UC Santa Barbara Public Affairs and Communications

Featured News Archive 2007-2008

The 2007-2008 Featured News Archive contains summaries of press releases about prominent news developments at UCSB from July 2007 to June 2008. 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.

Neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga Awarded Humboldt Prize  Michael Gazzaniga, professor of psychology at UCSB and director of the SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind, has received the Humboldt Research Prize in recognition of lifetime achievements in science. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany grants up to 100 Humboldt Research Awards annually to scientists and scholars "whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future.
6/30/08

UCSB Professor's Paper Studies Safety of Large Hadron Collider  UC Santa Barbara Physics Professor Steve Giddings has co-authored a paper, "Astrophysical implications of hypothetical stable TeV-scale black holes," that will be published in an upcoming edition of the peer-reviewed journal Physical Review D, documenting his study of the safety of microscopic black holes that might possibly be produced by the Large Hadron Collider.
6/27/08

UCSB Physicist Wins Prestigious Plous Award  Tommaso Treu, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics, has received UC Santa Barbara's 2008-09 Harold J. Plous Award. One of the university's most prestigious faculty honors, the award is given annually to an assistant professor from the humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences who has shown exceptional achievement in research, teaching, and service to the university.
6/26/08

MicroRNAs Offer New Insight in Study of Autism, UCSB Scientist Reports  MicroRNAs may plan an important role in the development of autism spectrum disorder, according to a new paper by UC Santa Barbara professor Kenneth S. Kosik. In addition, Kosik's research discovered that autism may be even more genetically diverse than previously thought.
6/25/08

UCSB Alumnus Establishes Endowed Chair in International Security Studies UC Santa Barbara has received a $600,000 gift from UCSB alumnus Anton Vonk and his wife, Diane Boss, to establish an endowed chair in political science. The Vonk professorship will support the teaching and research of a renowned scholar specializing in international security related to energy and the environment and will be affiliated with UCSB’s Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. 6/20/08

New Summer Institute Focuses on Reviving Dying Languages  More than 200 linguists and language activists have come to UCSB to teach and participate in workshops and field training on language preservation and revitalization at the campus's new summer Institute on Field Linguistics and Language Documentation.
6/18/08

UCSB Releases Findings of Third Annual 'Central Coast Survey'  Researchers at UCSB have released findings of the 2008 Central Coast Survey, a large-scale opinion poll of residents in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties that taps the public's attitudes on a wide range of important issues, from housing and energy use to views on the media. This year's survey also gave special emphasis to issues of immigration, quality of life, and health care. 6/16/08

More than 4,700 Students Plan to Enroll as Freshmen at UCSB for Fall 2008 A total of 4,725 students representing a broad section of talents and interests have indicated they intend to enroll as freshmen at UC Santa Barbara for fall 2008. Both the academic qualifications and the diversity of the class of applicants accepted by UCSB are at record high levels. Expectations are for an enrollment of approximately 4,400 freshmen this fall, about 200 students more than anticipated, said Christine Van Gieson, UCSB director of admissions. The intended freshmen are among 23,183 high school seniors admitted to UCSB out of 47,069 applicants, the highest number of applicants in campus history. 6/11/08

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. 6/3/2008
Six graduating women will receive cash awards totaling $49,500 from the now-defunct Santa Barbara City Club, whose members sought to reward top female graduates at UCSB for a "job well done." 6/4/2008
Three graduating seniors, two graduate students, and a faculty member have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to undergraduate research. 6/5/2008
Four College of Letters and Science graduates are being recognized with awards for their academic achievements. 6/4/2008

Shuji Nakamura Lighting Pioneer Shuji Nakamura Wins Prince of Asturias Award  Shuji Nakamura, professor of engineering and director UC Santa Barbara¹s Solid-State Lighting and Energy Center, has been named a recipient of the 2008 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research. He shares the award with four other scholars. The awards will be presented on October 24 in Oviedo, Spain, by Crown Prince Felipe of Spain, the Prince of Asturias. 6/4/08

Walter J. Mead and his wife, ThelmaUCSB Professor and Spouse Establish Endowed Chair in Economics  UC Santa Barbara professor emeritus Walter J. Mead and his wife, Thelma, have made a $1 million gift to the campus to establish an endowed chair in the Department of Economics where he spent a distinguished career as a natural resource economist. The Mead professorship will enable UCSB to attract an economist of international stature to the campus and provide the chair holder with financial support for enhanced research and teaching. 6/2/08

Sociologist Receives Career Achievement Awards  Verta Taylor, department chair and professor of sociology at UCSB, has recently received career achievement awards from the American Sociological Association and the Center for the Study of Social Movements and Social Change at the University of Notre Dame. 5/15/08

WoodcutBroadside Ballad Archive Receives Second NEH Grant  The Early Modern Center at UC Santa Barbara has received a second grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to continue building its English Broadside Ballad Archive. The center will use the $350,000 to catalog the Roxburghe collection of English broadside ballads and post them on the Internet in their original form. The ballads, which currently reside in the British Library, number in the thousands and most date back to the 17th century. 5/29/08

UCSB Now Home to Summer Economics Program  UC Santa Barbara is the new host institution for the Summer Training Program in Economics, sponsored by the American Economic Association and the National Science Foundation. The annual program seeks to prepare talented undergraduate students, especially members of underrepresented minority groups, for doctoral programs in economics and related disciplines. UCSB will be host through 2011. Among previous host universities: Berkeley, Duke, Northwestern, Stanford, Texas, and Yale. 5/29/08

Book: Collections of Nothing Scholar's New Book Explores His Preoccupation With Collecting  One man's trash is another man's treasure, and nowhere is that more apparent than in William Davies King's collection of cereal boxes, tuna can labels, envelope linings, and other whatnot. King, a professor of theater, has spent his life gathering a monumental mass of miscellany, and in a new book he takes a hard look at his habitual hoarding to see what truths it might reveal about the impulse to accumulate. 5/29/08

Wallace ChafeLinguist Wallace Chafe Receives UC Distinguished Emeriti Award  Wallace Chafe, an emeritus professor of linguistics at UCSB, has received the Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award for 2008. Presented annually, the prize honors retired faculty members of the 10-campus UC system for their continued outstanding scholarly work or educational service in the social sciences or humanities. Chafe, who retired in 1991, is the 20th UC emeriti professor to receive the award and the third from UCSB. 5/14/08

Kip FulbeckArt Professor Presents 'Tattoo Portraits'  Once an art form restricted to sailors, soldiers, and people on the fringe of society, tattooing has become a cultural phenomenon. In his new book, "Permanence: Tattoo Portraits," Kip Fulbeck, a professor of art, combines photographic tattoo portraits with stories about these images told in the subjects' own words and handwriting. Says Fulbeck: "It's a book about identity that uses tattoos as the starting point." 5/13/08

Biologist Receives National Award  Alice Alldredge, a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, has received the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award from the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography. 5/13/08

UCSB Awarded $3.2 M. Stem Cell Facility Grant  UC Santa Barbara has been awarded $3.2 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) in support of the development of a state-of-the-art facility in the newly established Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering at UCSB. The renovation project has a total budget of $6.3 million. The long-term goal of the center is the development of stem cell-based therapeutics for a range of human diseases. 5/7/08

UCSB Faculty Members Elected to National Academy of Sciences  Two prominent UC Santa Barbara professors have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, as has a leading stem cell researcher who is an adjunct professor at UCSB. They are among a total of 72 new members elected to the prestigious academy today in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Evelyn Hu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and of materials, and William Murdoch, a professor of biology, ecology, evolution, and marine biology, were among those elected, as was James Thomson, a renowned University of Wisconsin stem cell researcher who also holds a UCSB appointment as adjunct professor of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. 4/29/08

Scientists Try to Predict Infectious Disease Crossovers Between Wild Animals and Humans (PDF)  Many of the most deadly infectious diseases affecting humans are caused by pathogens that originate among wild animals and then cross species. A study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B examines how these "host shifts" occur, and provides a critical first step in predicting when and where future host shifts may take place. Jonathan Davies, a scientist at UCSB's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, is the lead author of the study. 4/29/08

Institute to Play Key Role in Major Diabetes Research Program  UC Santa Barbara's Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies has joined a research consortium with Pfizer, three other major research universities––Caltech, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Massachusetts––and Entelos, a physiological modeling company, to seek out new targets for drugs to treat diabetes. Pfizer is funding the three-year, $14 million Insulin Resistance Pathway (IRP) Project to look at insulin signaling in adipose (fat) cells to increase understanding of diabetes and obesity, inextricably linked conditions that affect 7 percent of the US population. 4/28/08

W. Patrick McCrayHistorian Examines Citizen-Scientists and the Dawn of the Space Age  When the Soviets launched the satellite Sputnik in 1957, thousands of people around the world seized the opportunity to become citizen-scientists and take an active part in the dawning space age. Known as Moonwatchers, these amateur astronomers provided professionals with critical information about the satellite's movement. In a new book, "Keep Watching the Skies!: The Story of Operation Moonwatch and the Dawn of the Space Age," W. Patrick McCray, a professor of history, tells the story of this network of pioneers who participated in what is perhaps the greatest science endeavor of the 20th century. 4/22/08

UCSB Adopts Comprehensive Sustainability Plan  UC Santa Barbara has adopted a comprehensive Campus Sustainability Plan designed to make significant contributions to energy conservation, resource management, and environmental awareness ­ as well as to education and research ­ on the UCSB campus and beyond. Chancellor Henry Yang, who approved the plan, said it "will serve as both the long-term vision and a blueprint for our campus's sustainability efforts." 4/21/08

Book Entitled, The Bitter Sea New Books by Faculty Members Examine Aspects of Art and Life in Asia  Four faculty members have recently published new books that examine various aspects of art and life in Asia. The books include a memoir focused on the period of Chiang-Kai-shek's Nationalist regime, a social history of artisans in early China, a study of how American literature is enmeshed with that of China and other Asian countries, and the translation of a novel by Chinese author Wang Anyi. 4/2/08

U.S. News Ranks UCSB Graduate Programs in Physics, Engineering Among Best  In its annual ranking of leading graduate and professional programs at American universities, U.S. News & World Report magazine has rated UC Santa Barbara's Ph.D. program in physics among the top 10 in the nation while the graduate program of UCSB's College of Engineering is ranked in the top 20. 4/8/08

Scientists Discover 10 New Planets Outside Solar System  An international team of astronomers has found 10 new “extra solar” planets, planets that orbit stars other than our sun. The team used a system of robotic cameras that yield a great deal of information about these other worlds, some of which are quite exotic. The system is expected to revolutionize scientific understanding of how planets form. 4/1/08

Issues of Media Ownership is the Subject of New Book  A new book edited by Ronald Rice, the Arthur N. Rupe Professor of the social effects of mass communication and co-director of UCSB's Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television, and New Media, takes an interdisciplinary approach in analyzing the historical, legal, cultural policy, research, professional, oppositional, and ethical perspectives on media ownership. 3/31/08

Hard and Soft Squid Beak Is a Material Engineers Seek To Copy  How did nature make the squid's beak super hard and sharp –– allowing it, without harm to its soft body –– to capture its prey? The question has captivated those interested in creating new materials that mimic biological materials. The sharp beak of the Humboldt squid is one of the hardest and stiffest organic materials known. Engineers, biologists, and marine scientists at UCSB have joined forces to discover how the soft, gelatinous squid can operate its knife-like beak without tearing itself to pieces. 3/27/08

UCSB Offers Admission to 23,140 for Fall  UC Santa Barbara has offered a place in its fall 2008 entering class to a total of 23,140 high school seniors. The prospective UCSB freshmen were selected from a total of 47,025 applicants ­ the most in UCSB history. The campus expects its fall 2008 entering class to number approximately 4,200. Both the academic qualifications and the diversity of the class of applicants accepted by UCSB are at record high levels. Average high-school grades and scores on standardized tests are all higher than last year, and half of all admitted students are members of a racial or ethnic minority group, more than ever before. 4/14/08

UCSB Releases Draft Long Range Development Plan  The draft Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) that will help UC Santa Barbara plan its future to the year 2025 has been released and is available for public review. The release of the draft follows presentations to 40 area neighborhood, civic and community organizations about UCSB's future plans. The UCSB Vision2025 LRDP will be a companion document to the campus's Strategic Academic Plan. A public hearing on the LRDP will be held Tuesday, April 29, at Embarcadero Hall in Isla Vista. 3/24/08

Rose McDermottBook Examines Presidential Illness and Decision Making When the President of the United States becomes physically or mentally ill or incapacitated, his condition impacts not just his immediate family and circle of advisors, but the country as a whole. In her new book, "Presidential Leadership, Illness, and Decision Making," Rose McDermott, a professor of political science, examines the ways in which processes related to aging, physical and psychological illness, and addiction influence a chief executive's decision making. 3/19/08

John NathanA Scholar Looks Back on His Four-Decade Relationship With Japan  In his new book, "Living Carelessly in Tokyo and Elsewhere: A Memoir," John Nathan, the Takashima Professor of Japanese Cultural Studies, surveys his four-decade relationship with Japan. During that time he became the first American admitted as a regular student to the University of Tokyo, translated the work of celebrated Japanese writers Yukio Mishima and Kenzaburo Oe, and wrote, directed, and produced documentary and feature films. 3/18/08

UCSB Team of Physicists Make Quantum Discovery  A team of physicists at UCSB led by David Awschalom has made a leap forward in understanding quantum mechanics that helps resolve a longstanding problem. These results, reported online in Science Express and presented at the American Physical Society's annual meeting, are promising because of the hope for such eventual applications as quantum computing, which could lead to lightning-fast database searches and code-cracking ability. 3/13/08

David AwschalomPhysicist David Awschalom Named 2008 Faculty Research Lecturer  A new The UC Santa Barbara faculty has bestowed its highest honor on David Awschalom, an internationally recognized researcher who is a professor of physics and of electrical and computer engineering. Awschalom has been named Faculty Research Lecturer for 2008. In announcing the award, the UCSB Academic Senate said Awschalom "has made remarkable contributions to our campus in the fields of physics and engineering." Awschalom is director of the Center for Spintronics and Quantum Computation and associate director of the California NanoSystems Institute, a collaborative endeavor between UCSB and UCLA. His fundamental discoveries are opening the door to new opportunities for research and technology in the emerging fields of semiconductor spintronics and quantum computation. 3/12/08

John Bowers New Institute for Energy Efficiency Established  A new Institute for Energy Efficiency has been formed at UC Santa Barbara. The institute is under the direction of John Bowers, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, and will involve some 50 faculty members from many disciplines. He said the new institute "will provide a unifying and very synergistic environment" for as much as $10 million a year in research now being conducted in various departments and centers. 2/28/08

Melvin Oliver Endowed Chair Established for UCSB Dean of Social Sciences  UCSB has received a $500,000 gift from Sara Miller McCune and SAGE Publications Inc., the company she founded, to establish an endowed chair for the dean of social sciences in the College of Letters and Science. The recent gift from McCune, the publisher and founder of SAGE, will support the teaching, research, and special activities of Melvin Oliver, a distinguished UCSB professor of sociology and dean of social sciences. 2/27/08

Mathematician Wins Sloan Fellowship  Paolo Cascini, an assistant professor of mathematics, has won a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He is one of 118 young scientists, mathematicians, and economists to be awarded the fellowship this year. Cascini won the award for his research in algebraic geometry, in particular the minimal model program. In the past two decades algebraic geometry has played a central role in mathematics due to its many applications in different fields. 2/25/08

U.S. Experiment Retakes the Lead in Race To Find Dark Matter  Scientists of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search experiment have announced that they have regained the lead in the worldwide race to find the particles that make up dark matter. The CDMS experiment, conducted a half-mile underground in a mine in Soudan, Minn., again sets the world's best constraints on the properties of dark matter candidates. Teams searching for dark matter have quadrupled in the past few years and now number 20. UC Santa Barbara is among 16 institutions involved in the CDMS experiment. UCSB emeritus professor David Caldwell, a physicist, was one of the originators of the experiment. 2/25/08

alumnus M. Ross JohnsonAlumnus Gives $500,000 for Fellowships in Chemistry and Biochemistry  UCSB has received a $500,000 gift from alumnus M. Ross Johnson and his wife, Charlotte, to establish an endowed fellowship fund to recruit and support outstanding graduate students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The Johnsons established the graduate fellowship to honor his doctoral advisor, UCSB Professor Emeritus Bruce Rickborn (pictured), a renowned organic chemist and a devoted teacher. During Rickborn's 39-year career at UCSB, more than 30 graduate students obtained doctorates under his direction. 2/21/08

Dropout Project Finds Small Number of Schools Produce Big Share of Dropouts  The California Dropout Research Project, based at UC Santa Barbara and directed by education professor Russell W. Rumberger, has issued a new report analyzing data on high school dropout rates. It has found that a relatively small group of California schools account for a significant proportion of dropouts. 2/21/08

Sea Creatures May Be Harbingers of Climate Change  As oceans warm and become more acidic, ocean creatures are undergoing severe stress and entire food webs are at risk, according to new research by a UCSB biologist. 2/19/08

Global Impact MapScientists Reveal Global Map of Total Human Impact on Oceans  More than 40 percent of the world's oceans are heavily affected by human activities, and few if any areas remain untouched, according to the first global-scale study of human influence on marine ecosystems. By overlaying maps of 17 different activities such as fishing, climate change, and pollution, the researchers have produced a composite map of the toll that humans have exacted on the seas. 2/14/08

California spiny lobster Spiny Lobster Focus of Collaborative Research  Unique, collaborative ways to manage fisheries are emerging in Southern California. Currently the California spiny lobster (pictured) is being scrutinized as Californians evaluate the first five years of marine reserves in the Channel Islands area. An innovative collaboration has developed between local trap fishermen and scientists at UCSB's Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. 2/7/08

Library Wins National Award for 'UCSB Reads'  The UCSB Library has received a prestigious national award from the American Library Association (ALA) recognizing outstanding achievement in library public relations for "UCSB Reads for Earth Day," a 2007 community-wide effort to raise awareness about global environmental issues. 2/7/08

Campus Awarded $2 Million for Alzheimer's Research  UC Santa Barbara has been awarded nearly $2 million by the Larry L. Hillblom Foundation for innovative research in Alzheimer's disease. The grant will support research on the neurofibrillary tangles that, in addition to amyloid plaque, are a hallmark of the disease. The research effort will be led by Kenneth Kosik, co-director of UCSB's Neuroscience Research Institute and Harriman Professor of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. The new research is highly interdisciplinary in its approach, and a team with a wide range of specialties will carry out the research. 2/5/08

Four Communication Scholars Win National Recognition  The National Communication Association awarded special recognition to four faculty members in the Department of Communication at UC Santa Barbara. The awards were presented at the organization's recent annual convention in Chicago. 1/31/08

UCSB Receives Record Number of Undergraduate Applications for Fall 2008 UC Santa Barbara has received a record number of applications for undergraduate admission to the campus for fall 2008. The total is 7,143 more than last year— the largest one-year increase the campus has ever recorded. 1/29/08

bluehead WrasseScientists Find That Tough Early Life Helps Fish Develop  A tough early life is a good thing for a fish, preparing it for the rigors of life on the reef, report UCSB biologists. Fish like the bluehead Wrasse (pictured) that have made a long, difficult journey are more equipped to live on the reef as compared to fish that were spawned near the reef. Scientists and natural resources managers are interested in the data because it helps in planning marine protected areas. 1/28/08

Miguel Eckstein, a professor of psychologyPsychologist Wins National Academy of Sciences Award Miguel Eckstein, a professor of psychology who is affiliated with the Vision and Image Understanding Laboratory, has been named one of two winners of the National Academy of Science's $50,000 Troland Research Award. He is one of the 12 winners of the academy's top awards for extraordinary achievements in biology, chemistry, solar physics, ecology, mathematics, oceanography, paleontology, social sciences, and psychology. 1/22/08

UCSB Composer Receives Major Commission  Joel Feigin, a professor of music, has received a $10,000 commission from the prestigious Fromm Music Foundation to compose a concerto for piano and chamber orchestra for Israeli-American pianist Yael Weiss. Founded by the late Paul Fromm and located at Harvard University, the Fromm Foundation has commissioned over 300 new compositions and their performances, and has sponsored hundreds of new music concerts and concert series. 1/14/08

Double Einstein RingHubble Telescope Helps Physicists Find 'Double Einstein Ring'   Using the Hubble Space Telescope, UCSB scientists have discovered a never-before-seen optical alignment in space: a pair of glowing rings, one nestled inside the other like a bull's-eye pattern. The phenomenon is called a "double Einstein ring" and is a rare phenomenon that can offer insight into dark matter, dark energy, the nature of distant galaxies, and even the curvature of the universe. 1/10/08

Thuc-Quyen NguyenChemist Wins Prestigious Plous Award  Thuc-Quyen Nguyen, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has won UC Santa Barbara's 2007-08 Harold J. Plous Award, one of the university's two most prestigious faculty honors. The honor is given annually by UCSB's Academic Senate, on behalf of the faculty, to an assistant professor from the humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences, who has shown exceptional achievement in research, teaching, and service to the university. Nguyen, who joined the faculty in 2004, will have an opportunity to showcase her research when she delivers the annual Plous Lecture this spring. The date has not yet been set. 1/08/08

Methane Bubbling Up From the Ocean Floor Near Santa BarbaraScientists Find Good News About Methane Bubbling Up From the Ocean Floor Near Santa Barbara Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is emitted in great quantities as bubbles from seeps on the ocean floor near Santa Barbara (see photo). About half of these bubbles dissolve into the ocean, but the fate of this dissolved methane remains uncertain. Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have now discovered that only one percent of this dissolved methane escapes into the air ­­ good news for the Earth's atmosphere. 12/20/07

New Books Published by Five UCSB Faculty Members  Five faculty members at the University of California, Santa Barbara have recently published new books on topics ranging from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force. 12/19/07

Keck Foundation Awards $1.75 Million Grant to UCSB  The W. M. Keck Foundation has awarded UC Santa Barbara a $1.75 million grant to support a pioneering multidisciplinary research initiative to understand the motion of proteins, the molecular machines that enable life. 12/10/07

Thoreau Edition at UCSB Publishes 15th Volume  The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau, a projected 30-volume series of the work of the 19th-century American naturalist and social philosopher, has reached the halfway mark with the publication of its most recent volume. The Thoreau Edition, which has been headquartered at several universities across the country since its inception in 1966, is now based at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 12/5/07 

Biological molecules in spaces between mica sheets. UCSB Scientist Proposes New Hypothesis for Origin of Life  Life may have begun in the protected spaces inside of layers of the mineral mica, in ancient oceans, according to a new hypothesis by a UCSB research scientist. The hypothesis proposes that the narrow confined spaces between the thin layers of mica could have provided exactly the right conditions for the rise of the first biomolecules-effectively creating cells without membranes. 12/4/07

UCSB Awards Environmental Science Fellowships  Twenty doctoral students at UC Santa Barbara have been awarded fellowships designed to help them identify and begin to solve environmental problems. The Luce Environmental Science to Solutions Fellowship Program, supported by The Henry Luce Foundation, is designed to educate Ph.D. students on the full scope of environmental issues, from the identification of important environmental problems to the implementation of solutions. 12/3/07 

Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies Established  UC Santa Barbara has received a $1 million gift from Marsha and Jay Glazer to establish an endowed chair in Jewish Studies and help launch a major new educational initiative in the interdisciplinary field. 12/3/07 

UCSB Among So. California Institutions to Collaborate on Stem Cell Research  Research institutions across Southern California have joined forces to advance stem cell research by establishing the Southern California Stem Cell Scientific Collaboration (SC3). Members of the collaboration include UC Santa Barbara, the University of Southern California (USC), Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, City of Hope, the California Institute of Technology, and the House Ear Institute. 11/28/07 

UCSB Physicist Awarded Distinguished Professorship  Daniel Hone, a professor emeritus of physics at the UC Santa Barbara, has been awarded the prestigious Edward A. Dickson Emeriti Professorship for 2007-08. A condensed matter theorist, Hone currently serves as the director of outreach and education at UCSB's Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. Previously, he has served as KITP's deputy director, acting and associate dean in the College of Letters and Science, and chair of the UCSB physics department. 11/27/07 

UCSB Children's Education Program Receives Prestigious Governor's Award  Kids in Nature, an innovative children's education program at UC Santa Barbara, is one of two recipients of the prestigious Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award in the category of Children's Environmental Education. A highly regarded program of UCSB's Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration and the Sedgwick Reserve, Kids in Nature is designed to enrich the learning experiences of underrepresented and underserved youth in the community. 11/20/07 

Debra LiebermanNational Program in Health Games Research To Be Based at UC Santa Barbara  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced the selection of UC Santa Barbara as the home for a new $8.25-million national research program to examine how interactive games can be used to improve health. The Health Games Research program will make grants to support outstanding research at institutions and organizations across the country as well as conduct studies, disseminate research findings, and work to bring new knowledge of the subject to a much broader audience. The project will be directed by Debra Lieberman, a communication researcher at UCSB's Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research, where the program will be based. 11/13/07

Dick KemmererKemmerer Named to Leadership Chair in Computer Science  Richard Kemmerer, a renowned professor of computer science at UCSB, is the first scholar appointed to the Leadership Endowed Chair in Computer Science. The Leadership Chair was established in 2006 with a $500,000 gift from an anonymous donor. A principal investigator on many government and private sector projects, Kemmerer leads the Computer Security Group at UCSB. "Dick Kemmerer is one of the most innovative, productive people in the entire field of computer security," said Matthew Tirrell, dean of the College of Engineering. 11/8/07

National Survey Explores Race and Gender in 21st Century Politics  A team of political scientists from UC Santa Barbara and three other universities has completed a groundbreaking survey that explores how race and gender is changing the political landscape of the United States. The Gender and Multicultural Leadership Project is, to date, the most comprehensive multiracial, multi-office national survey of its kind. 11/7/07 

Michael F. GoodchildGeographer Recognized for Advancing the Discipline Michael F. Goodchild, a professor of geography, has been awarded the prestigious Prix Vautrin Lud. Named for the 16th-century French mapmaker who was the first to label the New World as "America," the award recognizes a scientist who has significantly advanced the field of geography. It was recently presented to Goodchild at the annual International Festival of Geography in St-Dié-des-Vosges, where Vautrin Lud was born. 11/6/07

Species Extinction Could Reduce Productivity of Plants  An international team of scientists that includes Bradley Cardinale of UCSB has published a new analysis showing that as plant species around the world go extinct, natural habitats become less productive and contain fewer total plants a situation that could ultimately compromise important benefits that humans get from nature. 11/5/07 

Five UCSB Faculty Members Named AAAS Fellows  Five faculty members have been awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a Fellow is a high honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. 10/25/07 

Packard Fellowship Awarded to UCSB Physicist  Tommaso Treu, an assistant professor of physics, has been awarded a prestigious Packard Foundation Fellowship for Science and Engineering. 10/24/07 

UCSB Affiliates Award $66,313 in Scholarships  The UCSB Affiliates awarded a total of $66,313 in scholarships and fellowships to 28 graduate and undergraduate students in a special ceremony at the Mosher Alumni House. 10/23/07 

Math Professor Wins National Science Foundation Career Award  Carlos Garcia-Cervera, an assistant professor of mathematics, has been awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER award. He is the sixth UCSB faculty member to receive the award this year, and this is the first CAREER award to a faculty member in UCSB's Department of Mathematics. 10/23/07 

Scholar Honored for Service to the Social Sciences  The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) has honored M. Kent Jennings, professor of political science at UCSB, with the Warren E. Miller Award for Meritorious Service to the Social Sciences. 10/22/07

Research Funding From External Sources Reaches Record Level  Research support from external sources reached a record level at UC Santa Barbara during the last fiscal year, when a total of $176 million was received from federal and state agencies, corporations, and foundations, an increase of 11 percent or $17 million over the previous year. 10/22/07

HydraUCSB Researchers Discover The Dawn of Animal Vision  By peering deep into evolutionary history, scientists at UC Santa Barbara have discovered the origins of photosensitivity in animals. The scientists studied the aquatic animal Hydra, a member of Cnidaria, animals that have existed for hundreds of millions of years. The research establishes a time frame for the evolution of light sensitivity in animals, placing it at roughly 600 million years ago.10/16/07

University Art Museum Wins Grants for Architecture Collection  The University Art Museum has received grants of $250,000 from the Getty Foundation and $150,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to begin the process of cataloging and digitizing its vast Architecture and Design Collection.10/16/07

UCSB Scholars Aided Nobel Peace Prize Work  Three members of the UCSB community were involved in research and writing for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shares the 2007 Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. 10/16/07

Chair Established for Stem Cell Project  UC Santa Barbara has received a $3 million gift from William K. Bowes, Jr. to establish an endowed chair for the director of the campus's planned Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering. The professorship will be named in memory of Bowes's mother, Ruth Garland, a distinguished physician who was one of the first women to graduate from the Stanford School of Medicine, where she later taught. Garland was born in Santa Barbara and raised in Ojai. 10/11/07

Professor Studies Depictions of Asian American Women in Film and Theater  In her new book "The Hypersexuality of Race: Performing Asian American Women on Screen and Scene" (Duke University Press, 2007), Celine Shimizu, an associate professor of film and video in the Department of Asian American Studies, proposes a more nuanced approach to the mysterious mix of pleasure, pain, and power in performances of sexuality in film and theater. Examining the most popular articulations of Asian American women as hypersexual beings in Western cinema, she suggests that these images may actually represent women taking charge of their own sexuality as actors, producers, critics, and viewers. 10/3/07

Michael GazzanigaUCSB to Lead MacArthur Foundation Project on Neuroscience and the Law  The MacArthur Foundation has announced a $10 million grant to establish a new national program on the law and neuroscience that will be based at UC Santa Barbara and involve two-dozen leading universities across the country. The effort will seek to integrate new developments in neuroscience into the U.S. legal system. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is the honorary chair of the Law and Neuroscience Project, which will be directed by Michael S. Gazzaniga (pictured), a professor of psychology at UCSB and director of the SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind. 10/9/07

Tiny GalaxyScientists Identify and 'Weigh' Distant, Tiny Galaxy  A tiny galaxy, nearly halfway across the universe and the smallest in size and mass known to exist at that distance, has been identified by an international team of scientists led by two from UCSB. This galaxy is about half the size, and approximately one-tenth the "weight" of the smallest distant galaxies typically observed, and it is 100 times lighter than our own Milky Way. 10/4/07

Galapagos DiverResearchers Discover New Tropical Kelp Forests  Researchers from UCSB's Marine Science Institute and San Jose State University have discovered forests of a species of kelp previously thought endangered or extinct in deep waters near the Galapagos Islands. The discovery has important implications for biodiversity and the resilience of tropical marine systems to climate change. 9/26/07

Fulbright Fellowships Go to 2 on Faculty and 10 Visiting Scholars  Two faculty members have been awarded Fulbright Fellowships for the 2007-08 academic year. Douglas H. Daniels, a professor of history and black studies, will teach and study in Japan, while Michael V. McGinnis, a lecturer at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, will teach in Montenegro. In addition, the Fulbright Scholar Program has awarded grants to 10 professors from seven countries to conduct research at UCSB this year. 9/26/07 

Private Support in 2006-07 Reached $70.8 Million  The Campaign for UC Santa Barbara, the campus's first comprehensive private fund-raising effort, has generated more than $430 million toward a goal of $500 million for priority projects and initiatives across the academic disciplines. Of that total, UCSB alumni and friends contributed $70.8 million in gifts and pledges during the 2006-07 fiscal year for student support, teaching, research, and capital projects—an increase of nearly 30 percent over the previous year. 9/25/07 

National Academy Highlights UCSB Study on Visual Attention  A team of UCSB researchers has determined that the visual attention system our hunter-gather ancestors relied on to protect themselves from wild animals still exists in the human brain. 9/24/07 

Bren School Given $1 Million by Deckers Outdoor Corporation for Fellowships, Program Support  The Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara has received two gifts totaling more than $1 million from Deckers Outdoor Corporation, of Goleta, and an anonymous alumnus to establish endowments for graduate fellowships and program support. 9/10/07 

California High School Dropouts Cost State $46.4 Billion Annually  California's high school dropouts cost state taxpayers approximately $46.4 billion annually, according to a recent study by the California Dropout Research Project at the UC Linguistic Minority Research Institute located at UCSB. In addition, the authors estimate that the economic benefit from effective dropout intervention programs would be $392,000 per high school graduate. 8/22/07 

Students in Film and Media Studies Produce Videos for Harley-Davidson  An innovative pilot course offered through a partnership between the Harley-Davidson Motor Company and the Department of Film and Media Studies has resulted in a collection of 10 short videos and a $5,000 prize for two UCSB students. 7/30/07 

Winner Named in $10,000 Competition for Play About Science and Technology  Playwright Elyse Singer has been awarded first prize in the second annual Scientists, Technologists, and Artists Generating Exploration (STAGE) competition conducted by the Professional Artists Lab and the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCSB. Nearly 175 plays from around the world were entered in the competition. Singer will receive $10,000 for her winning play, "Frequency Hopping." 7/30/07 

Alejandro MoralesWriter Alejandro Morales to Receive Luis Leal Literature Award  Alejandro Morales, a novelist and professor of Chicano/Latino studies at the University of California, Irvine, is the recipient of this year's Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature. The award is presented annually by UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City College, and the Santa Barbara Book Council. The author of seven books, Morales is considered one of the country's premier Latino writers of fiction. 7/26/07

'Tandem' Solar Energy CellsHeeger-Led Team Creates New 'Tandem' Solar Energy Cells  Using plastics to harvest the energy of the sun just got a significant boost in efficiency thanks to a discovery made at UCSB's Center for Polymers and Organic Solids. Nobel laureate Alan Heeger and a team of scientists created "tandem" cells made up of two multilayered parts that work together to gather a wider range of the spectrum of solar radiation - at both shorter and longer wavelengths. 7/12/07

Researcher Examines the Effectiveness of Tailored Health Messages  In an article published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, David K. Sherman, assistant professor of psychology, and his colleagues examine how messages regarding health-related behaviors—such as dental flossing—can be crafted so that people receiving them are more likely to pay attention and respond favorably. 7/11/07 

Scholars Explore the Concept of Gender in Africa  For scholars in Africa, the concept of gender as a discursive term and an area of research within the field of African Studies is relatively new, according to two UCSB professors. Working with a colleague from the University of Ghana, they have compiled a collection of essays that examine how the topic of gender has taken root in Africa and how it has impacted the daily lives of the people who live there. 7/10/07 

Communication Group Honors UCSB Scholars  Four faculty members in the Department of Communication have received awards from the prestigious International Communication Association. 7/5/07

International Scholars at UCSB to Examine Religious Pluralism  Eighteen scholars from around the world have gathered at UCSB this summer to study the religious diversity of the United States and to learn first hand how people with widely differing beliefs can coexist. 7/5/07