UC Santa Barbara Public Affairs and Communications

Featured News Archive 2003-2004

The 2003-2004 Featured News Archive contains summaries of press releases about prominent news developments at UCSB from July 2003 to June 2004. The heading of each item links to the full text of that story. All first appeared on the UCSB Featured News and Campus Topics page.

Summer Institute Helps Foreign Scholars Examine America's Religious Diversity  American studies scholars from around the world are at UCSB this summer studying the religious diversity of the United States and finding out first hand how people with widely differing beliefs can coexist. The institute, now in its third year, was developed by the Department of Religious Studies and is funded by the State Department's Fulbright American Studies Institute. 6/30/2004

Author Rudolfo AnayaRudolfo Anaya to Receive 2004 Luis Leal Writing Award Rudolfo Anaya, a New Mexican writer whose novels and stories depict the lives of contemporary Mexican-Americans in the Southwest, has been chosen to receive the 2004 Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature. The award, given by UCSB and the Santa Barbara Book & Author Festival, in conjunction with Santa Barbara City College, will be presented to Anaya during this year's festival on Sept. 18. 6/25/2004

Fellowship Gift Will Help Prepare Future Scholars  Alumnus Fredric Steck and the Fredric E. Steck Family Foundation have given the campus a $500,000 endowment to help strengthen UCSB's ability to compete with other institutions in recruiting high-caliber graduate students. 6/23/2004

Research Awards Presented to Faculty Mentor and Students  A graduating senior, two graduate students, and a faculty member have been recognized for their contributions to undergraduate research at UCSB. 6/11/2004

89 Seniors Selected for Phi Beta Kappa  Faculty members at UCSB have inducted 89 high-achieving seniors into the campus chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest honorary academic society. 6/11/2004

Researchers present their new test for GHBUCSB Awarded Patent for "Date Rape" Drug Test
A patent for a highly sensitive test to detect the presence of the "date rape" drug, GHB, has been granted to UCSB. Dawn Bravo, a Ph.D. candidate in chemistry and biochemistry, and Stanley Parsons, former chair of the department, developed the new test, which can be used both in emergency room settings and by law enforcement officials. The test can also be used to quickly check a drink for the presence of GHB. 6/7/2004

Graduating Seniors Win Top Awards
Three remarkable graduating seniors  will receive the university's top three awards for their scholastic achievements, their extraordinary service to the university and the community, and their personal courage and persistence. 6/2/2004
Six graduating women  will share an unrestricted cash award of $53,500, an unexpected gift from the now-defunct Santa Barbara City Club whose members sought to reward top female graduates at UCSB for a "job well done." 6/3/2004
Four graduating seniors  have been selected to receive awards for academic achievement from the College of Letters and Science at commencement exercises on June 12-13. 6/3/2004

Cover of Japan Unbound: A Volatile Nation's Quest for Pride and PurposeScholar Examines Japan's Identity Crisis  John Nathan, a professor of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies at UCSB, has been keeping a scholarly eye on Japan for four decades. In his latest book, "Japan Unbound: A Volatile Nation's Quest for Pride and Purpose," Nathan takes a deep look at the economic and cultural malaise that has gripped that nation since the 1990 collapse of the Tokyo Stock Market and given rise to what he calls a cultural identity crisis. 5/27/2004

Anthropologist Mary HancockAnthropologist Appointed Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center  UCSB cultural anthropologist Mary Hancock is one of 23 distinguished scholars named fellows of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. As a resident fellow, Hancock will spend the next academic year at the center for advanced study where she plans to complete a book, "Remembered Futures, Everyday Histories: Politics, Culture and the Past in Urban South India." 5/26/2004

Capps Center Receives Endowment Gift  The Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life at UCSB has received a $580,000 planned gift from Leinie Schilling Bard, of Santa Barbara, that will provide endowment support for the center. The Capps Center seeks to advance discussion of compelling issues related to religion, ethics, and public life through colloquia and student internships and fellowships. 5/26/2004

Dan BlumenthalUCSB Physicist Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences  Guenter Ahlers, professor of physics at UCSB, has been elected a Fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Ahlers is an experimental condensed matter physicist known for many contributions to the field. He joined the UCSB faculty in 1979. 5/18/2004

Dan BlumenthalEvidence of Meteor Impact Near Australia Linked to Largest Extinction in Earth's History  An impact crater, believed to be associated with the "Great Dying," the largest extinction event in the history of life on Earth—much earlier than the extinction of the dinosaurs—appears to be buried off the coast of Australia, according to new findings of a major research project headed by a scientist at UCSB. 5/13/2004

Dan BlumenthalDARPA Funds UCSB-Led Effort to Develop New Technologies   A team of researchers in industry and higher education, led by a group at UCSB headed by Professor Dan Blumenthal of electrical and computer engineering, has been awarded major financial support by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency to develop new technologies to advance optical router capacity far beyond the current state of the art. The research is expected to open new possibilities for the distribution of rich data, voice, and video content over the Internet at vastly greater speeds and using less power. The team has been awarded $6.3 million for the first phase of its research, with optional phases that raise the total to $15.8 million. 5/3/2004

Jacob IsraelachviliChemical Engineer Elected to National Academy of Sciences  Jacob Israelachvili, a professor of chemical engineering and materials, has been elected to the nation's most prestigious scientific organization, the National Academy of Sciences. His election brings to 23 the number of current UCSB faculty members who have been elected to the NAS. 4/22/2004

UCSB Offers Admission to 19,325 for Fall  UC Santa Barbara has offered a place in its fall 2004 entering class to a total of 19,325 high school students. The prospective freshmen were selected from a pool of 36,651 applicants. Of those admitted, 93 percent are enrolled in California high schools. 4/20/2004

Ocean Study Looks at Climate Change  Scientists are learning about climate change by fertilizing the ocean with iron to create blooms of microscopic plants. Some of the findings from the study suggest that, when extrapolated over large regions, iron fertilization could cause billions of tons of carbon to be removed from the atmosphere each year. Removal of this much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere could have been partly responsible for the cooling of the Earth during ice ages. 4/19/2004

Research Finds Cinnamon May Help Alleviate Diabetes  Cinnamon may be more than a spice—it may have a medical application in helping to prevent diabetes. The healthful effects of cinnamon on mice with diabetes are being studied jointly at UCSB and the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute in Santa Barbara. 4/12/2004

Isadore SingerIsadore Singer to Share 'Nobel Prize' of Mathematics American mathematician Isadore Singer, who teaches at UC Santa Barbara, and British mathematician Sir Michael Atiyah have been selected to share the 2004 Abel Prize, considered the "Nobel Prize" in the field of mathematics, "for their discovery and proof of the index theorem." Singer currently holds two positions, one as Institute Professor of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and another at UCSB where he teaches every winter quarter as a distinguished visiting professor. 3/30/2004

Professor Stuart Sweeney catching a wave. Course in 'The Geography of Surfing' Proves Very Popular  A new course in UC Santa Barbara's Department of Geography—possibly the first of its type in the U.S.—is making waves among undergraduates. "The Geography of Surfing" filled up more than a month before the start of spring quarter. Taught by Stuart Sweeney, an assistant professor of geography, the course provides an integrated view of regional, human and physical geography through the lens of surfing. "My motivation is to teach some of the ideas central to geography in a context that will connect strongly with the cultural milieu of the students," said Sweeney, a lifetime surfer. 3/29/2004

Two Professors Awarded Prestigious German Fellowship  Two UCSB faculty members have each been awarded the Humboldt Research Prize in recognition of lifetime achievements in science: Mattanjah S. de Vries, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Horia Metiu, professor in the departments of chemistry and physics. 3/23/2004

Joseph and Helene Pollock Pollock Family Donates $2 Million for Public Film Theater in New Center  Joseph and Helene Pollock, of Santa Barbara, and their family have contributed $2 million for the construction of a public film theater in the new Center for Film, Television and New Media at UCSB. The gift brings to $5.75 million the total raised thus far toward a goal of $10 million for the privately funded center. In celebration of the Pollocks' gift, the center's public theater will be named in their honor. 3/11/2004

William W. MurdochMurdoch Selected for Faculty Research Lectureship  William W. Murdoch, an internationally known ecologist and a UCSB faculty member since 1965, has been chosen to receive the highest honor the UCSB faculty can bestow upon one of its own: the annual Faculty Research Lectureship. Murdoch's lecture is free and open to the public and will focus on "The Balance of Nature." He will speak from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 14 in the Girvetz Theater (Girvetz Hall, Room 1004). 3/10/2004

Joan-Emma Shea, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistrySloan Fellowship Awarded to Joan-Emma Shea  Joan-Emma Shea, an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UCSB, has been awarded a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. An expert in protein folding, Shea is one of 116 outstanding young scientists and economists who have been selected from a pool of hundreds across the nation to receive the Sloan Research Fellowship this year. Shea's research spans the fields of theoretical chemistry and biophysics. 3/9/2004

Nanosystems Institute Awarded $2 Million NSF Education Grant  The California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI) at UCSB has been awarded a $2 million educational outreach grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant will support a new program that aims to increase the number of high school and community college students who complete undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 2/26/2004

Scientists Find Nanoscale Production Model Inside Marine Sponges  UCSB Professor Daniel Morse and his students have made advances in copying the way marine sponges construct skeletal glass needles at the nanoscale. The research group is using nature’s example to produce semiconductors and photovoltaic materials in an environmentally benign way––as they report in a recent issue of the journal Chemistry of Materials. 2/25/2004

Donation of UCSB Discovery May Accelerate New Treatment for Global Health Problem  UC Santa Barbara has donated all rights to a patent that covers the novel use of an established class of cardiovascular medicines as a potential new drug against a global parasitic disease. The Institute for OneWorld Health, a nonprofit pharmaceutical company based in San Francisco, will use the UCSB discovery and the wealth of data associated with the medicines to accelerate drug development for treatment of schistosomiasis. The researchers involved are Mark Walter, a research biologist, and Armand Kuris, professor of biology. 2/23/2004

National Academy of Engineering Elects Two More UCSB Professors  Two faculty members in the College of Engineering have been elected members of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering. Larry A. Coldren, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Linda R. Petzold, a professor of mechanical and environmental engineering, were among 76 new members and 11 foreign associates elected in balloting by the academy's members. The College of Engineering now boasts 24 members of the Academy. 2/17/2004

Michael DouglasAlumnus Michael Douglas Donates $1-Million to Center for Film, TV, and New Media  Academy award-winner Michael Douglas has contributed $1-million toward the construction of a Center for Film, Television and New Media at UCSB. In recognition of the gift, the lobby of the center's public theater will be named in his honor. A graduate of UCSB, Douglas earned a B.A. in dramatic art from the campus in 1968. He is a member of the center's distinguished advisory board. "I love UCSB, and am proud to be associated with the new center," he said. 2/2/2004

UCSB Receives 45,045 Undergraduate Applications For Fall 2004  The campus has received a record 45,045 applications for admission to the campus for fall 2004. Of this total, 36,651 applications were from prospective first-year students (657 fewer than last year), 8,256 were from applicants seeking to transfer to UCSB (1,107 more than last year), and 138 were from students applying for the Dual Admissions Program, under which they will complete two years at a California community college before enrolling at a UC campus. 1/27/2004

Catholic Studies Endowment Reaches $3 Million  UCSB has reached a major milestone in an effort to enhance Catholic Studies in the campus's renowned Department of Religious Studies through an endowment supporting professorships, fellowships, and special programs. The J. E. and Lillian Tipton Foundation, of Santa Ynez, has made a $1.1 million gift to establish a visiting professorship in the interdisciplinary field of Catholic Studies. The grant brings to $3 million the total raised thus far in a joint university and community fund-raising effort for the Virgil Cordano Endowment in Catholic Studies. 1/23/2004

Alumnus to Head Space Station Mission  NASA Astronaut Leroy Chiao, who received his doctorate in chemical engineering from UCSB in 1987, has been named commander of Expedition 9, the next mission aboard the International Space Station, according to a NASA announcement. The expedition is scheduled for launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft in April. 1/21/2004

The Mars RoverMars Rover Material Tested at UCSB  Frederick Milstein, UCSB professor of mechanical and environmental engineering and materials, and his small team of researchers made contributions that NASA deemed crucial to the Mars rover landings. They were awarded special recognition by NASA for the work. NASA chose Milstein's group to test a new material designed to shield vital components of the Mars entry vehicle as it hit the Martian atmosphere. 1/15/2004

Three UCSB Scholars Study Abroad with Fulbright Grants  Two UC Santa Barbara faculty members and one administrator are among the approximately 800 American academics and professionals recently announced as recipients of Fulbright Scholar Awards to conduct research at foreign universities during the 2003-2004 academic year. UCSB also has been selected to host three foreign scholars. David L. Crawford, a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology; John W. DuBois, an associate professor of linguistics; and Mary McMahon, assistant dean of the Graduate Division; are UCSB's three Fulbright recipients. Coming to UCSB this year are Manuel Mendoza Garcia of Spain, Philip Laing Munday of Australia, and Igor Zektser of Russia. 1/7/2004

Gift Launches Year-Round Adapted Recreation Program  UCSB has received a $75,000 contribution from the Bialis Family Foundation, of Santa Barbara, to establish a recreation program serving children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities. The gift for the UCSB Adapted Recreation Program comes from the foundation's Clara Project, which is helping agencies throughout Santa Barbara County create and expand existing programs to enrich the opportunities available to people with disabilities. The new program will expand sports and recreational activities for children and adults both on campus and in the surrounding region by offering year-round sports and recreational activities tailored to the special needs of participants. 1/5/2004

Boeing Donates Integrated Circuit Patents to UCSB  UCSB has received a donation of four patents from the Boeing Company that are related to improving the performance of electronic circuits. The patents are directly related to the research of Kaustav Banerjee, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at UCSB, who has worked extensively on three-dimensional (3-D) integrated circuits and thermal analysis of both 3-D integrated circuits and high-performance microprocessors. 12/17/2003

Francisco LomeliFrancisco Lomelí to Receive Chicano Scholarship Award
The National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies has named UCSB's Francisco Lomelí winner of its 2004 Scholar Award. The award recognizes Lomelí's research and writing about Mexican Americans and Mexican-American writers and literature and his contributions to the development of Chicana and Chicano Studies as an academic discipline. Lomelí is a professor of Spanish and Portuguese, a professor of Chicana and Chicano studies, and chair of the Department of Black Studies. He will receive the award at the NACCS Conference in Albuquerque in April. 12/12/2003

Visiting Professor Receives Prestigious German Award  Frank Allgoewer, currently a visiting professor in UCSB's Department of Chemical Engineering, has just been awarded the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Prize by the West German government. The highly prestigious prize—often referred to as the "German Nobel Prize"—is valued at $1.85 million dollars. It was established in 1906 to commemorate Gottfried Wilhelm Freiherr von Leibniz, the 17th-century German philosopher, scholar and statesman. 12/11/2003

Meteor Seen as Cause of Greatest Extinction Event  The "Great Dying," a time of the earth's largest number of extinctions, appears to have been caused by the impact of a large meteor, according to a research team that includes Luann Becker, a scientist with UCSB's Institute for Crustal Studies. The theory, recently published in the journal Science, explains that this extinction event occurred approximately 251 million years ago—long before the demise of the dinosaurs, estimated at some 65 million years ago and also thought to have been caused by a large meteor impact. 12/1/2003

Richard Mayer, Top Educational Psychology Researcher.Journal Names Richard Mayer Top Educational Psychology Researcher  A national five-year study has ranked Richard Mayer, a professor of psychology and education at UCSB, the nation's most prolific researcher in the field of educational psychology. The same study ranked UCSB the third most-prolific university in that field. Published in the journal Contemporary Educational Psychology, the study was conducted by researchers at Northern Illinois University and Southwest Missouri State University and covered 1997 through 2001. 11/25/2003

Future Alumni Center. Mosher Foundation Donates $3 Million for Alumni Center  UCSB has received a $3 million gift toward the construction of an alumni center from The Samuel B. and Margaret C. Mosher Foundation of Santa Barbara. The new building will be named the Mosher Alumni House and will be located at the University Plaza entrance to the campus, at the intersection of Mesa Road, north of Campbell Hall. The center will serve as a focal point to welcome returning graduates and will also be a gathering place for other visitors, with public meeting facilities, galleries, and a library. For the first time the UCSB Alumni Association will have a prominent campus presence with enhanced facilities to support expanded programming and services. 11/24/2003

Campaigning Online: The Internet in U.S. ElectionsPolitical Scientist's Book Examines Presidential Campaigning Via Internet  In "Campaigning Online: The Internet in U.S. Elections," (Oxford University, 2003)—a book with myriad implications for the 2004 presidential election—UCSB political scientist Bruce Bimber and co-author Richard Davis of Brigham Young University analyze how candidates used the Internet in the 2000 presidential campaign. A key finding of the research: Most voters visited only their favorite candidate's web site. Bimber says candidates should tailor their site's content not to win converts but to solidify the support of those already in the fold. 11/18/2003

Research Funding Hits Record High  Research support from external sources reached a record high at UCSB last year, when a total of $143.9 million was received from federal and state agencies, corporations, and foundations. By the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2003, this "extramural" funding in the form of contracts and grants for research, training, and public-service programs had increased 10 percent over the previous year's total. Over the past 10 years, UCSB has seen a 77-percent increase in research funds from external sources. 11/18/2003

Lisa Hajjar, winner of the Harold J. Plous AwardMiddle East Expert Picked for Prestigious Faculty Award
Lisa Hajjar, an associate professor in UCSB's Law and Society Program, has been named the 2003 winner of the Harold J. Plous Award, given annually to a top assistant professor. The award, presented by the Academic Senate, recognizes Hajjar's "innovative research, inspirational teaching, and generous community service." As the Plous winner, Hajjar will give a public lecture, "Torture and Future," later in the 2003-2004 academic year. 11/17/2003

Search for Dark Matter Intensifies  Astronomers have known for 70 years that the matter we see cannot constitute all the matter in the universe. "Dark energy" makes up 73 percent, and an unknown form of dark matter makes up 23 percent. Scientists have now announced that the search for dark matter is on—it has been launched from a laboratory half a mile below ground. And two UCSB professors are playing a major role in the multi-institution experiment. 11/12/2003

Climate Experts Help Predict Rainfall Patterns to Avert Famine  In Sub-Saharan Africa and Central America, too little or too much rainfall can cause famine. Scientists at UCSB and the US Geological Survey are now working with researchers in these countries to monitor, anticipate and mitigate the impact of flooding and drought. 11/10/2003

3 Professors Elected Fellows of the AAAS  Three UCSB faculty members have been elected Fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for their efforts to advance science or for applications deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. The new Fellows from UCSB are S. James Allen in physics, David A. Low in biology, and Phillip L. Walker in anthropology. The complete list of this year's Fellows appears in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science dated October 31, 2003. 10/31/2003

Chemist Wins Prestigious Packard Fellowship   Joan-Emma Shea, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UCSB, has been awarded a prestigious Packard Foundation Fellowship for Science and Engineering for the year 2003, one of 16 national awards. The intent of the fellowship program is to provide support for unusually creative researchers early in their careers. The fellowship of $625,000, paid over five years, may be used for any reasonable research expenditure. Shea's research spans the fields of theoretical chemistry and biophysics. 10/23/2003

Groundbreaking Friday for California NanoSystems Institute
Groundbreaking Held For California NanoSystems Institute  A groundbreaking was held October 24 to mark the start of construction on a new building to house one of the most exciting scientific endeavors the campus is involved in—the California NanoSystems Institute, or CNSI. The building will be located at the northeastern edge of the campus, south of Mesa Road and across from the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. A multidisciplinary partnership between UCLA and UC Santa Barbara, the CNSI is one of the four California Institutes for Science and Innovation established in December 2000 by Governor Gray Davis with the support of the state legislature and California industry. Designed to facilitate interactions among researchers from a broad range of science and engineering disciplines, the state-of-the-art building will bring together innovators from California universities, industries, and national laboratories. 10/22/2003

Retired Vice Chancellor David Sheldon Dies at 61  David N. Sheldon, vice chancellor for administrative services at UC Santa Barbara from 1988 to 2001, died at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on Oct. 13. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this year. He was 61. A veteran administrator, he had served the University of California system for 34 years before retiring from UCSB in 2001.10/14/2003

UCSB Physicist Devises Way to Observe Protein Folding  Physicists are getting more involved in the fight against diseases by studying the folding of proteins, which they hope will eventually lead to the development of new drugs. Illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease and even some cancers are the result of protein folding that has gone awry. Everett Lipman, a new assistant professor of physics at UCSB, recently co-authored an article in the journal Science describing an innovative study of how to "see" proteins as they fold, the result of experiments performed with co-workers at the National Institutes of Health. 10/8/2003

Cellular reactions to the injury caused by a retinal detachment.$9.4 Million NSF Grant Backs UCSB-Led Effort in Bio-Imaging Informatics  The National Science Foundation has awarded a $9.4 million grant for the development of new information-processing technologies that will make it possible to extract detailed understanding of biological processes from images depicting the distribution of biological molecules within cells or tissues. The project is headed by Bangalore Manjunath, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UCSB. The five-year grant provides $6.9 million to UCSB and $2.5 million to Carnegie Mellon University.10/3/2003

Professor Steven GainesGaines Named Winner of Top Marine Conservation Award
Steven Gaines, director of the Marine Science Institute at UCSB and acting vice chancellor for research, has been named one of five scholars worldwide to win the most prestigious award honoring and investing in applied ocean conservation science and outreach. He has received a 2003 Pew Marine Conservation Fellowship, which includes a $150,000 grant over three years to carry out innovative, interdisciplinary projects addressing challenges facing marine environments around the world. 9/29/2003

Professor Michael GoodchildRoyal Geographical Society Presents Founder's Medal to Prof. Michael Goodchild  Michael F. Goodchild, a professor of geography at UCSB, has been awarded the Founder's Medal by Britain's Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). The organization, founded in 1830, is the official British society for geography and geographers. Goodchild was cited for his efforts to encourage and promote geographical science and discovery. 9/24/2003

Prof. Everett Zimmerman, Former Provost, Dies at 66  Everett Zimmerman, a distinguished scholar and longtime member of the UC Santa Barbara faculty who served in important campus leadership positions, died in Santa Barbara on Monday, September 22. He recently had been diagnosed with brain cancer. A resident of Santa Barbara, he was 66. 9/22/2003

Victor Record Label.Major Donation to Enable UCSB Libraries to Produce Discography of Victor Records  William R. Moran, a noted discographer, author, and collector, has donated $1.7 million to the University Libraries at UC Santa Barbara for the completion of the Victor Project, a multi-volume encyclopedia cataloging all of the recordings made by the Victor Talking Machine Company (which later became RCA Victor) from 1900 to 1950. The “Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Records” represents the only systematic published account of these historic recording sessions since few trade catalogs exist for the period. 9/22/2003

Army Research Office Announces Grant of Up to $50 Million to Partnership Led by UCSB  The Army Research Office has made an initial grant of up to $50 million over five years to a UCSB-led partnership to establish the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies. Caltech and MIT are partners in the project, as are six industrial companies that will develop the technologies created in the university laboratories. 8/27/2003

Discovery of Cell Survival Gene May Lead to New Treatments for Degenerative Diseases and Cancer  Our cells are constantly making life and death decisions. A new gene that controls this life or death switch and protects cells from dying has been discovered by researchers at UCSB, as reported in the August 28 edition of the scientific journal Nature. The discovery may provide scientists with new means for identifying drugs that combat degenerative diseases such as Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS), the destructive effects of stroke and heart diseases, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. 8/27/2003

Dr. Melvin L. OliverUrban Affairs Scholar and Ford Foundation Official Named Dean  Melvin L. Oliver, a prominent sociologist and foundation leader, has been named dean of social sciences. Since 1996, he has been vice president for asset building and community development at the Ford Foundation, one of the largest private philanthropies in the United States. He joined the foundation after two decades on the faculty at UCLA, where he served as a professor of sociology and policy studies, and a director of the Center for the Study of Urban Poverty, among other roles. He is expected to take up his new duties by April 1, 2004. 8/7/2003

Nation's First Ph.D. Program in Chicano Studies Established at UCSB  The University of California has approved a proposal to establish the nation's first doctoral program in Chicano studies at UCSB. The graduate program, which will also include a master of arts track, will be offered by the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, long a pioneering department in ethnic studies. The program's first graduate students are expected to be admitted and enrolled for fall quarter 2004. 8/4/2003

Researchers Discover Zinc in Clamworm Jaws  UCSB researchers have found that the clamworm has jaws made partly of zinc. The scientists say that their studies of how nature makes hard materials may eventually yield information on how scientists can make lightweight, flexible materials ranging from more durable tires to protective coatings. 8/1/2003

Professor David GrossEuropean Physics Prize Goes to David Gross  The prestigious High Energy and Particle Physics Prize of the European Physical Society for 2003 has been awarded to David Gross, a professor of physics and director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UCSB. He shares the prize with two other Americans-Frank Wilczek of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who was a student of Gross's at Princeton University, and David Politzer of the California Institute of Technology. The award recognizes the fundamental contributions the three scientists have made to quantum chromodynamics, the theory of strong interactions.7/24/2003

New Sensor Can Detect DNA in One Step  Scientists at UCSB have developed an electronic detector for DNA based on a one-millimeter electrode and electronics that can be held in the hand. Applications range from medicine to the food industry and include civil defense possibilities such as detection of biological weapons in airports and other public places. 7/16/2003

Vermilion rockfish on Platform Grace.Offshore Oil and Gas Platforms Serve as Marine Protected Areas, Study Finds  California's offshore oil and gas platforms act as de facto marine protected areas for some overfished species and serve as a home to a variety of fish and invertebrate organisms, say scientists at UCSB. This was among the key findings of a six-year study by biologists Milton S. Love, Donna M. Schroeder and Mary M. Nishimoto, who have issued a new report on their research. 7/10/2003

Professor Luis LealChicano Studies Professor Luis Leal Publishes New Book at 95  At an age when most people would be content to reflect upon their accomplishments, 95-year-old Luis Leal, a professor of Chicano Studies, has published "Myths and Legends of Mexico." The book, printed in both English and Spanish, was written to make more widely available 20 myths and legends important to Mexican and Chicano culture. 7/9/2003

PulsarPhysicist's Theory Gets NASA Boost  A theory about neutron stars proposed by Lars Bildsten, a professor of physics and permanent member of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UCSB, has gained the support of a NASA study reported by an international team of scientists in the July 3 issue of the journal Nature. 7/2/2003