UC Santa Barbara Public Affairs and Communications

Featured News Archive 2006-2007

The 2006-2007 Featured News Archive contains summaries of press releases about prominent news developments at UCSB from July 2006 to June 2007. 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.

New UCSB Members of Phi Beta Kappa Faculty members at UC Santa Barbara have inducted 110 high-achieving seniors into the UCSB chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest honorary academic society. 6/28/07

Antarctic Ice SheetUndersea Images Challenge Thinking About the Antarctic New images of areas below the Eastern Ross Sea, next to West Antarctica, provide evidence that the subcontinent was involved in the general growth of the Antarctic Ice Sheet as it formed many millions of years ago, according to UCSB scientists (seen left on a National Science Foundation research vessel). Changes in Antarctica, an area that contains approximately 90 percent of the world's ice, are particularly important for understanding some implications of global warming. 6/28/07

Nanotech Hitchhikers in Blood UCSB researchers report a method for prolonging blood circulation of nanoparticles for potential applications in drug delivery. 6/27/07

Two Professors Awarded Fulbright Fellowships Paul Berkman, a research professor at the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, and Peter J. Garcia, a visiting professor of ethnomusicology and folklore in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, have been awarded Fulbright fellowships to do research abroad during the 2007-08 academic year. 6/27/07

Evelyn HuEndowed Chair Established for Director of the California NanoSystems Institute UCSB has received a $350,000 gift from Tegal Corporation, of Petaluma, to establish an endowed chair for the director of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI). The professorship, which is pending approval by the UC Regents, will be named for the late scientific pioneer Peter J. Clarke, a longtime Santa Barbara resident and founder of Sputtered Films, Inc. Evelyn Hu, CNSI scientific director and a UCSB professor of electrical and computer engineering and materials, will be the first to hold the Clarke Chair. 6/26/07

Communication Scholars Study Credibility and the Internet Building on their earlier research that explored how people were using the Internet in the early days of its mass popularity, two UCSB professors have embarked on a project that examines how individuals seek information on the Internet and how they evaluate its credibility. The research by Andrew Flanagin and Miriam Metzger, associate professors of communication, is supported by a $520,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. 6/25/07

Oscar H. IbarraComputer Scientist Wins International Award UCSB Professor Oscar H. Ibarra has been awarded the 2007 Blaise Pascal Medal for Computer Science by the European Academy of Sciences. The academy established the medal in 2003 to recognize outstanding and demonstrated personal contribution to science and technology, and the promotion of excellence in research and education. 6/25/07

Daniel MorseBiologist Morse Named to Endowed Chair in Biotechnology Daniel Morse, a renowned UC Santa Barbara professor of molecular genetics and biochemistry, is the first scholar appointed to the Wilcox Family Chair in Biotechnology. The Wilcox professorship was established recently with a $700,000 gift from Gary and Susan Wilcox, who are both distinguished UCSB alumni, volunteer leaders, and longtime campus benefactors. Morse, who also is director of the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies, said he was humbled and deeply grateful to the Wilcox family and to UCSB for the honor. 6/19/07

Campus Appoints First Chief Technology Officer UCSB has announced the appointment of Thomas Putnam as Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, effective August 15. The appointment followed a national search. Putnam is currently the Executive Director of Computing and Information Services at Texas A&M University. He comes to UC Santa Barbara with nearly 40 years of computer systems experience, including 35 years of management responsibility in university, scientific, and engineering R&D oriented environments. 6/15/07

Graduating Seniors Win Top Awards
Three outstanding graduating seniors will receive the university's top awards for their scholastic achievements, their extraordinary service to the university and the community, and their personal courage and persistence.
Six graduating women will receive cash awards totaling $46,000 from the now-defunct Santa Barbara City Club, whose members sought to reward top female graduates at UCSB for a "job well done."
Two graduating seniors, two graduate students, and a faculty member have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to undergraduate research.
Four College of Letters and Science graduates are being recognized with awards for their academic achievements. 6/14/07

UCSB Wins $2.26 Million Grant for Stem Cell Research Facilities UC Santa Barbara is one of 17 institutions in the state to be awarded a grant by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to construct laboratory facilities for stem cell research. The grant to UCSB is for $2.26 million over three years and will be used to support the design and development of a shared laboratory to expand existing stem cell studies and to stimulate new investigations of the biology and engineering of stems cells at UCSB and other nearby research institutions. 6/6/07

Aquilegia longissima (columbine flower)Birds and Insects Found to Drive Evolution in Flowers Flowers evolve in a predictable fashion to match the mouthparts of pollinating birds and insects, rather than engaging in a gradual "arms race" between flower and pollinator, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. The research builds on work done by Charles Darwin more than 140 years ago. 6/6/07

Amphimedon Queenslandica (sea sponge) Scientists Find Clues to Nervous System's Origins UCSB scientists have discovered significant clues to the evolutionary origins of the nervous system. The discovery came about through study of the genome of Amphimedon Queenslandica (above), a sea sponge and member of a group considered to be among the most ancient of all animals. This research on the genes of the sponge is highly interdisciplinary and includes computer scientists, biologists, and neuroscientists. 6/5/07

Betty Elings Wells and Virgil ElingsUCSB Receives $12.5 Million Gift to Support Nanoscience Research Virgil Elings and Betty Elings Wells have made a $12.5 million gift to UCSB to support pioneering research at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI). In recognition of their recent gift, the new building that is home to the prestigious California Institute for Science and Innovation will be named in honor of Virgil Elings. The Elings and Wells gift is the largest contribution to The Campaign for UC Santa Barbara, which seeks to raise $500 million to ensure UCSB's excellence for future generations 6/4/07

Ancient Meteor Blast May Have Caused Extinctions, Scientists Report New findings suggest that a large, extraterrestrial rock may have exploded over North America 13,000 years ago, explaining riddles that scientists have wrestled with for decades, including an abrupt cooling of the atmosphere and the extinction of large mammals. UCSB scientists presented the discovery at a news conference at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. 5/23/07

Broad Foundation Establishes Asperger's Syndrome Research Center UC Santa Barbara has received a $940,000 gift from The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Foundation to establish a new center for Asperger research in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education's Koegel Autism Center. The Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Asperger Research will be the first research and training facility in the country devoted to developing treatments for individuals with Asperger's Syndrome, a prevalent form of high functioning autism characterized by difficulties with social communication. 5/23/07

UCSB to Host Sixth Annual Sustainability Conference UC Santa Barbara will host the sixth annual University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges Sustainability Conference June 24th through June 27th. This year's conference is expected to be one of the largest events of its kind in the nation, with an estimated 800 participants. 5/15/07

Professor Awarded National Mathematics Prize James McKernan, a professor of mathematics at UCSB, has been awarded the prestigious Clay Research Award by the Clay Mathematics Institute. The award recognizes major mathematical breakthroughs. McKernan shares the award with Christopher Hacon, associate professor at the University of Utah, for their work in advancing understanding of the "birational geometry of algebraic varieties in dimension greater than three, in particular, for their inductive proof of the existence of flips." 5/10/07

Findings of Second Annual Central Coast Survey Released Researchers at UCSB's Social Science Survey Center/Benton Survey Research Lab have released the findings of a large-scale public-opinion poll of residents in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties on a variety of issues affecting life in the region. The findings are based on an analysis of responses to telephone interviews with members of more than 1,000 households in the two counties. 5/9/07

3 Historians Win UC President's Research Fellowships UThree UCSB history professors have been awarded UC President's Research Fellowships in the Humanities. The fellowships are part of an initiative established in 1987 to encourage faculty research in the humanities across the University of California system. 5/8/07

David Gross Nobel Laureate David Gross Elected to the American Philosophical Society UCSB physicist David Gross, who shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics, has been elected a fellow of the American Philosophical Society (APS), the oldest learned society in the country. Gross is director of UCSB's Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP), where he holds the Frederick W. Gluck Chair. He was one of 52 new members selected by his peers to join the distinguished society this year. 5/4/07

Donald Bren and John EndlerBiologist Endler and Benefactor Bren Elected to Arts and Sciences Academy John Endler, a UCSB emeritus professor of biology (at right), hasbeen elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Scientists. Also joining the academy in this year's class of distinguished fellows is Orange County business leader and philanthropist Donald Bren (left), for whom UCSB's Bren School of Environmental Science and Management is named. 5/3/07

David AwschalomUCSB Physicist Elected to National Academy of Sciences David Awschalom, a professor of physics and of electrical and computer engineering at UC Santa Barbara, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, the academy announced today. 5/1/07

Duncan and Suzanne MellichampProfessor and Spouse Make Record Donation to Build Centers of Excellence Across Disciplines UCSB Emeritus Professor Duncan Mellichamp and his wife, Suzanne, have made a $2 million philanthropic gift to the campus to establish a second cluster of four endowed chairs. The innovative gift will make it possible for UCSB to recruit four leading scholars to launch a major new interdisciplinary academic research initiative to study the effects of globalization. 4/30/07

Neutrally Boyant Sediment Trap (NBST)Ocean's 'Twilight Zone' Plays Important Role in Climate Change The amount of atmospheric carbon that the dim layer of the ocean called the "twilight zone" can sequester varies greatly depending on location, according to 17 scientists who have published an article in the April 27 issue of the journal Science. This variation affects models of climate change and the carbon cycle. The size of the variation is three gigatons of carbon per year, according to co-author David A. Siegel, UCSB professor of marine science and director of the Institute for Computational Earth System Science. 4/26/07

UCSB Wins National Wildlife Federation Competition UCSB has been named a winner in the National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology "Chill Out" contest. The contest recognizes colleges and universities nationwide that are implementing innovative programs to reduce the impact of global warming. UCSB was one of eight universities chosen to receive the award. 4/18/07

UCSB Admits 22,168 for Fall 2007 UC Santa Barbara has offered a place in its fall 2007 entering class to a total of 22,168 high school seniors. The prospective UCSB freshmen were selected from a pool of 40,912 applicants. UCSB expects its fall 2007 entering class to number approximately 4,200. Applications from 7,896 students seeking to transfer to UC Santa Barbara are still under review, with decisions to be announced in May. The campus expects to enroll some 1,450 transfer students in the fall. 4/5/07

2 Professors Win Guggenheim Fellowships Two UC Santa Barbara professors have been awarded prestigious Guggenheim Fellowships for 2007. Richard Ross, a professor of art, and David White, a professor of religious studies, were among 189 artists, scholars, and scientists from the United States and Canada so honored this year by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Guggenheim Fellows are selected on the basis of distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment. 4/5/07

Robert O. CollinsUCSB Historian Examines Crisis in Darfur The current crisis in Darfur is but the most recent in a long history of turbulent relations between three African nations – Chad, Libya, and Sudan – which for more than 40 years have fought for control over the central Sahara, the Sahel, and the savanna grasslands in the greater Chad basin. This is the authoritative view of two prominent scholars – Robert O. Collins, professor emeritus of history at UCSB, and J. Millard Burr, a former State Department analyst and director of Operation Lifeline Sudan I. They have written a book, "Darfur: The Long Road to Disaster," that examines the factors that led to the current state of emergency in Darfur and the surrounding region. 4/4/07

Scholars Document Extinct Native American Language For thousands of years, the area in and around the headwaters of the Napa River and the Russian River Valley, just north of San Francisco, was home to the Wappo, one of the oldest Native American tribes in California. The Wappo had no written language, but communicated solely through the spoken word. Although Wappo as a spoken language no longer exists, UCSB scholars, in an effort to preserve some history and knowledge of the indigenous language, have published "A Reference Grammar of Wappo" that offers the most extensive data and grammatical research ever conducted on the language. 4/3/07

U.S. News Ranks UCSB Graduate Programs Among Best In its annual rankings of leading graduate and professional programs at American universities, U.S. News & World Report magazine has rated UC Santa Barbara's College of Engineering and its Gevirtz Graduate School of Education among the country's leaders. The Ph.D. programs in the biological sciences and in chemistry were also highly rated. 4/3/07

5 Young UCSB Faculty Members Win NSF 'Career' Awards Five young faculty members at UC Santa Barbara have received major awards from the National Science Foundation. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program offers the NSF's most prestigious awards in support of the early career development activities of teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. 4/2/07

Genetic Modification Enables Mice to See New Colors Researchers at UC Santa Barbara and at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have demonstrated that a particular genetic modification enables mice to acquire new color vision. Their findings, which could have implications for understanding the evolution of color vision and other sensory systems in mammals, were published in the journal Science. 3/22/07

Progress Lags for Some Linguistic Minority Students In the UC Linguistic Minority Research Center's current newsletter, director Russell Rumberger examines a new national study of elementary school children that finds a growing achievement gap between California's linguistic minority students and their native English-speaking classmates. The greatest disparities were found between English-only speakers and children from Spanish-dominant households. The UC Linguistic Minority Research Center is a systemwide research center based at UCSB. 3/12/07

John Woolley (at right in photo) and Gerhard PetersPresidential Documents, Recordings Available on Comprehensive Web Site Interested in reading George Washington's first State of the Union Message or Abraham Lincoln's second Inaugural Address? How about listening to one of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's fireside chats? These and every other public document ­ as well as many audio and video recordings ­ associated with the American presidency are posted on The American Presidency Project, a UCSB Web site with 70,000 documents and 700 recordings. The project was developed by John Woolley (at right in photo), professor and chair of political science, and Gerhard Peters, a graduate student. 3/08/07

UCSB Makes Rare Collection of English Ballads Available Online The Early Modern Center, a research unit within the Department of English, has created the English Ballad Archive. As its first project the center is cataloging and mounting detailed facsimile transcriptions of the more than 1,800 ballads in the Samuel Pepys collection, which dates to the 17th century, is one of the largest in existence. 2/22/07

New Solid State Lighting and Energy Center Established The College of Engineering is formally launching the Solid State Lighting and Energy Center (SSLEC), directed by Shuji Nakamura, Cree Professor in Solid State Lighting and Displays, and Steven DenBaars, Mitsubishi Chemical Professor in Solid State Lighting and Displays. The SSLEC, the second generation of UCSB's original Solid State Lighting Center, is broadening its scope to include new research interests, including clean energy and energy efficiency, critical to reducing global warming. 2/22/07

John Tooby and Leda Cosmides of the Center for Evolutionary PsychologyStudy on Siblings Finds Genetic Cues in Brain Research at UCSB has found evidence of a nonconscious mechanism in the human brain that enables people to recognize family members—particularly siblings—as close genetic relatives. The project is headed by John Tooby and Leda Cosmides of the Center for Evolutionary Psychology (pictured) and Debra Lieberman, a former student at the center and now a professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii. The findings were published in the journal Nature. 2/15/07

A completely new approach to the study of Alzheimer's disease, initiated by UCSB Professor Michael Bowers (pictured)NIH Funds Innovative Alzheimer's Research Initiated at UCSB A completely new approach to the study of Alzheimer's disease, initiated by UCSB Professor Michael Bowers (pictured), may solve a critical piece in the puzzle of the tragic neurological illness that progressively erases memory in its millions of victims. The project is being supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. Four institutions are involved. 2/14/07

Melvin L. Oliver and his book "Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality"Wealth Gap Between Blacks and Whites Has Grown Larger, Scholars Find Disparities in wealth, rather than income, continue to shape the financial inequality that exists between blacks and whites, according to Melvin L. Oliver (pictured), UCSB's dean of social sciences and a professor of sociology, and Thomas Shapiro, a professor of law and social policy at Brandeis University. For a special 10th anniversary edition of their landmark study, "Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality," the two revisited their earlier findings and concluded that the gap in wealth along racial lines has increased over the past decade. 2/14/07

The photograph shows the far-field pattern of the world's first gallium nitride (GaN) nonpolar blue-violet laser diodes.Nakamura-Led Team Reports Major Laser Diode Breakthrough A team of UCSB researchers led by Shuji Nakamura, winner of the 2006 Millennium Technology Prize, has reported a major breakthrough in laser diode development. The researchers, from the Solid State Lighting and Display Center in the College of Engineering, have achieved lasing operation in nonpolar gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductors and demonstrated the world's first nonpolar blue-violet laser diodes. The new diodes have numerous commercial applications. 1/29/07

UCSB Receives Record 48,728 Applications for Fall 2007 The campus has received a record 48,728 applications for undergraduate admission to the campus for fall 2007. Of this total, 40,894 applications were from prospective first-year students, which is 1,066 more than last year. Decisions on freshman applications will be made by mid-March, and on transfer applications the following month. 1/24/07

Film Studies Scholars Present Profiles of Holocaust Survivors Janet Walker and Kwame Braun, professors of film and media studies at UCSB, have teamed with a Santa Barbara filmmaker to produce a 90-minute program of four video portraits featuring local residents who are Holocaust survivors. The film will premiere at the 2007 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. 1/23/07

Luann BeckerNASA Funds UCSB Researcher to Develop Instrument to Search for Past Life on Mars Organic chemist Luann Becker has been awarded a grant by NASA to further develop the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer, an instrument that will search for the past remnants of life on Mars. The instrument will probe subsurface soil samples taken as far as two meters below the surface of Mars. The project will be included in a European space mission. 1/17/07

Catherine L. AlbaneseNew Book Examines Metaphysical Religion in America From its roots in the 15th-century Latin translation called the "Corpus Hermeticum" to best-selling books by Deepak Chopra and others, "metaphysical religiosity has always been as pervasive as the air we breathe," says Catherine L. Albanese, professor of religious studies. In her new book, "A Republic of Mind and Spirit," Albanese provides a cultural history of metaphysical religion in America. 1/16/07

Large-Scale Study Examines New Treatment for Adults Who Stutter Stuttering affects more than three million people in the United States, and, at the present time, no cure for the disorder exists. That may change, however, following a large scale, five-year study being conducted by Roger Ingham, professor of speech and hearing, to evaluate a protocol he developed to treat adults with stuttering disorder. The study is supported by a $2.5 million grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. 1/8/07

Japanese Ambassador Joins Faculty as Public Policymaker-in-Residence The Hon. Kazuhiko Togo, formerly Japan's ambassador to the Netherlands, will join the department of political science in January as the Public Policymaker-in-Residence for the current academic year. He will teach four courses during winter and spring quarters on topics including East Asian languages and culture, foreign policy of the Soviet Union, modern Japanese history, and current issues in Japanese foreign policy. 1/4/07

Trematode parasiteStudy Analyzes How a Disease Is Spread The first comprehensive genetic analysis of an invasive marine animal and its parasites is shedding light on the spread of disease. The study, coauthored by UCSB scientists, was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). It describes a complete picture of biological invasions and points to broad implications for identifying and mitigating the spread of disease in a globalized economy. The study traces – through genetic analysis – the accidental introduction of invasive snails with parasitic flatworms, particularly the trematode parasite (pictured). 12/19/06

Social Psychologist Debunks Myths About Singles and Singlehood In her new book, Bella DePaulo, a visiting professor of psychology at UC Santa Barbara, debunks the myth that married people live longer, happier lives than their single counterparts and exposes bias against unmarried adults. The book is titled "Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After" (St. Martin's Press, 2006). 12/13/06

Dr. RuoslahtiBurnham Institute for Medical Research and UCSB Announce New Affiliation The Burnham Institute for Medical Research has established an affiliation with UC Santa Barbara led by internationally renowned medical researcher Erkki Ruoslahti, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Ruoslahti maintains his primary appointment as Distinguished Professor with Burnham, and joins UCSB's Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology as an adjunct distinguished professor. At Burnham-UCSB, Ruoslahti has opened the "Vascular Mapping Center," which will focus on developing applications for vascular "zip codes," based on technology discovered in his laboratory. 12/12/06

New StarsAstronomers Describe Distribution of Elusive First Stars With the help of enormous computer simulations, astronomers have now shown that the first generation of stars ­ which have never been observed by scientists ­ should be distributed evenly throughout our galaxy, deepening the long-standing mystery about these missing stellar ancestors. 12/11/06

Research Finds Asian Americans Less Likely to Seek Social Support Individuals facing challenges in their lives often seek comfort and support from family members and close friends. Research conducted by two social psychologists at UC Santa Barbara, however, has demonstrated that during times of stress Asian Americans are far less likely than other people, particularly Americans of European extraction, to seek emotional support, advice, and help from their respective social networks. 12/11/06

Satellite Photo of the UCSB CampusHigh-Resolution Satellite Images Available to Universities Via New Public-Private Partnership A major boost to university research using satellite imagery has occurred in Santa Barbara, through a public-private partnership. Academic researchers can now scan the U.S. and Canada via a newly-available, high-resolution satellite image catalogue, thanks to a partnership between UCSB and Terra Image USA, a private company based in Santa Barbara. 12/11/06

NASA/GeoEye image of earthScientists Find Global Warming Is Reducing Ocean Life Alarming new satellite data show that the warming of the world's oceans is reducing ocean life while contributing to increased global warming. The ocean's food chain is based upon the growth of billions upon billions of microscopic plants called phytoplankton. New satellite data show that ocean warming is reducing these plants -- thus imperiling ocean fisheries and marine life, according to new research by scientists at UCSB and elsewhere. 12/06/06

3 Professors Named AAAS Fellows Three UCSB professors have been awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. AAAS Fellows are elected for their efforts to advance science or for innovations and applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. The new Fellows from UCSB are David D. Awschalom, professor of physics; Charles E. Samuel, professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology; and Alec N. Wodtke, professor and chair of chemistry and biochemistry. 11/27/06

Acropora hyacinthus or "table" coralStudy Finds Coral Reefs Are Increasingly Vulnerable Size and shape of corals may predict their survival in turbulent weather in the future, according to a new model that relies on engineering principles. The photo above shows Acropora hyacinthus or "table" coral, which is vulnerable to breakage from powerful waves because of its shape. 11/22/06

Housing Plans Win Commission Approval The California Coastal Commission today unanimously approved a proposal by UC Santa Barbara to build affordable work-force housing for its faculty members on a 26-acre parcel of land owned by the university and known as its North Campus. The Coastal Commission, meeting in Huntington Beach, also unanimously voted its approval of UCSB's planned Sierra Madre family housing project on a separate 15-acre parcel located off Storke Road in Goleta. 11/17/06

External Research Funding Increases to $159 Million Research support from external sources-federal and state agencies, corporations, and foundations-reached $159 million during the 2005-06 fiscal year, an increase of $6 million over the previous year. In the past 10 years, UC Santa Barbara's annual external research funding has more than doubled. 11/15/06

Daniel E. Morse and Angela Belcher Scientific American Recognizes UCSB Professor, Alumna for Technological Leadership A UC Santa Barbara professor and one of his former graduate students have been named to the 2006 "Scientific American 50," the magazine's annual list of those who have demonstrated outstanding technological leadership through pioneering research. Daniel E. Morse is a professor of molecular genetics and biochemistry and director of the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies at UCSB. His former graduate student, Angela Belcher, who has both a bachelor's degree and Ph.D. from UCSB, is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to being in the "Scientific American 50," she also was named "Research Leader of the Year" by the magazine. 11/14/06

Study of Nanotech Safety Finds Information Lacking Researchers at UCSB who conducted the first comprehensive, international survey of workplace safety practices in the burgeoning nanotechnology industry found that many nanotech companies and laboratories believe nanoparticles—specks of matter that are smaller than living cells—may pose specific environmental and health risks for workers. 11/13/06

Loss of Ocean Species Threatens Human Well-Being In a study published in the journal Science, an international group of ecologists and economists shows that the loss of biodiversity is profoundly reducing the ocean's ability to produce seafood, resist diseases, filter pollutants, and rebound from stresses such as over fishing and climate change. The study was based at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at UC Santa Barbara. NCEAS is funded by the National Science Foundation. 11/02/06

Accelerating Rates of Species Extinction Pose Challenges Accelerating rates of species extinction pose problems for humanity, according to a comprehensive study headed by a UCSB biologist and published in the journal Nature. More than a hundred studies performed over two decades were analyzed. One-third to one-half of all species on earth are expected to be lost in the next 100 years. 10/25/06

Elizabeth Hall WitherellProject to Publish 'Definitive' Editions of Thoreau's Works Prospers at UCSB The Thoreau Edition, a projected 30-volume collection of the writings of naturalist and social philosopher Henry David Thoreau, has received new grants to support its work over the next three years. The UCSB-based project already has produced 14 published volumes with two more scheduled to appear in the next two years. "We're producing the definitive edition of Thoreau's work," says editor-in-chief Elizabeth Hall Witherell (left). 10/24/06

trapeziid crabResearcher Show How 'Housekeeper' Crabs Help Save Coral Reefs Tiny trapeziid crabs (see photo) that live in South Pacific coral help to prevent the coral from dying by providing regular cleaning "services" that may be critical to the life of coral reefs around the world, according to UC Santa Barbara scientists. The studies were conducted as part of The Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research Site, located in the complex of coral reefs and lagoons that surround the island of Moorea in French Polynesia. 10/23/06

Capps Center Raises $1.5-Million to Meet NEH Challenge The Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life at UC Santa Barbara has successfully raised $1.5-million in private gifts to fulfill the requirement of a $500,000 Challenge Grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Together, the funds will establish a $2-million permanent endowment to support visiting scholars, graduate fellowships, and public programming. 10/18/06

Bazan Wins Cope Award from American Chemical Society Guillermo C. Bazan, a professor of organic chemistry, is one of this year's winners of the Cope Scholar Award, given by the American Chemical Society to recognize and encourage excellence in organic chemistry. The award consists of $5,000, a certificate, and a $40,000 unrestricted research grant. 10/12/06

Joseph G. PolchinskiPolchinski Receives Prize for Mathematical Physics Joseph G. Polchinski, professor of physics at UCSB's Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, has been named one of two winners of the 2007 Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics awarded by the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society. The citation for Polchinski's award reads, "For profound developments in mathematical physics that have illuminated interconnections and launched major research areas in quantum field theory, string theory, and gravity." 10/10/06

Marcy Carsey and Dick WolfCenter Named for Emmy Winners Marcy Carsey and Dick Wolf The Center for Film, Television, and New Media at UC Santa Barbara is being named for Emmy Award-winning television producers Marcy Carsey and Dick Wolf in recognition of their generous contributions toward the construction of a new instructional and research facility that will be the new home for the innovative, interdisciplinary center. 10/10/06

Ecology Center Awarded $21-Million by National Science Foundation The National Science Foundation has renewed its support and increased funding for the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), which is based at UC Santa Barbara. Over the next five years, the unique think tank for ecologists will receive a total of $18.4-million in NSF support. The agency will also provide $2.6-million to advance the center's research on the management of complex ecological information. 9/28/06

Jeffrey W. Bode and Ben ZhaoTwo Young Scientists Chosen Top Innovators by MIT's 'Technology Review' Magazine Two innovative young scientists at UC Santa Barbara are featured among 35 of the top innovators in science and technology under the age of 35 in the 2006 edition of the "TR35" list, published in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Technology Review magazine. Jeffrey W. Bode (left), an assistant professor of chemistry, and Ben Zhao, an assistant professor of computer science, both made the list. 9/27/06

Private Support for UCSB Totals $55.3-Million in 2005-06 UC Santa Barbara's first comprehensive campaign thus far has generated more than $351-million toward a goal of $500-million for priority projects and initiatives across the academic disciplines. Of that total, UCSB received $55.3-million in gifts and pledges from alumni and friends during the 2005-06 fiscal year for teaching, research, and capital projects. Philanthropic support in the form of cash for new gifts and pledges accounted for $52.3-million of the amount received, the second highest cash total in campus history. 9/25/06

Creative Studies Receives Major Gift for Student Research The College of Creative Studies has received a $400,000 gift to support interdisciplinary undergraduate research. The donors are two graduates of UCSB: David Watson and his wife, Vinitha Menon Watson. 9/21/06

John BowersUCSB and Intel Develop World's First Hybrid Silicon Laser Researchers from UCSB and the Intel Corporation have built the world's first electrically powered Hybrid Silicon Laser using standard silicon manufacturing processes. "This marks the beginning of highly integrated silicon photonic chips that can be mass produced at low cost," says John Bowers, a professor of electrical and computer engineering. The breakthrough addresses one of the last major barriers to producing low-cost, high-bandwidth silicon photonics devices for use inside and around future computers and data centers. 9/18/06

Research Group, Aided by Undergraduates, Leads Genome Sequencing Effort A tiny predatory protozoan has yielded the secrets of its genome in a project spearheaded by a veteran UC Santa Barbara research scientist—Eduardo Orias, of the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Department. The results are published in the September 2006 issue of the prestigious peer-reviewed journal, the Public Library of Science Biology. One unique aspect of the UCSB component of this study was the participation of numerous undergraduate students who have since gone on to graduate school or medical programs, or have obtained jobs in biotech companies. 9/18/06

Physicist Shares 2006 Gruber Cosmology Prize Philip M. Lubin, a professor of physics at UCSB, is one of a group of scientific pioneers involved with the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) team who have been recognized with the 2006 Gruber Cosmology Prize for their groundbreaking studies confirming the "Big Bang" theory of how the universe was born. 8/15/06

Helena ViramontesHelena Viramontes to Receive Luis Leal Literature Award Helena María Viramontes, a writer and professor of English at Cornell University, is the recipient of this year's Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature, given annually by UC Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Book & Author Festival and Santa Barbara City College. Considered one of the country's premier Latina writers, Viramontes is the author of, among other works, "The Moths and Other Stories" and "Under the Feet of Jesus." The award is named in honor of Luis Leal, professor of Chicana/Chicano Studies at UCSB, who is internationally recognized as one of the leading scholars of Chicano and Latino literature. He will celebrate his 99th birthday this year. 8/14/06

Kathryn KanjoNew Art Museum Director Selected The University of California, Santa Barbara has named a highly regarded arts administrator and dynamic educator with extensive curatorial experience to serve as director of the University Art Museum. Kathryn Kanjo has been, since 2000, executive director of Artpace San Antonio. Described as a "laboratory for the creation and advancement of international contemporary art, "Artpace is a contemporary arts exhibition and educational foundation that invites visiting artists and curators for residencies and produces original exhibits and installations. 7/25/06

Gas From Ocean Floor Linked to Climate Gas escaping from the ocean floor may provide some answers to understanding historical global warming cycles and provide information on current climate changes, according to a team of UCSB scientists. 7/19/06

Philip J. BugayUCSB Alumnus Philip Bugay Joins Board of Regents Philip J. Bugay of Santa Barbara, a member of the UCSB Class of 1981, has joined the governing UC Board of Regents as a Regent Designate. Following a one-year term as Regent Designate, he will serve a one-year term as an ex-officio voting Regent beginning July 1, 2007. Bugay, a senior vice president of Morgan Stanley in Santa Barbara, recently was elected treasurer of the Alumni Associations of the University of California and, as such, became one of the alumni representatives on the Board of Regents. 7/18/06

Winners Named in Competition for Plays About Science and Technology Distinguished playwright Jamie Pachino has been awarded the $10,000 first prize in an international STAGE competition for plays about science and technology launched by the Professional Artists Lab and the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UC Santa Barbara. 7/17/06

135 Seniors Inducted Into Campus Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa Faculty members at UC Santa Barbara have inducted 135 high-achieving seniors into the UCSB chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest honorary academic society. 7/13/06

Parasites Found Essential to Ecosystem Health For the first time, scientists have discovered the role of parasites in a food web. A report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describes a study performed at the Carpinteria Salt Marsh in Santa Barbara County. The scientists found that parasites may be the thread that holds the structure of ecological communities together and that food webs cannot be understood without them. 7/12/06

Peter H. MerklScholar Explores Rift Between U.S. and Old Europe The war in Iraq has undermined the United States' credibility abroad, and perceptions of American unilateralism are now widespread among European nations. What caused the rift between America and some of its oldest European allies? Peter H. Merkl, a UCSB political scientist, explores the significant events and conflicting political doctrines that led to this breach in foreign relations, especially with Germany and France, in his recent book "The Rift Between America and Old Europe: The Distracted Eagle" (Routledge). 7/10/06