College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

News & Events

October 26, 2009

Can business be the solution and not the problem?

Sally Jewell, President and CEO of REI, delivers the Fall 2009 Horace M. Albright Lecture in Conservation.

Given October 1, 2009, at the University of California, Berkeley.

October 21, 2009

Toward a More Integrated Social Science

By Professor David Zilberman

I got a kick out of learning that Eleanor Ostrom and Berkeley’s Oliver Williamson won the Nobel in Economics. I had a similar response when the Psychologist, Dan Kahneman, won the prize. These are important steps in the expansion of economics and establishing an integrated social science based on rigorous logical thinking and empiricism. This integrated new social science will provide insight on how people think and interact and how to improve the human condition.

It is useful to contrast the evolution of economics and biology. Research in the biological sciences first identifies and documents various organisms and only later develops a general theory, Darwinian evolution theory, that explains how species interact and evolve. In economics, Adam Smith developed a theory first. For years, economists considered only two institutions: the firm and the government. But, we know that not all firms are alike and that there are many other organizations that are neither government nor firms. Political scientists and sociologists are very good in identifying different types of organizations and Williamson and Ostrom marry the organizational complexity with basic behavioral principles that are emphasized in economics.

Continue reading "Toward a More Integrated Social Science" »

October 14, 2009

Scott Stephens: The Bright Side of Fire

Fire, once a key phenomenon in the balance of forest ecosystems, has gone rogue, thanks to years of detrimental land-use policy. Now, Scott Stephens and his band of pyromaniacs are restoring forests and setting the record straight.

by Brad Balukjian

Scott Stephens didn’t listen when they told him not to play with fire. Now he does it for a living. With wildfires blazing a path of destruction through Southern California recently, Stephens’ work on fire management has never been so relevant. An associate professor in ESPM, Stephens studies how fires affect forest ecosystems and how forests can be managed to maximize the benefits that wildfires provide while minimizing habitat destruction.

Stephens grew up in Humboldt County and then Napa, and first got into forestry as a kid when his father, grandfather, and three uncles all worked for a lumber mill. One of the most frustrating public misconceptions in fire science is that fire is always bad.

Continue reading "Scott Stephens: The Bright Side of Fire" »

October 13, 2009

Alum's Project is a Finalist for the BBC World Challenge

Andaman Discoveries, a non-profit organization founded by CNR alumnus Bodhi Garrett, is among twelve finalists in the 2009 BBC World Challenge. The BBC World Challenge recognizes "innovative business projects that increase investment into the local community and take a responsible approach to the environment in which they are operating." Andaman Discoveries was chosen by a jury of high-level executives from Shell, BBC World, the World Bank, IUCN, and Newsweek. The World Challenge winner, selected from among the twelve finalists by BBC viewers and readers via online voting, receives a $20,000 grant.

"Our connection to the villages comes from rebuilding our lives together, and our projects focus on the big picture, empowering people to define their own future. This means that, along with responsible tourism, we also support scholarships for 120 kids, reforestation, [and] a community development network," says Garrett.

CNR's Breakthroughs Magazine featured Garrett in its Summer 2008 Issue: Bodhi Garrett: After the Wave.

October 12, 2009

Professor Honored for Outstanding Contributions to California Forestry

The California State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection presented the Francis H. Raymond Award for Outstanding Contributions to California Forestry to Dr. William Libby on October 7, 2009.

Dr. Libby is Professor Emeritus of Forest Genetics, having taught forestry at the College of Natural Resources in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management between 1962 and 1994. His pioneering work in the field of forest tree genetics is internationally recognized and respected. Dr. Libby has practiced forestry on several continents and is well known for his work with California’s coast redwood and Monterey pine trees.

Though he officially retired in 1994, Dr. Libby has continued to educate and enlighten across the borders of country and perspective. He currently sits on the Board of the Save the Redwoods League with a focus on promoting research on redwood forest disturbance effects and the impacts of climate change on California’s coast redwood and giant sequoia forests. Dr. Libby’s observations on state and national forest policy are reflective of his insight and intellectual curiosity. His dedication in service to the forests of California and elsewhere is inspirational.

“Dr. Libby’s contributions to decades of forestry students and fellow researchers cannot be
measured,” said George Gentry, executive officer for the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The award is named for Francis H. Raymond who was the Director of the California Department
of Forestry and Fire Protection from 1953 to 1970. Mr. Raymond was one of the primary
advocates for the passage of the Professional Foresters Law in 1973. Since 1987 it has been
awarded to a group or individual who has achieved excellence in forestry in California.

Continue reading "Professor Honored for Outstanding Contributions to California Forestry" »

October 8, 2009

Are you choosing products that are safe and environmentally-friendly?

What is the lifecycle of your sunscreen? How about the environmental impact of buying a laptop? Professor Dara O'Rourke discusses how he came up with the idea for The Good Guide, a consumer reference that helps people make informed decisions about products based on safety and environmental concerns.

Original publication

Algae Power

The original video

Professor Kris Niyogi discusses algae's natural capacity to produce energy and its potential use in carbon-neutral biofuels.

October 5, 2009

CNR Student Helps Keep Water Fresh in Uganda

CNR student David Dinh is helping rural Ugandans to have access to safe drinking water.

"In every home in Uganda, drinking water is traditionally stored in a clay pot and culturally, there is a tremendous preference for this method of water storage. Unfortunately, water stored through this method can become quickly contaminated from repeated hand contact," Dinh writes. Because of the need for safe water storage, Dinh has helped to create improved clay pots with plastic spigots. They are "an affordable, accessible, and culturally appropriate safe water storage approach for rural Ugandan communities, " says Dinh.

Working in conjunction with Uganda Village Project and with support from the Strauss Foundation, Dinh has established social enterprise in the Ugandan villages. The distribution of the modified pots is subsidized for disadvantaged families in rural Uganda through the profits generated from the sale of modified pots in major urban areas.

Continue reading "CNR Student Helps Keep Water Fresh in Uganda" »

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Recent Posts

Can business be the solution and not the problem?
Toward a More Integrated Social Science
Scott Stephens: The Bright Side of Fire
Alum's Project is a Finalist for the BBC World Challenge
Professor Honored for Outstanding Contributions to California Forestry
Are you choosing products that are safe and environmentally-friendly?
Algae Power
CNR Student Helps Keep Water Fresh in Uganda

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