Thanks to all faculty, staff, and researchers that attended our annual picnic this year!
Muller Ranch is full of native pollinators, such as this bumble bee. Images from BFI
“If honey bees disappeared tomorrow, we would definitely be compelled to change our farming system. We’d have to provide for the needs of native pollinators.” That’s Claire Kremen, a professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, and a conservation biologist who studies biodiversity loss. Kremen was recently interviewed about California’s native pollinators on an episode of Just Food, a new podcast series from the Berkeley Food Institute (BFI).
Just Food is a six-part podcast series that investigates food justice and health in California. Produced in partnership with UC Berkeley’s Advanced Media Institute, the series’ first episode focused on efforts to promote equitable agriculture, and included an interview with Christy Getz, an associate Cooperative Extension specialist. Getz, who has been studying an organization called the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI), spoke about the challenges that many workers in agriculture face: “Farmworkers suffer from high rates of food insecurity so that’s kind of the paradox, that the very people who pick and harvest our food often can’t afford to eat that very food.” Efforts like the EFI aim to make farming healthier for workers and the environment through improving working conditions and farming habitats.
The podcast’s second episode, “Feeling the Sting: What Can Be Done to Protect Pollinators” featured Kremen as well as a local farmer and a beekeeper. Kremen addressed American agriculture’s reliance on honey bees—which aren’t native to the US—to pollinate crops. This has created a fragile ecosystem, according to Kremen: “Anytime you rely on only one thing, you have no buffer. It's kind of like the stock market—most people recognize that investing all of their assets into a single commodity is not a wise idea.”
To create more robust farming ecosystems, and to protect against disorders like colony collapse, Kremen calls for relying on a greater diversity of pollinators, including native pollinators. Additionally, farms need to create habitats in which native pollinators like green sweat bees can thrive. For many farms that focus on monoculture growing, this means incorporating natural plants and diversifying crops to include plants that bloom at different times of the year, providing food for native pollinators year round.
The podcast series will continue to tackle food justice and health issues in its upcoming episodes. Read more about the podcast and listen to episodes on BFI’s website.Image: Date: Friday, October 20, 2017 - 08:00 Legacy: section header item: Date: Friday, October 20, 2017 - 13:15 headline_position: Top Left headline_color_style: Normal headline_width: Long caption_color_style: Normal caption_position: Bottom Left
After an already fierce fire season across the state, October has been a devastating month for wildfires in Northern California, resulting in the destruction of than 6,700 homes and businesses in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties. The CNR community is sending thoughts of condolence and hope to those who have been affected. While firefighters work around the clock to evacuate communities and battle the flames, and as these counties look toward returning home and rebuilding, CNR’s faculty and researchers have been sharing research findings and strategies for wildfire management, as well as policy recommendations and concerns. Below are some of the interviews and commentaries in which CNR scientists offer advice, support, and policy direction.
Why California's wildfires, like everything else, keep getting worse
Cooperative Extension specialist Bill Stewart interview in Vice
California’s wildfires: why have they been so destructive?
Professor Scott Stephens in the New York Times
What to do if you’re trapped in a vehicle in the middle of a wildfire
Dean J. Keith Gilless in the Washington Post
San Francisco Is choking on a thick haze of smoke. These are the health risks
Professor Rachel Morello-Frosch in Buzzfeed
Op-ed: Spending more on fire suppression won’t reduce losses
Professor Scott Stephens in the San Francisco Chronicle
Why California needs more smart forestry
Cooperative Extension forest management specialist Richard B. Standiford in the Sacramento Bee
What needs to be done to stop wildfires in drought-killed forests
Assistant Cooperative Extension specialist Van Butsic on a recent report for the Public Policy Institute of California in News Deeply
- UC Center for Forestry post on where and how to seek out information about wildfires.
- The UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources website.
This award recognizes and rewards early career scientists for research excellence and potential in microbiology and infectious disease.
The American Academy of Microbiology is the honorific leadership group within the ASM, the world's oldest and largest life science organization. The mission of the Academy is to recognize scientists for outstanding contributions to microbiology and provide microbiological expertise in the service of science and the public.
Each year the Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry recognizes a young investigator for distinguished contributions to comparative physiology and biochemistry or to related fields of functional and integrative biology. The award offers the awardee a fantastic opportunity to communicate this research via a large lecture at this year's SICB conference.
A group of UC researchers received funding to build the NexGen 7T functional MRI (fMRI) that will "provide the highest resolution images of the brain ever obtained, able to focus on a region the size of a poppy seed."
The Department of Integrative Biology and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley invite applications for a full time (50% IB, 50% MVZ) tenure-track position in vertebrate evolutionary biology at the Assistant Professor/Assistant Curator level. Potential start date is July 1, 2018.
What happens when academia and industry come together to share their passion for innovation and discovery? This synergy was sparked at the MCB Industrial Affiliates Program (IAP) inaugural symposium.
Assistant Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development Hernan Garcia and Assistant Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology Jacob Corn received New Innovator Awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The award supports highly creative, innovative research that could have implications for human health.
A study co-authored by MCB and Chemistry Professor, and HHMI Investigator, Jennifer Doudna details a safer and more effective method of delivering CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology.