Enter the Treehugger.com "Convenient Truths" contest to create an inspiring video about ending climate change!
The contest offers great prizes valued close to $30,000, and the inside scoop is that there have been very few entries so far, so the odds are in your favor!
The contest is endorsed by former Vice President Al Gore, who called it "a great way to spread the word and bring the issue into our daily lives."
Entries should be 1- to 2-minute original videos on everyday solutions to climate change. Winners will be selected based on how inspiring, pragmatic and compelling they are.
Don't wait -- the deadline to enter is February 28th!
Don't know much about video? No problem. The CNR Dean's Office can provide advice and resources on shooting a great video, and even lend members of the CNR community high-quality equipment.
For more info, e-mail Cyril Manning.
The Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Foundation has pledged $10 million to the Center for Weight and Health at the University of California, Berkeley, to support nutrition research and obesity prevention programs.
Continue reading "Atkins Foundation pledges $10 million to Center for Weight and Health" »
A campus colloquium on "Energy Self-Sufficiency in the 21st Century" recently took the global climate crisis as the starting point for a freewheeling discussion among some of the world's top thinkers. Issues covered included the urgent need to make conservation a national way of life, getting the U.S. public to accept nuclear reactors, and persuading the U.S. government to serve as a world leader in developing clean, renewable energy sources.
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From the Contra Costa Times:
Looking out across an expanse of oak-grass savanna from the top of a 65-foot research tower near Ione in Amador County, biometeorologist Dennis Baldocchi [professor of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at] UC Berkeley sums up his part in the effort to get a more accurate picture of climate change.
"We want to see how the earth breathes, essentially," he said.
One of the pieces of the climate puzzle that hasn't come into focus yet is this flux of carbon between the earth and the atmosphere. How this interchange will be affected by changes in sunlight, temperature, rainfall and soil moisture is still a big gap in the climate models.
Continue reading "How the Earth breathes is key to climate change" »
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has issued an executive order calling for California to establish the world's first carbon standard for transportation fuels. (Read about it in the Governor's op-ed here.)
Relying on research by David Roland-Holst, adjunct professor in ARE, the governor writes:
The University of California estimates our greenhouse gas emissions goals will increase our gross state product by $60 billion and create more than 20,000 new jobs. The time is now for America to transition to a clean-energy economy.... I am very pleased to be able to announce that California is leading the way.
More information on Roland-Holst's study is at http://calclimate.berkeley.edu/
Over the past decade, in numerous field sites throughout the world, mesh bags of leaf and root litter sat exposed to the elements, day and night, throughout the four seasons, gradually rotting away.
Now, those bags of decomposing organic matter have allowed a research team led by scientists from CNR and Colorado State University to produce an elegant and simple set of equations to calculate the nitrogen released into the soil during decomposition, which in turn could significantly improve the accuracy of global climate change models.
Continue reading "Study of rotting leaves could lead to more accurate climate models" »
The faculty of each of CNR's departments have been ranked among the top 5 in their fields, according to a new "Scholarly Productivity Index," with the Plant Biology program ranked #1 in the nation.
The rankings, assessed by the private company Academic Analytics, are based on measurements of faculty productivity in terms of publications, federal-grant dollars awarded, and honors and awards.
Data from the 2005 rankings -- which are not without their share of controversy -- were published and explained in depth in The Chronicle of Higher Education (available by subscription here).
UC Berkeley doctoral programs from within CNR received impressive rankings:
Agricultural economics - 3
Botany and plant biology - 1
Microbiology - 3
Nutrition - 3
Toxicology - 2
Environmental Science - 4
A full list of UC Berkeley rankings is here.
Growing genetically engineered (GE) crops in the United States continues to stir debate, but some University of California scientists believe attention should now be focused on how farmers opposed to the technology and those in favor of it can step back from the controversy and successfully produce and market their crops in the way they personally see fit.
Continue reading "Is peaceful coexistence with biotechnology possible?" »
Springing forward may not help save energy, according to a study by two graduate students in Agricultural and Resource Economics.
U.S. plans to cut electricity usage by lengthening daylight saving time may backfire, the report said. Lengthening daylight saving time by several weeks was included in energy legislation passed in 2005, with the goal of saving energy equivalent to 100,000 barrels of oil a day.
Extending daylight saving time may actually result in increased electricity demand as additional usage during morning hours cancels out the reduced demand in the evening, according to the Berkeley study. The paper analyzed electricity usage in Australia, which lengthened its daylight saving time by two months while hosting the 2000 Olympics.
``There is no evidence that extending daylight saving time will lead to energy savings,'' said Hendrik Wolff, one of the study's authors, in an interview. ``Actually, there is evidence that it may lead to a little higher energy consumption.''
Read the full Story at Bloomberg.com
Some eBay users are artificially boosting their reputations by buying and selling feedback on the Internet auction site, according to John Morgan, a professor at Berkeley's Haas School of Business, and Jennifer Brown, a doctoral student in Agricultural and Resource Economics.
Continue reading "Illicit "market for trust" on eBay" »
This editorial by Professor David Sunding appeared Dec. 28, 2006, in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's executive order to begin implementation of a market-based compliance program encouraging businesses to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions is clearly a step in the right direction toward cleaning our air of harmful carbon particulates. The next step is to make it financially attractive enough for businesses to comply with the program.
Continue reading "Bringing carbon buyers and sellers to market" »
For 11 years, Jill Banfield has collected and studied the microbes that slime the floors of mines and convert iron to acid, a common source of stream pollution around the world.
Imagine her surprise, then, when research scientist Brett Baker discovered three new microbes living amidst the bacteria she thought she knew well. All three were so small - the size of large viruses - as to be virtually invisible under a microscope, and belonged to a totally new phylum of Archaea, microorganisms that have been around for billions of years.
Continue reading "Shotgun sequencing finds nanoorganisms" »
Until he met the slimy green algae called Chlamydomonas, undergraduate Subhajit Poddar didn’t know he was interested in plant biology. “Once I began working with mutant strains of algae, I was totally hooked,” he says.
Poddar, fourth year in Plant and Microbial Biology, studies the green algae Chlamydomonas under the mentorship of Professor Krishna Niyogi. His research has focused on identifying and cloning genes responsible for two compounds involved in photosynthesis.
Using genetics as a novel tool to understand physiology, Niyogi and his team are isolating genes that are important in determining plant responses to stress and high light conditions. SPUR funds have helped Poddar purchase essential lab equipment necessary to maintain laboratory populations of Chlamydomonas.
Undergraduate research through SPUR is funded entirely by donations to the Berkeley Fund for Natural Resources -- and gifts are accepted online here.