supportive of their football team. Who knew? Yesterday was a game day but I didn't go. There are many reasons for this. I can make up a few right now. Hold on. Umm, well I had to return a blanket yesterday in San Francisco. I also don't want to stand up for so long. Yeah those are good reasons. I think I'll eventually go to a game ... the Stanford game.

Continue reading "Berkeley After a Football Game" »

Posted by Jonathan Yu at 0:09 | Permalink

17 September 2006

I am a URSEC now!

I have decided to be a Unit Residential Sustainability Education Coordinator for Unit 3! Whew, it's a long name for a job, but it's much more fun than the name. If you have time, check out: http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~recycle/ssec/aboutus/index.html Today I went to a day-long training retreat for being part of the RSEC program at Cal. There were about 15 people and we played name games, ate great homemade food, and learned sooo much about sustainability.

Sustainability? What is it, you wonder? Well, you probably know, but many people in my hall don't. I explain it as a goal in life (in universities, houses, businesses, and everywhere) of not harming the earth and its atmosphere. It is lessening energy and water use, reusing as much as possible, and always recycling as much as you can. I wish I could live a life of no impact on earth- haha, no I don't mean I want to be ignored- but I do mean that my waste and consumption of resources doesn't destroy more beautiful nature and harm the health and resource wealth of future earthlings. My new role in my unit will be to update the sustainability boards, keep in touch with the facilities manager and RSECs, publicize sustainability extensively, and personally talk to people one-on-one and encourage them to have a earth-friendly lifestyle.

Continue reading "I am a URSEC now!" »

Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 1:01 | Permalink

05 September 2006

Meetings, Socials, Dinners... and sometimes Classes

So far it's been two weeks at Cal and I'm surprised by how much time I spend talking to floormates, going to club meetings, and eating out at Crossroads or at an amazing reknown Berkeley restaurant. I keep thinking to myself that classes will always be going on, but now is the time to make friends and join organizations that will connect me with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. This may or not be true, but it's my philosophy for now.

Tonight I went to a Circle K meeting in VLSB and was reminded of the extreme enthusiasm of all KIWANIS-related activities. In high school I was VP for my school's Key Club, and I searched out over a dozen service projects and recruited students to join in. I loved being in the excited frame of mind, shouting, cheering, and being dedicated to community service. Now, in college, I'm glad I can return to that through this club. Meetings are going to take an hour out of my homework time each week, but I have to admit I love Key Club (therefore, Circle K as well).

Classes are starting to smooth out... I attended Math 53's late afternoon lecture today and LOVED Professor Rezakhanlou's vector lesson! He's 10x better than my original Math 1B professor, and almost as good as my high school teacher :) I'm switching to that class, and solving my horrible "Friday morning chem lab" issue- which, by the way, totally destroys all opportunities to take MWF classes in the morning. Advice to incoming frosh: SIGN UP FOR CHEM 1A early in the summer and for the CORRECT lab that you want in your schedule. But life goes on with a Friday lab... I now have 4 days a week with my first class at noon.

Continue reading "Meetings, Socials, Dinners... and sometimes Classes" »

Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 2:18 | Permalink

30 August 2006

post one: in which we get some background, and start some classes

Alright! Post numero uno for me. I suppose we should start off with some background info, right? Well, I'm a junior transfer student, very excited to be in the Conservation and Resource Studies major. The major itself is awesome - from the ability to take classes that run the gamut of offerings (due to the fact that you write in your own area of interest into the major) to the superb advisors and support staff, my interactions with all aspects of Cal have left me in a state of quasi-euphoria.

Living off campus some might argue that I'll miss some of the "college experience," but I'm extremely satisfied with my situation. In a quaint little apartment in north Berkeley, not only am I a six minute bike ride away from Cal, but much of what Berkeley has to offer is right outside my door. One thing that I'd recommend to any new Cal student -- explore Berkeley! Yes, the school has more than enough to offer, but there's much more outside its doors as well. From the three farmers markets per week that bring in mostly organic farms, to the fabulous restaurants, and a myriad of earth-friendly events that can be found through the ecology center, there is a true wealth of activities to explore.

Continue reading "post one: in which we get some background, and start some classes" »

Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 1:17 | Permalink