UC Santa Barbara Public Affairs and Communications

Featured News Archive 2009-2010

The 2009-2010 Featured News Archive contains summaries of press releases about prominent news developments at UCSB from July 2009 to June 2010. 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.

Victoria BrojeFormer UCSB Grad Student’s Invention Helping to Clean Up Gulf Oil Spill   Among the many tools being used to clean up the country’s worst environmental disaster — the Deepwater Horizon platform explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — is a new device called the Groovy Drum Skimmer. Designed to scoop oil from the surface of the ocean, the skimmer is the brainchild of former UC Santa Barbara graduate student Victoria Broje. While earning her Ph.D. from UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management in 2002-06, Broje came up with the idea for the skimmer after conducting research on how to make these oil-collecting devices more effective. 6/30/10

University Art Museum Announces Two Key Appointments  UC Santa Barbara’s University Art Museum today announced two major appointments. Bruce Robertson, well-known curator and UCSB art historian, will serve as Acting Director following the appointment of Kathryn Kanjo as Chief Curator for the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego. In addition, Jocelyn Gibbs has been appointed curator of the museum’s Architecture and Design Collection, a unique archival collection with over 850,000 historic drawings that document the built environments of California and the Southwest. 6/29/10

GIVE’s Sale of Items Donated by UCSB Students Breaks Record
Representatives of Isla Vista nonprofits and community organizations are about to receive their shares of a record-breaking $27,000 raised during the two-day GIVE sale. The total reflects 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale held June 19-20. GIVE is a UCSB project developed to encourage students to donate their unwanted items rather than discard them, according to Catherine Boyer, the Isla Vista/UCSB liaison. 6/24/10

Physicists Help Biologists to Understand Protein Folding  Physicists at UCSB have created a microscopic device to assist biologists in making very fast molecular measurements that aid the understanding of protein folding. This development may help elucidate biological processes associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Since proteins in the body perform different functions according to their shape, the folding process is considered a key area of research. The results of the study are published in this week’s online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 6/17/10

UCSB Programs to Receive Awards at Statewide Sustainability Conference
Representatives from UC Santa Barbara will be in Los Angeles next week to accept three awards at the 2010 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference. The conference, scheduled for June 20-23 at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, will bring together 850 representatives of sustainability programs in the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges systems. 6/17/10

UCSB’s Bernal Named UC Systemwide University Diversity Coordinator   Jesse Bernal of the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UC Santa Barbara was recently hired by Provost Larry Pitts as interim UC Systemwide University Diversity Coordinator, reporting to the provost on systemwide diversity efforts. In that position, Bernal is charged with managing the multiple diversity efforts under way, coordinating with the campuses, and staffing the new President’s Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion. 6/17/10

UCSB Study Finds Physical Strength, Fighting Ability Revealed in Human Voices  A study conducted by a team of scientists at UC Santa Barbara has found that a mechanism exists within the human brain that enables both men and women to determine the strength and fighting ability of men around them simply by hearing their voices. A paper highlighting the researchers’ findings appears in the current issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. "Now we have evidence that fighting ability can be detected through the voice," said Aaron Sell, a postdoctoral fellow at UCSB’s Center for Evolutionary Psychology and the paper’s lead author. 6/16/10

UCSB Researcher Awarded Fellowship by National Academy of Education
Andrew Stull, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology at UC Santa Barbara, is one of 20 scholars nationwide to be awarded a prestigious Spencer Fellowship by the National Academy of Education. The fellowship will provide Stull with a $55,000 research stipend to examine the educational merit of the use of instructional models in chemistry. 6/16/10

UCSB Given $317,000 to Support Inquiry-Based Learning of Mathematics
UC Santa Barbara has received two gifts totaling more than $317,000 from Harry Lucas, Jr., chair of the Educational Advancement Foundation, to renew his support for the Center for Mathematical Inquiry (CMI) in the Department of Mathematics. The CMI is one of five inquiry-based learning projects established by Lucas and his foundation at major research universities to improve mathematics education. 6/14/10

Final Open-Space Agreement for UCSB’s 68-Acre South Parcel Announced   UC Santa Barbara and The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County have announced that the 68-acre tract of coastal university property known as the South Parcel has been permanently set aside as open space under a conservation easement agreement. 6/10/10

New book, “Ólöf the Eskimo Lady — A Biography of an Icelandic Dwarf in America,” Inga Dóra BjörnsdóttirUCSB Anthropologist Tells the Story of 20th-Century Con Artist   In her new book, "Ólöf the Eskimo Lady — A Biography of an Icelandic Dwarf in America," Inga Dóra Björnsdóttir, a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at UC Santa Barbara, tells the story of Ólöf Krarer, an achondroplastic dwarf from Iceland, who passed herself off as an Eskimo from Greenland. From the late 1880’s to the early 1900’s, Krarer regaled listeners with incredible stories about her native Greenland and her own Eskimo heritage — all of which were lies. 6/9/10

UCSB Installs First of Five Emergency Communication Speakers  The first of what officials hope will be a network of five mass notification warning system speakers has been installed on the roof of Kerr Hall in the heart of the UCSB campus. According to Associate Vice Chancellor Ron Cortez, who oversees emergency operations management at UCSB, the speakers will allow the campus to communicate information to students, faculty, and staff in the event of an emergency. 6/8/10

UCSB’s MarineMap Consortium Receives National Technology Award  The U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution has awarded its first Innovation in Technology and ECR Award to the MarineMap Consortium, a group that brings together partners from UC Santa Barbara, Ecotrust, and The Nature Conservancy. The award was presented at the Institute’s ECR 2010 conference in Tucson, Ariz. MarineMap incorporates Google Earth visualization into a web-based tool for participatory spatial planning. 6/4/10

UCSB Students Receive Campus’s Top Honors
Three graduating seniors, two graduate students, and a faculty member have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to undergraduate research. 6/4/10
Six graduating women will receive cash awards totaling $51,000 from the now-defunct Santa Barbara City Club for "a job well done." 6/4/10
Four graduating seniors n the College of Letters and Science have been selected to receive awards for outstanding academic achievement at commencement exercises. 6/8/10
Three remarkable seniors have been named winners of the university's top awards for their scholastic achievement, their extraordinary service to the university and the community, and their personal courage and persistence. 6/8/10

UC Center for New Racial Studies to Be Located at UCSB  A $1.73 million grant from the Office of the President will support a new multi-campus research program based at UCSB. The UC Center for New Racial Studies (UCCNRS) will support innovative race and ethnicity research and teaching throughout the UC system. The center will make its official debut in July. "We are inspired by past efforts within the UC system to highlight issues of race and racism," said Howard Winant, professor of sociology and director of the center. "At the same time, we recognize that hundreds of current UC faculty and thousands of UC graduate students continue to do cutting-edge research on these issues." 5/27/10

Ira LeiferUCSB Scientist Has Key Role in Gulf Oil Spill Studies  When the Obama administration announced that the amount of oil leaking from the BP well in the Gulf of Mexico is far greater than previously disclosed, that statement was based on research conducted by a panel of scientists that included Ira Leifer, a researcher in the Marine Science Institute at UC Santa Barbara. According to Leifer, the numbers disclosed by the administration are a range of "lower bound" estimates from scientists. In reality, he says the ongoing data analysis suggests the amount of oil spilling into the Gulf is even higher. 5/27/10

2 UCSB Professors Named to MacArthur Foundation Chairs  UC Santa Barbara Professors Richard Appelbaum and Nelson Lichtenstein have been named to John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Chairs. Each professorship will be supported by a $1 million endowment for a five-year term, and the annual earnings on those funds will finance a range of teaching, research, and public service activities. Appelbaum is a professor of sociology and of global and international studies, where he is also director of graduate studies. Lichtenstein, a professor of history, is also director of UCSB's Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy. 5/26/10

2 UCSB Scientists Receive CAREER Awards from National Science Foundation  Two assistant professors at UCSB have been awarded National Science Foundation CAREER awards. The Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) offers the NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of the early career development activities of those teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. The UCSB recipients are Xifeng Yan, computer science, for research on graph information systems; and Paul Atzberger, mathematics, for research on emergent biological mechanics of cellular microstructures. 5/26/10

Kosik Alzheimer’s bookNew Book by UCSB Professor Offers Formula for Alzheimer’s Disease Management and Prevention
With the aging of nearly 80 million baby boomers, Alzheimer’s disease is an impending epidemic that requires a new approach to prevention as well as management of the disease, according to a UCSB professor who has co-authored a new book on the topic. "The Alzheimer’s Solution, How Today’s Care is Failing Millions and How We can Do Better," by Kenneth S. Kosik, Harriman Professor of Neuroscience Research at UCSB and co-director of UCSB’s Neuroscience Research Institute, is filled with new ideas about the disease. Kosik, who is both a neuroscientist and a physician, wrote the book with Ellen Clegg, science writer and communications specialist for the Broad Institute. 5/25/10

Karen Kroman MyersAssistant Professor of Communication Receives Harold J. Plous Award  Karen Kroman Myers, an assistant professor of communication at UC Santa Barbara, has received the 2010-11 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. The award, which is presented by UCSB's College of Letters and Science, was established in 1957 to honor the memory of Harold J. Plous, an assistant professor of economics. 5/24/10

UCSB Scientist Proposes Novel Method to Quantify Gulf Oil Spill  While the world has reacted with shock and anger to the massive amounts of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the Deepwater Horizon platform blowout, a UC Santa Barbara scientist has proposed that methane gas dissolved into the waters of the Gulf holds the key to calculating the magnitude of the spill. David Valentine, a professor of earth science at UCSB, was asked by editors of the journal Nature to write an essay for its Opinion section about how to determine the magnitude of the spill. 5/24/10

Craig Hawker and Michael Goodchild 2 UCSB Scholars Elected to Britain’s Royal Society  Two UC Santa Barbara faculty members have been elected to Britain's prestigious Royal Society, the world's oldest scientific academy. They are among only seven scholars at U.S. universities elected by the society this year. UCSB's Craig Hawker, director of the Materials Research Laboratory and a professor of chemistry, biochemistry, and materials, was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society. Michael Goodchild, director of the Center for Spatial Studies at UCSB and a professor of geography, was elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. 5/21/10

UCSB to Receive $1 Million for Undergraduate Biology Research from Howard Hughes Medical Institute  Thanks to a $1 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, hundreds of UC Santa Barbara sophomores will have the opportunity to perform original research on the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, a widely used genetic model for biomedical research. The grant is part of HHMI's commitment to helping universities strengthen undergraduate and precollege science education nationwide. HHMI announced today a total of $70 million in grants to research universities across the nation to advance these efforts. 5/20/10

A photo composite of the skull and mandible of Azendohsaurus madagaskarensis in lateral viewNew Fossil Material Redefines Azendohsaurus as Bizarre Early Reptile  Following careful study of a prehistoric skull of a new species unearthed in Madagascar, it turns out Azendohsaurus is not an early dinosaur as long assumed, but rather something even more remarkable. After scientists, including UCSB’s Andre Wyss, pieced together an entire skull of this 230-million-year-old azendohsaur — a group known previously from just teeth and jaws — these animals have now been aligned with a very early branch of the reptile evolutionary tree. 5/18/10

Artist conception of the unique binary star NLTT 11748Unique Eclipsing Binary Star System Discovered by UCSB Astrophysicists  Astrophysicists at UCSB are the first scientists to identify two white dwarf stars in an eclipsing binary system, allowing for the first direct radius measurement of a rare white dwarf composed of pure helium. The results will be published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. These observations are the first to confirm a theory about a certain type of white dwarf star. One of the stars in the newly discovered binary is a relatively rare helium-core white dwarf with a mass only 10 to 20 percent of that of the sun. 5/18/10

UCSB Researcher Receives $100,000 NOAA Grant for Archaeological Research  Thanks to a $100,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), UC Santa Barbara graduate student Amy Gusick is searching underwater landscapes in Mexico, hoping to find evidence of ancient habitations. Gusick, a Ph.D. student in anthropology at UCSB, and Oregon State University’s Loren Davis are hoping to find sites that provide proof of human coastal migrations to the New World some 15,000 years ago. 5/13/10

Walid Afifi, left, and Erika FelixUCSB Survey Shows How Wildfires Affected Mental Health of Area Residents  The impact of three Santa Barbara wildfires on the mental health of local residents is the focus of an interdisciplinary project involving two UC Santa Barbara researchers and the UCSB Social Science Survey Center, which conducted a telephone survey of residents in the fire zone. The researchers — Walid Afifi, a professor in the Department of Communication, and Erika Felix, a researcher in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education — note that they are still analyzing the results of the survey and will release their final report in the near future. But the preliminary results are very revealing. 5/12/10

Brain Mechanism Evolved to Identify Those with a Propensity to Cheat
According to new research by scholars at UC Santa Barbara, the uncanny human ability to detect cheaters reflects the operation of a reasoning system that evolved for that narrow purpose, and cannot be explained by more general abilities to reason about conditional rules, moral violations, or social interactions. Their findings appear in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This system becomes activated only when detecting a violation that has the potential to reveal a specific aspect of someone’s character — his or her propensity to cheat, the researchers say. 5/11/10

Mountain yellow-legged frogStudies Offer New Insights Into How Deadly Amphibian Disease Spreads and Kills  Two separate studies suggest that infection intensity — the severity of the disease among individuals — determines whether frog populations will survive or succumb to chytridiomycosis, a deadly disease that is wiping out amphibian populations. The research identifies a critical tipping point in infection intensity. Among the researchers are UCSB’s Cheryl J. Briggs, professor of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology; Roland A. Knapp, a research biologist with the Marine Science Institute; and graduate student Tate S. Tunstall. 5/10/10

UCSB Scientists Develop Road Map for Research on Materials with Defects Useful for Quantum Computing  A team of scientists at UCSB that helped pioneer research into the quantum properties of a small defect found in diamonds has now used cutting-edge computational techniques to produce a road map for studying defects in alternative materials. Their new research is published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and will soon be published in the print edition of the journal. 4/30/10

Asian Studies Scholar Explores Social Hierarchies Among Chinese Americans  In her recently published book, "The New Chinese America: Class, Economy, and Social Hierarchy" (Rutgers University Press, 2010), Xiaojian Zhao, associate professor of Asian American Studies, provides a detailed and comprehensive study of contemporary Chinese America and the new social hierarchy that emerged among Chinese Americans in the three decades following passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Using class analysis, Zhao examines the difficulties of everyday survival for poor and undocumented immigrants and their middle class compatriots. 4/28/10

Two UCSB Professors Elected to National Academy of Sciences  Two UC Santa Barbara faculty members — Douglas Burbank, director of UCSB’s Institute for Crustal Studies and professor of earth science, and Gary Horowitz, professor of physics — have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Burbank and Horowitz were among 72 new members elected to the academy today in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Burbank’s research specialties include tectonic geomorphology and the physiographic evolution of mountain ranges. Horowitz’s research focuses on questions involving gravity under the most extreme conditions. The election of Burbank and Horowitz brings to 33 the number of active UCSB faculty members elected to the academy. 4/27/10

Sam Sweet with image of Varanus obor.New Monitor Lizard Discovered in Indonesia  A newly discovered species of monitor lizard, a close relative of the Komodo dragon, was reported in the journal Zootaxa this week by Sam Sweet, professor in UCSB’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, and a fellow researcher from Finland. The scientific name of this lizard is Varanus obor; its popular names are Torch monitor and Sago monitor. It’s called the Torch monitor because of its bright orange head with a glossy black body. The Torch monitor, which can grow to nearly four feet in length, thrives on a diet of small animals and carrion. 4/26/10

UCSB's Christopher Farwell, Sarah Bagby, and David Valentine with asphalt recovered from underwater volcanoes during a dive on the research submarine Alvin.Underwater Asphalt Volcanoes Discovered by UCSB Scientists  UCSB scientists, working with colleagues from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), UC Davis, University of Sydney, and University of Rhode Island, say that they have identified a series of asphalt volcanoes on the floor of the Santa Barbara Channel. The largest of these Ice Age domes is at a depth of 700 feet –– much too deep for scuba diving –– which explains why the volcanoes have never been spotted by humans. "It's larger than a football field long and as tall as a six-story building," said David Valentine, professor of earth science at UCSB and the lead author of a study published online this week in the journal Nature Geoscience. 4/26/10

UCSB Engineer Wins Guggenheim Fellowship  Hyongsok "Tom" Soh, associate professor of mechanical engineering and of materials in UC Santa Barbara’s College of Engineering, is one of only two recipients nationwide of a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship in engineering. From a field of 3,000 applicants, a total of 180 Fellowships were awarded this year in the United States and Canada to artists, scientists, and scholars "on the basis of achievement and exceptional promise." 4/23/10

Danielle Bassett Brains, Worms, and Computer Chips Have Striking Similarities  An international team of scientists, including Danielle Bassett, a postdoctoral researcher in UCSB’s Department of Physics, has discovered striking similarities between the human brain, the nervous system of a worm, and a computer chip. The finding is reported in the journal PloS Computational Biology today. The team of scientists from the U.S., the U.K., and Germany has uncovered novel quantitative organizational principles that underlie the network organizations of the human brain, high performance computer circuits, and the nervous system of the worm. 4/22/10

Magda Campo, Shirley Wood Force,
                        and Susan Rudnicki.UCSB Middle East Ensemble to Perform in Egypt    The Middle East Ensemble at UC Santa Barbara has been invited by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture to perform a series of concerts in Cairo, Alexandria, and Luxor in July. Directed by Scott Marcus, a professor in the music department's ethnomusicology program, the ensemble will perform at the Cairo Opera House, as well as in more informal venues in the three cities. 4/22/10

George LipsitzUCSB Black Studies Scholar Examines the Life of Music Legend Johnny Otis  In a new biography titled "Midnight at the Barrelhouse — The Johnny Otis Story" (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), UC Santa Barbara’s George Lipsitz tells the largely unknown story of the man many consider the godfather of rhythm and blues. Lipsitz, a professor of Black Studies and sociology, chronicles Otis’s life as a musician, music producer, disc jockey, artist, writer, entrepreneur, pastor, and tireless fighter in the battle for racial equality. 4/19/10

U.S. News Ranks UCSB Graduate Programs Among Best  U.S. News & World Report magazine has rated UC Santa Barbara’s physics program among the top 10 in the nation in its annual ranking of leading graduate and professional programs at American universities. Overall, seven of UCSB’s graduate programs were ranked among the top 50, with three in the top 25. 4/15/10

UCSB Economics Ranked Among Nation’s Top Programs  Two programs within the Department of Economics at UC Santa Barbara have been ranked among the top 10 in the nation by Research Papers in Economics, a volunteer-driven initiative to create a public-access database that promotes scholarly communication in economics and related disciplines. Only M.I.T. and Harvard University ranked higher than UCSB in environmental economics, and the department’s experimental economics program placed sixth. In addition, the cognitive and behavioral economics program ranked 12th. 4/15/10

UC Santa Barbara Offers Admission to 19,721 for Fall 2010  The University of California, Santa Barbara has offered a place in its fall 2010 entering class to a total of 19,721 high school seniors. The prospective UCSB freshmen were selected from a total of 46,700 applicants –– the second-largest applicant pool in UCSB history. The campus expects its fall 2010 entering class to number about 3,900. 4/14/10

Artist's conception of an exoplanet in a retrograde orbit.Astronomers Find Nine New Planets, Challenge Theory of Planetary Formation  The discovery of nine new planets challenges the reigning theory of the formation of planets, according to new observations by astronomers. Two of the astronomers involved in the discoveries, Tim Lister and Rachel Street, are based at the UC Santa Barbara-affiliated Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network. Unlike the planets in our solar system, two of the newly discovered planets are orbiting in the opposite direction to the rotation of their host star. This adds to another study of planets outside our solar system that orbit in this way. "Planet evolution theorists now have to explain how so many planets came to be orbiting like this," said Lister. 4/13/10

Huican ZhuEndowed Chair Will Honor UCSB Internet Pioneer Glenn Culler  UC Santa Barbara has received a $500,000 gift from alumnus Huican Zhu, right, and two anonymous donors to establish the Glen and Susanne Culler Chair in Computer Science. The endowed professorship will support the teaching and research of a leading scientist in the discipline that Glen Culler helped shape. "We are deeply grateful to UC Santa Barbara alumnus Huican Zhu and the other generous donors for their vision and commitment to technological innovation and the future excellence of the campus," said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "The Glen and Susanne Culler Chair honors the memory of Professor Culler and his seminal role in the development of the Internet, which has transformed the way we communicate and live." 4/13/10

Cancer Drug Effectiveness Substantially Advanced  Researchers have shown that a peptide (a chain of amino acids) called iRGD helps co-administered drugs penetrate deeply into tumor tissue. The peptide has been shown to substantially increase treatment efficacy against human breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancers in mice, achieving the same therapeutic effect as a normal dose with one-third as much of the drug. In a paper published today in the online edition of the journal Science, Erkki Ruoslahti, distinguished professor at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and founding member of the UC Santa Barbara-Sanford|Burnham Center for Nanomedicine, Kazuki N. Sugahara, Tambet Teesalu, and fellow researchers at the Center for Nanomedicine and the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, announced this significant advance in cancer therapy. 4/8/10

UCSB Scientists Obtain Unique Recordings of Easter Earthquake in Mexico   The major earthquake that occurred in Baja California on Easter Sunday is of great interest to UC Santa Barbara seismologists, including Sandra Seale and Jamison Steidl of UCSB's Institute for Crustal Studies. The scientists are busy collecting information from a research station near the California-Mexico border. The researchers will supply the information they are gathering to engineers, for use in earthquake planning of buildings and city infrastructures. 4/6/10

UCSB Geologist Discovers Pattern in Earth's Long-Term Climate Record  In an analysis of the past 1.2 million years, UCSB geologist Lorraine Lisiecki discovered a pattern that connects the regular changes of the Earth's orbital cycle to changes in the Earth's climate. The finding is reported in this week's issue of the scientific journal Nature Geoscience. Lisiecki performed her analysis of climate by examining ocean sediment cores from 57 sites around the world. "The clear correlation between the timing of the change in orbit and the change in the Earth's climate is strong evidence of a link between the two," said Lisiecki. 4/6/10

UCSB Given $750,000 Endowment For Student Scholarships  UC Santa Barbara has received a $750,000 gift to establish an endowment that will provide ongoing support for student scholarships in memory of UCSB alumnus Kevin Christensen. The gift, in the form of a bequest from Christensen’s late mother, Carolyn, will help keep UCSB accessible and affordable for deserving students, said Mike Miller, acting director of the UCSB Office of Financial Aid. 3/25/10

Gabriela Soto LaveagaUCSB Historian Examines Role of Mexican Peasants in Development of Oral Contraceptives  In a new book titled "Jungle Laboratories: Mexican Peasants, National Projects, and the Making of the Pill" (Duke University Press, 2009), Gabriela Soto Laveaga, associate professor of history at UCSB, examines the role of Mexican peasants in the development of oral contraceptives from barbasco, a wild yam indigenous to the area. 3/24/10

Three Faculty Members Named Fellows of National Education Association
Three UCSB faculty members — Richard P. Duran and Judith Green, professors of education, and Lorraine McDonnell, professor of political science — have been named Fellows of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). They are among 67 scholars from around the world to be so recognized. The three were cited for their exceptional scientific or scholarly contributions to education research, and significant contributions to the field through the development of research opportunities and settings. 3/22/10

Planet CoRoT-9bInternational Team of Scientists Discovers New Planet  An international team of scientists, including several who are affiliated with UC Santa Barbara, has discovered a new planet the size of Jupiter. The finding is published in the March 18 issue of the journal Nature. The planet, called CoRoT-9b, was discovered by using the CoRoT space telescope satellite, operated by the French space agency, The Centre National d'Études Spatiales, or CNES. The newly discovered planet orbits a star similar to our sun and is located in the constellation Serpens Cauda, at a distance of 1500 light-years from Earth. 3/17/10

Physicists Show Theory of Quantum Mechanics Applies to the Motion of Large Objects  Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have provided the first clear demonstration that the theory of quantum mechanics applies to the mechanical motion of an object large enough to be seen by the naked eye. Their work satisfies a longstanding goal among physicists. "This is an important validation of quantum theory, as well as a significant step forward for nanomechanics research," said Andrew Cleland, a professor of physics. 3/17/10

Edward McCauleyNew Director for UCSB's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis  Edward McCauley is the new director of UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. Located off campus in the Balboa Building downtown, NCEAS brings scientists from around the world to Santa Barbara to do data analysis and synthesis on a wide variety of ecological subjects, such as species extinction rates and the impact of humans on the oceans. McCauley comes to UCSB from the University of Calgary, where he was a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. He is known as a leader in both research and administration. 3/16/10

New Scholarly Journal, California Italian Studies, Published Online  California Italian Studies, a new peer-reviewed, open-access scholarly journal, has been published exclusively online by University of California's e-Scholarship and the California Digital Library. The journal, which made its debut on March 1, is co-edited by Claudio Fogu, associate professor of Italian Studies at UCSB, and Lucia Re, professor of Italian and women's studies at UCLA. 3/15/10

Hydra, an ancient sea creature that flourishes today Scientists at UCSB Discover 600 Million-Year-Old Origins of Human Vision  By studying the hydra, a member of an ancient group of sea creatures that is still flourishing, scientists at UC Santa Barbara have made a discovery in understanding the origins of human vision. The finding is published in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a British journal of biology. "We determined which genetic ‘gateway,’ or ion channel, in the hydra is involved in light sensitivity," said senior author Todd H. Oakley, assistant professor in UCSB’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology. "This is the same gateway that is used in human vision." 3/11/10

UCSB Receives Bicycle Friendly Business Gold Award  The League of American Bicyclists has named UC Santa Barbara a Bicycle Friendly Business Gold Award winner. According to a statement by the League of American Bicyclists, UCSB serves as an example for best practices and innovations in bicycle friendliness at the workplace. According to James Wagner, program manager for Transportation Alternatives at UCSB, the award is focused on employee behavior and the incentives offered to those who commute by bicycle. 3/9/10

Tsuyoshi HasegawaTsuyoshi Hasegawa Receives UCSB Faculty’s Top Honor
The faculty of UC Santa Barbara has bestowed its highest honor on Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, a professor of history at UCSB. Hasegawa, an internationally recognized authority on Japanese-Russian relations and co-founder and former director of the campus’s Center for Cold War Studies, has been named Faculty Research Lecturer for 2010. The Faculty Research Lectureship was established in 1955, and Hasegawa is the 55th recipient of the honor. 3/5/10

Effects of Tsunami Detected in Santa Barbara, According to UCSB Earth Scientists  Waves from the tsunami produced by the massive earthquake that struck Chile last week reached the Santa Barbara harbor roughly 14 hours after the event, according to geographers and marine scientists at UC Santa Barbara. The first tsunami waves appeared in the harbor at about 12:45 p.m. on February 27, and continued for several hours. 3/5/10

Astronomically Large Lenses Measure the Age and Size of the Universe
Using entire galaxies as lenses to look at other galaxies, researchers have a newly precise way to measure the size and age of the universe and how rapidly it is expanding, on par with other techniques. The findings, to be published in The Astrophysical Journal in March, are the work of researchers at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at the U.S. Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and other institutions. The researchers used data collected by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. 3/1/10

UCSB Foundation Trustee Richard Auhll Gives Additional $500,000 to Engineering  Richard A. Auhll, a successful entrepreneur, has made a $500,000 contribution to renew and expand his support for the College of Engineering at UC Santa Barbara. The recent gift will increase the endowment for the Richard A. Auhll Professor and Dean of Engineering to $1 million, and also provide $100,000 in unrestricted support for priority initiatives. 2/25/10

5 UCSB Scientists Receive National Science Foundation CAREER Awards
Five assistant professors at UC Santa Barbara have been awarded National Science Foundation CAREER awards. The Faculty Early Career Development Program offers the NSF's most prestigious awards in support of the early career development activities of those teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. The awards provide a financial stipend to support research activity for a period of five years. 2/24/10

professors Richard Kemmerer and Giovanni Vigna, and assistant professor Christopher KruegelUCSB’s Computer Security Group Addresses Internet Vulnerabilities  A worldwide botnet investigation is only one of several projects UC Santa Barbara’s Computer Security Group has undertaken over the last several years in its quest to make the cyberworld a safer place. Others include the development of Web sites that examine the veracity of suspicious Web programs or Web pages, and a study of electronic voting machines and their vulnerability to election-altering attacks. The group is led by professors Richard Kemmerer and Giovanni Vigna, and assistant professor Christopher Kruegel. 2/24/10

UCSB Professors Named Fellows of International Scientific Society  UC Santa Barbara’s Bradley Hacker, professor of earth science, and Mark Brzezinski, professor of ecology, evolution and marine biology and interim director of the Marine Science Institute, have been elected 2010 Fellows of the American Geophysical Union. The AGU is an international scientific organization of more than 50,000 members who are dedicated to the promotion of the scientific study of Earth and its environment in space. 2/23/10

Marine Reserves Hit the Spotlight in PNAS Special Issue  Marine reserves are known to be effective conservation tools when they are placed and designed properly. This week, a special issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is dedicated to the latest science on marine reserves, with a focus on where and how reserves can most effectively help to meet both conservation and fisheries goals. "There is plenty of new evidence to show that if reserves are designed well, they can benefit both fish and fishermen," explained Steven Gaines, dean of the Bren School of Environmental Science " Management at UC Santa Barbara, and a guest editor of the special issue. 2/22/10

Trevor W. Hayton, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC Santa Barbara.UCSB Assistant Professor of Chemistry Awarded Sloan Fellowship  Trevor W. Hayton, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC Santa Barbara, has been awarded a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Hayton is one of 118 early career scientists, mathematicians, and economists to be named Sloan Research Fellows. 2/17/10

Aid for Sustainable Fisheries is Key to Global Food Security  Lack of governance threatens global seafood supplies and the food security of billions of people who rely on fish for protein or livelihoods. Increased aid from developed countries, earmarked specifically for supporting sustainable seafood infrastructure in developing countries, could improve food security, according to a policy paper by an international working group of 20 economists, marine scientists, and seafood experts, in the Feb. 12 issue of Science. The working group was organized and partly funded through UCSB’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. 2/11/10

Religious Studies Scholar Examines Experiential Aspects of Religion  In her new book, "Religious Experience Reco>"Religious Experience Reconsidered: A Building-Block Approach to the Study of Religion and Other Things" (Princeton University Press, 2009), by Ann Taves, a professor of religious studies at UCSBnsidered: A Building-Block Approach to the Study of Religion and Other Things" (Princeton University Press, 2009), Ann Taves, a professor of religious studies at UCSB, lays out a framework for research into religious phenomena that uses both humanistic and scientific approaches to understand the experiential aspects of religion 2/10/10

"We Are Stardust" is one of more than 40 digital art installations in CODE Live, an 18-day event that features visual art, music, and performances fueled by digital technology and audience involvement.UCSB Art Professor Shows Work at Winter Olympics Digital Art Exhibition  George Legrady, a professor of art and of media arts at UCSB, is participating in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, but not as an athlete. Legrady will be showing his work in an exhibition that is part of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad Festival. Legrady’s "We Are Stardust" is one of more than 40 digital art installations in CODE Live, an 18-day event that features visual art, music, and performances fueled by digital technology and audience involvement. 2/8/10

UCSB Celebrates Black History Month With Academic and Cultural Events
UC Santa Barbara will celebrate Black History Month with a variety of academic and cultural events, including film screenings, musical performances, lectures, discussions, and an exhibition on African-Americans and the Black diaspora. 2/5/10

UCSB Financial Aid Office Offers Online Tutorial for Federal Student Aid Form  UCSB’s Office of Financial Aid is once again offering its online tutorial to assist current and prospective students in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is used by nearly all colleges and universities to determine a student's eligibility for federal, state, and college-sponsored financial aid, including grants, educational loans, and work-study programs. 2/4/10

UCSB Part of Army’s $16.75 Million Information Network Research Center   A team of UCSB computer scientists is part of a consortium chosen to establish an Information Networks Academic Research Center by the U.S. Army as a part of its Network Science Collaborative Technology Alliance. The multi-campus collaborative effort is led by the University of Illinois, and also includes IBM and City University of New York. The total effort will be funded at about $16.75 million, of which the UCSB team will receive approximately $3.6 million. 2/4/10

Aida HurtadoNew Chair Appointed to UCSB Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies  Aida Hurtado has joined the faculty at UCSB as the new chair of the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies. A social psychologist whose research focuses on race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender, she came to UCSB from UC Santa Cruz, where she spent more than 20 years as a scholar in the psychology department. 2/1/10

Luis Leal, Distinguished Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Dies at 102Luis Leal, Distinguished Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Dies at 102  Luis Leal, distinguished professor of Chicana and Chicano studies at UC Santa Barbara and an internationally recognized scholar of Mexican, Chicano, and Latin American literature, died January 25. He was 102. Leal, author of more than 45 books and 400 scholarly articles, remained a prolific researcher and writer until his death. Leal was a member of the UCSB faculty since 1976. He received many honors, including the prestigious National Humanities Medal, which was presented at the White House in 1997 by then-President Bill Clinton. 1/27/10

UCSB's Shuji Nakamura Named Winner of 2009 Harvey PrizeUCSB's Shuji Nakamura Named Winner of 2009 Harvey Prize  Lighting pioneer Shuji Nakamura of UCSB has been named one of the two winners of the 2009 Harvey Prize for advancements in science and technology. The prize will be presented at a ceremony in Haifa, Israel, on February 17. Nakamura is a professor of materials in the College of Engineering at UCSB, where he also is co-director of the Solid State Lighting and Energy Center. He is internationally known for his invention of revolutionary new light sources: blue, green, and white light-emitting diodes and the blue laser diode. 1/26/10

Jack JohnsonUCSB Alumnus Jack Johnson Donates $50,000 for Disabled Students  Singer and songwriter Jack Johnson and his wife, Kim, both UCSB graduates, have made a $50,000 contribution to the campus to support students with disabilities. The recent gift honors the courageous life of Danny Riley, who was a UCSB student when he died of brain cancer in 2007. The Danny Riley Fund will help undergraduates with cancer and other serious illnesses to pursue their education at UCSB by providing support for financial aid, medication, housing, adaptive equipment, home care, transportation, family visits, and other special needs. 1/26/10

Thomas Weimbs and Jonathan ShillingfordResearch at UCSB Points to Potential Treatment for Kidney Disease  Research performed at UCSB points to the drug rapamycin as a potential treatment for kidney disease. The study builds on past research and shows that studies performed on mice are more likely to translate to humans than previously thought. The results are published in the current online issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. The research was led by Thomas Weimbs, professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and the Neuroscience Research Institute at UCSB, and project scientist Jonathan Shillingford. 1/25/10

Napoleon Chagnon with one of the Yanomamö Indians.New Film Focuses on Controversial Research About Yanomamö Indians  It’s a scandal replete with sex, drugs, and violence. Oh, and scientists, which is where Napoleon Chagnon comes into the picture. Chagnon, professor emeritus of anthropology at UC Santa Barbara, retired from teaching in 1999 and now lives in Traverse City, Mich. But his name is surfacing again because a controversy started by "Darkness in El Dorado: How Scientists and Journalists Devastated the Amazon" — a book written by Patrick Tierney more than nine years ago — won’t go away. The strife is based on Chagnon’s 35 years of research on the Yanomamö Indians. 1/21/10

UCSB Physicist Wins National Award from the U.S. Department of Energy
Benjamin Monreal, assistant professor of physics at UC Santa Barbara, has won an Early Career Research Program Award from the Office of Nuclear Physics at the U.S. Department of Energy. The award is for $904,000 over five years, and is for Monreal’s project, "New Experiments to Measure the Neutrino Mass Scale." The award is part of a new, national effort designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during their early career years. 1/21/10

Tommaso TreuUCSB's Tommaso Treu Awarded Prestigious Astronomy Prize  Tommaso Treu, associate professor of physics at UC Santa Barbara, has been awarded the 2010 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize by the American Astronomical Society (AAS). According to a citation from the AAS, Treu was awarded the Pierce Prize "for his insightful work into the physical understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies, groups and clusters, including the coupled evolution of the luminous, dark matter and black hole components." 1/20/10

A new book by Leila J. Rupp, a professor of feminist studies at UCSB.New Book by UCSB Scholar Examines the History of Love Between Women  Women throughout history have desired, loved, and had sex with other women. A new book by Leila J. Rupp, a professor of feminist studies at UCSB, shares their stories and captures the many ways that diverse societies have shaped female same-sex sexuality. In "Sapphistries: A Global History of Love Between Women" (New York University Press, 2009), Rupp reveals how, from the time of the very earliest societies, the possibility of love between women has been known, even when it was feared, ignored, or denied. 1/19/10

Southern California Edison’s $500,000 Gift to Bren School to Provide Academic Support, Visitor Center Technology  The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UC Santa Barbara is pleased to announce that Southern California Edison, a longtime Bren School Corporate Partner, has agreed to contribute a five-year, $500,000 gift to the school to support scholarship, research, and teaching, and to transform the existing Bren Hall Visitor Center into a cutting-edge site for interactive education and outreach. 1/15/10

UCSB Receives 58,992 Applications for Fall 2010 From Prospective Freshmen and Transfer Students  The University of California, Santa Barbara has received 58,992 applications for undergraduate admission for fall 2010. The total is 4,234 more than last year, an increase of 7.7 percent. Of the total, 46,672 applications were from prospective first-year students –– 1,999 more than last year — and 12,320 were from applicants seeking to transfer to UCSB –– 2,235 more than last year. 1/14/10

Sonia Nazario‘UCSB Reads’ Picks ‘Enrique’s Journey’ by Sonia Nazario  The UC Santa Barbara Library has chosen "Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite With His Mother" by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario as this year’s selection for UCSB Reads. An annual winter quarter event, UCSB Reads engages the campus and the Santa Barbara community in conversations about a key topic while reading the same book. A host of campus and community lectures and discussions about the book will begin in February and continue throughout the quarter. In addition, a free presentation by the author is scheduled for Thursday, February 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Campbell Hall. 1/13/10

Verta TaylorSan Francisco Protests Sparked Statewide Campaign for Marriage Equality, Says UCSB Sociologist  In 2004, same-sex couples engaged in protests at marriage licensing counters across the United States as part of the gay and lesbian movement’s campaign to promote marriage equality. The largest protest occurred in San Francisco, where Mayor Gavin Newsom defied California’s Defense of Marriage Act by ordering the country clerk to issue marriage licenses. In an article published in the December issue of American Sociological Review, lead author Verta Taylor, professor of sociology at UCSB, examines how the protests in San Francisco captured the attention of the entire country and sparked many other forms of political action and mobilization on behalf of marriage rights, including the statewide campaign for marriage equality in California. 1/11/10

Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Come at a Cost, According to UCSB Researchers  For decades, omega-3 fatty acids have been praised for their myriad health benefits. However, scientists at UC Santa Barbara have found that the benefits of omega-3s — and DHA in particular — also come at an inevitable cost. Over a lifetime, they can lead to cellular disease and a significant decrease in cognitive function. The scientists, the father and son team of Raymond C. and David L. Valentine, have compiled their work in a new book titled “Omega-3 Fatty Acids and the DHA Principle” (CRC Press, 2009). 1/6/10

Lale and Tunc DolucaDoluca Family Chair Established in Electrical and Computer Engineering  UC Santa Barbara alumnus Tunc Doluca and his wife, Lale, have made a $500,000 gift to the campus to establish an endowed chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The Doluca Family Chair will support the teaching and research of a distinguished scholar specializing in analog and mixed-signal integrated circuit design and help strengthen pioneering research in this important field. 1/4/10

NeuronUCSB Scientists Discover How the Brain Encodes Memories at a Cellular Level  Scientists at UCSB have made a major discovery in how the brain encodes memories. The finding, published in the December 24 issue of the journal Neuron, could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to aid memory. The team of scientists is the first to uncover a central process in encoding memories that occurs at the level of the synapse, where neurons connect with each other. 1/4/09

Red Blood Cells That Look and Perform Like the Real Thing  Scientists at UC Santa Barbara, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Michigan, have developed synthetic particles that closely mimic the characteristics and key functions of natural red blood cells, including softness, flexibility, and the ability to carry oxygen. The research was led by UCSB chemical engineering professor Samir Mitragotri. 12/18/09

Seven UCSB Faculty Members Named AAAS Fellows  Seven faculty members at UCSB have been awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. "This year’s election of seven of our faculty members as AAAS Fellows is a remarkable testament to the caliber of research at UC Santa Barbara," said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "I am proud to salute my distinguished colleagues, and I know that our campus and community join me in applauding their achievement." 12/17/09

A new book by Christopher McMahon, professor of philosophy at UC Santa Barbara.UCSB Philosopher Examines Reasonable Disagreement and Political Policy  A new book by Christopher McMahon, professor of philosophy at UC Santa Barbara, offers a new take on disagreements — particularly those that are political in nature — and could lead to greater acceptance of differing points of view, or, at the very least, provides an explanation about why even the most well-considered arguments rarely result in complete agreement. In “Reasonable Disagreement: A Theory of Political Morality” (Cambridge University Press, 2009), McMahon examines the ways in which reasonable people can disagree about the requirements of political morality. 12/17/09

Update on Search for Dark Matter  The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) Collaboration has announced the newest results from its search for the identity of the Dark Matter particles that constitute more than 80 percent of the mass of the universe. The newest and best data sample contained two events that are consistent with the signal expected from dark-matter particles, but are also consistent with a statistical fluctuation from well-known background particles. The CDMS apparatus operates in a mine in northern Minnesota, but large portions of the device were designed and fabricated at UCSB by a team led by David Caldwell, professor emeritus, and Harry Nelson, professor in UCSB’s Department of Physics. 12/17/09

Robert AntonucciScientists Observe Super-Massive Black Holes  An international team of scientists has observed four super-massive black holes at the center of galaxies, which may provide new information on how these central black hole systems operate. Their findings are published in December's first issue of the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. The scientists used the two Keck telescopes on top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. UCSB astrophysicist and co-author Robert Antonucci said that scientists can now separate the emission from the regions outside the black hole from that closest to the black hole. This is the location of the most interesting physical process, the actual swallowing of matter by the black hole. 12/10/09

Erkki RuoslahtiDelivering Medicine Directly into a Tumor  Researchers at Burnham Institute for Medical Research at University of California, Santa Barbara have identified a peptide (a chain of amino acids) that specifically recognizes and penetrates cancerous tumors but not normal tissues. The peptide was also shown to deliver diagnostic particles and medicines into the tumor. This new peptide, called iRGD, could dramatically enhance both cancer detection and treatment. The work was published December 8 in the journal Cancer Cell. Led by Erkki Ruoslahti, distinguished Burnham professor at UCSB, this research was built on Dr. Ruoslahti’s previous discovery of "vascular zip codes," which showed that blood vessels in different tissues (including diseased tissues) have different signatures. 12/9/09

Anabel FordUCSB Archaeologist Disputes Common Belief About Collapse of Maya Civilization  Archaeologists, anthropologists, and other scholars have blamed the demise of the ancient Maya on agricultural practices that caused widespread environmental destruction and devastation. However, research conducted by Anabel Ford, an archaeologist at UC Santa Barbara and director of the university’s MesoAmerican Research Center, suggests the contrary may be true — that the forest gardens cultivated by the Maya demonstrate their great reverence for the environment. Her findings are published in the current issue of the Journal of Ethnobiology in an article titled “Origins of the Maya Forest Garden: Maya Resource Management." 12/9/09

William RiceUCSB Scientists: Female Fruit Flies Can Be ‘Too Attractive’ to Males  Females can be too attractive to the opposite sex –– too attractive for their own good –– say biologists at UCSB. They found that, among fruit flies, too much male attention directed toward attractive females leads to smaller families and, ultimately, to a reduced rate of population-wide adaptive evolution. "Can females be too good looking?" asks William Rice, biology professor at UCSB. "Can there be disadvantages to being attractive? The answer is yes. If you are too attractive, you get too much male attention, and that interferes with your ability to function biologically." In an article published Public Library of Science Biology, the authors described their experiments on the sex lives of fruit flies. 12/8/09

Dave Buchholz and Sherry HikitaUCSB Scientists Rescue Visual Function in Rats Using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells  An international team of scientists has rescued visual function in laboratory rats with eye disease by using cells similar to stem cells. The research shows the potential for stem cell-based therapies to treat age-related macular degeneration in humans. A team led by UCSB’s Dennis Clegg, and Pete Coffey, of University College London (UCL), published their work in two recent papers. "Although much work remains to be done, we believe our results underscore the potential for stem-cell based therapies in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration," said Sherry Hikita, above, an author on both papers and director of UCSB’s Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology. 12/3/09

Energy and Economics Are Focus of New UC Partnership  The new University of California Center for Energy and Environmental Economics (UCE3 will draw on the strengths of two world-class research centers in energy and environmental economics and policy: the UC Energy Institute and UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. Severin Borenstein, professor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and Director of the UC Energy Institute, and Charles Kolstad, professor at UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, will serve as co-directors of the new center, which will have a physical presence at both universities. 12/1/09

Pierre WiltziusUCSB's Dean of Science Elected to Materials Research Society Board of Directors  Pierre Wiltzius, the Susan and Bruce Worster Dean of Science at UC Santa Barbara, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Materials Research Society, an international organization of almost 16,000 material researchers from academia, industry, and government working in physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering. His three-year term begins in January, 2010. 12/1/09

Manuel CasasUCSB Professor Travels to Washington on Behalf of Immigrant Children  While liberals and conservatives argue about immigration and the rights of illegal aliens, Manuel Casas argues for the children who are caught in the middle of these very divisive issues. The emeritus professor of counseling, clinical, and school psychology at UC Santa Barbara recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak at a congressional briefing in support of two recently introduced House of Representative bills. Each bill is aimed at establishing guidelines for more "humane" treatment of detained illegal immigrants — and their children — as they move through the judicial system. 11/23/09

Greg FuchsUCSB Physicists Move One Step Closer to Quantum Computing  Physicists at UCSB have made an important advance in electrically controlling quantum states of electrons, a step that could help in the development of quantum computing. The work is published online on the Science Express Web site. The researchers, including Greg Fuchs (left), have demonstrated the ability to electrically manipulate, at gigahertz rates, the quantum states of electrons trapped on individual defects in diamond crystals. This could aid the development of quantum computers that could use electron spins to perform computations at unprecedented speed. 11/19/09

New Books Published by French and Italian Scholars  Three faculty members in the Department of French and Italian at UC Santa Barbara have published new books ranging in subject from deadly medieval theater to Scheherazade’s Lovers to the culture of secrecy in early modern Europe. They include "Murder By Accident: Theater, Medievalism, and Critical Intentions" by Jody Enders, professor of French and Theater; "Les Amoureuz de Schéhérazade: Variations Modernes Sur les Mille et Une Nuits," which translates to "Scheherazade’s Lovers: Modern Variations on the Thousand and One Nights," by Dominique Jullien, professor of French and comparative literature; and "Dissimulation and the Culture of Secrecy in Early Modern Europe" by Jon R. Snyder, professor of Italian Studies and comparative literature, chair of the Department of French and Italian, and chair of UCSB’s Consortium on Literature, Theory, and Culture. 11/12/09

Shirley Geok-Lin LimLiterary Scholar to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award   Shirley Geok-Lin Lim, a professor of English at UCSB, is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS). An internationally recognized scholar, Lim has published widely in the areas of literary criticism, Asian American studies, poetry, fiction, and memoir. Her most recent publications include "Princess Shawl"; "Listening to the Singer: New and Selected Malaysian Poems"; and "Sister Swing, A Novel"; and the co-edited volume "Transnational American Literature." 11/10/09

Fulbright Scholars From Canada, Europe, and the Middle East to Study at UCSB  The Fulbright Scholar Program has awarded grants to seven researchers from Korea, Spain, Canada, and the Middle East to study at UC Santa Barbara during the 2009-10 academic year. They include Monica-Gabriela Cojocaru of Canada; Guillermo Rico Camps, Carlos Miguel Tamarit Degenhardt, and Javier Vidal Hurtado of Spain; Kyu Hyun Kim of Korea, Ruben Mirakyan of Armenia; and Kyung Hee Suh, also of Korea. While at UCSB, the scholars will be affiliated with the Departments of Statistics and Applied Probability; Political Science; the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics; Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology; Religious Studies; and Linguistics. 11/10/09

Dwarf starsUCSB Astrophysicists Predicted New Type of Supernova Explosion  A new class of supernova was discovered by scientists at Berkeley and may be the first example of a new type of exploding star. A team of astrophysicists at UC Santa Barbara had predicted this kind of explosion in their theoretical work. Lars Bildsten, professor at UCSB's Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP), and colleagues had predicted a new type of supernova in distant galaxies that would be fainter than most and would rise and fall in brightness in only a few weeks. 11/5/09

Trayless Dining, Composting Projects Are Sustainability Successes at UCSB
Two of UC Santa Barbara's latest sustainability projects –– trayless dining and composting –– are proving to be very successful, enhancing UCSB's reputation as one of the greenest campuses in the country. Thanks to trayless dining, the amount of food waste from the university’s dining commons is down dramatically and the campus is now saving energy and water. The campus’s pilot composting project is also being hailed as a big success. 11/4/09

Dustin OlsonNew UC Santa Barbara Police Chief Takes Up Duties  Dustin Olson has taken up his duties as the new Chief of Police at UC Santa Barbara. Olson, formerly the Assistant Chief of Police at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, was appointed to his UCSB post after a nationwide search. His appointment took effect Monday, November 4. He succeeds former Chief Bill Bean, who retired in June after 34 years of service to the UCSB Police Department, the last four years as chief. 11/3/09

Andrew RichUCSB Scientists Say Size of Area Lagoons Can Be Predicted  The size of Santa Barbara area lagoons can be predicted, according to a new study by UC Santa Barbara scientists, who say that their research could help protect the endangered steelhead trout. Concern for the survival of the steelhead prompted Andrew Rich, a doctoral student in earth science at UCSB, to study lagoons in the Santa Barbara area with his advisor, Edward Keller, professor of Earth Science. Their analysis of 23 small coastal lagoons near Santa Barbara indicates that the variability of lagoon area, length, volume, and average width can be explained by the variability of the slope of streams above the lagoon, and total annual rainfall 11/2/09

UCSB Joins in $20 Million Grant for Vision Research Using Stem Cells  UCSB will receive $2.5 million of a $20 million, multi-institution grant for vision research. The research will focus on macular degeneration, the major cause of visual impairment in the elderly. The grant, from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and the UK Medical Research Council (MRC), will cover preclinical tests utilizing human embryonic stem cells, as part of an effort to get federal approval for clinical trials. CIRM will provide $15.9 million for work in California, and the MRC will add $4.1 million to fund collaborative work in London. 10/28/09

David Cleveland and John MooreUCSB Announces First-Ever Sustainability Champions  Food and energy — two of the world’s most important resources — are what fuel the research and fervor of UC Santa Barbara’s first-ever Sustainability Champions. For David Cleveland, a professor of environmental studies, and Eric Matthys, a professor of environmental studies and mechanical engineering, the chance to be UCSB faculty leaders on campus sustainability issues is exciting and brimming with opportunity. Cleveland has been named the champion for 2009-10, while Matthys will assume the role for 2010-11. 10/22/09

John Moore with Earliest Shell-Covered Fossil AnimalGeologist Analyzes Earliest Shell-Covered Fossil Animals  The fossil remains of some of the first animals with shells, ocean-dwelling creatures that measure a few centimeters in length and date to about 520 million years ago, provide a window on evolution at this time, according to scientists. The research, led by John Moore, a graduate student in the Department of Earth Science at UCSB, indicates that these animals were larger than previously thought. 10/22/09

Suspect in UCSB South Hall Incident Taken Into Custody  Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and UC Santa Barbara police have announced that a man taken into custody in Isla Vista Tuesday October 20 is believed to be the same person who sparked a lockdown and floor-to-floor search of South Hall on the UCSB campus on Monday October 19. A suspicious person was seen on the sixth-floor balcony of South Hall on Monday and one caller to police indicated the person had a weapon, but police later determined that no weapon was involved. 10/21/09

Graciela LimónAuthor Graciela Limón to Receive UCSB’s Luis Leal Literature Award  Writer and educator Graciela Limón is the recipient of UC Santa Barbara’s 2009 Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature. The award, co-sponsored by the Santa Barbara Book Council, is named in honor of Luis Leal, a professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at UCSB. He is internationally recognized as a leading scholar of Chicano and Latino literature. Previous recipients of the award include Pat Mora, Alejandro Morales, Helena Maria Viramontes, Oscar Hijuelos, Rudolfo Anaya, and Denise Chávez. 10/20/09

UCSB Chancellor Henry T. YangChancellor Yang Elected Chair of Association of American Universities  UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang has been elected chair of the Association of American Universities (AAU), a nonprofit organization representing 60 leading public and private research universities in the United States and two major Canadian institutions. Yang, who has served on the prestigious association¹s executive committee since 2005, succeeds Princeton University President Shirley M. Tilghman in the one-year post. UC Santa Barbara has been a member of the AAU since 1995. 10/20/09

UCSB Police Respond Quickly to Campus Incident  UC Santa Barbara police are continuing their investigation of an incident Monday, October 19, in which a suspicious person was seen on the sixth-floor balcony of the campus's South Hall. One caller to police indicated the person had a weapon, but after interviewing several witnesses, and conducting a floor-to-floor, room-to-room search, police determined that no weapon was involved 10/19/09

Michael Gurven with a group of Tsimane in the village of AperecitoUCSB Anthropologist Studies Human Life Span, Evolution of Physiology  A remote Amazonian tribe in central Bolivia may offer proof that heart attack and stroke — the leading causes of death in the United States and other developed countries — were rare occurrences throughout most of human history. According to Michael Gurven, professor of anthropology at UCSB, the tribe, known as the Tsimane, may also prove that chronic inflammation, a condition currently associated with cardiovascular disease, may not play as great a role as medical research has suggested. 10/19/09

UCSB Scientists Make Major Advance in Organic Polymer Production for Solar Cells  Guillermo Bazan, a professor of materials, and of chemistry and biochemistry at UC Santa Barbara, and a team of postgraduate researchers at UCSB’s Center for Polymers and Organic Solids have announced a major advance in the synthesis of organic polymers for plastic solar cells. 10/19/09

Graduate student Thomas Kou installs cameraLarge-Scale Camera Network Part of New Study at UCSB   A team of researchers led by B. S. Manjunath and three of his graduate students are coordinating installation of a comprehensive camera network at various locations around the UCSB campus. The array of cameras will be used to document patterns of human movement, both inside buildings and on bicycle paths, as well as monitoring the nesting areas of snowy plovers on the beaches near campus. 10/19/09

Jeff DozierBren School’s Jeff Dozier Wins Microsoft Research’s Gray Award  Jeff Dozier, a professor and founding dean of UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, has been awarded Microsoft Research’s 2nd Annual Jim Gray eScience Award. The award, which includes a $20,000 cash component, recognizes innovators who have made significant contributions to the field of data-intensive computing. Dozier was specifically cited for his pioneering research on remote sensing, water resources, and climate change, and his contributions to the integration of environmental science and computer science. 10/16/09

UCSB Joins with Leading Asian Institute to Develop Green Electronics  UC Santa Barbara and the Institute of Microelectronics (IME) of Singapore have entered into a "green electronics" research collaboration agreement focused on developing ultra-efficient nanoscale transistors and exploring their circuit-level functionality. The collaboration will be led by Kaustav Banerjee, professor of electrical and computer engineering and an affiliated faculty member of the Institute for Energy Efficiency (IEE) at UCSB, and by Navab Singh at IME. 10/14/09

UCSB Nanotechnology Breast Cancer Study Receives $2.8 Million Grant   Errki Ruoslahti, professor at UCSB's Burnham Institute for Medical Research, is the recipient of a $2.8 million award from the Department of Defense for research into detection and therapies for breast cancer using nanotechnology. "The prevalence of breast cancer and the large number of deaths from this disease underscore the need for a paradigm shift in the strategies toward developing a cure for breast cancer," said Ruoslahti. "We believe that nanotechnology-based engineering solutions can provide the needed changes to drastically improve the cure rates." 10/7/09

Private Giving for UC Santa Barbara Reached $40.6 Million in 2008-09  The Campaign for UC Santa Barbara continues to attract strong philanthropic support for the campus, thus far generating a total of $544 million for priority projects and initiatives to ensure UCSB’s excellence for future generations. Of that total, UCSB received $40.6 million in gifts and pledges from alumni, parents, and friends in 2008-09 for teaching, research, and innovative academic programs. Due to the global economic downturn, contributions to the campus were down sharply from the record $81.4 million of the previous year. However, the funds raised exceeded earlier projections and were considered a great achievement. 10/6/09

UCSB Alumna Carol Greider Awarded 2009 Nobel in Physiology or Medicine  Carol W. Greider, a 1983 graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Greider shares the Nobel with Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Jack W. Szostak. The three were honored for the discovery of "how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase." 10/5/09

UCSB to Close Ventura Off-Campus Center in Cost-Cutting Move  UC Santa Barbara has announced plans to close its Ventura Center for Off-Campus Studies. The decision was made for financial reasons, as UCSB is faced with cutting $45 million from its budget this year as a result of reductions in state support for the UC system. 10/1/09

Federal Stimulus Grants Support Diverse Research at UCSB  With funds made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), more than 40 grants already have been awarded to research projects at UC Santa Barbara. In addition, 79 proposals are currently under review by their respective federal granting agencies. Also known as the economic stimulus package, the ARRA was passed by Congress in February. The grants, many of which come from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Energy, support a broad range of research at UCSB. 9/28/09

Anthony EvansMaterials Pioneer Anthony Evans Dies  Anthony Evans, 66, the founding chair of UC Santa Barbara’s top-ranked Materials Department, died Sept. 9 following a year-long battle with cancer, according to an announcement from the Materials Department. Evans was an expert on the properties and behavior of advanced structural materials, and one of the most cited authors in his field, with more than 540 papers to his name. 9/23/09

Scientists Outline Planetary Boundaries: A Safe Operating Space for Humanity  New approaches are needed to help humanity deal with climate change and the other global environmental threats that lie ahead in the 21st century, according to a group of 28 scientists. The research was performed by a working group at UCSB's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), in cooperation with the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University, and published in Nature. The scientists propose that global biophysical boundaries can define a "safe planetary operating space" that will allow humanity to continue to develop and thrive for generations to come. 9/23/09

Social Sciences and Media Studies buildingUCSB Unveils New Education, Social Sciences, Media Studies Complex  The newest addition to UC Santa Barbara is an impressive three-building complex that adds 209,750 square feet of high-tech classrooms, offices, meeting rooms, and much more to the west side of the campus. The long-planned complex includes the Social Sciences & Media Studies building, which houses various departments of the College of Letters & Science. Next door is the Education Building, home of the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, the Koegel Autism Center, and the Hosford Counseling Clinic. The third structure is the Pollock Theater, part of the Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television and New Media. 9/22/09

Public Attitudes Toward New Technology: Lessons for Regulators  New technologies may change our lives for the better, but sometimes they have risks. Communicating those benefits and risks to the public, and developing regulations to deal with them, can be difficult — particularly if there’s already public opposition to the technology. A new study that provides an overview of research on public perceptions of nanotechnology challenges some current ideas of how people view the risks and benefits of new technology. Barbara Herr Harthorn, director of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at UC Santa Barbara, is one of the authors of the study — "Anticipating the perceived risk of nanotechnologies" — published online in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. 9/21/09

Entrepreneur Endows Susan F. Gurley Chair in Theoretical Biology  UC Santa Barbara has received a $1 million gift from alumnus John Gurley and his wife, Meg (shown above), to establish an endowed chair in theoretical biology in the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP). The Susan F. Gurley Chair, which is named in memory of Gurley’s mother, has been awarded to Boris Shraiman, a permanent member of the institute. Gurley, a distinguished entrepreneur, is a Senior Fellow of the KITP and a member of its director’s council. 9/18/09

UCSB Taking Precautions for Possible Next Wave of H1N1 Flu  UC Santa Barbara health officials are preparing for what could be a second wave of the H1N1 "swine flu" virus this fall. Student Health officials will be distributing "Tips on Staying Healthy" fliers to incoming freshmen and to other students in campus residence halls, as well as student residences in Isla Vista. Flu Paks will be available for purchase in residence halls and at the Student Health Service. Seasonal flu vaccinations will be available for most students, and H1N1 vaccinations are expected to arrive on campus later in the fall. 9/17/09

UCSB Offers 'School for Scientific Thought' for High School Students  A total of 100 high school students have enrolled in UC Santa Barbara’s new "School for Scientific Thought" to learn about "Mutants, Spirals, and Riots," "Industrial Espionage," "Biology and Ecology of Infectious Diseases" and other "hot topics" in science and engineering in the first of a series of free Saturday mini-courses offered by the California NanoSystems Institute and supported by the National Science Foundation. The innovative educational program will expose students in grades 10 through 12 to concepts in science beyond the typical high school science curriculum, ranging from cosmology to infectious diseases and from nanotechnology to reverse engineering. 9/15/09

Reading Kafka Improves Learning, Suggests UCSB Psychology Study   According to research by psychologists at UC Santa Barbara and the University of British Columbia, exposure to the surrealism in works such as Franz Kafka’s short story "The Country Doctor" enhances the cognitive mechanisms that oversee implicit learning functions. The researchers’ findings appear in an article published in the September issue of the journal Psychological Science. "The idea is that when you’re exposed to a meaning threat — something that fundamentally does not make sense — your brain is going to respond by looking for some other kind of structure within your environment," said Travis Proulx, a postdoctoral researcher at UCSB and co-author of the article. 9/15/09

LaserUCSB Researchers Develop Drug Delivery System Using Nanoparticles and Lasers  Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have developed a new way to deliver drugs into cancer cells by exposing them briefly to a non-harmful laser. Their results are published in a recent article in ACS NANO, a journal of the American Chemical Society. "In a nutshell, what we describe is the ability to control genes in cells –– and we are working on doing this in animals –– simply by briefly exposing them to a non-harmful laser," said Norbert Reich, senior author and a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCSB. 9/10/09

Jennifer ThorschUCSB Receives NSF Grant to Preserve Herbarium, Algae Collections  Thanks to a $272,162 grant from the National Science Foundation, as well as the generosity of the family of former UCSB Chancellor Vernon Cheadle, UC Santa Barbara’s Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration will soon have a new compact storage system to replace the World War II-era cabinets currently being used to store the 100,000 specimens contained in its herbarium. In addition to preserving the massive collection of oak, conifer, and other plant specimens, the new storage system will also be used to protect CCBER’s algae collection, one of the most significant collections of algal material from the central California coast. 9/3/09

UCSB Ranked Among Top U.S. Universities by Washington Monthly  UC Santa Barbara has been ranked number 21 in a list of the Top 30 National Universities released today by Washington Monthly magazine in its September/October issue. Thirteen of the top 20 universities in the Washington Monthly rankings are taxpayer-funded. The University of California dominated Washington Monthly's 2009 list, with UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and UCLA ranking 1-2-3. 9/2/09

Michael T. BowersUCSB Chemist Named Fellow of the American Chemical Society  Michael T. Bowers, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in its inaugural class of 162 Fellows. He recently received the award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The organization has approximately 150,000 members worldwide, and is the world's top chemical society. "It is a tremendous honor to be selected in the inaugural class as an ACS Fellow, certainly one of the premier honors an American chemist could receive," said Bowers. 9/1/09

Florida Green Mussel Green Mussel May Inspire New Forms of Wet Adhesion  The green mussel is known for being a notoriously invasive species, but scientists have just discovered that it also has a very powerful form of adhesion in its foot, according to a recent article in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The stickiness of the mussel's foot could possibly be copied to form new man-made adhesives. 8/27/09

UCSB Scientists Propose Antarctic Location for 'Missing' Ice Sheet  New research by scientists at UC Santa Barbara indicates a possible Antarctic location for ice that seemed to be missing at a key point in climate history 34 million years ago. The research, which has important implications for climate change, is described in the August issue of Geophysical Research Letters. The new study, by showing that West Antarctica had a higher elevation 34 million years ago than previously thought, reveals a possible site for the accumulation of the early ice that is unaccounted for. 8/25/09

UCSB Scientists Discover Potential Drug Delivery System  Scientists at UCSB have discovered a potential new drug delivery system — a biological mechanism for delivery of nanoparticles into tissue. The results of their study are published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “This work is important because when giving a drug to a patient, it circulates in the blood stream, but often doesn’t get into the tissue,” said senior author Erkki Ruoslahti, of the Burnham Institute for Medical Research at UCSB. "This is especially true with tumors." 8/24/09

UCSB Ranked Among Country’s Best Universities by U.S. News & World Report  U.S. News   World Report has ranked UC Santa Barbara number 11 in its annual listing of the "Top 50 Public National Universities" in the country, and number 42 on its list of the "Best National Universities." UCSB is tied at number 42 with UC Davis, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institution of New York, and the University of Washington. In addition, the undergraduate program in UCSB’s College of Engineering is ranked number 34 on the magazine’s list of "Best Programs at Engineering Schools Whose Highest Degree is a Doctorate." 8/20/09

Actors perform a scene from the play "El Corrido."UCSB Ethnic and Multicultural Archive Launches Teatro Campesino Online  More than 100 vintage video recordings of the world- renowned Latino theater company El Teatro Campesino are now available online courtesy of the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives (CEMA) at UC Santa Barbara’s Davidson Library. The digitized videos, 118 in all, make up the Teatro Campesino Online Collection, and can be accessed on CEMA’s ImaginArte Web site (http://cemaweb.library.ucsb.edu/theater.html). 8/13/09

Jonathan LevineScientists Demonstrate Importance of Niche Differences in Biodiversity  Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have found strong evidence that niche differences are critical to biodiversity. Their findings are published online in this week’s issue of the journal Nature. "Ecologists have long assumed that species differences in how they use the environment are key to explaining the large number of species we see all around us, but the importance of such niches have never been field tested," said first author Jonathan M. Levine, associate professor of biology at UCSB. The new study provides the first strong evidence that species’ differences are responsible for their coexistence. 8/12/09

Experiments at UCSB Push Quantum Mechanics to Higher Levels    Physicists at UCSB have devised a new type of superconducting circuit that behaves quantum mechanically –– but has up to five levels of energy instead of the usual two. The findings are published in the August 7 issue of Science. The researchers operated a quantum circuit as a more complicated artificial atom with up to five energy levels. 8/11/09

Bren HallUCSB's Bren Hall Is Nation's First Building to Earn 'Double Platinum' Rating for Sustainability  Bren Hall, which houses the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UC Santa Barbara, has become the nation's first building to earn two LEED Platinum certifications, the highest sustainability rating possible, from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). "This is tremendous news," said Bren School Acting Dean John Melack. 8/10/09

Jamey D. MarthUCSB and Burnham Institute for Medical Research Announce Director of New Joint Research Center for Nanomedicine  The Burnham Institute for Medical Research (Burnham) and UC Santa Barbara have named leading biomedical researcher Jamey D. Marth director of a new joint Center for Nanomedicine that will be established at UCSB. The collaborative biomedical research partnership merges UCSB’s core expertise in engineering, materials sciences, nanotechnology and physics with Burnham’s strengths in the biological sciences and biomedical research. The new center will promote the convergence of these fields and pioneer the development of novel technologies for advancing human health. 8/10/09

Enrico Caruso's 1904 recording of the aria "Recondita Armonia" from Puccini's opera Tosca. Caruso's recordings remain in print to this day, over 100 years after they were made. (Victor matrix B-999 recorded February 1, 1904 in Philadelphia).UCSB Library Awarded Second Grant to Document Historical Sound Recordings by Victor Talking Machine Company  The University Library at UC Santa Barbara has been awarded a second National Endowment for the Humanities grant to further develop an online encyclopedia of all the recordings made by the Victor Talking Machine Company (which later became RCA Victor) between 1900-1950. The discography of Victor records is making the history of recorded sound in the United States broadly accessible to scholars and the public for the first time. 8/6/09

UCSB Projects Receive Multi-Campus UC Research Awards  Six research programs based at UC Santa Barbara have received awards in the 2009 University of California Multi-Campus Research Programs and Initiatives (MRPI) competition. There were a total of 28 MRPI award grants, with UCSB receiving the most of any UC campus. In addition, David Marshall, dean of the Department of Humanities and Fine Arts and executive dean of UCSB’s College of Letters & Science, will be the principal investigator for a special project based at UC Irvine. 8/5/09

Kim Suk-Young, an associate professor of theater arts at UC Santa Barbara, shares Kim Yong's first-person account of the atrocities he witnessed — and experienced — in North Korea’s most brutal labor camps.New Book by UCSB Scholar Offers Firsthand Account of a North Korean Labor Camp Survivor  In a new book, titled "Long Road Home: Testimony of a North Korean Camp Survivor" (Columbia University Press, 2009), Kim Suk-Young, an associate professor of theater arts at UC Santa Barbara, shares Kim Yong's first-person account of the atrocities he witnessed — and experienced — in North Korea’s most brutal labor camps. She also tells of his harrowing escape through China and Mongolia to South Korea and, eventually, the United States. 8/5/09

Scientists Isolate Protein That May Be 'Boon' to Medicine  Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have isolated a unique protein that appears to have a dual function and could lead to a "boon in medicine." The findings are published in the August issue of the Journal of Cell Biology. The protein that the researchers studied, named mDpy-30, affects both the expression of genes and the transport of proteins. "We first found that this protein has a dual location in the cell," said Dzwokai Ma, senior author and assistant professor of biology. "That spurred us to investigate this protein further, because location is always linked to function." 8/4/09

UCSB Study Links Strength and Beauty to Anger, Pro-War Attitudes  A new study by scientists at UC Santa Barbara provides evidence that anger serves as a nonconscious bargaining system, triggered when someone places too little weight on one’s welfare. The researchers’ findings are published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The study also showed that men with greater upper body strength — and women who consider themselves attractive — feel entitled to better treatment, anger more easily and frequently, and prevail more often in conflicts of interest. In addition, these individuals were found to endorse the use of military force as an effective way to settle international disputes. 8/4/09

Alexis Vallée-Bélisle, a postdoctoral scholar.Chemists Explain the Switchboards in our Cells  Our cells are controlled by billions of molecular “switches” and chemists at UC Santa Barbara have developed a theory that explains how these molecules work. Their findings may significantly help efforts to build biologically based sensors for the detection of chemicals ranging from drugs to explosives to disease markers. Their research is described in an article published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 8/3/09

Scientists Document Prospects for Recovery of Fisheries, Call for More Global Action  Researchers have joined forces in a groundbreaking assessment on the status of marine fisheries and ecosystems, in a study based at the National Center for Ecological Analysis at UC Santa Barbara. Christopher Costello, an economist at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UCSB, is one of 19 co-authors. The study shows that steps taken to curb overfishing are beginning to succeed in five of the 10 large marine ecosystems that they examined. The paper, which appears in the July 31 issue of the journal Science, provides new hope for rebuilding troubled fisheries. 7/30/09

UCSB Scientist Appointed to New Post at Large Hadron Collider Experiment
UC Santa Barbara physics professor Joseph Incandela has been appointed as one of two deputy spokespersons for the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment — one of four major projects at the Large Hadron Collider in Europe. Incandela, who is wrapping up his third year as deputy physics coordinator for the CMS experiment, was nominated and unanimously chosen for this position by his international peers. 7/28/09

Enda Duffy examines the cultural dynamics of speed in his new book,  "The Speed Handbook: Velocity, Pleasure, Modernism"Driving Fast — New Book by UCSB English Scholar Examines the Thrill of Speed  In his new book, "The Speed Handbook: Velocity, Pleasure, Modernism" (Duke University Press, 2009), UC Santa Barbara English Professor Enda Duffy examines the cultural dynamics of speed, which he suggests have their roots in the birth of the automobile. According to Duffy, of all the inventions of the modern age, only the automobile provides an experience — the thrill of acceleration — not available to our ancestors. 7/27/09

Mauna Kea Selected as Site for Thirty Meter Telescope  After careful evaluation and comparison between two sites –– Mauna Kea in Hawaii and Cerro Armazones in Chile –– the board of directors of the TMT Observatory Corporation has selected Mauna Kea as the preferred site for the Thirty Meter Telescope. The TMT will be the most capable and advanced telescope ever constructed. The announcement was made today in Pasadena by UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry T. Yang, chairman of the board of TMT, which is a collaboration of the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and ACURA, an organization of Canadian universities. 7/21/09

Tiny Diamonds on Santa Rosa Island Give Evidence of Cosmic Impact   Nanosized diamonds found just a few meters below the surface of Santa Rosa Island off the coast of Santa Barbara provide strong evidence of a cosmic impact event in North America approximately 12,900 years ago, according to a new study by scientists. Their hypothesis holds that a series of comets struck across North America at that time. "It is hard to explain this assemblage of materials without a cosmic impact event and associated extensive wildfires," said James Kennett, professor emeritus of earth science at UCSB and co-author of the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 7/21/09

John E. BowersBowers Appointed to Kavli Chair in Nanotechnology
John E. Bowers, a pioneering professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC Santa Barbara and director of the campus’s Institute for Energy Efficiency, is the first scholar appointed to the Fred Kavli Chair in Nanotechnology. Bowers is recognized as an international leader in the development of novel optoelectronic devices for the next generation of optical networks. "The Kavli Chair will allow me to pursue the more speculative ideas in nanotechnology, such as developing nanostructured materials for better thermoelectrics than are found in nature," said Bowers. 7/15/09

The hottest hotspot of land-based impact on marine ecosystems is the Mississippi River. The river plume is shown here as seen from space.
                        Credit: NASA
                        New Study Ranks ‘Hotspots’ of Human Impact on Coastal Areas  Coastal marine ecosystems are at risk worldwide as a result of human activities, according to scientists at UCSB’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, who have recently published a study in the Journal of Conservation Letters. The authors have performed the first integrated analysis of all coastal areas of the world. "The hottest hotspot is at the mouth of the Mississippi River," explained first author Benjamin S. Halpern, "with the other top 10 in Asia and the Mediterranean." 7/9/09

Alzheimer’s Research Yields Potential Drug Target  Scientists at UC Santa Barbara and several other institutions have found laboratory evidence that a cluster of peptides may be the toxic agent in Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists say the discovery may lead to new drugs for the disease. In an article published this week in Nature Chemistry, the researchers explain the process in which the toxic Amyloid Beta 42 peptides aggregate, and outline the new technology they use to study these peptides. The findings come out of the laboratory of Michael T. Bowers, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UCSB. 7/1/09