College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

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February 27, 2014

Inez Fung leads U.S. team in climate change report

By Sarah Yang, Public Affairs

fung-climate175.jpgTwo of the world’s most eminent research institutions from the United States and the United Kingdom issued a joint publication today (Thursday, Feb. 27) that distills climate change science in an effort to help policymakers and the larger public make informed decisions and develop effective responses for mitigating its damaging effects.

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences team, led by UC Berkeley atmospheric scientist
Inez Fung, partnered with the U.K. Royal Society, led by University of Cambridge paleoclimatologist Eric Wolff, to release the publication, “Climate Change: Evidence and Causes.”

Fung, Wolff and other co-authors presented the report this morning along with the presidents of the NAS and Royal Society at a public briefing in Washington, D.C., moderated by Miles O’Brien of the PBS Newshour. (The recorded webcast of the briefing will be posted on the NAS website within the next two days.)

Continue reading "Inez Fung leads U.S. team in climate change report" »

February 10, 2014

Kenneth R. Farrell, former UC ANR vice president, is dead at 87

By Pamela Kan-Rice


Kenneth R. Farrell, former University of California vice president for Agriculture and Natural Resources, died following a brief illness in Walnut Creek, Calif., on Jan. 24. He was 87.

“Ken Farrell was a person of rare integrity and courage,” said Henry Vaux, Jr., who served as associate vice president to Farrell. “His successful efforts to decentralize Cooperative Extension and to make the research and outreach activities of the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources more seamless benefited California's citizens and its agricultural sector enormously. His leadership proved crucial in positioning the Division to remain effective in the subsequent era of declining resources.”

Over the course of his career he authored more than 100 professional papers and articles on his work in agricultural policy, natural resources, international trade and marketing. He received many honors, including elections as president of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in 1977 and as fellow in 1980. In 1992 he was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2004 his undergraduate alma mater, the University of Guelph–Ontario Agricultural College, established the Kenneth R. Farrell Distinguished Public Policy Lectureship in his honor.

Read the UC ANR obituary.

February 7, 2014

Key process in photosynthesis likely evolved before oxygen

Discovery opens up new areas of microbiology and evolutionary biology

Scientists studying methane-producing microbes, like the ones found in deep-sea hydrothermal vents (pictured here), discovered that a process critical to contemporary photosynthesis likely developed on Earth long before oxygen became available. (Photo by Chris German, courtesy of NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory)

By Zeke Barlow, Virginia Tech Public Affairs

A team of researchers led by Virginia Tech and University of California, Berkeley, scientists has discovered that a regulatory process that turns on photosynthesis in plants at daybreak likely developed on Earth in ancient microbes 2.5 billion years ago, long before oxygen became available. The research opens new scientific areas in the fields of evolutionary biology and microbiology. The work also has broad societal implications as it allows scientists to better understand the production of natural gas and it sheds light on climate change, agriculture and human health.

“By looking at this one mechanism that was not previously studied, we will be able to develop new basic information that potentially has broad impact on contemporary issues ranging from climate change to obesity,” said Biswarup Mukhopadhyay, associate professor of biochemistry at the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, one of the lead authors of the study. Plant and microbial biology professor emeritus Bob B. Buchanan co-led the research and co-authored the paper.

The findings were described in the February 6, 2014, early online edition issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Continue reading "Key process in photosynthesis likely evolved before oxygen" »


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Inez Fung leads U.S. team in climate change report
Kenneth R. Farrell, former UC ANR vice president, is dead at 87
Key process in photosynthesis likely evolved before oxygen


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