UCSC in the news

January

  • January 22, 2024 - Mercury News

    Lick Observatory: Unraveling cosmic mysteries from an otherworldly ‘little town’

    Piper Walker, 22, an astrophysics major at UC Santa Cruz, collaborates remotely with researchers at Lick Observatory. Walker, from her Santa Cruz bedroom, even helped identify her first quasar.
  • January 26, 2024 - Los Angeles Daily News

    Boeing to extract badly tainted soil from ‘burn pit’ at Santa Susana Field

    Dan Hirsch, former director of the Program on Environmental and Nuclear Policy at the University of California, Santa Cruz, spent decades advocating for the cleanup of the Santa Susana Field Lab, known as one of the most contaminated fields in the U.S. Along with other activists, Hirsch worried that weak toxic clean-up standards set by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control for the burn pit — and for the entire Santa Susana Field Lab area — would allow Boeing to preserve, rather than clean up, the area’s toxic contamination.
  • January 17, 2024 - Hindustan Times

    American Dream: Haryana youngsters queue up big time on the US border

    Hindustan Times interviewed Distinguished Professor of Economics Nirvikar Singh about the economic factors driving migration to the United States from the state of Haryana in India.
  • January 31, 2024 - KPBS

    Tips for parents to encourage kids to play outside

    Sociology Professor Rebecca London shared tips with KPBS about how parents can encourage children's play. Parents can model different kinds of play for their children and should follow their children's natural interests, London says. 
  • January 30, 2024 - Financial Express

    Lessons from China’s EV success

    Distinguished Professor of Economics Nirvikar Singh wrote an opinion article for Financial Express about lessons India could learn from China's success with manufacturing and selling electric vehicles.
  • January 29, 2024 - KPBS

    The way kids play has quietly transformed. Here’s why that matters

    Sociology Professor Rebecca London spoke with KPBS about her research on the benefits of free play for children's development. 
  • January 22, 2024 - KALW

    Yurok, Klamath & Karuk Native tribes celebrate historic dam removals

    Environmental Studies Ph.D. student Brook Thompson, a member of the Yurok and Karuk tribes, joined KALW's Your Call radio show to discuss the removal of the Klamath River dam.
  • January 19, 2024 - National Geographic

    Why your dog helps you relax more than your friends do

    Assistant Teaching Professor of Psychology Hannah Raila spoke with National Geographic about her recent research that documented how people who interacted with their dogs after a stressful experience had a greater boost in mood and a greater reduction in anxiety than those who tried to destress by coloring or just through the passage of time. 
  • January 30, 2024 - KPBS

    For the first time, California law will protect students’ right to recess

    KPBS spoke with Sociology Professor Rebecca London about a new state law and her research on the importance of recess.
  • January 24, 2024 - The New Yorker

    When America First Dropped Acid

    In her detailed book review in this week's issue of The New Yorker, Margaret Talbot praised University of California, Santa Cruz Associate Professor of History Benjamin Breen for "an eye for the telling detail, and a gift for introducing even walk-on characters with brio" in his new book, Tripping On Utopia: Margaret Mead, the Cold War, and the Troubled Birth of Psychedelic Science.

     

  • January 16, 2024 - New Zealand Herald

    Lake Taupō trout subject of US-based research

    UC Santa Cruz PhD student Georgia Third is studying the diet and habits of Lake Taupō's rainbow trout. "Trout in Taupo were introduced from California and I’m studying around the area that trout came from in Santa Cruz," she said. "I’m studying the trout in the ancestral population and in the introduced population. The University of California, Santa Cruz have found a few different genes that are of importance to trout over there, to whether they migrate or stay resident, and how fast they grow."
  • January 19, 2024 - The New York Times

    Could LSD Have Achieved World Peace? Ask Margaret Mead.

    In “Tripping on Utopia,” Benjamin Breen chronicles the legendary anthropologist’s doomed effort to save the world through hallucinogens.

     

  • January 19, 2024 - NPR

    The Birth Of Psychedelic Science

     You may have heard about the pioneering research of anthropologist Margaret Mead, but do you know about her work with psychedelics? Mead and her husband, Gregory Bateson, thought psychedelics might reshape humanity by expanding consciousness
  • January 16, 2024 - Smithsonian Magazine

    Inside Elephant Seal Pups' Race to the Depths

    “We discovered that northern elephant seals appear to develop their diving capabilities more quickly than southern elephant seals, which allows them to reach deeper depths during their first oceanic migration,” says Roxanne Beltran, a physiological ecologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • January 12, 2024 - BBC

    7 pioneering dark matter scientists

    After moving to the University of California, Santa Cruz, Sandra Faber, together with John Gallagher, wrote a hugely influential review article about dark matter for Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysics, published in 1979. By presenting all the available evidence, the two authors convinced the scientific community that dark matter was not just a figment of our imagination, but a real, major constituent of the Universe.
  • January 16, 2024 - NPR

    How Margaret Mead's research into utopias helped usher in the psychedelic era

    UC Santa Cruz historian Benjamin Breen was interviewed in NPR's Fresh Air about his new book, "Tripping on Utopia: Margaret Mead, the Cold War, and the Troubled Birth of Psychedelic Science." The book explores the intertwined lives of two cultural anthropologists — Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, who were married for 14 years — and the extraordinary circle of social scientists, psychoanalysts, artists and spies who gathered around them from the 1930s through the ’70s. Additional coverage of Breen's book in the LA Times and NY Post.
  • January 08, 2024 - Financial Express

    James Webb Telescope unveils another cosmic surprise! Challenges astrophysical assumptions with banana-like newborn galaxies

    This breakthrough builds upon earlier indications from Hubble telescope observations, suggesting that ancient galaxies exhibited pickle-like shapes, as highlighted by Joel Primack, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • January 09, 2024 - Santa Fe New Mexican

    Report: Radioactive contaminants found on Los Alamos National Lab worker's skin

    “This is not a one-off. This is a pattern,” said Dan Hirsch, retired director of environment and nuclear policy programs at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “This suggests the lab does not have sufficient controls to undertake the extraordinarily hazardous, new operations of pit production. They are having repeated contamination events, which shouldn’t be occurring.”
  • January 05, 2024 - NPR

    Climate change is causing massive waves along California's coast

    UC Santa Cruz oceanographer Gary Griggs discusses human-caused climate change impacts on California coast on NPR's All Things Considered. Griggs says that human-caused climate change will force seas to rise in the future, making waves even bigger.
  • January 09, 2024 - Inside Higher Ed

    University of California system considers online degrees

    “[Creative technologies] went through way more scrutiny than any in-person degree that I have witnessed,” said Jody Greene, associate campus provost for academic success at Santa Cruz. “We have a quality control built in. Why close the door to these programs when you yourself [as the academic senate] will get to decide about quality?”
  • January 06, 2024 - The Atlantic

    Earth Could Outlive the Sun

    In 2022, Ricardo Yarza, a stellar astrophysicist at UC Santa Cruz, simulated what happens when a red giant swallows a planet. He found that if the planet starts out close enough to the star, its orbit rapidly decays.
  • January 03, 2024 - Mongabay

    Salmon and other migratory fish play crucial role in delivering nutrients

    “If you talk to folks who handle a lot of fish — fishers or biologists that have handled fish in Alaska and other places over the last 20 to 30 years — they almost to a person will tell you the fish are smaller,” says Eric Palkovacs, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • January 08, 2024 - Inside Higher Ed

    An ethnic studies requirement at the UC waylaid amid war

    Christine Hong, a professor of critical race and ethnic studies and literature at UC Santa Cruz said opponents of the requirement describe the field as “dividing the world into oppressors and victims.” But she believes “it centers the critical perspectives and the modes of knowledge of peoples and communities who have historically been excluded from the project of knowledge formation.“We all have something to gain from a shared investment in justice, and justice for the broadest possible collective,” said Hong. “We all have something to gain from a structural critique of racism and colonialism.”
  • January 03, 2024 - Wired

    The Tantalizing Mystery of the Solar System’s Hidden Oceans

    “After Voyager, people suspected that Europa was weird and might have an ocean,” said Francis Nimmo, a planetary scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • January 05, 2024 - New York Times

    The Early Universe May Have Gone Bananas

    The result builds on hints from earlier observations from the Hubble telescope that the earliest galaxies were shaped like pickles, said Joel Primack, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an author of the new paper.
  • January 02, 2024 - Wired

    This Art Exhibition on Video Games Breaks You Out of Your Comfort Zone

    A.M. Darke, exhibiting artist and associate professor of art and design for games and playable media at UC Santa Cruz, explains that one of the powerful aspects of video games is that they “invest you as a participant and an agent in those stories.” You don’t just witness or consume games, especially interactive ones. You actively make choices in the game.
  • January 07, 2024 - New York Times

    For Dizzy Gillespie, Queens Was the Place to Be and to Bop

    “One of the really interesting things to think about as this designation is directed to the Hotel Cecil and Minton’s and to Dizzy Gillespie’s home is that it speaks to me of the ways bebop was quite famously developed in clubs like Minton’s, and especially Minton’s, but also a lot of those ideas got worked out in rehearsals that often happened in people’s homes,” said Eric Porter, a professor of history at University of California, Santa Cruz. “Whether they were rehearsing for a recording or just hanging out and thinking about music, the basement studios were really important for the development of bebop as well.”
  • January 16, 2024 - Wired

    A Flaw in Millions of Apple, AMD, and Qualcomm GPUs Could Expose AI Data

    Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Tyler Sorensen was quoted in a Wired story on flaws present in mainstream GPUs — a discovery that was found through Sorensen's reseach. 
  • January 06, 2024 - SiliconValley.com

    Bullfrog to become California's amphibious illegal alien

    “It’s exciting to be moving forward, finally, to try to walk back the damage that’s been caused by bullfrogs,” said Erika Zavaleta, an ecology professor at UC Santa Cruz and co-chair of the California Fish and Game Commission, which sets policy for the state’s Department of Fish and Game and voted this month  to start work on regulatory and legislative steps to fend off the importation and sale of the frog.
  • January 05, 2024 - NBC Bay Area

    Researchers find answer to mystery of dead seal pups along Northern California coast

    Researchers have found an answer to a grim, whodunit-style mystery where the headless bodies of harbor seal pups were found on Northern California beaches. The answer, caught on hidden motion sensor cameras, not only ended the mystery but also showed nature taking its course: coyotes eating those seal pups. The cameras are part of UC Santa Cruz PhD student Frankie Gerraty’s research on the connection between land and sea. “One of the most interesting findings from our recent research has been that coyotes are not only scavenging mammal carcasses, but they are also, on occasion, killing seal pups as well,” Gerraty said. Additional coverage in the Mercury News.
  • January 04, 2024 - Quanta Magazine

    The Biggest Discoveries in Biology in 2023 | Quanta Magazine

    Novel work on the circadian clock has been done in the lab of a single scientist: the biochemist Carrie Partch at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Partch is driven by a unique obsession not only with the basic steps of the clock, but also with the intricate dance that clock proteins perform as they are built and as they interact and degrade.
  • January 03, 2024 - Santa Cruz Sentinel

    Finding sanctuary | An iconic coastal species, the endangered black abalone

    Although Big Sur boasts some of the densest populations of black abalone on the west coast, natural disasters have contributed to thousands of intertidal black abalone being buried alive in the intertidal zone. Dr. Steve Lonhart, a sanctuary research ecologist, collaborated with scientists from UC Santa Cruz, led by doctoral student Wendy Bragg, to rescue and recover black abalone that were partially or completely buried at the margins of the debris flows.
  • January 02, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

    California energy officials vote to extend Diablo Canyon nuclear plant operations

    "Inside the aging Diablo Canyon reactors resides an astronomical quantity of radioactivity," said Daniel Hirsch, a retired director of the Program on Environmental and Nuclear Policy at UC Santa Cruz. "It only stays inside if it's constantly cooled. Any disruption in that, an earthquake or accident, can cause a meltdown releasing enough radioactivity to contaminate a substantial portion of California for generations. If you approve overturning the Diablo shutdown agreement, you risk culpability for a nuclear catastrophe," he continued.
  • December 14, 2023 - KQED

    How Bay Area Italians Were Treated As 'Enemy Aliens' During WWII

    “A lot of people mistakenly assume that Japanese Americans were the only ones affected by national security fears,” says UC Santa Cruz historian Alice Yang, adding that Italians and Germans also had their civil liberties infringed upon. People were imprisoned for being journalists at Italian radio stations and newspapers, teaching the Italian language or simply being veterans of World War I. These activities were seen as promoting Italian pride, Yang says, and in the wartime era, that was considered subversive.
  • January 09, 2024 - KPCC/ LAist

    A New Research Project Aims To Give A Comprehensive Count To California’s Mountain Lion Population

    Environmental Studies Professor Chris Wilmers joined the KPCC/LAist radio show "AirTalk" for a segment about his work on the latest population estimate for California's mountain lions. 
  • January 09, 2024 - Black Voice News

    Fentanyl Crisis and Mental Health Issues Drive 2022 Increase in Deaths in Riverside County Jails

    Distinguished Professor of Psychology Craig Haney spoke with Black Voice News about the mental health crisis in jails. “We don’t have a functioning, adequate public mental health system in the United States,” said Haney. “As a result, people suffering from mental health problems often end up in the criminal justice system.”
  • January 08, 2024 - Smithsonian Magazine

    A New Project Uses Isotopes to Pinpoint the Birthplaces of the Enslaved

    Smithsonian Magazine covered research by Associate Professor of Anthropology Vicky Oelze that's using stable isotope analysis to hone in on the regions of origin for enslaved African people who were buried at the Anson Street Burial Ground in South Carolina. 
  • January 07, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

    California mountain lion population is thousands fewer than previously estimated

    The Los Angeles Times covered new research on California Mountain Lions that was conducted in partnership with Environmental Studies Professor Chris Wilmers. The San Francisco Chronicle also covered this research. 
  • January 03, 2024 - Lookout Santa Cruz

    Stark racial, economic inequalities persist across Monterey Bay, new study finds

    Lookout Santa Cruz covered a new report produced by Institute for Social Transformation Faculty Director Chris Benner that tracks progress on efforts to build a more inclusive economy in the Monterey Bay region. 
  • January 01, 2024 - High Country News

    Labor unions and environmentalists are working together on the energy transition

    Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies J. Mijin Cha spoke with High Country News about the importance of transitioning away from fossil fuels in a way that also protects the livelihoods of workers.
  • December 28, 2023 - BenitoLink

    The elusive inclusive economy of Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties

    BenitoLink covered highlights from a keynote research presentation by Institute for Social Transformation faculty director Chris Benner at the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership's State of the Region conference. 
  • December 27, 2023 - Mongabay

    In Kenya, vicious ants are nesting birds’ best neighbors, study finds

    Environmental Studies Professor Stacy Philpott provided outside perspective on a new study to Mongabay, sharing her thoughts on ant-bird interactions based on her prior research in Mexico. 
  • December 26, 2023 - Psychology Today

    Can We Learn to Draw Faces From Memory?

    Psychology Professor Nicolas Davidenko wrote an article for Psychology Today about his latest research exploring some of the factors that make it so difficult to draw faces from memory.

February

  • February 21, 2024 - NPR

    Former president of Honduras is on trial, facing charges that he ran a 'narco state'

    University of California, Santa Cruz Research Professor and Professor Emerita of History Dana Frank was quoted in an NPR segment this week about former president of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernández, whose trial begins in New York, as he stands accused of overseeing a "narco state."
  • February 12, 2024 - PBS Newshour

    Landmark report details how human activities can disrupt animal migrations

    When whales migrate from polar waters toward the equator, they help move nutrients to parts of the ocean that typically don’t have a lot to spare, said Daniel Costa, director of the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. As they travel, whales release urea as waste, a source of nitrogen that’s useful to other members of the marine ecosystem.
  • February 07, 2023 - The Hill

    California’s record rainfall leads to mudslides, sewage spills

    Co-author Pete Raimondi, a marine ecologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, stressed the importance of locating “areas where kelp can persist on its own.” Doing so, he added, could help identify where kelp restoration efforts have the best chance at success. 
  • February 07, 2024 - New York Times

    A Two-Ton Lifeguard That Saved a Young Pup

    Researchers have observed elephant seals for more than 40 years and had never seen a male rescue a pup like this before. “It’s completely out of the ordinary,” said Daniel Costa, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Since this is the first time anyone has seen anything like this from elephant seals, Costa suspects it was a rare one-off behavior.
  • February 07, 2024 - Scientific American

    Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon May Hide a Massive, Shockingly Young Ocean

    The finding that Mimas has an ocean is intriguing—but that ocean’s inferred youth is what has sent ripples through the scientific community. “The implications give one pause because they’re very surprising,” says Francis Nimmo, a planetary scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who was not involved with the new study.
  • January 01, 2020 - KTVA

    Underwater forests focus of new study in Alaska

    From fish to crabs, Alaska’s kelp forests are home to a rich diversity of marine life. How these underwater forests are impacted by climate change, which are expected to make the ocean warmer and more acidic, is the focus of of a new study by Lauren Bell from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • February 01, 2024 - CBC

    Sea otters have a big appetite - and that could help marshes handle climate change

    "They eat a lot. They eat about a quarter to a third of their body weight every single day," explained Tim Tinker, a research ecologist at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and one of the study's Canadian co-authors. "And so whatever they're eating, they're going to have big impacts."
  • February 04, 2024 - CNN

    ‘Save the Whales’ was a shining success. Now can humpbacks save us from ourselves?

    CNN followed an international team of whale experts throughout 2023, from Ari Friedlaender’s lab at the University of California at Santa Cruz to humpback breeding grounds off the Pacific coast of Colombia, and their feeding grounds at the bottom of the world. While Friedlaender has been collecting whale data for more than 25 years, his work found new relevance after a team of economists from the International Monetary Fund estimated a single baleen whale provides about $2 million worth of Earth services, both in life and death.
  • February 02, 2024 - AP News

    Rising seas and frequent storms are battering California's piers, threatening the iconic landmarks

    “We are very much in a changed environment,” said Mike Beck, director of the Center for Coastal Climate Resilience at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “And we’re not going to be able to rebuild back in the same places and in the same ways that we did before. We’re going to have to think more clearly about how we design and where we put these.” Beck was the main expert quoted in the piece and was also featured in the accompanying video. 
  • February 15, 2024 - Popular Science

    When planting trees is bad for the planet

    Popular Science reached out to Environmental Studies Professor Karen Holl for her perspective on a new study about the risks of planting trees in places where they wouldn't grow naturally. 
  • February 13, 2024 - King City Rustler

    New study focuses on ‘Building an Inclusive Economy’ in Monterey Bay region

    The King City Rustler covered the release of a new report developed by UC Santa Cruz's Institute for Social Transformation that shares indicators for tracking inclusive economic development. “Accurate data is important for grounding discussions about challenges and opportunities we face in the region,” said Chris Benner, faculty director of the institute. 
  • February 10, 2024 - The New York Times

    For Gen Z, an Age-Old Question: Who Pays for Dates?

    The New York Times interviewed Distinguished Psychology Professor Campbell Leaper about his 2016 research that found an association among men between the idea that men should pay for dates and hostile views toward women. 
  • February 01, 2024 - Santa Cruz Sentinel

    Boulder Creek resident’s film on aging, staying active to air on KQED Plus

    The Santa Cruz Sentinel covered the release of an upcoming documentary featuring UC Santa Cruz Professor Emeritus of Sociology John Brown Childs. 
  • February 13, 2024 - New Scientist

    People who are blind can navigate indoors with a phone in their pocket

    The New Scientist featured Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Roberto Manduchi's research on creating apps that allow visually impaired people to navigate with their phones while the device is in their pocket.
  • February 01, 2024 - Science

    Racing extinction: Can science act fast enough to save large, endangered mammals?

    How can we speed up the process of saving large mammals? After four decades of conducting ecophysiological research on large marine and terrestrial carnivores, UC Santa Cruz Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Terrie Williams' team has found that a laboratory-to-zoo-to-field approach is one effective way to quickly gain critical knowledge about what different species need to survive.
  • February 12, 2024 - The Wall Street Journal

    ‘Tripping on Utopia’ Review: LSD and the Cold War

    The Wall Street Journal praised Associate Professor of History Benjamin Breen's new book, Tripping On Utopia, in a review that was published this week, calling attention to the way Breen "narrates the rise and fall of LSD through the lives of Margaret Mead, who became the leading American anthropologist of her era, and her third husband, Gregory Bateson, the British-born dilettante who became a pioneer of the Californian state of mind."
  • February 12, 2024 - The Architectural Review

    Iwona Buczkowska and Angela Davis named winners of the 2024 Jane Drew and Ada Louise Huxtable Prizes

    The Architectural Review ran a detailed feature story about University of California, Santa Cruz Distinguished Emerita Professor Angela Davis, who taught in both the History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies departments. Davis won this year's Ada Louise Huxtable Prize for Contribution to Architecture.

  • February 07, 2024 - PBS NOVA

    Easter Island Origins

    Assistant Professor of Biomolecular Engineering Alexander Ioannidis discusses the genomic evidence used to trace the origins of the people of Easter Island. Ioannidis came to UC Santa Cruz after doing this research at Stanford University.