College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

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September 28, 2009

1.9 Million New Jobs Could Be Created by Climate & Energy Bills Being Considered by Congress

by Professor David Roland-Holst, ARE

A new analysis by ARE economists at University of California, Berkeley finds that the pollution reduction and energy efficiency measures contained in the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) – already passed by the U.S. House of Representatives -- could create between 918,000 and 1.9 million new jobs, increase annual household income by $487-1,175 per year and boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $39 - $111 billion by 2020. The new comprehensive national economic assessment of ACES was conducted in collaboration with University of Illinois and Yale University, using EAGLE, a new state-of-the-art forecasting model.

Continue reading "1.9 Million New Jobs Could Be Created by Climate & Energy Bills Being Considered by Congress" »

September 20, 2009

Lifetime Achievement Award Presented for Research in Groundwater Hydrology

The Groundwater Resources Association of California has awarded Professor T.N. Narasimhan with its Lifetime Achievement Award for 2009 for his contributions in the field of groundwater hydrology.

"This award is presented annually to individuals for their exemplary contributions to the groundwater industry and for contributions that have been in the spirit of the Groundwater Resources Association's mission and organization objectives. Individuals who receive the Lifetime Achievement Award have dedicated their lives to the groundwater industry and have been pioneers in their field of expertise," the citation reads.

The honor will be conferred on October 7, 2009 at Sacramento during the 18th Annual Conference of GRA and the concurrent 27th Biennial Groundwater Conference of the Center for Water Resources, University of California.

Previous recipients of this award from UC Berkeley include David K. Todd of Civil Engineering, and Luna B. Leopold of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

How oak death spores survive baffles scientists

The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported the progress of research on Sudden Oak Death, studied by the Forest Pathology and Mycology Lab at CNR. Researchers led by Cooperative Extension Specialist Matteo Garbelotto comment on the difficulties of understanding how and why the spore survives. The original article on Sudden Oak Death in the San Francisco Chronicle.

September 14, 2009

Sierra Nevada birds move in response to warmer, wetter climate

If the climate is not quite right, birds will up and move rather than stick around and sweat it out, according to a new study led by biologists at the University of California, Berkeley.

The findings, to be published the week of Sept. 14 in an online early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveal that 48 out of 53 bird species studied in California's Sierra Nevada mountains have adjusted to climate change over the last century by moving to sites with the temperature and precipitation conditions they favored.

The few species, including the Anna's Hummingbird and Western Scrub-Jay, that did not pack up and leave when the climate changed were generally better able to exploit human-altered habitats, such as urban or suburban areas, the researchers said.


In order to conserve biodiversity in the face of future climate change, we need to know how a species actually responds to a warming climate," said study lead author Morgan Tingley, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy & Management and at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley. "Comparing past and present ranges of species that experienced climate change is one of the best ways to gain this knowledge. Understanding how species will respond to climate change allows us to take steps now to restore key habitats and create movement corridors that will help them respond to the changes we have coming."

Continue reading "Sierra Nevada birds move in response to warmer, wetter climate " »

September 9, 2009

ESPM Grad Named State Director for Rural Development

A recent graduate of the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management has been named State Director for Rural Development by the Obama administration.

Dr. Glenda Humiston recently finished her doctoral degree in the Division of Society and Environment. Her dissertation was entitled "Sustainable Agriculture as U.S. Farm Policy: Opportunities and Threats to Reform."

Dr. Humiston served as Deputy Under Secretary of the USDA from 1998 to 2001 where she managed all aspects of USDA conservation mission and environmental programs, a $1.4 Billion budget and over 11,000 employees. Dr. Humiston is continuing her 20+ years of work facilitating local community's efforts for sustainable development.

"These [state directors] will be important advocates on behalf of rural communities in states throughout the country and will help administer the valuable programs and services provided by the USDA that can enhance their economic success," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Fight or flight, should SoCal Communities fight to save homes, or flee to escape fires?

William Stewart, a forestry specialist at U.C. Berkeley states that the government is not taking enough preventative measures in removing brush that some say has been collecting for about forty to sixty years. He outlines the many improvements that have been undertaken by the state, unfortunately those reforms are limited to new homes that are being built. This means that many of the older homes cannot withstand a serious fire, such as those ongoing in Southern California. Also, there are technological issues of communication which have disabled many people from evacuating their homes on time. William offers an alternative to the classic firefighter and burning house image, he introduces an Australian model where the community members themselves fight fire and save their homes. For the most part, most suburban homes can probably do more help by removing small bits of debris and ash that can possibly burn their homes down.

Continue reading "Fight or flight, should SoCal Communities fight to save homes, or flee to escape fires?" »

September 2, 2009

Homecoming at CNR 2009

Come back to Cal on October 2-4! You can register online and then check out who's coming.

Be sure to check out these fascinating lectures by CNR professors:

Friday, October 2

"Evolutionary Biology of Fungi: Human Pathogens"
John Taylor, Professor of Plant and Microbial Biology 9:30-10:30 am Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall

Some fungi specialize as parasites of animals, including humans. Two such species, Coccidioides immitis and Coccidioides posadasii, cause valley fever, a potentially fatal flu-like illness that mostly affects rural residents in the Southwest. This seminar will focus on how we have found genes that show evidence of natural selection and might be important to preventing or treating the disease.

"The Buzz on Bees: Why We Need Them for Our Health"


Claire Kremen, Associate Professor, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
Bechtel Engineering Center Sibley Auditorium
2:00 - 3:00 pm

We rely on animal pollinators for 30 percent of our food supply, but what is happening to the bees? One of 20,000 bee species worldwide, honey bees are facing such problems as Colony Collapse Disorder, making them disappear from where we need them most. While many other species can contribute to crop pollination and thus human food security and well-being, we must adopt sustainable farming practices that provide good habitats and ensure that bee communities will thrive.

Saturday, October 3

"The Economics of Climate Change"
Maximilian Auffhammer, Associate Professor, Agriculture & Resource Economics/International & Area Studies Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall 11:30 - 12:30 pm

Environmental economists have attempted to gain a better understanding of past, current, and future greenhouse gas emissions by studying emissions from developing versus developed countries. Professor Auffhammer will discuss how they can predict and comprehend the impacts of climate change and how these effects will influence current and future environmental policy.

"Aging: Genetic Regulation and Dietary Intervention"

Danica Chen, Assistant Professor, Department of Nutritional Science and Toxicology
Barrows Hall Lipman Room
1:00 - 2:00 pm

Can we slow aging and prevent age-related diseases? This seminar will explore the latest development on how genetic factors and diet regulate the aging process, and how small molecules are designed to prevent age-related diseases. Taking a pill a day to slow aging may not be a fairy tale after all.

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Recent Posts

1.9 Million New Jobs Could Be Created by Climate & Energy Bills Being Considered by Congress
Lifetime Achievement Award Presented for Research in Groundwater Hydrology
How oak death spores survive baffles scientists
Sierra Nevada birds move in response to warmer, wetter climate
ESPM Grad Named State Director for Rural Development
Fight or flight, should SoCal Communities fight to save homes, or flee to escape fires?
Homecoming at CNR 2009

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