College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

News & Events

September 14, 2006

Researchers launch online wildfire risk assessment tool

Fire researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are launching a new set of interactive online tools to help homeowners, community leaders and researchers assess the risk of wildfire damage to their homes and communities.

The interactive site, officially called the Fire Information Engine Toolkit, debuted Wednesday, Sept. 13 and can be found at http://firecenter.berkeley.edu/toolkit. It was developed by researchers at the Center for Fire Research and Outreach, based at UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources. Users can type in a specific address to see if they live in a region at risk for wildfires, as well as obtain information about historic fires that have occurred in the area since 1950.

Homeowners can also use the site to get a science-based assessment of their vulnerability to wildfire based upon the answers they provide on an online form.

Continue reading " Researchers launch online wildfire risk assessment tool" »

September 10, 2006

The Whale and the Wind Turbine: Biomimicry in Design

October 25, 2006
4:00-5:30pm
Andersen Auditorium at Haas Business School

Biomimicry is a design discipline that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature's time-tested patterns and strategies, e.g., a solar cell inspired by a leaf. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies---new ways of living---that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul.

Janine Benyus, the author of Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, will describe what's new in the field, describe deep patterns of biological design, and engage us in a discussion of what's possible when we invite nature to the design table.

Continue reading "The Whale and the Wind Turbine: Biomimicry in Design" »

September 6, 2006

Homecoming is Oct. 6-8 ...check out these CNR events

This year's Homecoming Celebration, October 6-8, will feature faculty and alumni lectures on "new dimensions in human health," "the foodie landscape in the Bay Area," "40 years of change in forest ownership," and "California's water future."

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September 1, 2006

The Efficiency of Bees

From the New York Times:

One of the practices that many modern cultivation mutualists (that is, farmers) do to help their crops grow is provide domesticated honeybees to pollinate them. The bees flit from male to female flowers, carrying pollen between them. Without such pollination, crops like hybrid sunflowers, grown for their seed, would fail.

bee.jpgFarmers often rent honeybee colonies from apiculturists. But honeybees aren’t particularly efficient pollinators. For one thing, they don’t always flit enough between male and female. And the number of managed honeybee colonies is in decline in the United States and elsewhere because of overuse of pesticides and other problems. So one goal for researchers is to see if honeybee pollination can be enhanced.

A study [found here] by Sarah S. Greenleaf of Princeton and Claire Kremen of the University of California, Berkeley, demonstrates one factor that can improve the efficiency of honeybee pollinators: the presence of wild bees.

Continue reading "The Efficiency of Bees" »

Daily Cal profiles CNR's new major

The Daily Cal has a nice article on CNR's newest major, Society and Environment.

"The idea had been kicked around for a long time," said Lynn Huntsinger, a professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. "We felt we weren't meeting the needs of students (in the department) more interested in the social sciences."

Huntsinger said the major will particularly help prepare students for work in at a nonprofit organization to fix environmental problems.

"Not only would they have the social science skills, but they would understand the biological dimensions," she said. "We need people like that in the world."

The new major enhances CNR's strength as a college poised to solve environmental problems. But while the story's headline dubs CNR as the "Environmental College," the S&E major is really one piece of a much broader landscape focused on sustaining environmental, economic, and human health.

See:
Environmental College to Debut New Major

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Researchers launch online wildfire risk assessment tool
The Whale and the Wind Turbine: Biomimicry in Design
Homecoming is Oct. 6-8 ...check out these CNR events
The Efficiency of Bees
Daily Cal profiles CNR's new major

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