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Student Spotlight: Rosalind Bump

College of Natural Resources - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 11:07

Senior Rosalind Bump shares fond memories of her years at Cal, ideas for incoming freshmen, and the story of one class that helped her understand the relationship between nature and poetry.

Rosalind Bump 4th Year, Molecular Environmental Biology, emphasis on Human & Environmental Health

 

Rosalind Bump

Best study spot on campus?

I enjoy studying outside, so you’ll often find me on the patio of the Free Speech Movement Cafe. If it’s serious studying though, I quite like the Hargrove Music Library, with its glass windows overlooking the surrounding trees. If there are a few minutes between classes, I love getting work done at the CNR Student Resource Center, where there’s always a familiar face and good company.

Best Cal memory?

There are so many! Carefree afternoons on the glade, as the laughter of friends and frisbees filled the air and the Campanile marked the hours; the moments in classes where concepts finally clicked; mornings of espresso, musings, and people-watching at Strada; adventures up the fire trails and down to the marina; the intense concentration of dead week and the feeling of triumph and relief after finals end, alongside peers who have become an irreplaceable support system throughout the years.

What is your favorite CNR class or professor and why?

I have very fond memories of ESPMC12 (English C77) “Introduction to Environmental Studies” from my freshman year. The course was one of my very first at Berkeley, and it asked us to reflect upon really essential questions, like “What is ‘the environment’? What does it mean to be ‘environmental’? Are those different, or the same, and why does it matter?” Coming into college without a direct path ahead of me, I had often found myself at the crossroads of my love of both nature and poetry. The course validated for me that the two not only intersect, but are in fact intertwined, and it was the first of many classes at Cal that redefined how I interpret and engage with the world. Plus, the professors, Bob Hass and Gary Sposito, are so incredibly welcoming, intelligent, and personable. 

Rosalind catching a sunset on North Stradbroke Island in Australia, where she conducted marine biology research

Rosalind and her friend catching a sunset on North Stradbroke Island in Australia, where they conducted marine biology research

What advice do you have for an incoming CNR student?

There are so many opportunities and communities at your fingertips! Don’t be afraid to jump in—whether that be a research lab, one of the museums on campus, or a volunteer group—if even you don’t feel like you have “enough” experience, because the experience will come with time. Invest yourself thoroughly in the classes and activities that you join, but know that at the end of the day, it is just as important to invest in the people around you (for they will be the friends to pick you up on the rough days). Lean in to the uncomfortable challenges and moments of adversity that will inevitably come your way, because they will likely be the moments in which you grow most deeply.

What is your plan for after graduation?

I plan to work in a research lab for one to two years before applying to grad school, ideally to a program that allows me to pursue questions of public health and environmental health through the lens of molecular biology.

Muir Woods, because Rosalind loves that being in Berkeley means having access to so many places of natural grandeur nearby.

Rosalind says that being in Berkeley means having access to so many places of natural grandeur nearby, such as Muir Woods.

What have been the most meaningful activities you’ve been involved with while at Berkeley?

The past few semesters I’ve been able to explore my love of science communication and outreach through BEAM (Berkeley Engineers and Mentors). BEAM mentors are so wonderfully enthusiastic and committed to hands-on, scientific discovery for elementary and middle school students in Berkeley, and we hope to inspire the next generation of budding scientists. I have also been quite involved with a variety of projects on campus: from the Specimen Prep Lab at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, to STeam (ASUC Sustainability Team), to plant research with the Lemaux Lab and my current research on tissue regeneration with the Hariharan Lab. Additionally, studying abroad in Australia (while not at Berkeley, per se) is one of my most cherished experiences; I am so thankful to have been able to immerse myself in marine biology and terrestrial ecology for a semester, alongside truly brilliant professors and peers. 

Image:  Rosalind Bump Date:  Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 11:00 Legacy:  section header item:  Date:  Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - 11:00 headline_position:  Top Left headline_color_style:  Normal headline_width:  Long caption_color_style:  Normal caption_position:  Bottom Left

Botchan Named Dean of Biological Sciences

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 10:12

MCB Professor Michael Botchan, interim dean of the Division of Biological Sciences since July, 2016, was named permanent Dean of the division and will join the Council of Deans on campus. Congratulations Dean Botchan!

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Penhoet Honored with Fiat Lux Faculty Award

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 11:57

MCB Professor Emeritus Edward Penhoet is the recipient of the 2017 Fiat Lux Faculty Award from UC Berkeley and the Cal Alumni Association. The award recognizes a faculty member whose extraordinary contributions go above and beyond the call fo duty.

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Student Spotlight: Blair Conklin

College of Natural Resources - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 10:44

Graduating senior Blair Conklin tells of some incredible moments he's had at Cal, his professional skimboarding career, and his plans for the future.

Blair Conklin

Photo courtesy of Blair Conklin.

Blair Conklin 4th Year, Environmental Science

Best study spot on campus?

My favorite study spot is the patio of the Free Speech Movement Café on a calm sunny day.  Be wary of the hungry squirrels.  

Best Cal memory?

One of my favorite Cal memories was generated from a Tropical Island Biology and Geomorphology class (ESPMC107) I took in the fall of my junior year at Berkeley’s Gump Station in Moorea. On a day with exceptionally calm seas and not a single cloud in the sky, our class took out two aluminum boats on the hunt for humpback whales outside the barrier reefs of Moorea. After seeing spouts from a group of humpbacks in the distance, our captain moved us closer. A whale surfaced for air about 20 feet off the bow of our boat. After we were told it was safe to enter the water, our entire class of 20 dove right in. With 100 feet of visibility, watching these graceful giants beneath the ocean’s surface will be a scene engrained in my memory for life.

What is your favorite CNR class or professor and why?

A course on communicating ocean sciences to informal audiences (IB C100) was one of my favorite classes while at Cal. I found this class was invaluable in helping me to understand the processes by which we learn. This class and its three fantastic professors were very effective at reinforcing my understanding of the scientific process and teaching me the skills to effectively communicate and teach others about science.  Teaching students at the Lawrence Hall of Science provided me with the hands-on experience to become a better communicator and sparked my interest in the field of science education.

What advice do you have for an incoming CNR student?

My advice to an incoming CNR student would be to get involved in groups or activities on campus that align with your interests and passions. It is a great way to meet people and make friends that may open many different doors for you while at Cal.

Blair Conklin

Image courtesy of Blair Conklin.

 

What have been the most meaningful activities you’ve been involved with while at Berkeley?

  • Senior Thesis project:  For my thesis I studied intertidal boulder fields in the Point Reyes National Sea Shore.  I was interested in looking at the seasonal cycles of sedimentation that occurred in this area; the boulder fields would be buried by sand in the summer and exposed for intertidal organisms to inhabit during the winter. I was also curious about how the increase in basin wide wave energy that occurred in the winter of the 2015-2016 El Niño events would impact these intertidal boulder fields and the amount of sediments within them.
  • Cal Surf Team: This past year I joined Berkeley's first-ever surf team, which began competing on the college NSSA—the National Surfing Scholastic Association. Before this group was organized, I never would have thought that there were so many good surfers who go to Berkeley. I have always appreciated the strong friendships that arise from meeting people who enjoy ocean sports as much as I do. If a group of surfers can organize meetings and get together at Berkeley, I am confident that anyone can come to Cal and find their niche community or interest group.    

Tell us a little more about your skimboarding career.

For those who have never heard of skimboarding, it is a small but growing sport that is similar to surfing. Unlike surfing, you start from the beach where you run, drop your board, and slide on the sand and surface of the water to catch waves that are breaking close to shore.  

I started skimboarding at the age of 4 in Laguna Beach and began competing at 7 years old. I have skimboarding to thank for taking me to some amazing places around the world. I have travelled to countries such as Angola, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, Portugal, Indonesia, Japan, and Taiwan.  A major milestone for me took place during the fall semester of my senior year when I walked away with the United Skim Tour World Championship title. 

What is your plan for after graduation?

After graduation, I will travel and compete on the world tour for skimboarding during the summer months.  I plan on applying for a position as an environmental science educator for weeklong science camps, which take place in the Channel Islands and Santa Monica Mountains. In the more distant future, I will prepare for grad school and would like do research in a location that takes me a little closer to the ocean or back to the warm waters and coral reefs of Moorea.  

Image:  Blair Conklin Date:  Monday, May 15, 2017 - 10:45 Legacy:  section header item:  Date:  Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - 10:45 headline_position:  Top Left headline_color_style:  Normal headline_width:  Long caption_color_style:  Normal caption_position:  Bottom Left

Garcia and Lammel Receive Hellman Fellows Fund Awards

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 13:30

MCB Assistant Professors Hernan Garcia and Stephan Lammel were named Hellman Fellows Fund recipients. The award supports the research of promising assistant professors who show capacity for great distinction in their research. Garcia's proposal is "The Dynamical Embryo: Technology for a Movie-Based View of Developmental Biology," and Lammel's is "An Ethological Approach Towards Understanding the Effects of Chronic Stress in the Brain."

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Baiting the Bug

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 10:50

The labs of Qiang Zhou and Jim Hurley, professors in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, have been leading the efforts to investigate a new approach to treating HIV. MCB graduate student Zichong Li profiles their work in this Berkeley Science Review article.

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MTM team pitches success

Department of Bioengineering - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 10:09
This Master of Translational Medicine team is shining at startup pitch competitions! Maria Artunduaga, Siobhan Rigby, and Stephanie Nemec are developing – outside of their normal MTM project curriculum – a tech-enabled service that helps COPD patients continuously monitor their blood oxygen levels. In partnership with Ana Arias’ lab at UC Berkeley, they aim to mine […]
Categories: Science News

Amy Herr selected for Defense Science Study Group

Department of Bioengineering - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 09:43
Professor Amy Herr is one of 16 faculty nationwide selected to participate in the 2018-19 Defense Science Study Group. This program introduces outstanding science and engineering faculty to the country’s security challenges and encourages them to apply their talents to these issues, and has hosted some of the top minds at Berkeley and in the country.
Categories: Science News

Microbiologist elected to National Academy of Sciences

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 17:00
Mary Firestone, professor of soil microbiology, joins the most prestigious scientific society in the U.S.
Categories: Science News

Waves of lava seen in Io’s largest volcanic crater

UC Berkeley Science News - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 11:30
Detailed infrared image of lava lake shows massive overturn of surface during three months' time
Categories: Science News

Student Spotlight: Harshika Chowdhary

College of Natural Resources - Tue, 05/09/2017 - 10:57

In the 2nd of our interviews with CNR students, we hear from graduating senior Harshika Chowdhary on her time in the Berkeley Medical Reserve Corps, her research experiences, and her advice for incoming students. 

Harshika Chowdhary

Photo by Natalea Schager

Harshika Chowdhary 4th year, Microbial Biology
 

Best study spot on campus?

The best spot is either Doe Library or on the hill near Mulford Hall in the summer.

Best Cal memory?

Taking over Woo Hon Fai Hall to run a mass casualty incident with 170 EMTs, moulaged patients, UCPD, and ROTC!  

What is your favorite CNR class or professor and why?

Professor Britt Glaunsinger's Comparative Virology class was my favorite CNR class. This class encourages students to go beyond learning viral properties and critically think about treatments and effects on the host based on similarities and dissimilarities in viral life cycles.

What advice do you have for an incoming CNR student?

Never be afraid to use the CNR resources. The advisors are there to guide you and will try their very best to help you succeed, academically and otherwise. Attend the study groups at the Student Learning Center, and ask your professors and GSIs for help when you need it. There are resources all around you, but you must be proactive and avail them.

Harshika at work in a medical mission in a India

Harshika at work in a medical mission in a India.

What is your plan for after graduation?

I will be applying to medical school this June. I will continue to serve as an EMT, research, and volunteer during my gap year.

What have been the most meaningful activities you’ve been involved with while at Berkeley?

I will always cherish my time in the Berkeley Medical Reserve Corps, Dr. Portnoy's lab, and the Student Learning Center.

Harshika Chowndry attending to ROTC

Harshika organized a mass casualty incident through the Berkeley Medical Reserve Corps each semester.

We heard that you were recently published, congratulations! Can you tell us a little about that?

I am researching the role of miRNA in the early detection of prostate cancer. I am very passionate about research because it is what takes science from simple memorization to the exciting phase of exploration. I am eternally grateful to UC Berkeley for giving me the scientific foundation to understand, design, and conduct research and the Dahiya lab for providing me the mentorship and resources to research prostate cancer in their laboratory.

Image:  Harshika Chowdhary Date:  Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - 10:45 Legacy:  section header item:  Date:  Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - 10:45 headline_position:  Top Left headline_color_style:  Normal headline_width:  Long caption_color_style:  Normal caption_position:  Bottom Left

Top graduating senior in ‘crazy race to the finish line’

Department of Integrative Biology - Tue, 05/09/2017 - 08:30

This Saturday, May 13, Grant Schroeder, 22, an integrative biology major, will address thousands of his peers at a campus wide commencement ceremony as UC Berkeley’s top graduating senior. Instead of cataloging his achievements, his speech will touch on the experiences and vulnerabilities that turned him from methodical to mensch.

Categories: Science News

Mary Firestone elected to National Academy of Sciences

College of Natural Resources - Mon, 05/08/2017 - 17:48
Mary Firestone

Mary Firestone, a professor of soil microbiology in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, has been elected to The National Academy of Sciences. 

Firestone’s research involves the fundamental understanding of soil microbial ecology, and its applications to problems such as global change, sustainability, and biodegradation.

Professor Firestone is one of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates recently elected by the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. 

More about the award and the other recipients. 

Image:  Mary Firestone Date:  Monday, May 8, 2017 - 17:45 Legacy:  section header item:  Date:  Monday, May 8, 2017 - 17:45 headline_position:  Top Left headline_color_style:  Normal headline_width:  Long caption_color_style:  Normal caption_position:  Bottom Left

Study refutes findings behind challenge to Sierra Nevada forest restoration

College of Natural Resources - Mon, 05/08/2017 - 17:22
Image:  forest Date:  Monday, May 8, 2017 - 17:15 Legacy:  section header item:  Date:  Monday, May 8, 2017 - 17:15 headline_position:  Top Left headline_color_style:  Normal headline_width:  Long caption_color_style:  Normal caption_position:  Bottom Left

Schroeder Wins University Medal!

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Mon, 05/08/2017 - 17:09

Grant Schroeder, an IB major and undergraduate researcher in Professor Harland's lab, was awarded the prestigious 2017 University Medal. Given to the most distinguished graduating senior on the UC Berkeley campus, he will speak at the upcoming campus-wide commencement and is joined by four runners up, including Biochemistry major, Giana Cirolia.

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Study refutes findings behind challenge to Sierra Nevada forest restoration

UC Berkeley Science News - Mon, 05/08/2017 - 13:57
The new research supports evidence that forests across the mountain range arer naturally much less dense than what's seen today
Categories: Science News

MCB Undergrad University Medal Finalist

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 21:00

Giana Cirolia, an MCB undergaduate (Biochemistry) and researcher in Professor Andrew Dillin's lab, is one of four runner-ups for the 2017 University Medal. After graduation she plans to continue in research.

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Four first-in-animal successes for Magnetic Particle Imaging

Department of Bioengineering - Fri, 05/05/2017 - 10:26
Professor Steve Conolly’s lab continues it’s push to make Magnetic Particle Imaging a reality with four first-in-animal demonstrations published this year. First MPI Pulmonary Embolism (lung perfusion), with UCSF pulmonologist Payam Nahid, MD, comparable to ventilation–perfusion (VQ) scan First MPI cancer detection with LodeSpin/UW particles seen via enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect First MPI Traumatic Brain Injury […]
Categories: Science News

Magnetic Insight wins 2017 Luis Villalobos Award

Department of Bioengineering - Wed, 05/03/2017 - 09:54
BioE startup Magnetic Insight was selected by the Angel Capital Association for its 2017 Luis Villalobos Award for ingenuity, creativity, and innovation among startups. Magnetic Insight, founded by PhD alumnus Patrick Goodwill and Professor Steven Conolly, was selected based on competitive differentiation and progress toward bringing a product, service, or solution to market. Magnetic Insight […]
Categories: Science News

Student Spotlight: Brooke Maushund

College of Natural Resources - Tue, 05/02/2017 - 14:42

In the first of our series of interviews with students in the College of Natural Resources, Brooke Maushund tells us about her once-in-a-lifetime experiences at the COP22 Conference in Morocco, the Cal ski team, and why you shouldn't always follow the rules. 

Brooke Maushund 4th Year, Conservation and Resource Studies

Best study spot on campus?

I've spent a lot of time on the 4th floor of CITRIS, but East Asian Library has been my steadfast home — you can’t beat those giant glass walls.

Best Cal memory?

Wow, there are a lot, but I've got to say my first semester in the Berkeley Student Cooperative system, at Stebbins Hall, was cumulatively my favorite Cal memory. Now at the end of my three-year stint in the co-ops, I see the flaws in the system, but I cannot express how grateful I was for the sense of community I experienced my first semester in Stebbins. Coming home to housemates who genuinely cared about my day, had such different interests than my own but were just as passionately driven to pursue them, crafted such a creative and open space to challenge one another, and made a house a home was not something I knew I could find here.

What is your favorite CNR class or professor and why?

This has got to be a tie between Professor Callaway & Dr. Sager's ERG 290 "Microgrids and Decentralized Renewables for Global Energy Access" and Professor Kammen's ERG C271 "Energy and Development." Both were graduate seminars I took spring semester my junior year, and really were the first time I could see everything I have learned tie together. The seminar style of the classes, especially with the heavy theoretical focus in ERG C271 and then applied project focus in ERG 290, allowed me to explore the roots of sustainable development, then apply them directly to a microgrid project while conversing with my much more experienced peers.

What advice do you have for an incoming CNR student?

Follow your interests, don't be afraid to make mistakes, and—at your own discretion—don't always follow the rules. If you want to take a grad class and the prerequisites online don't let you enroll, and you don't have “x, y, and z classes” under your belt, but feel qualified: email the professor with a resume. Read some of their publications and go into their office hours. Start a conversation. Cal can be a bit soul-crushing if you see it in black and white, but never underestimate what can come out of starting a conversation: you never know what you don't know. Working around the lines, finding the opportunities in the grays is how you pave your own unique path here. And that doesn't come without a healthy amount of failures; trust me, I have plenty. Regardless of what you've been told, it's not sheer talent or brains that will get you through this place better on the other side: it's resilience.

What is your plan for after graduation?

I'm still weighing some options, but as of right now my plan is to move out to Yosemite Valley to work as a gardener for the concessionaire —and rock climb/trail run a lot—for the summer with my best friends from high school. In August I'll come back to the Bay and work full time in energy access.

Brooke Maushund rocking climbing

Brooke sport climbing in Sella, Spain.

 

What have been the most meaningful activities you’ve been involved with while at Berkeley?

This is a hard one, but I've got to say that joining the Cal Ski Team—the best ski team—was the best choice I made at Cal. After growing up in a place where I could surf most days or go somewhere new to trail run, being in such an urban area freshman year without a car or friends who enjoyed the outdoors was a bit weird at first. I also knew that Greek life wasn't for me, but wanted to be social. Joining ski team gave me a social circle, and I met so many people who were passionate about the outdoors, getting rad, and were very intellectually talented at the same time. I got some awesome powder days out of it and learned how to climb, but more importantly I learned a lot about academics and working hard to advance in the work world from a lot of the older members on the team. Unforgettable experience. CAL SKI TEAM #1!

Brooke Maushund speaking at a conference

Brooke speaking on stage in Marrakech at the Women Leaders and the Global Transformation Summit at COP22 .

We heard that you presented at the COP22 Conference in Morocco - tell us about that experience.

Through a series of very serendipitous events, Jessie Knapstein, who was the co-president of Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC) the same time I was co-president of the undergraduate arm of the club (BERC-U), offered for me to fill her spot to go to the Africa Renewable Energy Forum (AREF) to author the official report on the state of renewable energy in Africa going into COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco.

After my AREF responsibilities had concluded, I had the rest of the conference to simply absorb and process all of the happenings at COP22—a real treat. After studying and discussing all of these topics for years, even participating in mock climate negotiations for a class at Berkeley, actually being at a COP was nothing short of the one of the best applied educational experiences I’ve ever had. You can only imagine my thrill, excitement… and nervousness and feeling of responsibility when Professor Dan Kammen, who I also happen to work under on research in the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, offered for me to step up twice more, due to some speaking engagement conflicts he had. I filled in and spoke as a panelist on my work at an event put on by the Cluster Industriel pour les Services Environnementaux (CISE), and spoke as a rapporteur at a much larger event: the Women Leaders and Global Transformation Summit.

After facilitating discussion amongst some of the most powerful, strong women I’ve had the pleasure to be around at the Women Leaders and Global Transformation Summit, we drafted recommendations in a smaller working group for how the UN Secretariat could empower women while addressing climate change through innovation. Shortly after, I spoke on stage regarding our outcomes. As the youngest person in the room I was of course nervous, but getting to work with women among the ranks of those at this conference was a truly remarkable experience that I will not forget.

My experiences at AREF, COP22, and especially the Women Leaders and Global Transformation Summit are something I know I’ll carry with me throughout the rest of my career. I cannot thank BERC, Jessie, Dan, or EnergyNet enough.

 

Date:  Friday, April 28, 2017 - 10:00 Legacy:  section header item: