UC Berkeley News


Cal Day to hum with (sustainable) energy

| 12 April 2007

Blue and gold will equal green on Cal Day - Saturday, April 21 - as the campus's annual open house spotlights research into clean, sustainable energy.

Among the dozens of creative, athletic, scholarly, and scientific Cal Day activities and events on the docket is an extensive program on energy research at Berkeley. The day includes lectures and demonstrations on synthetic biology, low-carbon transportation fuels, sustainable "green" lifestyles, and reducing the environmental impacts of nuclear power. And showcasing the campus's diverse energy-related activities under one tent will be the Energy@Berkeley Expo, held next to the Campanile.

More than 30,000 visitors, including prospective students and their families, are expected to come for a rare glimpse of all the campus has to offer. Events will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and span the campus from the Lawrence Hall of Science in the hills to Sproul Plaza to the southside's Recreational Sports Facility, all of which will be open to the public.

New this year is OskiLand, a games area in Memorial Glade for families with young children. Cal's mascot, Oski, will greet visitors, as will his 20-foot-high inflatable likeness.

Dance and theater performances throughout the day include Downstage Left, original comedy sketches by students; The Reception, a multi-media piece using choreography and 3-D tele-immersion technology; and Cabaret: The Musical, by BareStage Productions, a student group. Meanwhile, music lovers can hear performances of everything from chamber music to Javanese gamelan and the Cal Marching Band.

Faculty experts will discuss such topics as black holes, climate change, nanotechnology, how to brace for the next big quake, and whether men overcompensate when their masculinity is threatened.

Back again, by popular demand, will be the "dig" at the Archaeological Research Facility, robotic demonstrations, visits to the three-story-high T. rex skeleton, the bug-doctor booth, and both "Fun with Fossils" and "Physics is Fun."

Also at the Archaeological Research Facility (2251 College Ave.), visitors can try writing their names in ancient Sumerian or witness "flintknapping," in which stones are turned into tools. And at the Valley Life Sciences Building, children can meet animal experts, observe live reptiles, and enjoy a puppet show called "What Can Animals Teach Us?"

As in previous years, kids can look forward to the "Celebration of Children's Literature," a popular book fair that includes professional storytellers, book signings, and art activities on Tollman Hall's second floor from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive are among the many campus galleries and museums open and free to the public on Cal Day. Exhibitions will include ancient Chinese paintings, multimedia presentations, and "Measure of Time," featuring works by 20th-century American artists that explore the "fourth dimension."

Seven pages of this year's Cal Day program target newly admitted and prospective Berkeley students - beginning with Chancellor Birgeneau's 8:30 a.m. welcome in Haas Pavilion. Other student-oriented events include the traditional spirit rally on Sproul Plaza and tours of campus residence halls.

Intercollegiate sports matches on campus will pit Cal athletes against the Stanford women's tennis, Stanford baseball, and UCLA softball teams. Berkeley will also host the Cal Rugby National Championship Round of 16.

Among dozens of scheduled lectures are these:

. "Synthetic Biology: From Bugs to Drugs and Fuels." Jay Keasling, professor of chemical engineering and bioengineering, will talk about how pioneering Berkeley researchers are using simple biological components to build drugs to combat malaria and biofuels for transportation. 9-10 a.m., 390 Hearst Mining.

. "Stress and Your Brain." Daniela Kaufer, assistant professor of integrative biology, will discuss the effects of stress on the brain. 9-10 a.m., 2040 Valley Life Sciences.

. "Food in the Bay Area: Indulgence or Innovation?" Sally Fairfax, professor of environmental science, policy, and management, will talk about the production, distribution, and marketing of the Bay Area's cornucopia of "yuppie" food. She asks: "Are we learning anything about sustainable agriculture, and are we achieving equitable access to nutritious, culturally relevant foods?" 11 a.m.-noon, 182 Dwinelle.

. "America and Torture." Military tactics, including the practices at Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo Bay detainment camp, will be discussed by journalism professor Mark Danner; law professor Laurel Fletcher; Eric Stover, director of Berkeley's Human Rights Center; and Michael Posner of the New York City-based organization Human Rights First. 1-2:30 p.m., 105 North Gate.

Campus parking is free on Cal Day in designated areas, but fills up early. Taking public transportation is recommended. Shuttle buses from the downtown Berkeley BART station and motorized cable cars for campus tours will be available.

For the Cal Day schedule, see calday.berkeley.edu. For information, call 642-2294.