Letter from the Dean

The featured news stories in this magazine usually focus on research findings generated by our faculty, researchers, students, and alumni, but this issue is different. Both main articles concern new initiatives whose work is just getting started. There's good reason to pay attention: Both programs are about transforming the status quo — at UC Berkeley, in California, and across the world.

The Berkeley Food Institute is a new interdisciplinary research center bringing together experts from across the campus and from the outside world to study the entire food system — from scientific, social, legal, policy, and journalistic angles, and angles we may not yet know or understand. The team that has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to launch the new center recognizes that it is only by working together and across academic disciplines that we can seriously address the complex topic of food.

Officially moving from pilot to statewide launch this year, the California Naturalist Program provides certification to naturalists from all walks of life. This new UC program is building opportunities for environmental job training and volunteerism, and a new age for citizen science.

In another story on transformations, Energy and Resources Ph.D. candidate and California Public Utilities Commissioner Carla Peterman is focusing on developing the energy storage market, a project that could push California's alternative energy to the next level of efficiency and make it a model for other states.

Last fall, we launched the Berkeley Master of Development Practice. To see how much can be accomplished with vision, funds, and intellectual rigor behind a new program, you can fast-forward and see the amazing work that our first cohort
of students has done all over the world.

Vision, funds, and rigor were also behind getting our new institute off the ground. We are pleased to tell you the story of Bob Epstein, the Berkeley Food Institute's earliest and most active donor.