College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

News & Events

May 30, 2004

Wildland Fire Program Addresses Western Fire Threats

by Fire Program

Fire season is underway in Southern California, coming soon in Northern California. Visit our Fire Program page to see how College scientists develop new ways to understand and manage wildland fire.

For More Info

May 25, 2004

Recent ESPM Grad Receives Food and Society Policy Fellowship

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by Rob Myers

COLUMBIA, MO--Joshua Miner, a Food Systems Analyst with University of California Cooperative Extension, Alameda County, was recently selected as a recipient of the Food and Society Policy fellowship.

With primary support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, this national program of professional fellowships allows food and agriculture experts to improve communications about food, diet, and health issues pertaining to youth.

Miner, a member of the Berkeley Food Policy Council and other local groups, is a previous co-director of the Berkeley-based Farm Fresh Choice project, which provides access to affordable, high-quality produce from a local farmers' market to families who otherwise lack consistent access to fresh fruits and vegetables. He recently completed graduate work at UC Berkeley, where his research focused on the relationship between U.S. food policy and consumer health at the community level. With UCCE, he will continue working to find ways of increasing both access to, and desirability of, fresh produce among limited-income populations in Alameda County.

Fellowship recipients were selected from all across the country. Eight fellows were chosen from 150 applicants in this highly competitive program. Each will serve for one year. During this time, the fellows will work on issues such as youth obesity and diet, school nutrition, and the overall connection between the way food is produced and the health and
diet of Americaís youth.

The fellowship program is being administered by the Thomas
Jefferson Institute of Columbia, MO, in partnership with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy of Minneapolis, MN.

May 24, 2004

Dick Malkin Receives Berkeley Citation

by Kathryn Stelljes

Berkeley--Richard Malkin, a professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, received one of Berkeley’s highest honors, the Berkeley Citation, at the College of Natural Resources’ commencement on May23. The Citation, established in 1968, celebrates extraordinary achievement in the recipient’s field coupled with outstanding service to the Berkeley campus.

“Dick is a spectacular scientist and has been recognized as one of Berkeley’s great teachers,” said CNR Dean Paul Ludden, who presented the award.

Malkin received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Antioch College in 1962 and his doctorate in biochemistry from Berkeley in 1967. He returned to Berkeley in 1969 after conducting postdoctoral research in Sweden and became a faculty member in the College of Natural Resources in 1979.

He is an authority on the biophysical and biochemical aspects of photosynthesis. His research has been highly influential in advancing scientific understanding of how light energy is converted into a biologically useful form.

Malkin received the College's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1999. For more than 14 years, he has been an instructor in Biology 1A, a large introductory biology course for Berkeley students majoring in one of the many biological science programs. He also has taught upper-level and graduate courses in plant biochemistry.

Malkin molded and served as the first chairman of the Department of Plant Biology and Genetics from 1988 to 1992 and has twice served as interim dean of the College.

“He took faculty from four departments spanning two colleges and formed a cohesive unit that is now recognized as one of the best in the world,” said Ludden. “Dick exceeds the criteria for this award in every way.”

May 6, 2004

College Recognizes Outstanding Faculty and Staff

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by Steve Birndorf

Berkeley—Gordon Rausser, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE) and Former Dean of CNR received The CNR Citation, at the inaugural CNR Awards ceremony on the east lawn of Giannini Hall on May 6th. The Citation, now in its third year, honors an individual, couple, or group that has made important contributions to the College and its programs, and is the highest honor bestowed by the College.

“Gordon’s service to the College has been demonstrated in all areas: teaching, research, outreach, administration, and fundraising. For his vision and dedication to the College, he clearly deserves our highest recognition,” said Dean Ludden, who presented the award. “Professor Rausser has had a profound impact on the College and helped to chart the course we are on today.” ARE chair, Tony Fisher, who led the nomination effort, noted the praise from colleagues at Berkeley and around the world.

Dr. Rausser served as Dean of the College from 1994-2000 and chair of his department, Agricultural and Resource Economics, on two separate occasions. He has served as senior economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisors and subsequently as chief economist of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Previous recipients of the CNR Citation are alumnus Dick Beahrs and the late Don Dahlsten.

At the awards ceremony, other faculty and staff were honored as well. Assistant Professor Steven Brenner received the Young Faculty and Cooperative Extension Award. Dr. Brenner is internationally recognized for co-founding the rapidly growing field of structural genomics and function of proteins. In his comments, Dr. Brenner thanked his colleagues, collaborators and students.

Staff members Mary Graham and Donna Symon were recipients of the CNR Staff Awards. Mary has served the College in many different roles. She is currently the acting MSO for Insect Biology and is assisting with the reorganization of the Department of Environmental Science Policy and Management. Donna serves as a student affairs officer for the College and has maintained a high degree of professionalism and service during her tenure at CNR. Both are graduates of Cal.

Dean Ludden created the Young Faculty and Staff Awards this year to recognize the tremendous dedication and hard work that the College employees put forth on a daily basis. Said Dean Ludden of the ceremony and reception, “It is heartening to see such support and admiration within the CNR community.” Many friends and family members of the honorees attended the ceremony with CNR faculty, staff and students.

May 5, 2004

The New Consumers: Future Challenges to Sustainability

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by Kelly Hill

The new consumers are coming, and they have a dramatic environmental impact.

Norman Myers, who has been called the Paul Revere of the environmental movement, brought that message to a crowd at the Alumni House as the guest lecturer at Tuesday afternoon’s William Main Distinguished Visitor lecture by the College of Natural Resources’ Center for Forestry. Due to the rapid development of countries such as China, Mexico, South Africa, India and Brazil, the wall-to-wall poverty of decades past is giving rise to a new global middle class.

Myers, who grew up in northern England and earned his undergraduate and masters degrees at Oxford, received his Ph.D. from Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources in 1973. He has worked in countries around the world and received many awards for his work in the environmental arena. He is at Berkeley to receive the Haas International Award, to be presented at the campus Commencement Convocation ceremony on May 13.

While Myers noted that the swift rise from poverty has vastly improved the lives of millions, he also sounded cautionary notes on what could happen if all global consumers follow the same path as wealthy nations such as the U.S.. And, he said, wealthy countries themselves need to take a hard look at their resource consumption.

“We in the rich world can’t start being critical of folks on the horizon unless we are setting a massive, undeniable example ourselves,” Myers said.

Myers said that the long-standing ultra-rich number about 850 million in a world of 6.1 billion. The new consumers could reach 1.1 billion people in 17 developing countries, with 300 million in China alone.

But the environmental impact of providing houses, food and electricity-powered appliances, televisions and computers to those new consumers could, as Myers put it, have the world bumping against the ceiling of its natural resources

Air pollution is already a serious problem in many developing countries, Myers noted. Automobiles are also the fastest growing source of carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to greenhouse gasses.

The impacts are economic, as well. When countries divert a large portion of their grain to livestock feed, which provides beef for middle-class diets, they become dependent on imports – and food which could go to poor people goes to feed cattle that feed their rich countrymen.

If China were to divert one fifth of the grain it is feeding to cattle, Myers said, to the country could provide food for the 125 million malnourished Chinese citizens.

So, Myers asked – how do we get from a consumption-crazy outlook to a more sustainable world? He had these suggestions:

* Use an alternative economic indicator other than gross national product or GNP, which counts activities such as the Exxon Valdez oil clean-up as positive economic activity rather than a negative cost to society.
* Take into account the environmental harm that gasoline creates, and charge for it accordingly. Myers said this would result in gas prices of about $6 to $7 a gallon.
* Phase out what Myers called “perverse subsidies” for fossil fuels, agriculture and road transportation that allow unsustainable practices to continue.
* Perform simple, individual acts such as eating less meat, installing fluorescent light bulbs and using public transportation –these save people money and save resources and energy.

Myers pointed to the fall of Communism and apartheid and the vast numbers of people who have given up smoking as evidence that people, and governments, can successfully take on the challenge of change. But, he said, a major shift in attitude needs to be part of the economic shift to more efficient, sustainable economics.

“In some sense, it’ll cost us more in our heads than in our pocketbooks,” Myers said.

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Wildland Fire Program Addresses Western Fire Threats
Recent ESPM Grad Receives Food and Society Policy Fellowship
Dick Malkin Receives Berkeley Citation
College Recognizes Outstanding Faculty and Staff
The New Consumers: Future Challenges to Sustainability

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