UCSC in the News

July

  • July 16, 2024 - Santa Cruz Sentinel

    Guest Commentary | Unions benefit workers — and employers

    Veronica Hamilton, a graduate student researcher for the Center for Labor and Community, and Teresa Ghilarducci, a researcher collaborating with the center, wrote an opinion article for the Santa Cruz Sentinel about the importance of labor unions. They write that union activity creates a "ripple effect" that ultimately "lifts living standards and promotes dignity in work across the economy."
  • July 11, 2024 - Rest of World

    The Northeast Indian YouTubers challenging cultural stereotypes through mukbang

    Anthropology Professor Dolly Kikon says viral mukbang videos from Northeast India show an intimate relationship between tribal communities, their land, and natural resources. “In these videos, food from the source to the table is being emphasized," she told Rest of World. "There is [an] assertion of indigeneity, there is an element of ecology.  In a few minutes, they [the creators] are bringing the entire landscape in, and telling their own story.” 

  • July 10, 2024 - Canadian Geographic

    Melting away: The fight against Sea Star Wasting Disease

    Carrie Melissa Miner, an Academic Specialist with UC Santa Cruz and researcher at MARINe, says that instances of Sea Star Wasting Disease are difficult to study due to the limited stress responses that sea stars exhibit. “When sea stars are observed with lesions or tissue necrosis, particularly when there are just a handful of individuals, we cannot be sure whether symptoms are a result of disease or from another cause such as injury incurred from a predation attempt that exposed tissue to bacteria/infection,” she says.

  • July 12, 2024 - Scientific American

    How Antarctic Scientists Think about the Future of Our Planet

    Another episode of Scientific American's Science Quickly podcast featured UC Santa Cruz chemical oceanographers Carl Lamborg and Phoebe Lam and doctoral student Marissa Despins. The three discussed how the climate crisis intertwines with their work. Listen to the previous episodes on June 14 and June 28.
  • July 12, 2024 - Washington Post

    Webb space telescope keeps delivering cosmic surprises

    Garth Illingworth, an astronomer at the University of California at Santa Cruz who was among the people who dreamed up the Webb in the late 1980s, said the telescope has assembled a vast amount of data on exoplanets — the worlds that orbit distant stars. That data still needs to be assembled into a coherent picture, he added. “It is a little like an alien walking through an earthly zoo, looking at the vast range of animals and then trying to assemble the relationships and common aspects,” he said.

  • July 15, 2024 - San Francisco Chronicle: Datebook

    In ‘Seeing Through Stone,’ artists imagine a world without prisons

    Highlights from 'Seeing Through Stone,' an exhibition co-created with the Institute of Arts and Science and the San Jose Museum of Art. The UC Santa Cruz sponsored show includes artists from all over the country reflecting on incarceration and prison abolition.
  • July 12, 2024 - The Santa Cruz Sentinel

    Filmmakers of ‘You Will Not Replace Us’ attend screening, discussion in Capitola

    This week, the Santa Cruz Sentinel covered a panel discussion moderated by University of California, Santa Cruz Continuing Lecturer in History and Literature Bruce Thompson, who spoke with the filmmakers of “You Will Not Replace Us,"which confronts the complex relationship between Black and Jewish Americans and the common struggle to fight hate.
  • July 05, 2024 - The Pajaronian

    Going forth for beach cleanup

    UC Santa Cruz chemistry professor Rebecca Braslau, whose team is working on methods to break down post-consumer plastic and turn it into something useful, was collecting trash to get a boots-on-the-ground view of the scope of plastic waste. “We try to raise awareness about single-use plastic items in general, and this is part of that,” she said.

  • July 05, 2024 - East Bay Times

    Fremont blames heat for massive Lake Elizabeth fish die-off

    Mark Carr, a professor of marine ecology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said the fish are suffocating because they are competing with the lake’s ecosystem over the limited oxygen and losing ... “You can get phytoplankton blooms, algal blooms, at night that the phytoplankton respires, which means it consumes oxygen, so then it too will reduce the oxygen levels in the water – especially in the shallow water that is more vulnerable to the heat.”
  • July 02, 2024 - Santa Cruz Sentinel

    UC Santa Cruz community archivist named Watsonville Film Festival board president

    UC Santa Cruz's first community archivists, Rebecca Hernandez, will be taking over as the President of the Watsonville Film Festival. She was on the board for the festival and is excited to be taking over from former president Yazmin Herrera. Hernandez hopes to expand the organization, bringing in more filmmakers and more voices.
  • June 26, 2024 - Santa Cruz Sentinel

    Talking Heads fans rejoice: Jerry Harrison, ‘Stop Making Sense’ coming to UC Santa Cruz

    UC Santa Cruz's Quarry Amphitheater is hosting a one of a kind showing on the 1984 concert movie 'Stop Making Sense.'

June

  • June 27, 2024 - Miami Herald

    Harsh Florida law sees more Black kids tried as adults than white kids

    The Miami Herald interviewed Psychology Professor Craig Haney about the possible impacts of a Florida law that has seen more juveniles tried as adults. “For young people who are in the process of development and haven’t fully learned social skills … this is an experience that damages their maturation,” Haney said.
  • June 18, 2024 - Grist

    Chicago teachers demand climate solutions in their next contract

    As heat and extreme weather become more prevalent because of the climate crisis, J. Mijin Cha, an environmental studies professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said it makes sense that climate demands are turning up in union negotiations. “If you want a green school, you have to really think about what the challenges of the climate crisis will bring to students who are trying to study,” said Cha. “Things like heat and other things that will intensify from the climate crisis are then educational issues.”

  • June 26, 2024 - Sky & Telescope

    New Observatory Opens in the Young Country of Kosovo

    Pranvera Hyseni is a force of nature when it comes to pursuing her passion. Currently a PhD student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Pranvera studies the composition of meteorites. Nevertheless, she found the time and energy to not only engage in cutting-edge research but also to establish her country’s premier astronomical facility. Additional coverage by Radio Free Europe.
  • June 28, 2024 - Scientific American

    Life for Researchers on This Icebreaker Is Cold and Fulfilling

    Scientific American interviewed UC Santa Cruz chemical oceanographers Carl Lamborg and Phoebe Lam and doctoral student Marissa Despins about how researchers live and work on a U.S. icebreaker making its way through the waters of West Antarctica.
  • June 28, 2024 - CNN

    Fact check: Sea levels are already rising faster per year than Trump claims they might rise over ‘next 497 years’

    Gary Griggs, a University of California, Santa Cruz professor of earth and planetary sciences who studies sea level rise, said last year that Trump’s similar claims "can only be described as totally out of touch with reality" and that Trump "has no idea what he is talking about."

    Additional coverage by Yahoo News and KTEN-TV.

  • June 24, 2024 - Smithsonian Magazine

    These Supercorals Are Causing Problems

    Despite how placid corals appear, in reality they’re constantly competing with each other, explains Giacomo Bernardi, a molecular ecologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the lead author of the new study. Once one species has an advantage—for instance, being more resilient against warming water, acidification or different fishing practices—it will outcompete other species, Bernardi says. “It’s going to overgrow the other ones.”

  • June 25, 2024 - earth.com

    Hydrothermal vents could support life on Jupiter's moons

    “This study suggests that low temperature hydrothermal systems could have been sustained on ocean worlds beyond Earth over timescales comparable to that required for life to take hold on Earth,” said Andrew Fisher, the study’s lead author and a distinguished professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz.

    Additional coverage in Space.com, Live Science and Yahoo.

  • June 25, 2024 - Ars Technica

    Researchers upend AI status quo by eliminating matrix multiplication in LLMs

    Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Jason Eshraghian's research on energy effecient large language models was featured in Ars Tecnica, with additional coverage in Venture Beat, The Register, and Tech Xplore.
  • June 20, 2024 - NBC Miami

    UM develops artificial reef as coral restoration efforts put on hold

    “We’re facing increasing risks on our coastline, that’s because of enhanced coastal development but also loss of our coastal habitats," said Dr. Mike Beck, the director of the Center for Coastal Resilience at the University of California at Santa Cruz. "Those habitats are our first line of coastal defense, coral reefs, mangroves and other wetlands, and without those reefs the cost of storms could double, so what we’re trying to do is restore those reefs, enhance those protections and reduce our risks overall."
  • June 14, 2024 - BBC

    Antarctic whale 'acrobatics' revealed in drone footage

    As BBC News filmed with scientists in the Antarctic Peninsula, one whale used its four-metre-long fin to sweep a net of bubbles around its prey and trap them, known as "bubble-netting". "The flick of that of that flipper really shows how adaptable, how creative, these animals can be," said Dr Ari Friedlaender from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Humpbacks are "much more acrobatic" than other similarly sized whales, Dr Friedlaender said.

  • June 14, 2024 - Scientific American

    Glacial Melting Could Change the Chemistry of Antarctic Seawater

    Phoebe Lam, a chemical oceanographer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is featured in Scientific American's Science Quickly podcast episode on how an iron infusion from glacial meltwater might change Antarctica’s seas and the climate.

  • June 12, 2024 - The Atlantic

    A Wild Plan to Avert Catastrophic Sea-Level Rise

    An audacious plan to avert sea-level rise was dreamed up by a member of the older guard, a 57-year-old glaciologist at UC Santa Cruz named Slawek Tulaczyk.

  • June 14, 2024 - ABC News

    Extra moisture on West Coast allowing climate-sensitive Joshua trees to recover: Experts

    The obligate mutualism between the moth and the Joshua tree is limited to a narrow belt where the trees grow best, as neither can survive at high elevations, but the tree cannot reproduce in low elevations either, according to research led by UC Santa Cruz professor of environmental studies Gregory Gilbert.

  • June 10, 2024 - Deadline

    Sundance Institute sets Producers Lab Fellows for 2024

    The Sundance Institute selected UC Santa Cruz Alumna, Brenda Avila-Hanna (2013, M.F.A. Social Documentary) as one of their producing fellows for the upcoming season.
  • June 09, 2024 - Times of San Diego

    UCSD-UCSC Coastal Project Highlights Importance of Building Local Resilience to Climate Change

    The University of California at Santa Cruz’s Center for Coastal Climate Resilience is working on a project to explore local mitigations along with UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the San Diego Supercomputer Center, using cutting-edge technology and natural structures to model climate solutions. “A great deal of risk is driven by our coastal development choices,” said Michael Beck, a UC Santa Cruz marine sciences professor and the Center for Coastal Climate Resilience director.
  • June 07, 2024 - BBC

    Following Antarctic whales for climate change clues

    Natalia Botero Acosta, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Santa Cruz, takes samples of whale blubber with a crossbow, and tests them in her lab to look for signs of hunger, stress or pregnancy, using chemical signals, or hormones, that build up in its blubber.
  • June 10, 2024 - American Council Of Learned Societies

    Experiential learning at the University of California, Santa Cruz: How one dean collaborated with others to recenter the humanities and expand experiential learning

    Heather Hewett of the The American Councll Of Learned Societies wrote a feature story for the ACLS focusing on Employing Humanities and Experiential Learning in the Humanities Division at UC Santa Cruz, and Humanities Dean Jasmine Alinder's work to center Humanities and expand Experiential Learning on campus.
  • June 08, 2024 - Financial Express

    Restating status as largest democracy

    Distinguished Professor of Economics Nirvikar Singh wrote an opinion article for Financial Express analyzing outcomes from India's recent elections and their potential economic impacts. 
  • June 07, 2024 - KSQD

    Sowing Seeds: Stories of Filipino Immigrants in Pajaro Valley

    A look into the Sowing Seeds exhibition at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art History, which was curated by PhD candidate Christina Alyson Plank. The work examines the lives of Filipino Americans in the Pajaro Valley over the last century. The podcast intervews Grace McCarty, one of the members of Watsonville is in the Heart, one of the organizations that help establish this exhibition.

May

  • May 31, 2024 - National Geographic

    Don't cut them down: Letting dead trees rot can help make new life

    “Wood-decay basidiomycetes are unusual in that they can break down a major compound of the wood called lignin,” says Gregory Gilbert, a professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “Once that is broken down, the easier-to-eat cellulose is available for other fungi, insects, and bacteria.”

  • May 30, 2024 - Financial Express

    Put food and water on the policy table

    In this opinion piece, Nirvikar Singh, a professor of economics, argues that redesigning agriculture policy around ideas of growing food and preserving water resources, and starting with farmers, makes political and economic sense.

  • May 29, 2024 - Internationale Politik Quarterly

    How to Help Build Peace in Sudan

    Politics Professor and Legal Studies Program Director Mark Fathi Massoud wrote for Internationale Politik Quarterly about the steps EU policymakers must take to support Sudanese civil society, cut off weapons supplies to militias, and prevent a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.
  • May 30, 2024 - The Guardian

    James Webb space telescope photographs most distant known galaxy

    Prof Brant Robertson, of the University of California-Santa Cruz, said: “We could have detected this galaxy even if it were 10 times fainter, which means that we could see other examples yet earlier in the universe – probably into the first 200m years. The early universe has so much more to offer.”

    Additional coverage in Scientific American.

  • May 29, 2024 - Martha's Vineyard Times

    Herring runs depleted across the Island

    A study by researchers at the University of California Santa Cruz has concluded that “bycatch was an important source of mortality” for river herring “originating from rivers within the Mid-Atlantic and Southern New England.”

  • May 29, 2024 - The Atlantic

    ‘La Niña Really Can’t Come Soon Enough’

    "California loves El Niño because that rescued us last year from the drought," Alexa Fredston, a quantitative ecologist at UC Santa Cruz, told me. The climate phenomenon should cool the world. But first, we have to make it through another sweltering summer.

  • May 30, 2024 - Yahoo News

    TV's teen love stories are getting the 'grid treatment' on social media.

    Associate Professor L. S. Kim comments on modern teen shows and their iconography, focusing on the similar moments between teen shows throughout the past 25 years.
  • May 23, 2024 - Gizmodo

    NASA Releases Catalog Packed With the Most Bizarre Alien Worlds

    “Planets similar in size typically have a mass between roughly 6 and 12 times the mass of Earth,” explained Joseph Murphy, a graduate student at UC Santa Cruz and co-author of the study. This “exoplanet oddity” as Murphy refers to it, may have an Earth-like core surrounded by an unusually thin, hydrogen-dominated atmosphere, or it could have a water-rich core beneath a steam atmosphere. Additional coverage by CNN Brasil.

  • May 23, 2024 - Forbes

    Russia’s Stationing A Nuclear ASAT In Orbit Could Spark Next World War

    Astrophysicist Joel Primack, Distinguished Professor of Physics Emeritus at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said: “If ~1000 Starlink satellites were explosively destroyed, a debris chain reaction would create a lethal debris field” - a giant and deathly halo of “tiny missiles” that circles the Earth for generations into the future.

  • May 29, 2024 - Santa Cruz Sentinel

    Museum of Art & History exhibit highlights Filipino American stories

    The Santa Cruz Sentinel ran a feature story about "Sowing Seeds," an ongoing Museum of Art & History exhibit highlighting Filipino American history in the Pajaro Valley. The exhibition is the result of a prestigious $75,000 Public Humanities Projects: Exhibitions Planning grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to Watsonville Is In The Heart (WIITH), housed in The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz. 
  • May 27, 2024 - Phys.org

    Camera tags capture social flexibility of Antarctic minke whales

    The study was led by Dr. Jenny Allen as a Griffith University Research Associate in collaboration with the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC). Data were collected in 2018 and 2019 around the Western Antarctic Peninsula as part of a research grant from the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs to Dr. Ari Friedlaender, a Professor in UCSC's Ocean Sciences Department.
  • May 24, 2024 - Newsweek

    Dead Baby Sea Lions Suddenly Found on California Islands Spark Concerns

    According to a report by the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, Patrick Robinson, director at the University of California Santa Cruz Año Nuevo Reserve, said it is not uncommon to see "some" dead baby sea lions around this time of year; however, he said the number observed this month is "alarming."

    Additional coverage by KSBW, NewsweekSFGateSFist, and other outlets.

  • May 23, 2024 - Eos

    Confined at Sea at the End of the World

    Embedded on a research cruise in the Antarctic, a journalist joins a scientists’ “summer camp” led by UC Santa Cruz researchers.
  • May 23, 2024 - KPBS

    As lithium emerges in Imperial County, what will it take for residents to benefit?

    KPBS spoke with Chris Benner, faculty director of the Institute for Social Transformation, about findings from a report he recently coauthored on equitable economic development opportunities for lithium in California's Imperial Valley. 
  • May 21, 2024 - Santa Cruz Sentinel

    Mountain lion prompts brief lockdown at Aptos High School

    Environmental Studies Professor Chris Wilmers, founder of the Santa Cruz Puma Project, spoke with the Santa Cruz Sentinel about local mountain lion behavior. 
  • May 22, 2024 - The Good Times

    Turning Pages: UC Santa Cruz keeps Santa Cruz County reading

    The Good Times ran a detailed feature story celebrating The Humanities Institute's Deep Read Program, now in its fifth year. This year's edition featured Hernan Diaz’s bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Trust. 
  • May 16, 2024 - The Conversation

    You should call House members ‘representatives,’ because that’s what they are − not ‘congressmen’ or ‘congresswomen’

    Politics Department Professor and Chair Daniel Wirls wrote an article for The Conversation explaining that the gender-neutral term "representative" is actually the most constitutionally correct way to refer to members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • May 19, 2024 - The Verge

    Two students find security bug that could let millions do laundry for free

    The Verge reports that two UCSC engineering students discovered a security vulnerability in internet-connected laundry machines that could allow millions to do laundry for free. Additional coverage in Tech Crunch.
  • May 21, 2024 - EarthSky

    Scientists discover a nitroplast, the 1st of its kind

    The discovery of the organelle involved a bit of luck and decades of work. In 1998, Jonathan Zehr, a UC Santa Cruz distinguished professor of marine sciences, found a short DNA sequence of what appeared to be from an unknown nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium in Pacific Ocean seawater. Zehr and colleagues spent years studying the mystery organism, which they called UCYN-A.
  • May 16, 2024 - Reuters

    Sea otters get more prey and reduce tooth damage using tools

    The frequency of tool-use behavior varies, with some otters doing it more than 90% of the time when feeding and others rarely or never, according to study co-author Rita Mehta, a University of California, Santa Cruz functional and comparative biologist. "Females need the calories. They are smaller than males, and pregnant or nursing females have elevated caloric demands. Tool-using females were shown to consume a greater proportion of very large prey to help them meet their caloric needs," Mehta said.

    Additional coverage by FOX Weather, Popular Science, Science Magazine, KXAN, and many other outlets.

  • May 18, 2024 - Mercury News

    Capitola Wharf, wrecked in huge winter storms, set to reopen after $10 million upgrade

    "There’s been a long history of construction and destruction at the Capitola Wharf," said Gary Griggs, a professor of Earth sciences at UC Santa Cruz. "It’s sort of like the Big Sur Highway."
  • May 14, 2024 - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

    Platelet Pathway More Traveled with Age, Leads to Excessive Clotting

    Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News covered Camilla Forsberg's lab's discovery of a secondary population of platelet cells that lead to excessive clotting. 
  • May 09, 2024 - New York Times

    Tuna Crabs, Neither Tuna Nor Crabs, Are Swarming Near San Diego

    Megan Cimino, an assistant researcher at the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, quoted. While the link between tuna crab aggregations and El Niño isn’t exactly clear cut, “when we think about climate change, the first thing to come to mind might be warming temperatures, but climate change can result in more variable ocean conditions” as well, Dr. Cimino said.

     

    Additional coverage in the Smithsonian Magazine.

  • May 03, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

    As dismantling of largest dam begins on Klamath River, activists see ‘new beginning’

    Environmental Studies Ph.D. student Brook Thompson, a Yurok tribe member, spoke with the Los Angeles Times about her activism for dam removal along the Klamath River and how it feels to now see the river's largest dam being dismantled.
  • May 07, 2024 - NASA

    How NASA’s Roman Mission Will Hunt for Primordial Black Holes

    “Detecting a population of Earth-mass primordial black holes would be an incredible step for both astronomy and particle physics because these objects can’t be formed by any known physical process,” said William DeRocco, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California Santa Cruz.

    Additional cover on Space.com.

  • May 07, 2024 - Drug Discovery News

    A new Goldilocks drug class: macrocyclic peptides

    Based on the clinical trial data so far, other macrocyclic peptide researchers are excited about MK-0616’s potential and what it means for future macrocyclic peptide drugs. “What it does show is the incredible potency that you can get with these larger compounds against undruggable targets that have previously been impossible to inhibit with small molecules,” said Scott Lokey, a chemist at the University of California, Santa Cruz who was not involved with developing MK-0616.

  • May 06, 2024 - SF Gate

    California's historic piers are deteriorating. Should we save them?

    UC Santa Cruz professor and director for the UCSC Center for Coastal Climate Resilience Michael Beck told SFGATE that decisions like this may feel right at the time, but "if you really want it to be around for that time period, then we should take those costs now. … But as costs balloon over time, UCSC’s Beck said, the question of whether to save these beautiful relics of the past will become harder and harder for community leaders to answer.

  • May 03, 2024 - Mercury News

    Peregrine falcon webcam up and running on Alcatraz Island

    “A lot of people are surprised to find out that a prey bird like this, a symbol of wilderness, can be living in urban areas and doing so well,” said Zeka Glucs, director of the Predatory Bird Research Group at UC Santa Cruz. “People really fall in love with them.”

  • May 03, 2024 - Mercury News

    Our brains are growing. Will that help prevent dementia?

    Distinguished Professor of Biomolecular Engineering David Haussler's research on human genomic evolution was mentioned in a Mercury News story on the effects of the increasing size of human brains.

April