Climate change puts ecosystems on the run
To keep up with global warming, the average ecosystem will need to shift about a quarter mile each year, says a new study by scientists at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.
Sun and moon trigger deep tremors on San Andreas Fault
When the sun and moon are aligned with the San Andreas Fault they tug on it enough to increase the tremor rate deep underground. While these faint tremors have not been linked to earthquakes, the tremors are associated with increased stress on the fault and may up the risk for future quakes.
New human reproductive hormone could lead to novel contraceptives
Given the ubiquity of fertility clinics and the popularity of in vitro fertilization, one would think that doctors fully understand the reproductive system. It's surprising, then, that a new reproductive hormone has been discovered in humans, one that supresses fertility. The discovery by UC Berkeley neuroscientists could lead to new contraceptives and treatments for cancer and disorders such as precocious puberty.
Center announces most Livable Buildings for 2009
A Seaside, Calif., school that incorporates an ambitious sustainability goal of net-zero electricity usage is the winner of the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment 2009 top Livable Building Award. Honorable mentions go to the design teams of the Cohos Evamy Toronto Studio on the 10th floor of a Toronto high-rise and of the renovated William P. Robinson Building at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Va.
Disability may be on the rise again after 20-year decline
The 20-year decline of disability rates among Americans may have ended, according to a new study led by researchers at UC Berkeley and the University of Toronto. The researchers found that disability rates among non-institutionalized older Americans increased 9 percent between 2000 and 2005. The passage of meaningful health care reform could help stem the increase in disability rates, the authors said.
University of Tokyo, UC Berkeley to exchange scholars in cosmology, other areas
The University of Tokyo and the University of California, Berkeley, formalized an agreement Dec. 17 to encourage research and educational exchanges between the campuses, which are considered to be the top public universities in the world.
Five UC Berkeley academics among new AAAS fellows
Four University of California, Berkeley, faculty members, plus an educator with the campus's Museum of Paleontology, have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest general scientific society in the world.
Study shows loss of 15-42 percent of mammals in North America
Many biologists warn that the planet's plants and animals are headed toward a mass extinction as a result of human-caused environmental damage, including global warming. A UC Berkeley/Penn State team has now analyzed the status of North American mammals, estimating that they may be one-fifth to one-half the way toward a mass extinction event like the "Big Five" the Earth has seen in the last 450 million years.
Discovery of 4.4 million-year-old "Ardi" named Breakthrough of the Year
The journal Science has named the discovery of "Ardi," the oldest hominid skeleton ever found, its "Breakthrough of the Year 2009." An international team co-led by UC Berkeley's Tim White took 17 years to assemble and analyze the skeleton and thousands of other fossils found with it. The analysis, published in the Oct. 2 Science, revolutionizes our understanding of the earliest human ancestors appearing not long after the human lineage diverged from that of chimps.
Japanese Americans receive honorary degrees, 67 years after WWII internment cut short their studies at Berkeley
Forty-two former Berkeley students, now in their eighties and nineties, have finally received the campus degrees they had been working toward nearly seven decades ago, when Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps in the midst of World War II. For 78 additional Japanese Americans now deceased or too infirm to attend, family members accepted diplomas in their honor.
Protesters attack Berkeley chancellor’s home
At approximately 11 p.m. Friday, a group of about 40 to 70 protesters stormed Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau's home on the north side of the UC Berkeley campus, smashing planters, windows and lights while shouting, "No justice, no peace." They also threw incendiary objects at the house. Eight people were arrested on a variety of charges.
UC police arrest 66 at Wheeler Hall
UC Berkeley police arrested dozens of trespassing students and other protesters early Friday morning, the same day the group was set to hold an unauthorized concert inside a classroom building. The protesters were arrested without incident at 4:40 a.m. for misdemeanor trespassing inside Wheeler Hall and transported to Santa Rita jail.
Paper is out, digital is in, when it comes to dissertations
The move to online publishing of will make the research of Berkeley's Ph.D.'s easily accessible from any computer in the world. The campus will save paper, shelf space, and staff time; students will save money and headaches.
Studies find proposed health care reforms offer big savings to individuals, families
Four million Californians who are uninsured, have unaffordable job-based coverage or who are buying coverage in the individual market, would be eligible for Medicaid or subsidized coverage under bills under consideration in the U.S. Congress, according to a new study from the University of California, Berkeley.
Student activists spend peaceful night in Wheeler Hall
Approximately 50 student activists and others spent Monday night in Wheeler Hall, kicking off what they describe as a week-long effort to establish an "open university."
H1N1 influenza adopted novel strategy to move from birds to humans
The 2009 H1N1 virus, which ignited a worldwide "swine flu" panic earlier this year, used a novel strategy to cross from birds into people, UC Berkeley scientists have found. The finding could help those surveilling the world for new flu variants and those developing antiviral drugs.
Social scientists build case for 'survival of the kindest'
Researchers at UC Berkeley, are challenging long-held beliefs that human beings are wired to be selfish. In a wide range of studies, social scientists are amassing a growing body of evidence to show we are evolving to become more compassionate and collaborative in our quest to survive and thrive.
Campus musicians receive gift from pianist Earl Hines' estate
The gift to the University of California, Berkeley, of the bulk of famous jazz pianist Earl "Fatha" Hines' estate will provide exceptionally gifted low-income students with free musical instruction and the campus's music library with his collection of papers, compositions and memorabilia. Hines' musical archive will become the cornerstone at the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library of a new Archive of African American Music, which would be unique on the West Coast.
CPUC taps Vial Center to study state's green jobs needs
The California Public Utilities Commission has chosen UC Berkeley’s Donald Vial Center on Employment in the Green Economy to lead a $1.1 million study to assess California’s workforce development needs as part of the state’s long-term strategic plan for energy efficiency.
UC Commission on the Future gets feedback from the system's flagship campus
In the ninth of 10 campus forums around the state this fall, members of the University of California Commission on the Future, charged with fundamentally rethinking the institution in a time of financial crisis, came to Berkeley Thursday for an exchange with members of the campus community.
Budget crisis prompts LAEP students to take a lesson from the Great Depression
Landscape architecture and environmental planning students respond to the ongoing budget crisis by putting their expertise — and muscles — to work at local schools, a park, and on the campus.
Untraditional students of the world
The federally funded Gilman International Scholarship helps cash-strapped students, and other undergrads who have been underrepresented in study-abroad programs, take their studies international. For the current academic year, 20 UC Berkeley undergrads have been awarded Gilmans, making Berkeley the second-leading recipient of the scholarship nationwide.
Chancellor's video message to campus community
Reflecting on last month's protest at Wheeler Hall, Chancellor Birgeneau says he regrets that it "escalated into police action," and understands and sympathizes with anger over budget cuts and fee hikes. He calls on students, staff, and faculty to work together — peacefully and constructively — to address the campus's challenges. "Further cuts," he declares, "are unacceptable."
Two UC Berkeley researchers among new Fulbright Scholars
This year's Fulbright Scholar Program has sent two UC Berkeley researchers overseas and brought to campus 41 foreign scholars whose research topics range from resilience intervention for Chinese youngsters to American noir fiction.
Cutting greenhouse pollutants could directly save millions of lives worldwide
Six international studies published this week in the British journel The Lancet show that cutting greenhouse gases, in particular ozone and black carbon, can save millions of lives worldwide in addition to slowing climate change.
Leading while black: Scholars assess the 'de-racialized' Obama White House, and Michelle's makeover as 'Mommy in Chief'
African American scholar-activists on Thursday conducted a follow-up evaluation of the nation's current "weird, surreal" condition, as journalist Brenda Payton put it — "led by a black president who we aren't supposed to think of as black."
Review of Wheeler Hall protest to be undertaken
Campus leaders have announced that a review is underway of the crowd control measures used by police on November 20, when 40 protesters occupied Wheeler Hall.
Climate change could boost incidence of civil war in Africa, study finds
Climate change could increase the likelihood of civil war in sub-Saharan Africa by over 50 percent within the next two decades, according to a new study led by a team of researchers at University of California, Berkeley, and published in today’s (Monday, Nov. 23) online issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).The study, conducted by researchers at UC Berkeley as well as at Stanford University, New York University and Harvard University, provides the first quantitative evidence linking climate change and the risk of civil conflict. It concludes by urging accelerated support by African governments and foreign aid donors for new and/or expanded policies to assist with African adaptation to climate change.
Chancellor's message to community: Wheeler Hall protest ended peacefully
In a message to the campus community on the peaceful conclusion of the Wheeler Hall occupation, Chancellor Birgeneau calls for unity in advancing the cause of public higher education.
UC Berkeley research garners nearly $65 million in federal stimulus money
Since the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, UC Berkeley has received nearly $65 million in research funds from the federal government, primarily from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
Erol Kepkep: Keeping Bio 1A labs running smoothly
MCB's Erol Kepkep's job is to maintain efficiency and order in two Bio 1A laboratories -- from managing enrollment to tracking errant crocodiles.
Art museum project alternate plan due early next year
UC Berkeley’s plans for a new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) are being modified due to lingering economic uncertainty, museum and university officials announced today (Wednesday, Nov. 18).
Some of us may be born more empathetic, new study suggests
Could it be that the generous Mother Teresa and the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge from “A Christmas Carol” were influenced by their genes? Researchers at the UC Berkeley have found compelling evidence that people who are more empathetic possess a particular variation of the oxytocin receptor gene.
Changes are needed to keep post-employment benefits in the safe zone, a UC task force tells campus staff and retirees
The Presidential Task Force on Post-Employment Benefits brings mixed news to intensely interested current and retired campus staff.
Hunger gets a seat at Berkeley's table
To bring home the issue of world hunger, the dining commons in Berkeley's Unit 3 residence hall held a most unusual dinner Thursday night: Just rice and water on the floor for most attending. It was all part of Hunger Awareness Week at Cal.
How to solve California's fiscal crisis? First, don't think of an elephant
"The California Democracy Act," recently submitted to the attorney general's office, would take the state back to pre-Prop. 13 days, when the majority ruled -- and the Legislature was able to pass a budget
Report calls for coordinated family-friendly policies in research sciences
Women in the sciences must often choose between family and academic careers, according to a new report authored by researchers at the Berkeley Center on Health, Economic & Family Security (Berkeley CHEFS) at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.
Chromosomes dance and pair up on the nuclear membrane
Abby Dernburg and colleagues have looked at the amazingly precise choreography of chromosomes as they pair up during meiosis - the process by which cells create egg and sperm with half the normal number of chromosomes - and found a critical role played by the cytoskeleton.
Vibrations key to efficiency of green fluorescent protein
Green fluorescent protein (GFP) has invaded thousands of research labs around the world, thanks to its versatility in labeling cells and organisms. Now, UC Berkeley chemists have discovered why GFP is such an efficient emitter of green light.
Intel, Safeway luminaries to address how tech can lower health costs
Leaders from academia, industry and government will gather for the Nov. 18 Global Technology Leaders Conference to address the role of technology in lowering health care costs.
UHS releases new update on H1N1 flu vaccine
University Health Services sent a CALmessage on Nov. 6 to keep the campus apprised about the status of its H1N1 flu vaccine supply.
At town hall on campus response to budget crisis, students raise concerns and questions
More than 300 students turned out Thursday evening for a town hall meeting with Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and other senior administrators. Their common concern: the state budget emergency and the campus's response to draconian budget cuts that the crisis has brought.
By a 91-68 vote, Academic Senate tells Cal Athletics to pay its own way — starting now
Following a vote of the UC Berkeley Academic Senate recommending that Intercollegiate Athletics become financially self-sufficient, Chancellor Birgeneau said he would explore the best way to move forward on the issue.
Scholar of native textiles to head anthropology museum
Anthropologist Mari Lyn Salvador, a scholar of Panama’s native Kuna people and the textiles that they create and an experienced museum professional, has been named director of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the UC Berkeley. Salvador is scheduled to take the new post in late November.
New $10.9 million grant to study impacts of sanitation on diseases
UC Berkeley researchers have received a five-year, $10.9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to evaluate several interventions to combat diarrheal disease in developing countries. The goal of the new project is to determine how sanitation interventions, delivered alone or as part of combined intervention packages, impact child health and well-being.
Rapid supernova could be new class of exploding star
Post-doc Dovi Poznanski was looking through seven-year-old data when he chanced upon a very strange supernova that flashed and was gone in less than a month, when 3-4 months is typical. The unusually rapid supernova appears to match the predicted behavior of a thermonuclear explosion on a white dwarf that has drawn helium from its companion.
The Bard comes to Berkeley
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre performs Love's Labour's Lost at Zellerbach Hall, Nov. 4 through 8.
Ken Ueno premieres new composition
Composer and assistant professor of music Ken Ueno said the audience at Monday's San Francisco premiere of his new musical composition, "Archaeologies of the Future," heard sounds they likely never heard before.
Linda Finch Hicks, longtime campus staffer, has died
Linda Finch Hicks, administrative manager in the history department, died Sunday, Nov. 1 at Alta Bates Hospital of pancreatic cancer. She was 55.
Study to explore if more sleep will help teens shake off depression
After a late night of texting, instant-messaging or updating Facebook, it’s hardly surprising that many teenagers show up groggy for school. And, studies show, sleep deprivation can lead to poor academic performance, truancy and greater dropout rates, especially for those prone to depression. To address this troubling trend, UC Berkeley's Sleep and Psychological Disorders Laboratory – in conjunction with Kaiser Permanente, Oregon – has begun recruiting middle and high school students for a study to see if depression can be alleviated if they get enough sleep.
Staff forum on future of UC post-employment benefits set for Nov. 10
The University of California President's Task Force on Post-Employment Benefits will hold a forum on Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in Sibley Auditorium in Bechtel Engineering Center, for staff to ask questions and weigh in on the future of the university's pension and retiree health programs.
Landscape designer who built Sproul Plaza leaves a national legacy
Before moving into the national spotlight with his bold urban designs, landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, who died Oct. 25 at age 93, left a profound imprint on the Berkeley campus, from Sproul Plaza's rhythm of light and dark spaces to the graceful shape of Memorial Glade to the pedestrian-friendly entryways to the Greek Theatre.
New analyses of dinosaur growth may wipe out one-third of species
Paleontologists Mark Goodwin and Jack Horner have dug for 11 years in the Hell Creek Formation of Montana in search of every dinosaur fossil they can find, accumulating specimens of all ages and stages of development. Their new report on the growth stages of dome-headed dinosaurs shows that two named species are really just young pachycephalosaurs. They say that perhaps one-third of all named dinosaurs may not be separate species, but juvenile or subadult stages of other known dinosaurs.
UC Berkeley professor among Popular Science magazine's 'Brilliant 10'
An engineer at the University of California, Berkeley, has been pegged as an up-and-coming scientist to watch by the magazine Popular Science. The publication announced Oct. 15 that Ting Xu, 35, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, is one of the "Brilliant 10" young researchers profiled in its November issue.
Berkeley scholars' adventures in the blogosphere
A growing number of campus scholars are using Web 2.0 blogging tools to reach a larger audience, create intellectual community, and be more proactive in relation to the media.
Fall Academic Senate meeting to focus on Intercollegiate Athletics
The Berkeley division of the Academic Senate will focus next week on the contributions and costs of the campus's Intercollegiate Athletics program. The Senate's fall meeting will host a fact-based discussion, debate, and exchange among faculty, Athletics Director Sandy Barbour, and Nathan Brostrom, vice chancellor for Administration.
When ants attack: Researchers recreate chemicals that trigger aggression in Argentine ants
Researchers have identified and synthesized the chemical cues by which Argentine ants distinguish colony-mates from rivals. By exploiting these chemicals, researchers have demonstrated that normally friendly Argentine ants can turn against each other and fight.
What ails California?
"What Ails California?," a daylong conference held last week on the Berkeley campus, at times resembled an episode of the TV show House -- but without the "aha" moment in which the patient's disease is identified and the cure prescribed. The state's voters, it seems, want change. But what kind of change? And will it help solve California's budget crisis?
A zombie invasion
The post-9/11 proliferation of zombie movies tells us a lot about society's fears — and gives us a safe place to experience them. Now zombies are giving way to vampires, and students in the "Monster Movies" media studies class are learning why.
UC Berkeley amplifies national voice via The Berkeley Blog
UC Berkeley’s best and brightest are often asked to share their insights at the White House, on Wall Street and with the media worldwide. Now, they are furthering that conversation in a new format – The Berkeley Blog.
New $16 million center to push, pinch and probe cancer cells & tissues
The National Cancer Institute is opening a new front in the war on cancer, funding 12 physical science-oncology centers across the country to see what engineers, mathematicians, chemists and physicists can learn about cancer cells. UC Berkeley's Jan Liphardt heads one center that will receive nearly $16 million over five years.
Goldman School to have greater impact, thanks to $5 million gift
Over the years, the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley has emerged as a leader in proposing solutions to major issues facing society, and now a new $5 million gift from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund will make it possible for the school to make a greater impact in the world.
Climate treaty needed to limit soot & other greenhouse pollutants
UC Berkeley Ph.D. candidate Stacy Jackson argues in Science that policymakers should plan a summit now to look at short- and medium-lived greenhouse pollutants, which range from soot to ozone and methane, and their near term impact on climate.
Error in climate treaties could lead to more deforestation
A team of 13 prominent scientists and land-use experts has identified an important but fixable error in legal accounting rules for bioenergy that could, if uncorrected, undermine efforts to reduce greenhouse gases by encouraging deforestation.
UC benefits Open Enrollment begins soon
Open enrollment for UC's health-and-welfare benefits runs from Thursday, Oct. 29, through Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 5 p.m.
It’s My Job: Karen Hughes helps put the brakes on college drinking
As coordinator of University Health Services’ PartySafe@Cal program, Karen Hughes works to curb students' use of booze by focusing on the factors that inform their drinking choices, rather than lecturing them about the dangers of alcohol.
Studies find Latino toddlers' gap in cognitive growth
Two new studies led by UC Berkeley researchers find that immigrant Latina mothers, who typically live in poor neighborhoods, give birth to healthy babies, but their toddlers start to lag behind middle-class white children in basic language and cognitive skills by the age of 2 or 3.
Stephen Barnett, California Supreme Court expert, dies at 73
Stephen Barnett, UC Berkeley professor emeritus of law and a prominent expert on the California Supreme Court, died of complications resulting from cardiac arrest on Tuesday, Oct. 13. He was 73.
The Wizard of Odd
Making music goes far beyond putting notes together to create pleasing sounds for saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter, who prefers to think of himself as a "decomposer, someone who takes things apart." Shorter and his acoustic quartet will dismantle Zellerbach Hall when they perform there Oct. 17.
UC Berkeley professor among Popular Science magazine's "Brilliant 10"
A UC Berkeley engineer has been pegged as an up-and-coming scientist to watch by the magazine Popular Science. The publication announced today (Thursday, Oct. 15) that Ting Xu, 35, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, is one of the "Brilliant 10" young researchers profiled in its November issue.
NSF authorizes $29 million for world's deepest underground lab
UC Berkeley's proposal to build lab facilities in a South Dakota mine has received an additional $29 million in support from the National Science Foundation. The funds, which are for a preliminary design, set the stage for later construction funds that would create the world's deepest underground laboratory for experiments in physics, geology and biology.
Skin cells may provide early warning for cancer risk elsewhere in body
If susceptibility to cancer is the result of inherited genetic mutations, then all the body's cells should have these mutations. Since skin cells are easy to culture, argues cell biologist Harry Rubin, by observing the behavior of skin cells in a Petri dish it may be possible to detect those mutations that increase our cancer risk.
Study says California furloughs will save less than anticipated
Much of the savings from California state workers’ three-day-a-month mandatory furlough will be offset by reduced revenue and increased costs to the state general fund in future years, says a study released today (Thursday, Oct. 15) by UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education.
Gifts from parents restore full library hours
Thanks to gifts from Berkeley parents, library hours across campus will return to normal, and weekend reductions forced by state funding cuts will end over the next month.
At Hearst Museum beer fair, brewing fanatics sample suds and ponder their ancient peers
The Hearst Museum's Beer Symposium and Fair was the third in a series of annual events on the anthropology of food.
A moving story
For more than 20 years, the Marchant Building on San Pablo Avenue has been a de facto warehouse for UC Berkeley. With the building's recent sale, however, the day of reckoning has come. All the stuff must go … somewhere.
Bosses who feel inadequate can turn into bullies
Bosses who are in over their heads are more likely to bully subordinates. That’s because feelings of inadequacy trigger them to lash out at those around them, according to new research from the UC Berkeley, and the University of Southern California. In a new twist on the adage “power corrupts,” researchers at UC Berkeley and USC have found a direct link among supervisors and upper management between self-perceived incompetence and aggression. The findings, gleaned from four separate studies, are published in the November issue of the journal Psychological Science.
UCPD's Lisa Campbell and Ally Jacobs get their 15 minutes on Oprah
Ally Jacobs and Lisa Campbell, the two UC Berkeley police employees whose vigilance led to the arrest of suspected kidnapper Phillip Garrido in August, will appear on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Tuesday, Oct. 13.
When Oliver Williamson's phone rang at 3:30 Monday morning, he wasn't entirely surprised to find the Nobel Prize committee on the line. But Berkeley's newly minted economics laureate was variously elated, proud and humbled as he recounted the moment later Monday for well-wishers and the media.
UC Berkeley's Oliver Williamson shares Nobel Prize in economics
Oliver Williamson, the Edgar F. Kaiser Professor Emeritus of Business Economics, and Law at UC Berkeley, a pioneer of the multi-disciplinary field of transaction cost economics, and one of the world's most cited economists, is a winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics.
College of Chemistry steers course to sustainable 'green' chemistry
The College of Chemistry is moving toward sustainable "green" chemistry with a new emphasis on sustainability in its undergraduate courses, a new endowed chair in sustainable chemistry, and its participation in the campuswide Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry.
That's -30- for us
Berkeleyan bids adieu to print
Alfalfa sprouts key to discovering how meandering rivers form
Restoring rivers to their natural state is now hit-and-miss, primarily because scientists don't really know what makes a river meander. A scale model using alfalfa sprouts to represent vegetation now shows that strong banks and fine sediment are key.
Cal grad and former Cal professor win Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Most of the work for which Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider and John Szostak won this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine took place at UC Berkeley, while Blackburn was a professor of molecular and cell biology and Greider was her graduate student.
What's new at the Library?
A guide to this semester’s exhibits and events – as well as a plethora of new online resources – from campus libraries.
Campus bids Lustig farewell
Retiring from Berkeley after 26 years, the associate vice chancellor for health and human services looks back on a career rich in service to campus and community
More than two dozen junior faculty receive Hellman Family awards
Twenty-six junior faculty receive grants of up to $50,000 to pursue work of exceptional promise.
A ‘public option’ for scholarship
A new push to ease access to university research, in the form of a five-institution compact to finance open-access publishing, is supported by Berkeley as part of its ongoing commitment to this innovative scholarly-publishing model.
The concerned employee's guide to face time at California Hall
The Chancellor’s Staff Advisory Committee seeks new members to provide staff perspectives to top administrators.
On the trail of our ancestors
The groundbreaking discovery of the partial skeleton of Ardipithecus ramidus, a hominid species dating back 4.4 million years, is the latest in a long line of contributions UC Berkeley researchers have made toward the elucidation of the human ancestral tree. To learn more about what it's like to be a hominid fossil hunter, Sarah Yang from UC Berkeley Media Relations interviewed Leslea Hlusko, associate professor of integrative biology and the associate faculty member of the Human Evolution Research Center at UC Berkeley.
Ethiopian desert yields oldest hominid skeleton
The oldest hominid skeleton found in Africa, dating from 4.4 million years ago, revolutionizes our understanding of how humans evolved from the last common ancestor of apes and humans.
Scientists discover clues to what makes human muscle age
A study led by UC Berkeley researchers has identified critical biochemical pathways linked to the aging of human muscle. By manipulating these pathways, the researchers were able to turn back the clock on old human muscle, restoring its ability to repair and rebuild itself. The findings provide promising new targets for stemming the debilitating muscle atrophy that accompanies human aging, the researchers say.
UC launches bold initiative to revolutionize breast cancer treatment
UC Berkeley is one of six UC campuses participating in an unprecedented initiative to study and drive innovations in breast cancer prevention, screening, and treatment. The large-scale demonstration project, called the ATHENA Breast Health Network, was announced Tuesday, Sept. 29 by the University of California.
Picture Yourself at Berkeley reaches out to connect with prospective students
A new online service offered by the campus's Office of Undergraduate Admissions helps prospective students envision themselves as a member of the UC Berkeley community.
Mass rally on Sproul denounces deep budget cuts
Thousands of students, staff, and faculty rallied on Sproul Plaza Thursday to protest more than $800 million in state funding cuts to the UC system and, in some cases, the system's response to those cuts.
Two young UC Berkeley faculty members receive MacArthur "genius" award
A 35-year-old molecular biologist and a 37-year-old computer scientist from UC Berkeley are among 24 new MacArthur "genius" Fellows announced by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
healthcare reform? Policy experts at Berkeley offer insights and predictions
on the debate
National healthcare reform continues to dominate the headlines, with Congress laboring over various proposals and President Obama making his case for reform to the public. To help shed light on where the debate stands today, and where it may be headed, the NewsCenter queried heathcare-policy experts at Berkeley for their insights — asking what they would like to see in a comprehensive healthcare plan, what compromises they expect from Congress, and what they predict will finally emerge.
Mondale: Connecting the dots between U.S. security and foreign development aid
In an event sponsored by the Blum Center for Developing Economies, the 81-year-old Mondale invoked the spirit of the Peace Corps as he argued the case — though "argued" might be too strong a word for the mild-mannered Minnesotan, who goes by the nickname "Fritz" — for U.S. development aid to countries in need.
Postmenopausal women benefit from endurance training as much as younger women
After menopause, decreased estrogen and changes in body composition affect women's metabolism. But does this affect women's response to exercise? A new UC Berkeley study shows that postmenopausal women benefit as much as younger women do from endurance training, improving both cardiovascular and respiratory fitness.
Fernando Botero exhibit exploring Abu Ghraib abuses opens at Berkeley Art Museum
An exhibition of 56 powerful paintings and drawings by Colombian artist Fernando Botero about abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq opens Wednesday, Sept. 23, at the University of California, Berkeley's Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA).
Bancroft's Darwin exhibit taps campus's museum, library collections
An exhibit revealing what inspired and challenged the world's best known biologist, Charles Darwin, is now open at the University of California, Berkeley's Bancroft Library in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth. The Bancroft joins a worldwide commemoration not only of Darwin's bicentenary, but of the 150th anniversary of the publication of his landmark book, "The Origin of Species."
Cambodian opposition leader Mu Sochua speaks of government repression at home
"We cannot accept democracy fed to us by the teaspoon; we want full democracy," a Cambodian parliamentary opposition leader, Mu Sochua '81, told an audience at Berkeley in a brief and impassioned talk Sept 14.
Photoswitches shed light on burst swimming in zebrafish
A new technique employing photoswitches and gene targeting is proving a boon to biologists because it allows researchers to non-invasively turn on small populations of cells as easily as flipping a light switch. Developed at UC Berkeley, the new and flexible technique has helped answer a long-standing question about the function of a class of enigmatic nerve cells in the spinal cord.
Two UC Berkeley faculty among 10 recipients of $100,000 Heinz Awards
Two UC Berkeley researchers are being recognized for their environmental achievements with the 15th annual Heinz Awards, announced Sept. 15 by the Heinz Family Foundation. Ashok Gadgil, professor of civil engineering, and Kirk Smith, professor of environmental health sciences, will each receive $100,000 for the strides they have made toward a more sustainable and cleaner environment.
Research restructuring leads to net reduction in jobs
Responding to the dire budget circumstances facing the Berkeley campus, Vice Chancellor for Research Graham Fleming on Monday announced a major restructuring of services and resources within his office, eliminating a number of administrative positions in research units while creating a smaller number of new jobs in a centralized business support unit.
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 UC Berkeley biologists. The findings 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.
This semester's On the Same Page program, aimed at focusing the attention of incoming L&S undergrads on a single work or creator, is built around Professor of Journalism Michael Pollan's game-changing take on industrial agriculture and America's food systems, The Omnivore's Dilemma.
Pollan's public-interest prediction
This semester's On the Same Page program, aimed at focusing the attention of incoming L&S undergrads on a single work or creator, is built around Professor of Journalism Michael Pollan's game-changing take on industrial agriculture and America's food systems, The Omnivore's Dilemma.
Feeling lucky? Enough to trust Google with UC's library holdings?
A recent campus conference focused on the proposed settlement of a lawsuit over Google's effort to digitize millions of books – academic and otherwise – and make them available online.
New faces on Dwinelle Plaza
Portraits of students who are benefiting from privately funded scholarships and fellowships smile out at passersby, as the now-familiar "Thanks to Berkeley…" billboard gets a one-year facelift.
Fellowship lands recent grad in a real hotspot
Recent grad Sasha Pippenger’s taste for public service was not just satisfied but enhanced by her Gardner-funded experiences working on refugee-relief issues in Pakistan.
A peer in high places
Parking fees for the remainder of 2009-10 have been reduced, saving campus permit holders an average of 8 percent monthly.
It now costs less to park at Berkeley
Parking fees for the remainder of 2009-10 have been reduced, saving campus permit holders an average of 8 percent monthly.
The Human Rights Center at 15
Applying a raft of interdisciplinary tools and approaches to the messy reality of the international human-rights movement, the HRC serves as a bridge between academia and the practitioners and activists in the field.
H1N1: Intruder at the gates
Berkeley is preparing for an anticipated surge in flu cases this semester, with an interdepartmental effort aimed at limiting the disease's impact on students and campus operations.
Honorary degrees for students affected by World War II internment order
Approximately 500 Japanese Americans, whose education at UC Berkeley was interrupted by a 1942 executive order that confined about 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry to internment camps, are eligible to receive honorary degrees at a special campus ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 13.
Foreign scholars say 'yes' to American English pronunciation course
In a popular class organized by the Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs program, international scholars at Berkeley hone their ability to hear and create sounds not found in their native languages. The goal is help them prepare for their professional careers and the job market.
Improving vaccines to trigger T cell as well as antibody response
Most successful vaccines stimulate antibodies that attack and kill viruses as they scoot from one cell to another. But what about viruses and other pathogens that never leave the cell? A new theory of how the immune system recognizes pathogens suggests ways to make vaccines that trigger both antibodies and a T cell response, targeting extracellular as well as intracellular pathogens.
"Cyberlaw Cases" blog monitors top Internet-related cases
Two University of California, Berkeley, professors are teaming up with two colleagues to launch "Cyberlaw Cases," a blog covering what they consider the top 10 most important pending U.S. legal cases involving issues that impact the Internet, databases and software programs.
Top marks for top values
UC Berkeley has been recognized as the top university in the country for its contributions to society as measured by Washington Monthly's annual college guide and rankings.
Law school enhances loan forgiveness program in response to tough economy
In an effort to help its students and alumni during the current economic crisis, the UC Berkeley School of Law has significantly strengthened its Loan Repayment Assistance Program, already one of the nation's most generous loan forgiveness plans.
Starting today, it costs less to park at Berkeley
Amid this fall's steady rain of bad economic news, UC Berkeley's Parking and Transportation has announced a ray of sunshine for campus commuters: parking fees for the remainder of 2009-10 have been reduced, saving campus permit holders an average of 8 percent monthly
Berkeley Unified's racial integration plan a model for other school districts nationwide, says new report
A new UC Berkeley-UCLA report says the Berkeley Unified School District's plan to maintain diversity could serve as a model for other public schools nationwide that are seeking constitutionally sound desegregation programs. Not only has the integration plan achieved substantial integration, it was upheld earlier this year by the state appellate court, a decision that the California Supreme Court allowed to stand.
World's smallest semiconductor laser heralds new milestone in laser physics
UC Berkeley researchers have reached a new milestone in laser physics by creating the world's smallest semiconductor laser, capable of generating visible light in a space smaller than the size of a single protein molecule.
Arrest of kidnap suspect Phillip Garrido hinged on actions of two UC Berkeley police officers
Alert action by two members of the UC Berkeley police force played a key role in Wednesday's arrest of kidnapping suspect Phillip Garrido and the return of Jaycee Lee Dugard, who in 1991 at age 11 was abducted from her South Lake Tahoe neighborhood.
The Budget Squeeze
A look back at key events as the current crisis unfolded
It's my job
Steve Seid began his career writing about film and video, and working for small, independent video-arts organizations and film festivals before coming to the Pacific Film Archive 21 years ago.
Space Sciences lab celebrates 50 years & 75 satellites
In 1959, only two years after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik and ignited the space race, UC Berkeley created a laboratory devoted to space science that has grown to be one of the most active academic space research labs in the country.
Neil Henry steers a new course at the J-School
The new dean of the Graduate School of Journalism aims to uphold ethics amid the chaos of information in American society now.
Pictures (and more) from two exhibitions
Celebrate Charles Darwin's 200 birthday amid rare Darwiniana at the Bancroft Library and eight other campus libraries and museums. Learn about City Beautiful’s tenet of bringing civic order through large-scale plans at the College of Environmental Design's Wurster Hall.
As students return to classes, media meet with the chancellor
Chancellor Robert Birgeneau met the press on Wednesday for a public glimpse of the view of campus from California Hall.He described Berkeley's new crop of 9,400 students as "an exciting and excited class," but the main focus of the hourlong session, inevitably, was the campus's bleak budget picture.
Why Berkeley can keep on building during the budget crisis
Long before a shovel hits the ground, a building project must be planned and designed, but the financing — often from multiple sources — must also be in place.
Brostrom to serve interim role at UCOP leading business operations
Vice Chancellor for Administration Nathan Brostrom will serve as interim executive vice president for business operations in the UC Office of the President through Dec. 31, UC President Mark Yudof and Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced.
Bringing you a better Berkeleyan
With this issue you will see a redesigned Berkeleyan, with a new look and some new editorial formats.
Chancellor Birgeneau speaks out on the budget crisis
By all accounts, the UC system is facing the most serious financial crisis in its history. With the campus gearing up for a fall semester unlike any since his arrival in 2004, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau discusses the challenges ahead
Campus proposes furlough plan
Mandatory closure days to be taken as furlough by participating staff and faculty employees
Coming attractions: A shortlist of this fall's heady happenings
Many riches are in store on campus this semester for the culturally voracious and intellectually curious.
Mirror cast for Mexican 6.5-meter infrared telescope
The University of Arizona has cast a 9-ton honeycomb mirror that will become the centerpiece of the San Pedro Martir Telescope in Baja California and the locus of a highly sensitive infrared survey of the northern sky, accoring to project PI Joshua Bloom of UC Berkeley.
Fall classes begin amid budget challenges
Fall classes begin today (Wednesday, Aug. 26) for more than 35,000 students at UC Berkeley. While belt-tightening due to unprecedented state budget cuts will not go unnoticed here, UC Berkeley top officials say the campus is committed to weathering the financial storm and preserving a longstanding commitment to world-class teaching, research and public service.
Scholars protest repression of colleagues in Honduras
In an online petition spearheaded by Rosemary Joyce, chair of anthropology at Berkeley, scholars and academics across the country are urging the U.S. government to sanction the de facto regime for "escalated violence directed at our counterparts in universities and research centers in Honduras." Joyce has also launched a blog — offering English-language translations of commentary from Honduras — in the wake of the June 28 ouster of President Zelaya.
Honoring our own
The Berkeley campus will gather on Thursday, Sept. 3, for its eighth annual memorial service to honor those of its own who have died during the past year, whose names and affiliations are listed on an online memorial site.
Welcome to UC Berkeley – 141 years and counting
In a back-to-school video message, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau welcomes new and returning Cal students and thanks faculty and staff for their dedication.
Latest U.S. News rankings place Berkeley, again, at the top of the publics
U.S. News & World Report's 2010 guide to "America's Best Colleges," released yesterday, ranked Berkeley 21st among 262 public and private "national universities" offering doctoral degrees.
Campus furlough plan and proposed closure dates
In a message to all UC Berkeley faculty and staff, Vice Chancellor Nathan Brostrom outlines the campus closure dates and other decisions that have been taken to implement the systemwide furlough and salary reduction program approved in July by the UC Regents.
New images capture cell's ribosomes at work, could aid in molecular war against disease
UC Berkeley researchers have captured elusive nanoscale movements of ribosomes at work, shedding light on how these cellular factories take in genetic instructions and amino acids to churn out proteins. The achievement could eventually lead to significant advances in the fight against infectious diseases.
Fourth member of "Old Blue" family to live in the same residence hall room
Perhaps it's time to call Norton Hall's Room 414 at UC Berkeley, "The Eidelson Room." This Sunday (Aug. 23), 18-year-old Aaron Eidelson of Santa Barbara will move into the very same residence hall room that his father Jon and brothers Michael and Joel ate, slept, studied and occasionally partied in during their undergraduate years at UC Berkeley. Room 414 is a double room in Unit 3 that overlooks Durant Street and has a corner view of the landmark Campanile.
Technology Review magazine names three Berkeley scientists to elite group of young innovators
A trio of researchers at UC Berkeley are up-and-coming scientists to watch, according to a newly released 2009 list of Top Young Innovators Under 35.
NSF awards $3.2 million for research at the frontier of biology and engineering
With a new National Science Foundation grant, biologists and engineers at Berkeley will be stepping up their collaborative effort to learn from nature and apply their discoveries for the benefit of humanity.
McNair Scholars, 300 strong, converge at Berkeley to showcase their research
Last weekend 300 undergrads from around the country converged on the Berkeley campus for the four-day McNair Scholars symposium, where they shared research findings in a wide range of fields, from sociology to bioscience, and celebrated their completion of the program and their ambitions for grad school and the future.
Hacking incident on J-school Web server triggers notices to affected applicants
UC Berkeley will be notifying approximately 490 applicants to the Graduate School of Journalism of a potential personal data breach following a computer security incident in which a hacker gained access to the journalism school's primary Web server.
Campanile set to reopen, then close again for more repairs this fall
Summer visitors to campus will find the Campanile open once more beginning this Sunday (Aug. 9) at 10 a.m. But they should tour it soon, as the world's third largest bell and clock tower — shut down for repairs since mid-June — needs more fixes than first anticipated.
U.S. signs on to international disability-rights agreement
The United States' signing last week of the United Nations' international convention on disability rights brought cheers from Berkeley academicians and activists involved in efforts to assure the quality of life for disabled people — and reminders that there remains much to do to, both here and around the world.
Huge wage cost to filling gap in sub-Saharan Africa's health workforce, study projects
Hiring the workers needed to eliminate the staggering shortage of health care professionals in sub-Saharan Africa by 2015 will cost $2.6 billion a year, or 2.5 times the annual funds currently allocated for health worker wages in the region, according to a new study led by UC Berkeley researchers.
Tools for coping during tough times
As campus managers grapple with difficult decisions and staff await news about cuts and layoffs, employees can find themselves feeling helpless and unsettled. Here are some resources and suggestions on coping with the situation.
Smarts, for sure — but what other qualities make a good lawyer?
The LSAT, in tandem with GPA, the gold standard for U.S. law-school admissions, may do a great job identifying potentially stellar law students — but picking the ones who will ultimately make the best lawyers takes a broader approach, according to groundbreaking research by two Berkeley experts.
UC presents revised plan for housing Helios research
University of California representatives are presenting to state government officials newly revised plans for housing the Helios research initiatives that will explore promising new solar-energy technologies.
Two Berkeley alums are reportedly detained by Iran
Two of the three hikers reportedly detained by the Iranian government last week are former UC Berkeley students who have been working as journalists in the Middle East and Africa. They are Shane Bauer, a 2007 honors graduate in peace and conflict studies, and Sarah Emily Shourd, 30, who graduated in 2003 with a B.A. in English.
Mark Rosenzweig, pioneer in brain plasticity, learning and hearing, has died at 86
Mark R. Rosenzweig, a professor emeritus of psychology at UC Berkeley whose early studies paved the way for today's recognition of the brain's ability to grow and repair itself, died July 20 at his home in Berkeley from kidney failure. He was 86.
Gene transcribing machine takes halting, backsliding trip along the DNA
Cell's have nanoscale protein machines that perform the first step in gene expression, gliding smoothly along the DNA and translating it into RNA. Or so scientists thought. A new study shows that the real process is replete with long pauses and backsliding as the machine tries to negotiate the tightly compacted DNA in the nucleus.
Chancellor's Community Partnership Fund Awards announced
Sixteen partnerships between the University of California, Berkeley, and community groups to improve the quality of life for Berkeley residents will share $232,315 in grants awarded by the UC Berkeley Chancellor's Community Partnership Fund. The fund was established in 2006 through an agreement between the campus and the city.
Simon Karlinsky, scholar of Russian classic and émigré literature, dies at 84
Simon Karlinsky, a University of California, Berkeley, professor of Slavic languages and literature and a pioneering scholar of Russian classic and émigré literature, died in his Berkeley home on July 5 of congestive heart failure. He was 84.
Communal Webcasting platform to beef up campus's popular educational content
As a growing number of worldwide learners log on, free of charge, to video and podcast lectures and events at UC Berkeley, the campus is leading an international effort to build a communal Webcasting platform to more easily record and distribute its popular educational content.
Campus environmental record earns top score in Princeton Review "Green Ratings"
UC Berkeley makes The Princeton Review's Green Honor Roll in recognition of the campus's environmentally friendly policies. UC Berkeley was one of only 15 colleges in the country to have earned the top score in a rating, announced July 27, by The Princeton Review, a provider of education services to help students get into college.
Lisa Bauer honored as UC's 2009 'sustainability champion'
Lisa Bauer has cast a long shadow as manager of Campus Recycling and Refuse Services at Berkeley for more than a decade. For her early vision — and for rolling up her sleeves for years to make it manifest — Bauer was recently named UC's 2009 Sustainability Champion.
Berkeley will remain great, but will it retain its public character?
In a July 22 blog post on the Atlantic website, correspondent Erik Tarloff decried the impending cuts at UC Berkeley, resulting from California's budget crisis, as a "great tragedy" whose damage is "likely to be irreversible." Chancellor Robert Birgeneau responds.
Surprise collision on Jupiter captured by Gemini Telescope
A team of astronomers using the Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawai'i obtained a new infrared image of Jupiter on Wednesday night, July 22, showing its new scar still glowing in mid-infrared wavelengths.
Researchers turn cell phones into fluorescent microscopes, bring low-cost lab tools to the field
UC Berkeley researchers have developed a cell phone microscope that not only takes color images of malaria parasites, but of tuberculosis bacteria labeled with fluorescent markers. The latest milestone moves a major step forward in taking clinical microscopy out of specialized laboratories into field settings for disease screening and diagnoses.
For horned lizard, horns alone do not make the species
Counting the horns of California's horned lizard is one way to try to distinguish separate species, but a new study shows that to be unreliable. Biologists must consider genetic, morphological and ecological data to separate species. In the case of the coast horned toad, that means three.
Mitchell Celaya chosen as new UC Berkeley chief of police
Effective Aug. 1, the campus's new chief of police will be Mitchell J. Celaya III, a member of the UC Berkeley Police Department since 1982. Today's announcement follows a nationwide search to replace Victoria Harrison, who is retiring as police chief.
Jupiter pummeled, leaving bruise the size of the Pacific Ocean
UC Berkeley astronomer Paul Kalas took advantage of observing time on the Keck Telescope to check out a new bruise on the planet Jupiter and found indications of a recent impact that left a scar the size of the Pacific Ocean.
Brain can develop motor memory for prosthetics, study finds
A new study by UC Berkeley researchers shows that the brain can develop a stable, neural map of a how to control a prosthetic device, providing hope that physically disabled people can one day master control of artificial limbs with greater ease.
Gene variant linked to higher risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma
A study led by UC Berkeley researchers has identified a gene variant that carries nearly twice the risk of developing an increasingly common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a group of cancers that develop in the immune system's white blood cells.
Cell biologist Richard Strohman has died at 82
Richard Strohman, professor emeritus of molecular and cell biology and a frequent critic of the idea that genes determine destiny, died July 4 from complications of Alzheimer's disease. He was 82.
Focus turns to long-term impacts of state funding cuts as regents approve one-year furlough plan
Union employees were louder, but it was the UC chancellors' dire warnings of severe, long-term institutional damage from ongoing budget cuts that packed the biggest wallop at this week's meeting of the Board of Regents, where the regents approved President Mark Yudof's plan for systemwide furloughs and pay cuts.
History's Carla Hesse is named L&S dean of social sciences
Professor of History Carla Hesse, a prize-winning scholar whose interests center on modern Europe, especially France, takes over Aug. 1 as dean of the social sciences division of the College of Letters and Science. Her appointment was approved July 16 by the UC Board of Regents.
Kenneth Stampp, noted historian of the Civil War and slavery, dies
Kenneth M. Stampp, a University of California, Berkeley, professor emeritus of history and a formidable scholar best known for paving the way to a sharply revised assessment of American slavery, the coming of the American Civil War and Southern Reconstruction, died in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, July 10. He was 96.
Drugs may prevent epilepsy & seizures after brain injury
UC Berkeley's Daniela Kaufer and Israeli colleague Alon Friedman have shown that when severe head trauma causes the blood-brain barrier to leak, albumin in blood serum triggers neuron changes that lead to seizures. A new study in rats identifies a drug that prevents these changes.
Researchers find early markers of Alzheimer's disease
A large study of patients with mild cognitive impairment revealed that results from cognitive tests and brain scans can work as an early warning system for the subsequent development of Alzheimer's disease. The findings by UC Berkeley researchers are a major step forward in the march toward earlier diagnoses of the debilitating disease.
Linguists attending international institute
Hundreds of linguists from around the world are gathering at the University of California, Berkeley, through Aug. 13 to weigh thorny issues such as where grammar comes from, what infants learn before they talk, what DNA says about how related languages spread, and the "linguistically modern man."
Steam shutdown on Tuesday will interrupt service for 16 hours
One of the main campus steam lines will be shut down on Tuesday, July 14, starting at 2 a.m., as part of an ongoing utility reconstruction project. As a result, most buildings on the eastern half of campus will have little to no heat and hot water for 16 hours.
Money rocks (and raps) in economics grad students' music videos
A group of graduate students in the Berkeley economics department, calling themselves the Metrics Gang, relate the trials and tribulations of their doctoral quest in four popular online singles.
Furloughs, pay cuts announced for UC staff and faculty
UC President Mark Yudof revealed the shape of the future for many of the system's 120,000-plus employees Friday morning when he announced his proposal for "a graduated approach" to unpaid furlough days for faculty and staff that would reduce pay on a sliding scale.
UC president proposes plan to address fiscal crisis
University of California President Mark Yudof today released details of a proposed plan to offset an anticipated $813 million reduction in support from the state General Fund. The plan, which includes a graduated furlough and pay reduction for most staff and faculty, will be presented July 15 to the UC Board of Regents.
President Yudof's letter to the UC community on furlough proposal
In an open letter to the University of California community, UC President Mark Yudof spells out the details of the systemwide furlough plan he will propose to the Board of Regents next week, and thanks staff and faculty for their comments and recommendations that helped shape the final proposal.
Early-career scientist gets White House honor
Dr. Sanjay Kumar, a UC Berkeley bioengineer, is one of 100 researchers to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the White House announced.
Theory provides more precise estimates of large-area biodiversity
The Census Bureau is good at profiling the U.S. population by sampling small groups of people, but biologists lack a good way to estimate the richness of life in large areas based on small-area studies. Ecologist John Harte has developed a new theory that does a much better job predicting biodiversity in large biomes and could be a boon to conservation biologists.
Tremors on southern San Andreas Fault may mean increased quake risk
Tremors under the Parkfield segment of the San Andreas Fault have increased with increasing stress on a nearby locked segment of the fault, perhaps signaling a greater chance of an earthquake.
New opportunity to apply for voluntary separation option
Employees who are considering separating or retiring from their jobs — and not returning to UC employment for at least three years — can apply for this option to leave with a severance payment. The new VSO-2 is open to full-time or part-time non-represented career staff, non-represented librarians, and represented employees in participating unions. The deadline to apply is Aug. 7, 2009.
Kermit Wiltse, grassroots scholar of social work, has died at 94
Kermit T. Wiltse, a professor emeritus of social welfare at UC Berkeley and a North Dakota farm boy who devoted his life to improving the lot of disadvantaged children, died at his home in Berkeley on June 19 at age 94. The previous day, Jane Wiltse, his wife of 67 years, died at age 92. A celebration of their life together will be held on July 19.
Growing young scientists in Tahiti
Graduate student Brad Balukjian spent a year teaching biodiversity to Tahitian 5th graders on the island of Moorea while pursuing study of the island's endemic insects.
Green Corridor Partnership picks up steam as UC, LBNL drive innovation
Representatives of UC Berkeley and other members of a public-private East Bay consortium designed to solve environmental challenges while creating jobs gathered in Oakland June 26 for the partnership's second annual summit.
Tougher controls sought for DNA ancestry testing
As the popularity of take-home DNA kits to trace ancestry or calculate the risk for serious medical conditions grows, there is an increasingly critical need for federal oversight of "direct-to-consumer" genetic testing, as well as of the use of DNA samples for research, according to researchers from UC Berkeley,and several other academic institutions.
Can we reduce medical costs while expanding the availability of health care?
Without reform, the current U.S. healthcare system will well make the federal government "go the way of GM — paying more, getting less, and going broke," President Obama warned recently. In a Q&A with the NewsCenter, Dean of Public Health Stephen Shortell, an adviser to the Obama administration on pending health care legislation, speaks about needed changes — from a center for comparing effectiveness of various treatment options to better incentives for doctors and hospitals to reduce costs.
Shinnyo-en Foundation names chancellor a 2009 "Pathfinder to Peace"
University of California, Berkeley, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau is one of three recipients of the Shinnyo-en Foundation's 2009 Pathfinders to Peace Prize issued today (Monday, June 22) by the Shinnyo-en Foundation during ceremonies in San Francisco.
Berkeley's GradLink-on-the-Web wins Sautter Award, UC's top technology honor
Last week the University of California recognized UC Berkeley’s GradLink-on-the-Web and its developers with the Larry L. Sautter Award for Innovation in Information Technology. The award honors top technology projects from the 10 UC campuses.
Children susceptible to pesticides longer than expected, study finds
UC Berkeley researchers recommend that the U.S. EPA re-evaluate current standards for pesticide exposure in light of a new study finding that children's increased vulnerability to pesticides lasts much longer than expected.
Berkeley civil-engineering students take title in concrete-canoe competition
A team of Berkeley civil-engineering students won the 22nd annual National Concrete Canoe Competition at the contest's June 11-13 finals in Tuscaloosa, Ala. June 11-13. It was the campus's fifth title in the remarkable battle of the boats, sometimes called the America's Cup of civil engineering.
UC President Yudof proposes three systemwide furlough/salary reduction options
With the University of California facing a severe reduction in state funding, President Mark Yudof has offered three options for furloughs and/or salary reductions that would be applied systemwide.
Berkeley stakes science claim at Homestake gold mine
UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab plan to turn South Dakota's Homestake gold mine into a world-class science complex, with underground experiments in astrophysics, physics, biology and earth science. South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds, a big supporter of the effort, visited the campus and lab June 12 to cement the relationship and see what a large research complex looks like.
Chancellor delivers grim budget news at BSA gathering
The news, mostly bad, for the annual meeting with staff: deeper budget cuts, more layoffs, and likely 8 percent wage reductions
Budget Message from Chancellor and Provost
In an urgent letter to the campus community about California's financial crisis, Chancellor Birgeneau and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Breslauer discuss actions to cut costs across the UC system, explain what they think may happen, and describe their leadership strategy for the Berkeley campus in these difficult times.
Betty Connors, longtime director of Cal Performances' predecessor, dies at 92
Betty Connors, who for 35 years led the UC Berkeley performing arts organization that ultimately became Cal Performances, died on Thursday, June 11, at her home in Richmond. She was 92.
Stress puts double whammy on reproductive system
Stress is known to decrease fertility and sexual behavior, but researchers thought this was because stress hormones lower levels of a brain hormone called GnRH. UC Berkeley biologists now show that stress hormones also boost levels of another hormone that suppresses GnRH, creating a doublewhammy. The scientists hope it will be possible to block this system and restore fertility.
A summer's worth of science writing
The annual Summer Reading List is a Berkeley tradition. Entering freshmen (and the rest of us) stock our beach bags with books recommended by campus staff and faculty — this year, on the theme of science.
Life after Berkeley
New retirees from offices all over campus share their feelings about Cal, their reasons for bidding Berkeley adieu, and their plans for the future. From violin-building to travel abroad, they may be stepping down, but most aren't slowing down.
Nick West, an events coordinator in the Development and College Relations office of the College of Letters and Science, died of cancer on Monday, May 11, at Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley. He was 54.
Retired campus librarian Joseph W. Barker, who served both as head of the University Library's acquisition department and as program coordinator for the campus Teaching Library, died unexpectedly on Sunday, April 5, in Berkeley. He was 65 years old.
Good news for campus car commuters
A bit piece of good budget news: P&T holds the line on parking-permit fees.
Political scientist Chhibber named to head IIS
Teacher, scholar, and former chair of the political science department named to a five-year term as director of the Institute of International Studies.
Philip Brett Fund to support LGBT studies
A new fund to support research into LGBT topics in any discipline has been created to memorialize a professor who pioneered gay studies in music.
Additional campus, UC budget cuts pending
The state budget picture as it applies to UC remains unclear, though largely discouraging. A bright spot in the gloom: cuts to vital Cal Grant support for students in need of financial aid are off the table for now.
Graphene opens door to tunable transistors, LEDs
Graphene, which is a hexagonal sheet of carbon atoms, has been a hot subject of research since its isolation from graphite in 2004. That interest has paid off. UC Berkeley physicists have shown that two sheets of graphene slapped together can be made into a tunable electronic or photonic device, something unheard of with silicon or gallium arsenide semiconductors.
Red giant star Betelgeuse mysteriously shrinking
The red supergiant star Betelgeuse, which is so large it would extend to Jupiter's orbit in our solar system, has steadily shrunk over the past 15 years, according to UC Berkeley physicists. Since 1993, its radius has gone down by 15 percent, equivalent to the radius of Venus's orbit.
Lifting the fog on "dark" gamma-ray bursts
Gamma-ray bursts, with their ability to pierce through gas and dust to shine brightly across the universe, are revealing areas of intense star formation and stellar death where astronomers have been unable to look - the dusty corners of otherwise dust-free galaxies.
Bone bed tells of life along California's ancient coastline
Sharktooth Hill near Bakersfield is the home of the most extensive marine bone bed in the world, a 100-square-mile layer of shark, seal, ray, whale, turtle and fish bones. A UC Berkeley professor and five Berkeley PhDs have analyzed the 15-million-year-old fossils to decipher the history of what used to be the California coastline.
Stimulus funds for UC Berkeley research now total $8.6 million
UC Berkeley faculty have submitted nearly 300 proposals to the federal government for stimulus funding through NSF, NIH and other agencies. An announcement this week of three new grants from NIH should bring the total received to $8.6 million.
2009 Childhood Obesity Conference addresses new challenges, approaches to improving children's health
The 2009 Childhood Obesity Conference, titled "Creating Healthy Places for All Children," comes amid challenging times as more families struggle with limited food budgets, and communities struggle with fewer resources.
Report: Widespread data sharing, "Web bugs"
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Information released a report late Monday (June 1) showing that the most popular Web sites all share data with their corporate affiliates and allow third parties to collect information directly by using tracking beacons known as "Web bugs" - despite the sites' claims that they don't share user data with third parties.
Three UC Berkeley faculty members chosen for state advisory committee to help devise cap-and-trade program
Three scholars from the University of California, Berkeley, have been appointed to the state's new Economic and Allocation Advisory Committee, a group charged with helping California implement the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32).
Vice Chancellor Nathan Brostrom wins a 2009 Bay Area CFO of the Year award
Nathan Brostrom, vice chancellor for administration, last week was named Bay Area CFO of the Year for a non-public company by the San Francisco Business Times and Larkin Street Youth Services. He was one of six winners honored because they "exemplify the professionalism, integrity, resilience and mastery of key skills that make a great CFO."
Three faculty members elected to American Philosophical Society
Three University of California, Berkeley, faculty members have been elected to the American Philosophical Society, the nation's oldest learned society comprised of nearly 1,000 eminent scholars from a broad range of disciplines.
Ronald Takaki, pioneer and legend in ethnic studies, dies at age 70
Ronald Takaki, professor emeritus of ethnic studies at the UC Berkeley, and a preeminent scholar of U.S. race relations who taught the University of California's first black history course, died at his home in Berkeley on Tuesday, May 26, at age 70. He had struggled for years with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune condition that attacks the central nervous system. Although Takaki retired from UC Berkeley in 2003, he was frequently seen on campus, delivering guest lectures to standing-room-only audiences or joining marches about social justice, with his shock of silver hair, trim runner's body and professorial spectacles.
Obama calls on Berkeley School of Antitrust
Two University of California, Berkeley, professors who will become the federal government's top antitrust economists and a third chosen as a senior official in the same field are among the latest campus faculty members enlisted to help the Obama administration shape policy for the nation. Their appointments highlight the growing strength of Berkeley School of Antitrust Economics.
Ronald Takaki, pioneering scholar of race relations, dies at 70
Ronald Takaki, a professor emeritus of ethnic studies at UC Berkeley and a prolific scholar of U.S. race relations who taught UC’s first black history course, died at his home in Berkeley on Tuesday, May 26. He was 70
Allen Telescope Array begins all-sky surveys
With commissioning of the 42 radio dishes of the Allen Telescope Array nearly complete, UC Berkeley astronomers are now embarking on several major radio astronomy projects, including daily surveys of the sky.
Rare radio supernova is nearest supernova in five years
Robotic telescopes now search the sky nightly for exploding stars, but not all supernovas are visible to optical, ultraviolet or X-ray telescopes. A supernova missed by other telescopes because these wavelengths were blocked by galactic gas and dust was discovered by radio telescopes in April, and turns out to be the nearest supernova in five years.
Campanile’s spire to be repaired
Sather Tower, better known as the Campanile, will be having a little work done this summer, necessitating occasional short-term closures. But what nonagenarian doesn't need a little cosmetic intervention every now and again?
A Latina judge's voice
Foes of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination Tuesday to the U.S. Supreme Court have focused in part on her comments on the role of ethnicity, gender and life experience in judicial rulings. Read the full text of Sotomayor's speech on the subject, delivered Oct. 26, 2001 at U.C. Berkeley as the Judge Mario G. Olmos Memorial Lecture.
A sunny day for graduates — and the many who helped them
Under sunny skies at the Greek Theatre, graduates from the class of 2009 take a clear-eyed look at an uncertain future.
Insect in hemlock forests causes loss of canopy, gain of invasive plants
An exotic pest is ravaging the shade-providing canopy of eastern hemlock forests, and in turn setting the stage for the successful invasion of non-native plants, according to new UC Berkeley research.
Computer-based smoking cessation programs work, finds metanalysis
A new analysis led by UC Berkeley researchers suggests that Web- and computer-based smoking cessation programs are worth a try, and fortunately during these tough economic times, many of them are free.
Sights and speeches from Commencement Convocation 2009
A sunny afternoon and inspiring speakers drew thousands of graduates and their families to the Greek Theatre to celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2009.
Berkeley's new graduates discuss the job market and what comes next
For graduating seniors, May is a proverbially bittersweet time — this year with extra bitter in the mix, for some, as they head out into a time of economic distress and record unemployment. Seven members of Berkeley’s class of 2009 share what's next for them — their hopes, plans, and their experience so far looking for employment or a slot in graduate school.
Matías Tarnopolsky new director of Cal Performances
Robert Birgeneau, chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, today (Wednesday, May 20) announced the appointment of Matías Tarnopolsky as director of Cal Performances. The announcement was made at a press conference in Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley campus.
SETI@home project celebrates 10th anniversary, though no ETs
A May 21 symposium celebrates the 10th birthday of the SETI@home project, the largest volunteer computing project in the world. Launched May 17, 1999, its dedicated followers continue to crunch radio data in search of intelligent signals from space.
Summer haze has a cooling effect in southeastern United States, says new study
Global warming may include some periods of local cooling, according to a new UC Berkeley study. Results from satellite and ground-based sensor data show that sweltering summers can, paradoxically, lead to the temporary formation of a cooling haze in the southeastern United States.
As voters weigh state's budget options, UC Berkeley eyes severe options for addressing cuts
With a slate of critical ballot propositions facing voters on Tuesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday offered two revised scenarios for mending the state's worsening budget outlook. One is bad news for the University of California. The other, for some, is too grim to contemplate.
Online games spark girls' interests in science & technology
Thanks to a National Science Foundation grant, 12 Oakland Girl Scouts are now learning how to create online games centered around astronomy. The program's goal is to create a multi-user game called "The Universe Quest Game" in which girls around the world can safely interact and learn about science and technology.
University Medal finalists make discoveries at Berkeley about themselves and the world
This year, five students — Jordan Anaya, Sonia Fleury, Lara Palanjian, Zoe Sima Silverman, and William Vega — were finalists for the University Medal, given to Berkeley's top graduating senior. These five stellar students take time out to answer questions about their time at Cal and their plans for life beyond Berkeley.
Graduation ceremony season starts tomorrow (Thursday)
Pixar Animation co-founder Alvy Ray Smith; Sir Andrew Duncan Crockett, president of JP Morgan International; State Treasurer Bill Lockyer and world-renowned sleep researcher Matt Walker will be among the speakers passing on acumen and inspiration to graduating students at UC Berkeley, at ceremonies starting tomorrow (Thursday, May 14).
Managers who embrace change to be honored
The 21st annual BSA Excellence in Management awards, presented by the Berkeley Staff Assembly, will be conferred on 22 campus managers.
Assistive Technology Center opens new lab
An expanded Assistive Technology Teaching and Learning Center, for use by students in the campus Disabled Students Program, was opened at UC Berkeley on Monday, May 11.
Top graduating senior is an intellectual superstar
Emma Shaw Crane spent her teens riding horses and making mischief at her Waldorf school in Santa Rosa, Calif. She filled out her application to UC Berkeley, while recovering from typhoid on a beach in southern Mexico. Growing up among activists and anarchists, Shaw Crane said she never expected to be admitted to a top research university.But like her thick, tawny hair, Shaw Crane's life is full of twists and turns. Today, she has landed a coveted prize as UC Berkeley's top graduating senior, selected to receive the University Medal and address thousands of her peers at Commencement Convocation on May 22. She also will receive a $2,500 scholarship.
School of Public Health launches $5 million Kaiser Permanente Public Health Scholars Program
An ambitious initiative designed to meet the increasing need for highly educated public health workers launched today. The Kaiser Permanente Public Health Scholars Program, funded by a $5 million grant to the School of Public Health, is expected to expand California’s public health workforce, with an emphasis on recruiting students from underserved communities and placing them in health departments and other organizations that serve vulnerable populations.
Neil Henry named dean of Graduate School of Journalism
Award-winning journalist, author and professor Neil Henry has been chosen as dean of the University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, a post he has held on a transitional basis since 2007.
Hackers attack campus databases, steal Social Security numbers, other data
The University of California, Berkeley, today (Friday, May 8) began notifying students, alumni and others that their personal information may have been stolen after hackers attacked restricted computer databases in the campus's health services center.
Ausin Hoggatt, professor emeritus at the Haas School, dies at age 79
Austin "Auggie" Hoggatt, professor emeritus at the Haas School of Business, died April 29 at age 79. His research and consulting spanned many fields, including computer simulations, experimental economics, management science, and savings and loans.
Roll models and spokespeople
A two-day symposium organized by the campus Human Rights Center plumbed the connections between technology, media, and human-rights advocacy.
'Soul of the New Machine' confab geared to human rights
A two-day symposium organized by the campus Human Rights Center plumbed the connections between technology, media, and human-rights advocacy.
It's My Job
Adrian Diaz, Assistant director, State Government Relations
Dishing diversity at the dinner table
All in the family: A mother and her adult daughter both have campus jobs dedicated to increasing diversity at Berkeley.
Mentoring is its own reward … but plaques are nice, too
A recent round of awards honor the campus's invaluable graduate-student instructors . . . and the faculty who mentor them.
Workforce- reduction measures are having an impact
A variety of workforce-reduction measures announced in March are contributing to the campus's bottom line.
Pandemic, or just a bad bug?
The H1N1 virus has proven to be less virulent than many imagined. Which is not to say that we know a lot about it, because we don't, a panel of Berkeley experts emphasized earlier this week.
UC Berkeley UV detector to be installed in Hubble telescope
NASA's final mission to the 17-year-old Hubble Space Telescope, which begins May 11, will deliver a new instrument partly built by UC Berkeley physicists to map the structure of the universe.
Why do we tolerate a massive prison system that produces 70% recidivism rates?
Legal scholar Jonathan Simon discusses the social and fiscal impacts of California's approach to crime and punishment. Unless we confront its central flaws, he says, "everything is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic." Part 2 of a two-part Q&A.
Why parole does not work in California
California's criminal justice system has been thrust into the national spotlight by the shooting deaths of four Oakland police officers by a recently released state prisoner. Criminal-law expert Jonathan Simon talks about the 'broken' system he has studied since the 1980s.
Unprecedented use of DDT to combat malaria concerns experts
The current practice of spraying DDT indoors to fight malaria is leading to unprecedented – and insufficiently monitored – levels of exposure to the pesticide, say experts concerned about the risk to human health.
Chancellor's Public Service Awards honor faculty, staff, and students
Chancellor Birgeneau welcomed awardees and celebrants to the annual presentation of the Chancellor's Public Service Awards, in Sibley Auditorium, on April 23.
The campus has lost Police Officer Allen Delano Rollins, whose warmth and humor made him a memorable presence at the front desk of California Hall.
A must-see spot — if you're a Berkeley bee
A research garden near campus is devoted to discovering which common garden plants are attractive to local bee species — the better to ensure their survival.
Transplanted to a bare Wheeler stage, Botany of Desire blooms as a musical
Two guys walk into a bar. One says, "Let's do a musical based on that book about plants."
'Passion and romance and love'
A new Berkeley Art Museum exhibit showcases the work of six artists grappling with the power of their media to effect social change.
UC president addresses Berkeley Senate
Mark Yudof addressed his good-news/bad-news budget message to faculty at last week's Senate meeting.
Transportation expert Ernest Koenigsberg passes away
Ernest Koenigsberg, a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business and an expert in operations research and management science, with a focus on transportation, died on April 20 of heart failure at his home in San Francisco. He was 86.
Emmanuel Saez wins 2009 John Bates Clark Medal
University of California, Berkeley, professor Emmanuel Saez, a leading scholar of tax policy and the distribution of income and wealth, is the latest recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded by the American Economics Association (AEA) to the U.S. economist under 40 making the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge.
Jennifer Wolch named ninth dean of College of Environmental Design
Jennifer Wolch, a leading scholar of urban analysis and planning, will take the helm at UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design on July 1, 2009. Wolch will become the college's ninth dean and Berkeley's fourth current woman dean.
Seven faculty members elected to NAS
Seven UC Berkeley faculty members are among 72 new members elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the nation's most prestigious societies of scholars engaged in science and engineering research.
$30 million from DOE for carbon capture, sequestration
The White House announced this week a major push to spur innovative energy research, including $777 million over five years from the Department of Energy. $30 million of this money will come to UC Berkeley and LBNL to investigate carbon capture and sequestration.
Dalai Lama: Creating a peaceful 21st century will take all 6 billion of us
Whether history remembers the 21st century as happy or unhappy "is in your hands," the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, told the students at UC Berkeley campus appearance.
ADHD medication can improve math and reading scores, study suggests
Pediatricians and educators have long known that psycho-stimulant medications can help children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) concentrate on learning for short periods of time. But a new study from the UC erkeley has found evidence that grade schoolers with ADHD who take medications can actually improve their long-term academic achievement, and make greater gains in standardized math and reading scores than students with ADHD who do not take medications.
Dalai Lama speaks on peace at UC Berkeley's Greek Theatre
The Dalai Lama made his third visit to UC Berkeley on Saturday, April 25. His Holiness made a special appeal to students to help put an end to war, saying that peace begins with "personal disarmament."
An impatient man, a hopeful moment
At the April 23 groundbreaking for the Richard C. Blum Center for Developing Economies' new campus home, Al Gore paid tribute to its founder and, especially, to the students whose engagement gives the center such promise to aid the world's poor.
Bravo, maestro, bravo!
Longtime Cal Performances director Robert Cole, who will step down this August, announces the arts organization's 2009-10 season.The arts impresario also reflects on some of his favorite events during his 23 years at Cal Performances' helm.
Ernest W. Adams, an emeritus professor of philosophy, died on March 29, shortly after being diagnosed with an advanced case of liver cancer. He was 83.
THEMIS mission tracks electrical tornadoes in space
Tornadoes on Earth are among the most violent storms, capable of enormous destruction with wind speeds of 200 mph and more. Yet these are tiny compared to the "space tornados" that impress with plasma flow speeds of more than one million mph and beautiful auroras.
Russia today, under Vladimir Putin, is neither autocratic nor imperialistic, Communist nor democratic, says an emeritus professor of political science. The good news? Things could be a lot worse… for the Russian people in particular.
Plugging away at the riddle of consciousness
Over the course of his 50 years on campus, John Searle — among Berkeley's most distinguished and engaged public intellectuals — has explored the philosophy of language, to worldwide renown. He's also gotten in some skiing.
New labs on tap for College of Chemistry
The instructional labs in the College of Chemistry are nearly half a century old, and feeling it. An ambitious new program will modernize them — as part of an initiative that will also develop a new vision of "how to teach chemistry in the 21st century."
Professors ace teaching test
Five University of California, Berkeley, professors have been chosen by their department colleagues and students to receive a 2009 Distinguished Teaching Award, the campus's most prestigious honor for superlative instruction.
Cal Day 2009: Audio slide show
An audio slide show tour of the highlights of Cal Day 2009.
New Mark Twain book hits store shelves
As a collection of 24 previously unpublished works by Samuel Clemens – aka Mark Twain – hits bookstore shelves, the general editor of the Bancroft Library's Mark Twain Papers & Project says Clemens is very much still worth reading.
Four professors become arts and sciences academy fellows
Four UC Berkeley professors are among the latest leaders in the arts, humanities and sciences named fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences today (Monday, April 20).
Al Gore to speak at groundbreaking of new Blum poverty studies building
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore will participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new home of the Richard C. Blum Center for Developing Economies at UC Berkeley, this Thursday, April 23. Gore shared the 2007 Noble Peace Prize for his efforts to bring worldwide understanding to the issue of global climate change.
An audio-visual tour of the UC Botanical Garden in its spring glory
The Berkeley garden contains 13,000 different kinds of plants, collected in the wild, and arranged by geographic region. Director Paul Licht gives us a guided tour.
UC Berkeley student with active TB being treated
University Health Services recently diagnosed a UC Berkeley student with active tuberculosis, and is getting in touch with close contacts of that student who may have been exposed to the TB bacteria.
Voluntary separation with severance pay is now an option
A newly approved program could offer an attractive option to staff considering retirement: a severance payment based on their job classification and length of service.
A truly distinguished lot
Five faculty members will be honored April 22 at this year's Distinguished Teaching Awards ceremony. Learn about them from our "Do-ers" profiles…
Meg Conkey receives Chancellor's Award
Honored for her commitment to increasing diversity not only on the campus but within her own academic field, Conkey will receive $30,000 to further her work.
Campus staffers honored for 'going beyond' daily responsibilities
At last week's annual recognition event, three staff teams and 22 individuals were honored for their exceptional hard work on Berkeley's behalf.
Breyer: Faith in reason, or faith in force?
According to Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who spoke at Berkeley last week, the rule of law is a "subtle thing" that relies on citizens to follow it, and on governments to enforce it.
Career Compass maps out its next stage
The campus's multifaceted workforce initiative enters its next phase this month, with innovations that will make it possible to compare specific jobs (and their pay levels) to the external market.
The story of X - evolution of a sex chromosome
The sex chromosomes -- XX in women and XY in men -- date from the earliest mammals, but how did they evolve to look like they do today? While the male-determining Y chromosome has received all the attention, a UC Berkeley biologist has now focused on the X, and finds that it tells a fascinating story of adaptation to a shrinking Y.
Campus helps graduating students cope with bleak job market
With the Class of 2009 understandably worried about employment prospects after graduation next month, UC Berkeley is helping seniors prepare for a job market riddled with layoffs and hiring freezes.
In face of global warming, can wilderness remain natural?
Preserving endangered species is going to get a whole lot harder with the advent of global warming, according to paleoecologist Anthony Barnosky, author of a new book called "Heatstroke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming." Climate change will force plants and animals to seek more hospitable habitats ouside preserves, or more likely, force humans to assist with their migration to preferred habitat.
UC Berkeley welcomes visitors April 18 for Cal Day 2009
The Year of Science, Charles Darwin's birthday, the Obama administration, and the economic crisis will be highlighted at this year's Cal Day, the annual open house at the University of California, Berkeley. On Saturday, April 18, at least 35,000 people again are expected to descend upon one of the world's most prestigious research universities, accessing museums, buildings and labs, many of which are typically closed to the public.
Diane Ainsworth, a former Berkeleyan staff writer, died March 29 at her home in Altadena, Calif., of an apparent heart attack or aneurysm, according to her father, Donald Ainsworth. She was 56.
Veteran journalist says schools and hospitals, not missile attacks, can defeat al Qaeda
Only a handful of journalists operate in the border region between Afghanstan and Pakistan. One of them told a campus audience last week how the U.S. might better conduct its campaign against Islamic extremists there.
Berkeley moves toward climate neutrality
A new report outlines the steps Berkeley has taken over the past two years to attain its goal of cutting back its greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2014.
Cal Day: It's about the dazzle
The annual campus open house on April 18 will offer dance, music, theatre, lectures, hands-on activities, tours — a banquet of opportunities at which 35,000 are expected to nourish themselves.
American Cultures: Discussing differences, building bridges
"Tough conversations" about race and ethnicity occur almost daily at Berkeley, many of them in classes designed to meet a campus requirement dating to the late 1980s.
"Pursuit of Happyness" hero to address 2009 graduates
Chris Gardner, the self-made entrepreneur and philanthropist whose homelessness-to-riches story inspired the 2006 autobiography and feature film, "The Pursuit of Happyness," will deliver the keynote address this spring at the UC Berkeley's Commencement Convocation, an annual event honoring all graduating seniors. Gardner's commitment to speak at the Greek Theatre on Friday, May 22, is a triumph for the Senior Class Council of the Californians, the student group that plans Commencement Convocation.
Climate change to spur rapid shifts in fire hotspots, projects new analysis
Climate change will bring about major shifts in worldwide fire patterns, and those changes are coming fast, according to a new analysis led by UC Berkeley fire researchers.
Almost 13,000 high school students offered admission to UC Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley, announced today (Tuesday, April 7) that it has offered freshman admission for the 2009-2010 school year to almost 13,000 high school students, including several nationally-ranked debaters, a world-champion figure skater, and a set of triplets.
Experts weigh in on the battle for national healthcare reform
As the herculean and unpredictable political battle over national healthcare reform unfolds on Capitol Hill, a panel of experts explored "considerations for the Obama administration" at an April 1 campus event. Four experts in health policy, politics, law, and labor focused on needed changes, with emphasis on what is realistically achievable.
Optometry's 20/20 fundraising vision
Much of the more than $700,000 raised for graduate fellowships in optometry has come from the school's current and emeritus faculty.
It's My Job
Sandra Wasson, General Manager, KALX
JUDITH BUTLER: Thinking critically about war
A leading voice in the developing intellectual field of critical theory has received a $1.5 million Mellon Foundation award that she’ll use to create a “Thinking Critically About War” program at Berkeley.
Goldman School portal takes the worry out of 'experiments of concern'
How concerned should we be about breakthroughs in synthetic biology that might also be useful to bioterrorists? An online advice portal developed at Berkeley may help to minimize those risks.
Japanese architect Toyo Ito to visit campus
Acclaimed Japanese architect Toyo Ito will visit the UC Berkeley campus this month to discuss contemporary Japanese architecture and to attend an open house about the new Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, which he designed.
Chemist Graham Fleming named vice chancellor for research
Graham Fleming, the Melvin Calvin Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at UC Berkeley and former deputy director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has been appointed the campus's vice chancellor for research.
Sea mollusks taste their memories to build shells
Mollusk's add daily to the margins of their shells to produce intricate patterns prized by beachcombers. Though this seems complex, the process can actually be explained by a simple network of nerve cells that taste yesterday's shell layer to build today's, according to two UC Berkeley biophysicists. To prove it they have created a computer model that re-creates the patterns seen in seashells.
Public finance scholar George F. Break dead at 88
George F. Break, an emeritus professor of economics at UC Berkeley, and an authority on public finance, died of heart failure at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley on March 13. He was 88.
Campus police chief will step down in July
Victoria Harrison will step down as chief of police at UC Berkeley in July, concluding a 36-year law-enforcement career that began as a student CSO at UC Santa Barbara. Over her 19 years as UCPD chief, Harrison successfully saw the campus through wide-ranging adversity.
PACE hosts teacher pay conferences
New ways of compensating teachers in an era of ferocious budget shortfalls will be the topic of discussion for about 400 school superintendents, leaders of teacher organizations and school board members from across California at conferences next Monday and Tuesday (March 30-31) in Oakland and Los Angeles.
Campus leaders tell Town Hall they hope to minimize layoffs, but must close a 'huge funding gap'
Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and his vice chancellor for administration, Nathan Brostrom, discussed the campus's budget challenges and answered questions from some of the hundreds of UC Berkeley staff attending a town hall forum in Wheeler Auditorium on March 24.
Oakland police Sgt. Daniel Sakai killed in line of duty was a '96 Cal grad
Oakland police Sgt. Daniel Sakai, who was killed March 21 along with three fellow officers, was a '96 Cal grad and husband of a UC Berkeley police officer.
Illegal drug trade has left deep scars on Mexican culture, says renowned journalist
Mexico's thriving drug trade has produced not only a wave of increasingly shocking violence but a durable imprint on the culture, the renowned Latin American reporter Alma Guillermoprieto told a campus audience.
Political scientist Henry Brady new Goldman School dean
Political scientist Henry E. Brady, a leading scholar of public opinion, political movements, politics and public policy in the United States, Canada, Russia, Estonia and other countries, has been appointed dean of the University of California, Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy.
Judith Butler wins Mellon Award
Judith Butler, a UC Berkeley professor of comparative literature and rhetoric, is a winner of the 2008 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award.
Professor Emeritus Tor Brekke, renowned tunneling expert, dies at 75
Tor L. Brekke, a UC Berkeley professor emeritus of geological engineering and a world-renowned scholar in tunneling, died on Friday, March 6, at his home in Berkeley. He was 75.
U.S. economy spurs foreign students to return home, study says
Most foreign nationals studying at universities in the United States say American higher education is the best in the world, but few plan to remain in this country after graduation to pursue their careers, according to a new study co-authored by a UC Berkeley, authority on technology and the global economy.
A poet views the oak-grove standoff
Professor English Robert Hass, in his Faculty Research Lecture last week, said his subject would be “thinking about nature.” His thesis? That “we don’t do it very well.”
Two lecturers, three lectures, and a focus on genes
Berkeley’s Michael Levine considers “The Invisible Genome,” while Stanford’s Lucy Shapiro speaks about global health from a microbiologist’s perspective.
Quench your thirst the Berkeley way
Drinking fountains for the 21st century: just one way Berkeley is overcoming its bottled-water habit.
A new garden grows at Berkeley
A group of students has been tilling and planting a conspicuous space in the heart of campus . . . to grow their own food, and to show others how it’s done.
Staff invited to March 24 town hall on the budget
Staff and non-senate academic employees are invited to a town-hall meeting to discuss Berkeley's budget situation and plans to address it.
Mice with disabled gene that helps turn carbs into fat stay lean despite feasting on high-carb diet
UC Berkeley researchers have identified a gene that plays a critical regulatory role in the process of converting dietary carbohydrate to fat. Mice that had this gene disabled had lower levels of body fat than their normal counterparts, despite being fed the equivalent of an all-you-can-eat pasta buffet.
Scientists cable seafloor seismometer into state earthquake network
A 32-mile underwater cable now links the state's only seafloor seismic station with the UC Berkeley's seismic network, merging real-time data from west of the San Andreas fault with data from 31 other land stations sprinkled around Northern and Central California.
New Mark Twain book offers fresh insights into author
Fans of another famous author, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, best known by his pen name, Mark Twain, will likely be lining up for "Who is Mark Twain?" – an intriguing collection of two dozen previously unpublished sketches and essays by Twain that will be in bookstores on April 21. The materials come from The Mark Twain Papers and Project at UC Berkeley.
Public Health Heroes to be honored at March 18 ceremony
A global health humanitarian, a health care system efficiency expert, a nursing advocate and an information technology non-profit group each will receive a 13th annual Public Health Heroes Award from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health on Wednesday, March 18.
From the Chancellor's Office: Followup on the budget and senior administrators' actions
With staff and faculty forums coming up to address actions UC Berkeley is taking to address the budget crisis, the chancellor's office also discusses questions about whether senior campus administrators should take cuts in their salaries.
How are Berkeley students faring in hard times?
Many UC Berkeley students currently find themselves looking for cheaper housing, worrying about debt, or (especially if they're about to graduate) stressing about their job prospects. Eleven undergrads discuss how the economic downturn is affecting them. (With audio.)
Leona Shapiro, leading nutritionist and child obesity expert, dies at 89
Leona R. Shapiro, a leading public health nutritionist who played major roles in pioneering research on child obesity, has died at the age of 89.
One week, four key lectures
Pearls will spill from podiums all over campus this coming week, starting when our own Robert Hass, professor of English, delivers the first of this year's two Faculty Research Lectures on Thursday, March 12. Coming up next week: two Hitchcock Lectures from prominent University of Chicago biologist Neil Shubin, and an intriguing talk about the future of the Republican Party by the Iowa GOP congressman who made headlines when he endorsed Barack Obama.
Staffer a winner in campus essay contest
Linda Finch Hicks’ essay about an aspect of her childhood in Tokyo was submitted on the theme of “Rock, paper, scissors” in this year’s Fabilli-Hoffer Essay Contest . . . the only such campus competition open to staff and faculty.
Newspaper on a mission
Daily Cal editor Bryan Thomas is working hard to keep the campus’s student paper alive in the present while positioning it for the future.
Who teaches the teachers? Spelling out the ABCs of pedagogy
While technology has revolutionized the classroom, the past decade has seen a wave of new research on how people learn. Barbara Gross Davis rewrote her 1993 Tools for Teaching to address both these developments.
Long, sexy tails not a drag on male hummingbirds
At last two dozen hummingbirds, not to mention hundreds of other birds, sport long tails to attract females. But don't these tails get in the way? A new UC Berkeley study shows that long-tailed male hummingbirds lose little in the way of energy to draw the attention of admiring females.
It's My Job
Mei Griebenow, Graduate Student Affairs Officer, Integrative Biology and Endocrinology
Long-term ozone exposure linked to higher risk of death, finds nationwide study
A study analyzing two decades of data for 450,000 people across the nation found that long-term exposure to ground-level ozone, a major component of smog, raises the risk of death from respiratory ailments. It is the first major study connecting chronic exposure to ozone to elevated mortality rates, and could be used in future evaluations of federal standards for acceptable ozone levels.
Berkeley student body lines up and around and around to see the Dalai Lama
The line, the likes of which had been seen only once before, formed early for tickets to see the Dalai Lama at his April 25 appearance here at UC Berkeley.
Law schools at UC Berkeley and UCLA launch new environment blog
The law schools at UC Berkeley and UCLA today announced the launch of a new blog, Legal Planet, which provides insight and analysis on climate change, energy, and environmental law and policy. This collaborative blog draws upon the individual research strengths and vast expertise of the law schools' think tanks and legal scholars.
Chancellor, campus leaders brief the media on Berkeley budget issues
Campus leaders spoke to the media on March 10 about the impacts of the state and global economic crisis on UC Berkeley and steps being taken to respond to the $60-70 million campus budget shortfall projected for 2009-10. Reporters from some 20 media outlets dialed in to the conference call.
Inexpensive flooring change improves child health in urban slums
Replacing dirt floors with cement in the homes of urban slums makes for more comfortable living – but more importantly, it significantly improves children’s health by interrupting the transmission of intestinal parasites and boosts their cognitive abilities, according to a new study conducted forUC Berkeley’s Center of Evaluation for Global Action.
Fighting global poverty is fastest-growing minor
Students majoring in everything from engineering to English are signing up at the UC Berkeley, for the campus's fastest-growing minor - "Global Poverty & Practice" - a veritable magnet for a "Yes We Can" generation eager to get out of the virtual world and into the real one.
New options for employees aim to reduce workforce and workload
Vice Chancellor for Administration Nathan Brostrom says some layoffs are likely, but campus planning focuses on ways to shrink the workforce through voluntary reductions and attrition. New ideas are also emerging to reduce workload and save money.
Birgeneau, Breslauer lay out budget situation, options to address shortfalls
With many challenges, much planning, and new programs, UC Berkeley intends to emerge from the recession with a stronger foundation for the future.
Musical video, 'The Nano Song,' a megahit on YouTube
When the American Chemical Society put out the call for short videos explaining nanotechnology to the non-scientist, a group from Berkeley pulled together an orchestrated score, a classically trained singer, and a gaggle of dancing puppets. Public response to their contest entry has been anything but small — with attention from science, technology, and social-networking websites, and nearly 300,000 hits on YouTube.
Assembling cells into artificial 3-D tissues, like tiny glands
UC Berkeley chemists have developed a way to assemble cells into 3-D microtissues and even tiny glands, much like snapping together toy building blocks to make a simple machine. Such microtissues could serve as niches for studying how cells work together, or be assembled into larger structures as artificial, implantable organs.
Stiles Hall: a 'living room' with a committed fan club
It's a student-services center, a cauldron of social causes, an incubator for campus and community initiatives, and an important contributor to Berkeley's diversity.
In a Galaxy not all that far away...
An art collection that started with 43 donated pieces in 1963 has grown to more than 15,000 pieces spanning the 14th to 21st centuries. This ambitious exhibit hits the highlights
Linking fast food proximity to obesity
Location is everything – and that goes for fast food as well as for real estate.California's nearly 3 million 9th graders are at least 5.2 percent more likely to be obese if there is a fast food restaurant within a tenth of a mile of their school, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, economists.
Kepler in the classroom
Just as NASA's Kepler mission and its search for habitable planets has grabbed the public's attention, Alan Gould hopes that the mission will galvanize student interest in science as well. Since 2001, Gould, coordinator of the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) space science programs, has been gearing up for launch as Kepler's co-investigator for education and public outreach.
With Mar. 6 Kepler launch, work begins for Berkeley astronomers
NASA's Kepler mission, scheduled for launch on March 6, will put a telescope in orbit to scan 100,000 stars for evidence of Earth-size planets. While many hold out hope of finding dozens of planets with conditions ripe for life, it also will show us how common Earth-like planets are in the galaxy, according to Kepler team members Gibor Basri and Geoff Marcy.
Paint, video, Etch A Sketch — this artist's media are varied and many
Grad-student artist Miguel Arzabe explores his complicated appreciation of nature using a wide assortment of media — paint, video, laser etchings, online social-networking tools, public enactments and installations, and the Etch A Sketch.
Campus dedicates new state-of-the-art CITRIS research headquarters
More than 600 people turned out for the festive dedication of Sutardja Dai Hall — a 141,000-square foot, state-of-the-art building where the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the Dado and Maria Banatao Institute@CITRIS Berkeley will be headquartered.
Dedication of new CITRIS headquarters marks new stage of innovation to help fuel economic growth
The newest research facility on the UC Berkeley campus, to be dedicated today (Friday, Feb. 27), embodies the innovation and entrepreneurship needed to fuel economic growth and arrives at a time when the state and nation seek relief from the recession. At a ceremony this afternoon, Sutardja Dai Hall will become the new home of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the Banatao Institute@CITRIS Berkeley.
Speaker series on California climate change challenges
A new UC Berkeley speaker series will explore the state's landmark climate control legislation's critical connections to sustainable development and land-use planning. The series, "Growing Sustainability in a Low-Carbon World," is sponsored by UC Berkeley's Institute for Urban and Regional Development (IURD) and starts on March 17. It will bring together local, regional and state decision-makers, scholars, researchers, environmentalists, non-governmental organizations and other public sector stakeholders.
A painful journey through the past
Tracing her family's Holocaust story, a historian learns that facts can count for as much as the big picture
School of Public Health to honor its 'heroes'
On March 18, Berkeley's School of Public Health will host its annual recognition event for dedicated protectors of the public's health
'Pockets of intimacy' for undergrads
"Teaching freshmen taught me," says a faculty member who has organized more than 20 seminars for lower-division students since 1997. He's part of a program that offers 'meaningful intellectual contact' to the campus's youngest scholars.
Berkeley Law dean charged with 'fixing the educational pipeline'
Berkeley Law dean Chris Edley — who taught Barack Obama at Harvard and worked in Bill Clinton's White House — mixes Beltway savvy and legal acumen in his role as special adviser to UC President Mark Yudof.
Why California should consider Australia's "Prepare, stay and defend" wildfire policy
Even as debate rages over the safety of the Australian policy of encouraging willing and able residents to stay and defend their property from wildfires, fire researchers at UC Berkeley and in Australia say that the strategy is worth consideration in California and other regions in the United States.
Student photos of foreclosed home win Lange Fellowship
Photographs of possessions left in a Vallejo, Calif., home following foreclosure, an all-too-familiar contemporary event across the nation, have earned journalism student Rhyen Coombs the University of California, Berkeley's 2009 Dorothea Lange Fellowship.
Economist James L. Pierce, authority on banking and monetary policy, dies
James L. Pierce, a professor emeritus of economics at UC Berkeley and an authority on banking and monetary policy, died of lung disease in Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, Calif., on Feb. 15. He was 71.
Two Berkeley seniors earn prestigious Armed Forces med-school scholarships
A pair of students in Berkeley's Navy ROTC program — along with just 10 other students nationwide — have been chosen to receive a military scholarship that provides tuition and living expenses for the medical school of one's choice, in return for service as a U.S. military doctor upon completion of one's M.D. (With audio)
Energy symposium weighs perils and opportunities on climate change
While the average Californian now uses about 40 percent less electricity than the average American, we cannot rest on our laurels, Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, said Monday at the third annual UC Berkeley Energy Symposium. To meet the challenges of global warming — and the state's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 — each Californian needs to cut his or her carbon footprint from the current average, 14 tons per year, to 10, she said.
Babies born in pollen and mold seasons have greater odds of developing asthma symptoms
A new UC Berkeley study suggests that newborns whose first few months of life coincide with high pollen and mold season are at increased risk of developing early symptoms of asthma.
Paul Richards, George Smoot honored for astrophysics research and teaching
Two UC Berkeley physicists – Paul Richards and Nobel Laureate George Smoot – have been honored for their contributions to astrophysics research and teaching.
The pluses and (mostly) minuses of biofuels
Speakers at last week’s AAAS meeting presented abundant evidence that tropical rainforest destruction has accelerated in recent years, at least in part because of the worldwide push to produce more biofuels.
The sun is a star when it comes to sustainable energy
At a national scientific meeting last week where biofuels – principally ethanol – were uniformly trashed as an environmental train wreck, one bright, carbon-free light gleamed in our energy future: the sun.
New method to assemble nanoscale elements could transform data storage industry
Scientists at UC Berkeley and UMass Amherst have developed a new, easy-to-implement technique in which nanoscale elements precisely assemble themselves over large surfaces, potentially opening doors to dramatic improvements in the data storage capacity of electronic media.
Sexual-harassment training for supervisors
The campus offers supervisors several options for completing the mandatory two-hour training in sexual-harassment prevention that by law must be conducted every two years.
Applicants sought for 2009-2010 grants from Chancellor's Community Partnership Fund
Non-profit and neighborhood groups based in the city of Berkeley may now apply for grants from the Chancellor's Community Partnership Fund for 2009-2010. Funds will go to select groups who partner with the campus to improve the quality of life for Berkeley residents.
Sloan fellowships awarded to seven young faculty members
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced today (Tuesday, Feb. 17) 118 new fellowship awards to early-career scientists, seven of them young faculty researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.
Cheaper materials could be key to low-cost solar cells
Unconventional solar cell materials that are as abundant but much less costly than silicon and other semiconductors in use today could substantially reduce the cost of solar photovoltaics, according to a new UC Berkeley and LBNL study.
"Evolved" virus may improve gene therapy for cystic fibrosis
Chemical engineer David Schaffer has developed a technique to force viruses to evolve as better gene therapy carriers, and tests at the University of Iowa show that the virus can completely cure cystic fibrosis in tissue culture.
John Whinnery, University Professor Emeritus and distinguished innovator in electromagnetism, dies at 92
John Roy Whinnery, former UC Berkeley dean of engineering, University Professor Emeritus, and a distinguished innovator in the field of electromagnetism, died Feb. 1 at his home in Walnut Creek, Calif. He was 92.
Obama's race not a factor in election, say economists
Reinforcing the notion of a "post racial" nation, two University of California, Berkeley, researchers' analysis of voting patterns indicates that voters were not motivated by race in the 2008 U.S. election of Barack Obama, the country's first black president.
Hinshaw on environment, genes, and risk
Stephen Hinshaw, in his new book about increasing mental-health problems among today's adolescent girls, The Triple Bind, points to interactions between "vulnerable" genes and environmental pressures as a key to that dilemma.
What's cooking at the Library?
A tour through the most appetizing stacks on campus — the culinary collection in Berkeley's Koshland bioscience library.
The march to war, from Bonaparte to Bush
This year's Jefferson Lecturer, Stanford's David Kennedy, talked about how today's all-volunteer U.S. military not only makes it easier for a president to go to war, but jeopardizes crucial aspects of American democracy.
Regents act on UCRP, eligibility
Blue ribbons, gold stars, and honorary mentions . . .
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
Blue sky ideas for Obama sought by new campus website
The campus that's been called "White House West" now has a new website, "Blue Sky: New Ideas for the Obama Administration." Launched by Berkeley law professor and Academic Senate Vice Chair Christopher Kutz, the site features -- and is seeking -- short essays by Cal faculty with fresh federal policy ideas, and is drawing raves both on and off campus.
MBA competition to address D.C. schools performance
Ten teams from top business schools around the country will set their sights on improving the public school system in the nation's capitol in the third annual Education Leadership Case Competition at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business on Feb. 20-21.
Pressure to be a supergirl is causing teen mental health crisis
Expectations for teenage girls to be brainy, athletic, nurturing, and look like supermodels - while juggling homework, social networking and resumé-padding activities - are fueling a generational mental health crisis, according to a new book by UC Berkeley psychologist Stephen Hinshaw.
Scientists document salamander decline in Central America
Amphibian populations have dropped worldwide, but most studies have detailed the impact on frogs only. A new UC Berkeley study now shows that salamander populations are plummeting in Central America, primarily in the cloud forests.
Plans to restore historic campus building and provide new Blum Center home move forward
Plans to renovate, expand and seismically upgrade the campus’s historic Naval Architecture Building took a major step forward last week, following UC Regents review of the plan. The building will create a home for the Richard C. Blum Center for Developing Economies and provide space for engineering faculty along with work space for students.
It's My Job
A regular feature showcasing staff members whose work is essential to the smooth functioning of the campus.
Survey Research Center marks half-century of data-based insight
Not just accumulating and disseminating reams of data, but interpreting it to help shape public policy, is the mission of Berkeley's Survey Research Center.
Bringing it all back home
It took a quarter century for Wilda White to land the social-justice job of her dreams: helping to train the next generation of public-interest lawyers.
Hunting for snark
David Letterman is, but Jay Leno isn't. Some might offer 'funny' as the missing word — but for a leading critic, the issue is sophistication and subtlety, not humor.
Shorter items of interest to the campus community.
A 'hot new journal' turns 25
Growing out of, and informing, the New Historicist movement, the journal Representations celebrates a quarter century of interdisciplinary work.
Predicting diversity within hotspots to enhance conservation
Hotspots of threatened biodiversity comprise a huge chunk of the Earth and present a daunting challenge to governments and scientists who want to study them, let alone protect them from development. A new strategy developed by UC Berkeley researchers can help identify the hotspots within hotspots critical for study and conservation.
KQED-TV to air doc on late revolutionary biologist Allan Wilson
Local station KQED-TV will air a documentary on the late Allan Wilson, a UC Berkeley biochemist who revolutionized the study of evolution, on Sunday, Feb. 8, at noon. Wilson, who died in 1991 from leukemia, showed that comparing protein and gene sequences of species can provide unexpected new information on evolutionary relationships.
Research explores policy research and impressions of bias
A University of California, Berkeley, study shows that when people learn about research findings that conflict with their own beliefs about politically controversial topics, they not only doubt the conclusions, but also question the researcher's objectivity.The study by Robert MacCoun, a UC Berkeley professor of public policy, law and psychology, will be published in the February issue of the journal Political Psychology and already is online.
Cal Debate's hard-working, high-powered verbal gladiators
Cal Debate, the campus's intercollegiate policy debate team, has competed at the upper echelon of the intellectual sport for close to a decade. With a second-place win at the recent Dartmouth Round Robin, the team has its sites set high for the remainder of the 2008-09 season.
Fixing our climate — no handwringing required
It would require the same number of workers to install rooftop solar panels on every house in the U.S., helping to mitigate the effects of global warming, as we currently have military personnel deployed in Iraq. That's just one eye-opening stat from a new book, co-authored by Berkeley faculty expert John Harte, on practical ways to solve the climate crisis.
Library @ Berkeley
A roundup of spring-semester exhibits and events; a look at new electronic resources; schedules of training workshops, and more useful news for the campus community.
Center for Japanese Studies makes Clint Eastwood's day
Actor/director accepts first annual 'New Vision' award
In case of emergency, get a warning
By phone, text message, or e-mail, WarnMe will have vital information for you
At Haas Pavilion, a standing 'O' — as in 'Obama'
When Oregon State basketball coach Craig Robinson took his team onto the court against the Bears last week, he received a spontaneous ovation from the usually partisan crowd. Just good manners, or something a bit more stirring?
Improved method for comparing genomes as well as written text
When comparing the genomes of different organisms to create an evolutionary tree, scientists have been restricted to using a few dozen genes common to all of them. No longer. A UC Berkeley chemist and his colleagues have discovered a way to compare entire genomes across a range of sizes. The method also works for comparing written texts.
Physicist Sumner Davis has died at 84
Physicist Sumner P. Davis, a beloved teacher, classical optical spectroscopist and avid glider pilot, died Dec. 31, 2008, in El Cerrito after a brief illness. He was 84.
Coming attractions for spring 2009: Your intellectual stimulus package
In the spirit of the season's renewed sense of optimism and purpose, this semester's lineup of of events will enlighten and inspire.
Record number of students apply to UC Berkeley, but growth in applications slows
More than 48,600 high school students have applied for admission to UC Berkeley's fall 2009 freshman class, reflecting another record year for the number of applications filed, campus officials announced today (Friday, Jan. 23). However, administrators at Berkeley and across the University of California system noted a slowdown in the volume of applications submitted for this fall when compared to fall 2008 applications.
The state of Berkeley's budget
A Q&A with two top campus decisionmakers yields insights into how Cal will deal with the most difficult fiscal environment in decades.
The Bancroft's Pictorial Collection is a repository for the visual resources on which so much historical research depends
The Mark Twain Project stretches out
New digs mean not just more room for researchers, but better conditions for archival storage
Glued to the ObamaTron
Thousands crowded Sproul Plaza on Jan. 20 to watch the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama on TV.
Somorjai named a Miller Senior Fellow
Veteran chemistry professor Gabor Somorjai is the second luminary selected for this prestigious fellowship.
Academic Senate honors Princeton's Shapiro
The Clark Kerr Medal will be bestowed on thinker, writer, and higher-ed leader Harold Shapiro.
Retrofitted and revamped, Bancroft reopens to regular hours
The Bancroft Library is back - and it's better than ever. One of the University of California, Berkeley's premier special collections libraries, it reopened this week with regular hours following a three-year, $64 million seismic retrofit and upgrade.
Japanese Studies Center honors Eastwood for "Letters from Iwo Jima"
Actor and director Clint Eastwood will receive the first-ever Berkeley Japan New Vision Award from the University of California, Berkeley's Center for Japanese Studies on Friday, Jan. 23, for his role in creating a new vision of Japan - particularly during World War II - through his award-winning film, "Letters from Iwo Jima."
Summer peak, winter low temperatures now arrive 2 days earlier
Biologists have long noticed that global warming is causing springtime flowering and ice melting to arrive earlier, but a new study shows that the seasonal cycle has also shifted, causing summer's peak temperature and winter's lowest temperature to arrive nearly two days earlier than wastrue 50 years ago.
Throngs at Berkeley witness dawn of the Obama era
The mood was one of elation on UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza as one of the site's largest crowds to date witnessed the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama on big-screen TV.
Matthew Tirrell, UC Santa Barbara engineering dean, to join UC Berkeley as new chair of bioengineering
In a move that signals a major new direction for bioengineering research and teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, Matthew Tirrell, dean of the College of Engineering at UC Santa Barbara, has been appointed chair of the Department of Bioengineering in the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley. Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau announced the appointment today (Thursday, Jan. 15), following a nationwide search.
Mathematician John Stallings died last year at 73
John Robert Stallings Jr., a professor emeritus of mathematics at UC Berkeley who made seminal contributions to geometric group theory and topology, died Nov. 24, 2008, from prostate cancer at his home in Berkeley. He was 73.
Where future doctors learn the rudiments of aging from elders
In a course on aging at Berkeley, UC premed and medical students collaborate with seniors to present literary works on growing old — and to become more sensitive health practitioners down the line. (With video.)
Mice without key enzyme eat without becoming obese, new study finds
UC Berkeley researchers discover that a key enzyme in fat tissue plays a major role in regulating fat metabolism. Mice that have had this enzyme disabled remained lean despite eating a high-fat diet and losing a hormone that suppresses appetite.
Campus to host Inauguration Day event
It might not rival Washington, D.C.’s Inauguration Day extravaganza, but there will be a star-spangled public viewing of the historic swearing-in of Barack Obama as the 44th U.S. president via a big-screen Jumbotron TV in UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza.
Archaeological study complete at athletic facility construction site
No evidence of prehistoric Native American artifacts or human remains were found beneath the construction site for UC Berkeley's new Student Athlete High Performance Center, according to a report on the geoarchaeological dig commissioned by the campus.
'Understanding Science' Website clarifies what science is, is not
How does science work? Though scientists are often hard put to explain it, a new Web site called Understanding Science helps students, teachers and the public decide what is and is not science, and understand the messy but fun adventure of science.
Educator Bill Sonnenschein dies in Madagascar
William "Bill" Sonnenschein, a senior lecturer on leadership and communication at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, passed away suddenly on December 29 in Madagascar. He was 59.
Jan. 11 is local kickoff of 'Year of Science 2009'
UC Berkeley and more than 500 other institutions and organizations around the country have joined together to make this the "Year of Science 2009," replete with science cafes, festivals, talks and lectures, and an emphasis on what science means to us all.
Weatherproofing the campus against financial storms
In his new role as a campus vice chancellor, Frank Yeary advises University Hall administrators on strategic financial planning. The former international investment banker, in this Q&A, discusses financial challenges facing UC and the Berkeley campus.
Studies link maternity leave with fewer C-sections and increased breastfeeding
Two new studies led by UC Berkeley researchers find that women who take a break from work in the last month of pregnancy are less likely to have cesarean deliveries, and that new mothers are more likely to establish breastfeeding the longer they delay their return to work. The studies take a rare look into whether taking maternity leave can affect health outcomes in the United States.