UC Santa Barbara Public Affairs and Communications

Featured News Archive

The Featured News Archive contains summaries of press releases about prominent news developments at UCSB. 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.

Fulbright Scholars Study Abroad, Others Conduct Research on Campus Communication professor Michael Stohl will make his third research trip as a Fulbright Scholar when he travels to Arhus, Denmark, next fall to teach at the Danish School of Media and Journalism. He is among a number of researchers to participate in the Fulbright Scholar Program, which is sponsored by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. During the academic year just completed, UCSB faculty members and one doctoral student received Fulbright grants to spend all or part of the year in Russia, Taiwan, Mexico, and El Salvador. In addition, the campus hosted Fulbright scholars from Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, and Germany. 6/27/13

Sociology, Political Science Scholars Analyze Supreme Court Rulings on Same-Sex Marriage The Supreme Court’s decisions to overturn a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act and to send Proposition 8, the California ban on same-sex marriage, back to the state, are a huge win for gay and lesbian rights, according to UC Santa Barbara sociology professor Verta Taylor. They mark a watershed moment in the history of gay rights, she noted, adding that the two rulings will undoubtedly pave the way for same-sex marriage in the 38 states where it is currently illegal. In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court invalidated DOMA, claiming it violated the Fifth Amendment’s protection of equal liberty. The justices declined to address the constitutionality of Proposition 8, they said, because the proponents of the law don’t have standing to bring it before the court. 6/26/13

Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Models From UCSB’s Neuroscience Research Institute Point To A Potential Therapeutic Approach Building on research published eight years ago in the journal Chemistry and Biology, Kenneth S. Kosik, Harriman Professor in Neuroscience and co-director of the Neuroscience Research Institute (NRI) at UC Santa Barbara, and his team have applied their findings to mouse models, demonstrating a new potential target in the fight against Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. When tau, a protein normally present in the brain, morphs into an abnormal state, it contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Yet no treatments for this pathway exist. Kosik’s research explores the possibility that a small class of molecules called diaminothiazoles can act as inhibitors of kinase enzymes that cause abnormal tau. The team found strong evidence that these molecules could slow the progression of the development of abnormal tau. 6/26/13

Graduate Student Researchers Selected for Annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Three of UC Santa Barbara’s best and brightest graduate student researchers — Stephen Donaldson in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Neil Eschmann in the Department of Chemistry, and Leah Kuritzky in the Department of Materials Engineering — will be joining a delegation of nearly 550 young researchers from around the world for the annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. The weeklong event brings the world’s most highly respected scientists together with up and coming young minds for a series of discussions, lectures and get-togethers. Additionally, UCSB’s Walter Kohn, 1998 Nobel Prize recipient, is one of the speakers at this year’s meeting, which will focus on chemistry. 6/26/13

Huckleberry Finn Figures Prominently in New Book by UCSB Expert in Immigration Law and Policy If you knew that your neighbor — or your neighbor’s gardener or nanny — was an “illegal alien,” would you tell? Should you tell? The dilemma in contemporary America is similar to the one Huckleberry Finn encountered when he discovered a runaway slave named Jim. In his new book, “Illegal Migrations and the Huckleberry Finn Problem,” John S.W. Park, associate professor of Asian American Studies, explores problems of status and illegality in American law and society by examining on-going themes in American legal history, comparative ethnic studies, and American literature. 6/25/13

Sustainability Conference at UCSB Inspires Big Ideas, Promotes Best Practices It’s been said that you can’t go home again. Tell that to UC Santa Barbara-based founders of the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, who this week brought their biggest- and best-yet event back to the campus where it was created more than a decade ago. Hoping to bring greening into greater consciousness by sharing strategies for effective storytelling around such efforts, this 12th annual event bears the theme “Declare, Demonstrate, Propagate.” Featuring research presentations, as well as case studies in curriculum development, operational programs, and community partnerships, it is intended to be an idea-sharing festival — a massive, multi-day brainstorming session of sorts — as much as a source of inspiration. 6/25/13

Sociologist Studies Issues of Privilege From a Geographical Perspective In her new book, “Geographies of Privilege” (Routledge, 2013), UC Santa Barbara sociology professor France Winddance Twine argues that physical space, geography, and locality are key to understanding how power and privilege operate in diverse national contexts. Geography and locality, she says, are central to an analysis of power or social inequality. The book is an interdisciplinary and transnational volume that includes contributions from sociologists, anthropologists, historians, cultural geographers, and ethnic studies and social justice scholars working in regions typically neglected in much of mainstream sociology. 6/24/13

New Funding Will See NCEAS Embark on New Era Dispelling myths about jellyfish blooms is among the more recent ambitious endeavors undertaken by UCSB’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis since its 1995 inception. The center’s latest project: making over its successful model by broadening its reach to include end users of such information in the discovery process. A $2.4 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation will enable them to do just that. Their charge to embrace use-inspired science challenges will include a soon-to-launch partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Society called SNAP: Science for Nature and People. 6/20/13

Black Hole Research Reveals Dusty Surprise New observations of a nearby active galaxy called NGC 3783 have given a team of astronomers — including physics postdoc Sebastian Hoenig — a surprise. Their discovery of a cool dust around a black hole, and an accompanying wind that it creates, lend intrigue to the examination of how supermassive black holes grow and evolve within galaxies. The black hole feeds its insatiable appetite from the surrounding material, but the intense radiation this produces also seems to be blowing the material away. It is still unclear how these two processes work together, but the presence of a cool, dusty wind in the polar regions adds a new piece to the picture. The work is published in the Astrophysical Journal. 6/20/13

Two Faculty Members Named Fellows of the Ecological Society of America Carla D’Antonio, Schuyler Professor of Environmental Studies, and Joshua Schimel, chair of environmental studies and professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, have been elected fellows of the Ecological Society of America (ESA). In addition, former postdoctoral associates Marissa L. Baskett and Duncan N.L. Menge of UCSB’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis were two of the six early career fellows, a new category created this year. The ESA, the country’s primary professional organization of ecologists representing 10,000 scientists in the United States and around the world, diligently pursues the promotion of the responsible application of ecological principles to the solution of environmental problems through its reports, journals, research, and expert testimony to Congress. 6/19/13

UCSB Alumna Pushing for Winter Olympics After Tragic Loss Former Gaucho track standout Maureen Ajoku (’12, sociology) is poised to compete in the upcoming Winter Olympics, as a member of the USA Bobsled team. Her quick ascendance is unsurprising to those who know her. Since losing both her parents in 2007, Ajoku has been driven, relentlessly, by a desire to make them proud and seize every opportunity life gives her. Hence her “leap of faith” to try bobsled for a shot at the top — the Olympic games. After making the national team on her first attempt, Ajoku is now in fifth position on a team that will take at least its top three to Sochi next February. 6/19/13

Parasites Affect the Food Web More Than You Think, Researchers Say They’re tiny and easy to overlook; in fact much of the time they are ignored. But taken collectively, parasites have a huge impact on the food web. A study undertaken by UC Santa Barbara parasitologists demonstrates just how significant parasites are when assessing who eats whom, and how complex the food web becomes when they are part of the overall picture. 6/18/13

Growing Leaders in ROTC Through its Regional Officers Training Corps (ROTC), the U.S. Army has been training officers at UCSB since 1947. Over the years Surfrider Battalion, as the UCSB unit is called, has commissioned more than 1,000 second lieutenants. By combining management theory with actual hands-on experience, Army ROTC aims to develop in its cadets self-discipline, physical stamina, and a multitude of other skills essential to commanding a unit. That the same qualities set them up for success in civilian life is an intentionally added bonus. That the same qualities set them up for success in civilian life is an intentionally added bonus. 6/18/13

Researchers Identify Mechanisms Underlying Salt-Mediated Behaviors in Fruit Flies Next time you see a fruit fly in your kitchen, don’t swat it. That fly could have a major impact on our progress in deciphering sensory biology and animal behavior, including someday providing a better understanding of the human brain. Researchers in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and the Neuroscience Research Institute have been studying the mechanisms underlying salt taste coding of fruit flies. And they have made some rather remarkable discoveries. Their findings appear in the journal Science. The work done by Craig Montell, Duggan Professor of MCDB and Neuroscience, and his team not only explains the fundamental question of how an animal chooses low salt over high salt, but also unravels the mechanism for how gustatory receptor neurons are activated by salt, an essential nutrient for all animals, including humans. 6/13/13

Rapid Adaptation is Urchins’ Weapon Against Ocean Acidification In the race against climate change and ocean acidification, some sea urchins may still have a few tricks up their spiny sleeves, suggesting that adaptation will likely play a large role for the sea creatures as the carbon content of the ocean increases. UCSB postdoctoral researcher Morgan Kelly co-authored a new study in which generations of purple sea urchins were bred in conditions mimicking the projected environment of the ocean in near the end of the century. Their findings indicate that the species will evolve greater tolerance for CO2 — and pass on that tolerance to their offspring. 6/12/13

Undergraduate Enrollment in Physics Grows by Quantum Leaps Since 2008, the number of physics undergraduates at UC Santa Barbara has skyrocketed from 34 to 153. In addition to being ranked fifth in the National Research Council rankings, the UCSB physics department also has one of the most productive bachelor’s programs in the country. According to the American Institute of Physics, the 46 bachelor’s degrees awarded per year from 2008 to 2010 puts UCSB at number eight in the country. This year, the campus will graduate about 65 physics majors, which could put UCSB third in the country. Among the qualities cited for UCSB’s rising popularity are the physics department’s consistently high rankings, a high-profile and dedicated faculty that includes three Nobel laureates, and opportunities for undergraduates to participate in cutting-edge research. 6/10/13

Study Provides a New Framework for Understanding the Energetics of Ionic Liquids Theoretically, ionic liquids — salts in liquid form — would make a good source of energy, given their abundance of positive and negative charges, and the free-flowing environment. However, these liquids have never quite lived up to that promise. A new study by UC Santa Barbara graduate student researcher Matthew Gebbie and Jacob Israelachvili, professor of chemical engineering and of materials, provides clues into a better understanding of that mystery and also a framework by which the potential properties of ionic liquids might be unlocked. 6/7/13

Music Professor’s Book Studies Noise Music in Japan Noise is a genre of music that can be hard to describe, and even harder to listen to for the uninitiated. In his book, “Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation,” UCSB music professor David Novak takes on the technology, artists, and the contradictions and violated expectations that constitute the Japanese underground music scene. 6/4/13

UCSB Announces Winners of Thomas More Storke Award, Other Top Prizes for Outstanding Graduating Seniors Three remarkable graduating seniors at UC Santa Barbara 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. Adrianna Sylva Alexandrian, of Santa Barbara, is the recipient of the Thomas More Storke Award for Excellence, the campus's highest student honor, for outstanding scholarship and extraordinary service to the university, its students, and the community. Guadalupe Cruz, of Azusa, is the recipient of the Jeremy D. Friedman Memorial Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership, superior scholarship, and contributions to undergraduate life on campus. Nayra A. Pacheco, of Santa Barbara, is the recipient of the Alyce Marita Whitted Memorial Award, which recognizes a non-traditional student's endurance, persistence, and courage in the face of extraordinary challenges while pursuing an academic degree. 5/31/13

Media Arts and Technology Scholar Receives Harold J. Plous Award Theodore Kim, Academy Award-winning assistant professor in the Department of Media Arts and Technology at UC Santa Barbara, has received the 2013-14 Harold J. Plous Award. One of the university’s most prestigious faculty honors, the award is presented annually by the College of Letters and Science to recognize 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 was established in 1957 to honor the memory of Harold J. Plous, an assistant professor of economics. Kim will showcase his research when he delivers the annual Plous Lecture next spring. 5/31/13

Music Professor’s Book Examines Composer Charles Ives and the Shifting American Identity Hailed as a genius and maverick, Charles Ives was as contradictory and complex as his music. In his new book, “Charles Ives in the Mirror,” assistant music professor David Paul surveys the discourse on the famous composer and the shifting American identity he reflected in his music. Paul describes Ives’s music as “full of familiar tunes that have been radically distorted,” and “often haunting and dissonant.” 5/29/13

Scientists Discover Cinnamon Compounds’ Potential Ability to Prevent Alzheimer’s It’s great in coffee and on baked goods, but can cinnamon be good for your brain as well? In a recent study, UC Santa Barbara researchers Roshni George and Don Graves found out that two compounds from cinnamon have the potential to prevent the filamentous “tangles” that characterize Alzheimer’s disease. 5/23/13

Analysis of Impact Spherules Supports Theory of Cosmic Impact A comprehensive study undertaken by Earth Science Emeritus Professor James Kennett and 28 colleagues from 24 institutions reveals new evidence in support of the theory that a cosmic collision was responsible for the Younger Dryas episode, an anomalous period of abrupt and dramatic cooling that was thought to be responsible for the mass extinction of megafauna and the decline of the Clovis culture. 5/21/13

Researchers Find Political Motivations May Have Evolutionary Links to Physical Strength In the animal world, it's pretty easy to predict who will come out on top when, say, a pair of lions go head to head over food or an attractive female. The he-man who most values the resource in question and has the brawn to fight for it will, in all likelihood, emerge victorious. Researchers at UC Santa Barbara and Aarhus University in Denmark have found that general concept also applies to humans when issues of resource distribution are on the table. Their findings appear in the current issue of the journal Psychological Science. At the level of individuals, redistribution involves a conflict over resources, so the human mind should perceive issues of economic redistribution through that lens, noted Daniel Sznycer, a postdoctoral researcher at UCSB's Center for Evolutionary Psychology and co-lead author of the paper. 5/20/13

Study Shows Where Scene Context Happens in Our Brain Though a seemingly simple and intuitive strategy, visual search function — a process that takes mere seconds for the human brain — is still something that a computer can't do as accurately. Over the millennia of human evolution, our brains developed a pattern of search based largely on environmental cues and scene context. It's an ability that has not only helped us find food and avoid danger in humankind’s earliest days, but continues to aid us today. Where this — the search for objects using scene and other objects — occurs in the brain is little understood, and is for the first time discussed in the paper, "Neural Representations of Contextual Guidance in Visual Search of Real-World Scenes," published in the Journal of Neuroscience. The researchers were led by Miguel Eckstein, professor in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences. 5/20/13

Feminist Studies Scholar Addresses Prophylactic Mastectomy When actress Angelina Jolie tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation and learned her odds of developing breast cancer could be an astronomical 87 percent, she decided to minimize the risk as much as possible by undergoing a double mastectomy. No breasts, no breast cancer. That’s the idea. But as Laury Oaks, an associate professor of feminist studies at UC Santa Barbara, notes, preventive measures that are effective and appropriate for one woman — like Jolie — might not be so for another. And even if they are appropriate, they aren’t necessarily available. 5/16/13

UCSB ‘Like Family’ Alumni Lynn (’55) and Winnie Reitnouer (’54) will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in June. They were married in 1953, in the midst of their college years at what was then called UC Santa Barbara State College. The university in many ways launched their life together, and they haven’t forgotten it. The pair have made a habit of sharing their time and money with the campus they praise as “world-class” and “like family.” An auditorium in the Intercollegiate Athletic building is named in their honor, a thanks for their longtime, generous support. 5/16/13

Arctic Tundra Research Reveals Unexpected Insight into Ecosystem Resiliency As the world eyes the Arctic nervously for the effects of global warming, UCSB researchers discover a surprising resilience in the steadily warming far north ecosystem. Despite 20 years of rising temperatures, net soil carbon, expected to decrease as the ground thaws, remains the same. 5/16/13

Scientist Studies Methane Levels in Cross-Continent Drive After taking a rented camper outfitted with special equipment to measure methane on a cross-continent drive, a UC Santa Barbara scientist has found that methane emissions across large parts of the U.S. are higher than currently known, confirming what other more local studies have found. Their research is published in the journal Atmospheric Environment. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, stronger than carbon dioxide on a 20-year timescale, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, though on a century timescale, carbon dioxide is far stronger. “This research suggests significant benefits to slowing climate change could result from reducing industrial methane emissions in parallel with efforts on carbon dioxide,” said Ira Leifer, a researcher with UCSB’s Marine Science Institute. 5/15/13

History Professor’s Book Elucidates, Celebrates ‘Visioneers’ In a fascinating new book, history professor W. Patrick McCray offers an examination of American physicist Gerard K. O’Neill and other radical innovators who never quite got their due. “The Visioneers: How a Group of Elite Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnologies, and a Limitless Future” (Princeton University Press, 2013) is a history of — and, in turn, an homage to — these "modern utopians" who believed their technologies could transform society. Equal parts visionaries and engineers, McCray's visioneers were futurists, ace self-promoters, and indefatigable optimists. Their schemes were not pie-in-the-sky; these Ivy-trained experts had hard science on their side. Yet their grand plans were never fully realized, impeded by skeptical colleagues, staid politicians, and, perhaps, their own zeal. 5/14/13

Artist Favianna Rodriguez Donates Personal Papers to the UCSB Library Favianna Rodriguez, the Oakland-based activist artist best known for bold posters and digital art that explore issues of social justice, has donated her personal archive to the UC Santa Barbara Library. The Favianna Rodriguez Papers are now housed in the library's California Ethnic Multicultural Archives (CEMA). The Rodriguez archive, which currently consists of an initial installment of 31 art prints, will grow over time to include additional prints, sketches, lectures, correspondence, photographs, videos, and ephemera. “I am honored to make my art accessible in the CEMA public archive,” said Rodriguez. 5/9/13

Professor John Bowers Receives UCSB Faculty’s Top Honor John Bowers, professor of electrical and computer engineering and of materials, has been named Faculty Research Lecturer for 2013. The award is the highest bestowed by the university on one of its faculty, and Bowers is being recognized for his “groundbreaking scholarship, outstanding research contributions and scientific leadership.” 5/8/13

Cartography 2.0 Is it possible to predict when, why, and how something will go viral? What if we could identify digital tipping points before they induced potentially massive chain reactions? The answer may lie in network modeling, a way of mapping the digital landscape in order to more readily identify when a new highway is evolving — or when something, or someone, is about to go metaphorically off-road. Call it cartography 2.0. Such hypothetical solutions may soon become reality, courtesy of an ongoing project in which a group of UC Santa Barbara computer scientists is playing a key role. 5/6/13

Greening Higher Ed Registration is now under way for the 2013 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, set for June 23-27 at UC Santa Barbara. Hoping to bring greening into greater consciousness by sharing strategies for effective storytelling around such efforts, the event will bear the theme “Communicating Sustainability.” Hosting for the sixth time, UCSB founded the now-annual affair in 2002. 5/6/13

Economic Forecast Project Summit Analyzes World, National, Santa Barbara County Economies The local, national, and international economies were the focus of the first day of the 2013 Santa Barbara County Economic Summit, an annual two-day event presented by the UCSB Economic Forecast Project. Peter Rupert, chair of the Economic Forecast Project and professor of economics, remains optimistic on the recovery of the region and the nation, while other speakers discussed the bailout and the Eurozone crisis. 5/2/13

IEE’s Summit Focuses on a Sustainable Energy Future Materials and their role in the future of energy efficiency were the focus of the 2013 UC Santa Barbara Summit on Energy Efficiency. A two-day event, the summit was a place for some of the best and brightest minds in the field to share ideas, network, and discuss the latest developments in what has become a mutual goal for science, technology, industry, and public policy. Steven Chu, the former U.S. Secretary of Energy, delivered the opening keynote address. 5/1/13

Use of Laser Light Yields Versatile Manipulation of a Quantum Bit By using light, researchers at UC Santa Barbara have manipulated the quantum state of a single atomic-sized defect in diamond — the nitrogen-vacancy center — in a method that not only allows for more unified control than conventional processes, but is more versatile, and opens up the possibility of exploring new solid-state quantum systems. 5/1/13

UCSB and The Trust for Public Land Partner to Restore Wetlands Aiming to restore and preserve the wetlands on the upper Devereux Slough — which 50 years ago was filled with topsoil to make way for a golf course — UC Santa Barbara and The Trust for Public Land are teaming to return Ocean Meadows Golf Course to its natural state. The project will ultimately open to the public an expanse of land extending some three miles along the Elwood Devereux coast in Goleta by connecting several existing preserved properties. 4/30/13

Professor Galen Stucky Elected to National Academy of Sciences Galen Stucky, professor of chemistry and materials, was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for his excellence in original scientific research. Membership in the NAS is one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer in the United States. Stucky will be inducted into the academy next April during its 151st annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Stucky brings to 38 the number of UCSB faculty elected to NAS. There are currently 2,179 active NAS members. Among the more renowned members are Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright, and Alexander Graham Bell. Nearly 200 living academy members have won Nobel Prizes. 4/30/13

UCSB Researchers Successfully Treat Autism in Infants By modifying a form of therapy developed at UCSB’s Koegel Autism Center to treat autism spectrum disorder in children, researchers have found a way to lessen the severity of the condition in infants — and perhaps alleviate it altogether. Pivotal Response Treatment is a game playing protocol based on principles of positive motivation. As part of the treatment, parents focus on the activities their infants find most enjoyable, and avoid those that elicit a more negative response. The findings appear in the current issue of the Journal of Positive Behavioral Interventions. 4/29/13

Researcher Studies Correlation Between Changes in Hormone Levels and Sexual Motivation Among Young Women Researchers have long suspected a correlation between hormone levels and libido, but now scientists at UC Santa Barbara, led by James Roney, a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, have actually demonstrated hormonal predictors for sexual desire. “We found two hormonal signals that had opposite effects on sexual motivation,” said Roney, the article’s lead author. The researchers’ work could eventually lead to a better model of the signals in a natural cycle, which could, in turn inform medical research. 4/25/13

Two Faculty Members Named Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences  Gary Horowitz, professor of physics, and Ken C. Macdonald, professor emeritus of marine geophysics and earth science, have been elected fellows of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Their selection brings to 31 the number of UCSB faculty that belong to the academy. The academy is an independent policy research center that conducts interdisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. Members of the 233-year-old organization hail from a broad spectrum of disciplines, allowing the academy to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary studies in public policy research. Membership includes more that 250 Nobel Laureates and 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. The academy's research focuses on science and technology policy, global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities, and education. 4/24/13

Religious Studies Scholar Receives Guggenheim Fellowship  Ann Taves, professor of religious studies at UC Santa Barbara, has received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship for 2013. She is one of 175 artists, musicians, scholars, and scientists from the United States and Canada to be so honored by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and one of only four in the field of religion. Guggenheim Fellows are selected on the basis of distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishments. Taves, who holds UCSB‘s Virgil Cordano OFM Endowed Chair in Catholic Studies, is a prolific scholar and award-winning author, and is well known for her work on religious experience. 4/23/13

Neuroscientists Study Connectivity in the Human Brain  Using magnetic resonance imaging technology, researchers at UC Santa Barbara have identified organizational features of human brain anatomy that support coordinated changes in functional brain activity when an individual is at rest, attending to a visual task, or remembering something such as a word or face. Their work was highlighted in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Understanding how human cognitive function arises from interactions between different regions of the brain has proved to be one of the great challenges in modern neuroscience. 4/23/13

Scientist Identifies Protein Molecule Used to Maintain Adult Stem Cells in Fruit Flies  Understanding exactly how stem cells form into specific organs and tissues is the holy grail of regenerative medicine. Now a UC Santa Barbara researcher has added to that body of knowledge by determining how stem cells produce different types of “daughter” cells in fruit flies. Denise Montell, Duggan Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, and colleagues studied the ovaries of fruit flies in order to see stem cells in their natural environment. Because these organisms are excellent models for understanding stem cell biology, researchers were able to shed light on the earliest stages of follicle cell differentiation, a previously poorly understood area of developmental biology. 4/22/13

Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman: 'We Need Better Science and Engineering Education'  To be a successful teacher, you must understand how a student thinks. To be a successful student, you must learn how an expert thinks. That was a major part of the message delivered by Physics Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman at a public lecture at UC Santa Barbara's Corwin Pavilion. The lecture outlined an emerging, evidence-based method of teaching, specifically in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields which have become a priority for public education in the United States. "It's clear in our society today: We need better science and engineering education," said Wieman, 2001 Nobel winner and director at the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia. 4/18/13

UCSB Offers Admission for Fall 2013 — Its Most Selective Year Ever  UCSB has offered 24,248 high school seniors a place in the campus‘s fall 2013 entering class. They were selected from a total of 62,416 applicants — the largest pool in UCSB history. The campus expects its fall freshman class to number about 4,450. Applications from the 13,842 students seeking to transfer to UCSB are still under review, with decisions to be announced by the end of April. Admission will be offered to approximately 6,000 transfer students, and roughly 1,550 will be enrolled in the fall. Freshman applicants who have been accepted to any UC campus have until May 1 to submit a Statement of Intent to Register. Transfer students will have until June 1 to return the form. 4/18/13

UCSB Ranked No. 2 in the World in Leiden Rankings In the latest rankings by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands, UC Santa Barbara has been ranked Number 2 on the annual list of top 500 major universities in the world. The Leiden Rankings are based on data from the Web of Science bibliographic database produced by Thomson Reuters. UCSB, which last year was ranked Number 7, was second only to M.I.T., and this year ranked above Stanford, Princeton, Harvard, and Rice universities, which came in third to sixth place, respectively. UC Berkeley is Number 7 and Caltech is Number 8. 4/17/13

Professor Named Fellow of American Educational Research Association Education professor Russell Rumberger has been named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). He is among 23 scholars from around the world to be so recognized, and will be inducted on Saturday, April 28, during AERA‘s annual meeting in San Francisco. In addition, Rumberger, a faculty member in UCSB‘s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, has been selected to receive another AERA honor — the Elizabeth G. Cohen Distinguished Career in Applied Sociology of Education Award. 4/15/13

Scientists Find Resilience in Shelled Plants Exposed to Ocean Acidification Marine scientists have long understood the detrimental effect of fossil fuel emissions on marine ecosystems. But a group led by a UC Santa Barbara professor has found a point of resilience in a microscopic shelled plant with a massive environmental impact, which suggests the future of ocean life may not be so bleak. Debora Iglesias-Rodriguez, a professor in UCSB‘s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, and postdoctoral researcher Bethan Jones, who is now at Rutgers University, led a large-scale study on the effects of ocean acidification on these tiny plants that can only be seen under the microscope. Their research breaks with traditional notions about the vitality of calcifiers, or creatures that make shells, in future ocean conditions. 4/12/13

Sustainability Success Story Engaged in greening since the 1970‘s, UCSB has been racking up successes ever since, becoming a sustainability leader in the process. The latest example: UCSB‘s recently unveiled water conservation plan, the first of its kind in the UC system, has won a Best Practices Award from the 2013 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference. All the winners will be honored during the June 23-27 conference being hosted this year by UCSB. The campus that gave birth to the now-annual event back in 2002, and has served as host six times. 4/10/13

Amgen Founder Named Honorary Alumnus Honored for his altruistic philanthropy, and celebrated for a decades-long devotion to improving health by advancing science, Amgen founder William K. “Bill” Bowes has been named an honorary alumnus. Bowes and his wife, Ute, are longtime benefactors of UCSB who have helped establish fellowships, endowed a handful of professorships and, most recently, gifted the campus $5 million for an endeavor to develop stem cell therapies aimed at ocular disease. 4/9/13

Researchers Uncover New Pathways in Bacterial Intercellular Competition There‘s an epic battle taking place that‘s not on the national radar: intercellular competition. While it‘s not an Olympic event, new research from UC Santa Barbara demonstrates that this microscopic rivalry can be just as fierce as humans going for the gold. Christopher Hayes, UCSB associate professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, along with postdoctoral fellow Sanna Koskiniemi, graduate student James Lamoureux, and others, examined the role certain proteins, called rearrangement hotspots (Rhs), play in intercellular competition in bacteria. 4/8/13

Scholar of Early Imperial China Wins Fellowship to Study Egyptology With a New Directions Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, UCSB history professor Anthony Barbieri-Low will study Egyptian archaeology and hieroglyphics. The highly competitive fellowship is awarded to mid-career scholars, enabling them to pursue their interests outside of their specializations, with the appropriate advanced training. The fellowship is awarded to only about a dozen scholars every year. Barbieri-Low, a specialist in the social, legal, economic, and material-culture history of early imperial China, will research ancient Egyptian texts and conduct a comparative study with Chinese civilization circa 200 B.C., the time of the rise of the Chinese Empire. 4/2/13

Marcy Carsey to Lead the UCSB Foundation Bringing the expertise gleaned from a successful career in the entertainment business — and a passionate dedication to the university her children attended — Emmy-winning television producer Marcy Carsey has been named chair of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation Board of Trustees. Carsey, who has been named one of the 50 greatest women in radio and television, and recognized as one of the most successful American businesswomen in or out of show business, will assume the role on July 1. A 14-year member of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation, Carsey also sits on the advisory board for UCSB‘s Carsey-Wolf Center, named for her and fellow producer Dick Wolf, as benefactors. Carsey replaces outgoing chair Bruce G. Wilcox, whose two-year term began on July 1, 2011. 4/1/13

Cell Sex Selection Fifty years after scientists discovered that the single-celled organism Tetrahymena thermophila has seven sexes, they‘ve at last learned how each cell‘s mating type is determined, thanks largely to researchers at UC Santa Barbara. By identifying Tetrahymena‘s long-unknown mating-type genes, a team of UCSB biologists, with research colleagues in China and San Diego, also uncovered the unusual process of DNA rearrangements required for sex determination in this organism. The discovery may hold human health implications for tissue transplantation, cancer treatment, and more. The findings have been published in the journal PLOS Biology. 3/26/13

Mindfulness Improves Reading Ability, Working Memory, and Task-Focus If you think your inability to concentrate is a hopeless condition, think again — and breathe, and focus. According to a study by researchers at the UC Santa Barbara, as little as two weeks of mindfulness training can significantly improve one‘s reading comprehension, working memory capacity, and ability to focus. Their findings were recently published online in the empirical psychology journal Psychological Science. “What surprised me the most was actually the clarity of the results,” said Michael Mrazek, graduate student researcher in psychology and the lead and corresponding author of the paper. “Even with a rigorous design and effective training program, it wouldn't be unusual to find mixed results. But we found reduced mind-wandering in every way we measured it.” 3/26/13

NCEAS Research Sheds Light on Achieving Conservation‘s Holy Grail Solutions that meet the broad, varied, and often competing, priorities of conservation are difficult to come by. “People often think of conservation solutions that are effective, cost-efficient, and equitable — the so-called triple bottom line solutions — as the holy grail, the best possible outcome,” said Ben Halpern, researcher at UC Santa Barbara‘s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. In a paper to be published in the March 28 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Halpern and co-authors take a hard look at why, in an effort to find ways to resolve the issue. 3/25/13

Theater Arts Scholar Wins Prestigious Book Prize “Illusive Utopia: Theater, Film, and Everyday Performance in North Korea” has garnered Suk-Young Kim, professor of theater arts, the prestigious James Palais Book Prize from the Association for Asian Studies. Awarded annually, the prize recognizes an outstanding English language book from any discipline in the social sciences, humanities, and fine arts that addresses some aspect of Korean studies. Kim received the award last week at the association‘s annual conference in San Diego. In the book, Kim analyzes how art practices — mainly film, live productions, and large-scale propaganda performances — serve as tools to regulate North Korea‘s collectivist society and provide a certain internal logic. 3/25/13

UCSB Scientists Play Key Role in Planck Mission‘s Success The Planck space mission has released the most accurate and detailed map ever made of the oldest light in the universe, revealing new information about its age, contents, and origins. Planck is the European Space Agency mission with significant NASA participation. Five UCSB scientists are part of the Planck team. 3/21/13

Art History Ph.D. Student Receives Rare Book School FellowshipFor her dissertation project, Sophia Rochmes, a doctoral student in the history of art and architecture at UC Santa Barbara, is researching 15th-century manuscripts in ducal and noble libraries of present-day France and Belgium. She will be assisted in her work through a fellowship awarded by Rare Book School (RBS) at the University of Virginia. Rochmes is one of 20 early-career scholars to be recognized through the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography program, which aims to reinvigorate bibliographical studies within the humanities. The 20 RBS-Mellon Fellows were selected from a field of 250 applicants in the humanities, affiliated with institutions throughout the United States. 3/20/13

UC‘s Unofficial Favorite Sea Slug Poised to Make a Comeback After almost four decades of absence from local waters, a special sea slug appears to be making a comeback, and marine scientists at UC Santa Barbara are eagerly anticipating its return. With its vivid blue and gold colors and its discovery by UC zoologists in 1901, the nudibranch Felimare californiensis, also known as the California chromodorid, has been a favorite species of sea slug for UC marine scientists and students for decades. But while it held a special place in their hearts, it lost its place in local waters. 3/18/13

Strategizing Water Savings UCSB hopes to educate its campus community about water usage — and, more importantly, to reduce water consumption and waste — with its just-approved Water Action Plan. The first of its kind in the UC system, and, to date, among the most comprehensive plans nationwide for a university, the detailed document is the masterwork — and master‘s project — of a six-member team of graduate students from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. 3/18/13

White House Winners A cross-disciplinary cadre of UCSB students recently traveled to Washington, D.C., for the Better Buildings Case Competition — a White House-held sustainability competition put on by the U.S. Department of Energy. The contest engages college students in the hunt for creative energy efficiency solutions. The 10-member Gaucho team came back victorious, with a “Most Innovative” award for its strategic proposal to help Montgomery County, Pa., complete a renovation that achieves significant energy savings in a publicly owned, multi-tenant office building. Carnegie Mellon, MIT, University of Chicago, and Yale were also winners in the 14-university contest. 3/14/13

New Pope May Signal Some Change, Say UCSB Religious Studies Scholars With the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as its new leader, the Roman Catholic Church has its first pontiff from Latin American. Pope Francis I, as Bergoglio is now known, is the former archbishop of Buenos Aires. “The symbolic significance of a non-European pope is huge,” said Ann Taves, professor of religious studies. Taves holds UC Santa Barbara‘s Virgil Cordano OFM Endowed Chair in Catholic Studies. “A little over a century ago, the majority of the world‘s Catholics were still in Europe. Today, the situation is just the reverse. There are more Catholics in Asia and Africa than in Europe, but Latin America is the powerhouse when it comes to numbers of Catholics.” Pope Francis will likely continue the church‘s emphasis on evangelism, according to Taves, but with some possible shifts toward social justice, concern for the poor, and the economic effects of globalization. 3/14/13

Assistant Professors Receive National Science Foundation CAREER Awards With combined grants totaling more than $1.3 million for their proposals integrating research and education, three assistant professors at UC Santa Barbara have received National Science Foundation CAREER Awards. Katie Byl, in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Theodore Kim, in the Department of Computer Science's Media Arts and Technology program; and Megan Valentine, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, are UCSB's CAREER honorees for 2013. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program offers the NSF's most prestigious awards in support of the early career development of teacher-scholars deemed most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. 3/12/13

U.S. News & World Report Ranks UCSB Graduate Programs Among the Best In its annual ranking of leading graduate and professional programs at American universities, U.S. News & World Report magazine has rated two UC Santa Barbara programs among the top 10 in the nation. UCSB‘s materials program was ranked number two in the 2014 U.S. News list of American universities, and number one among public institutions. The chemical engineering program at UCSB ranks number 9 overall, and number 5 among public universities. In addition, UCSB‘s College of Engineering was ranked number 20, moving up one spot from the 2013 rankings. Tied with Northwestern University, it is number 11 among public universities. Also listed among the top graduate schools is UCSB‘s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, which was ranked number 40 — an impressive leap of 23 spots from last year. The graduate school ranks number 29 among public universities. 3/12/13

Sociologist Examines Feminism, Femininity, and Firearms In her new book “Girls With Guns — Firearms, Feminism, and Militarism,” France Winddance Twine, a professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara, addresses what distinguishes women who use firearms for recreation from those who purchase them for protection, and those who use them professionally. She also studies women as gun owners, and the different sensibilities they have regarding their handguns and rifles. 3/11/13

Physicists Make Discovery in the Quantum Realm by Manipulating Light Physicists at UC Santa Barbara are manipulating light on superconducting chips, and forging new pathways to building the quantum devices of the future — including super-fast and powerful quantum computers. The science behind tomorrow‘s quantum computing and communications devices is being conducted today at UCSB in what some physicists consider to be one of the world‘s top laboratories in the study of quantum physics. A team in the lab of John Martinis, UCSB professor of physics, has made a discovery that provides new understanding in the quantum realm and the findings are published this week in Physical Review Letters. 3/4/13

In Support of Rockfishes Research biologist and ichthyologist Milton Love has published “A Guide to the Rockfishes, Thornyheads, and Scorpionfishes of the Northeast Pacific.” It is an encyclopedia of the approximately 84 known species of scorpaenid fishes (rockfishes, thornyheads, and scorpionfishes), which are found predominantly on the Pacific coast of the United States. In addition, Love has lent his expertise — as well as his voice and rockfish puppet — to a short video designed to inform anglers about rockfish and barotrauma, a life-threatening condition that occurs when the fish is caught in deep water and brought to the surface so quickly that the gas in its swim bladder expands. 2/28/13

Changing Shape Makes Chemotherapy Drugs Better at Targeting Cancer Cells Bioengineering researchers have found that changing the shape of chemotherapy drug nanoparticles from spherical to rod-shaped made them up to 10,000 times more effective at specifically targeting and delivering anti-cancer drugs to breast cancer cells. Their findings could have a game-changing impact on the effectiveness of anti-cancer therapies and reducing the side effects of chemotherapy, according to the researchers. Results of their study were published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2/27/13

Scientists Develop New Way of Harvesting Energy from the Sun Using a “forest” of gold nanorods, scientists at UCSB are developing a new method of harvesting the Sun‘s energy. Though still in its infancy, the research promises to convert sunlight into energy using a process based on metals that are more robust than many of the semiconductors used in conventional methods. The researchers' findings are published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Nanotechnology. “It is the first radically new and potentially workable alternative to semiconductor-based solar conversion devices to be developed in the past 70 years or so,” said Martin Moskovits, professor of chemistry at UCSB. 2/25/13

Anthropologist Studies Cattle Ranchers in Brazilian Amazon In a new article titled “Black Hats and Smooth Hands: Elite Status, Environmentalism, and Work Among the Ranchers of Acre, Brazil,” UC Santa Barbara anthropologist Jeffrey Hoelle studies the growing cattle industry in Brazil as it relates to rubber tappers, ranchers, and other rural groups. His article, which received the Eric R. Wolf Prize from the Society for the Anthropology of Work, appeared in a recent issue of the journal Anthropology of Work Review. While much has been written about the internationally celebrated “forest guardian” rubber tappers, few researchers have tried to understand the ranchers, who, in the minds of many, remain the violent and environmentally destructive villains of Amazonia. 2/21/13

Library Receives Grant to Catalog Rare Recording Collections With a grant of nearly $240,000 from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), David Seubert, acting director of the UCSB Library's Department of Special Collections, is overseeing the process of cataloging the roughly 18,000 discs from the Edouard Pecourt and Bruce Bastin holdings, which comprise about 10 percent of the library's sound recording collection. Also to be cataloged are smaller groups, such as the Roberto Eyzaguirre set of Peruvian 78-rpms. The recordings are from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, France, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, and Spain, and date from 1900 to 1960. 2/19/13

Faculty Member Awarded Sloan Research Fellowship David Weld, an assistant professor of physics at UC Santa Barbara, is among this year's winners of Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He is one of 126 fellowship winners announced Thursday, Feb. 14, by the Sloan Foundation. The two-year fellowships are awarded to researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their fields. In the last eight years, Sloan Fellowships have been awarded to 16 UCSB faculty members. 2/15/13

Vaporizing Asteroids: A Reality? On the eve of a recent Earth fly-by courtesy of the asteroid known as 2012 DA14, physics professor Philip M. Lubin and a Cal Poly researcher unveiled their proposal for a system that could eliminate a threat of this size half as large as a football field, with energy equal to a large hydrogen bomb in an hour. The same system could destroy asteroids 10 times larger than 2012 DA14 in about a year, with evaporation starting at a distance as far away as the Sun. 2/14/13

Behavioral Therapy for Children With Autism Can Impact Brain Function Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) for before-and-after analysis, a team of researchers, including UC Santa Barbara graduate student Avery Voos, discovered positive changes in brain activity in children with autism who received a particular type of behavioral therapy. The researchers used fMRI as the tool for measuring the impact of Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) — therapy pioneered at UCSB by Lynn Koegel and Robert Koegel, directors of the Koegel Autism Center — on both lower- and higher-functioning children with autism receiving PRT for the first time. fMRI allows researchers to see what areas of the brain are active while processing certain stimuli — in this case human motion. Comparing pre- and post-therapy data from the fMRI scans of their 5-year-old subjects, the researchers saw marked — and remarkable — changes in how the children were processing the stimuli. 2/14/13

Study of Cocaine Addiction Reveals Targets for Treatment Scientists at UC Santa Barbara are researching cocaine addiction, part of a widespread problem, which, along with other addictions, costs billions of dollars in damage to individuals, families, and society. Laboratory studies at UCSB, led by Karen Szumlinski, a professor in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, have revealed that the diminished brain function and learning impairment that result from cocaine addiction can be treated — and that learning can be restored. 2/12/13

UC Santa Barbara Celebrates UCSB, UC Natural Reserve Systems Shorelines, woodlands, streams, and deserts were the stars, as UC Santa Barbara's natural reserves were highlighted at the inaugural Natural Reserve System Day. The full day of presentations and poster sessions was sponsored by the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, and featured speakers intimate with the thousands of acres that serve as outdoor classrooms and laboratories. "We're here to serve California. The main goals are to enhance teaching, research and public service of our natural lands, to support the economy and the ecosystem of the State of California by doing this work at these sites," said Patricia Holden, director of the UCSB Natural Reserve System (NRS) and a Bren School professor. 2/12/13

Migrant Children and Mental Health In an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics, demographer and migration scholar Elizabeth G. Kennedy, a doctoral candidate in geography at UCSB and San Diego State University, argues that an apparent dearth in mental health services for migrant youth is exacerbating existing problems and creating new ones — for the kids and for the country at large. Sometimes referred to as "the lost boys and girls of the Americas," the numbers of so-called "unaccompanied alien children" are growing, with nearly 14,000 arriving in 2012 alone. Studies have shown that many are not receiving the care to which they're entitled. Making a case for the benefits of early intervention, Kennedy argues that mental health services should be given greater priority to prevent a potential trickle-down effect with major implications. 2/11/13

Researcher Thanks Academy Awards 'For This Great Honor' Theodore Kim, an assistant professor of computer science at UCSB's Media Arts and Technology program, walked the red carpet at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Saturday night, when he picked up his Academy Award for Technical Achievement. Taking to the stage to accept his Oscar — a first for him and UCSB — Kim thanked the campus and its deans for their steadfast support. 2/11/13

'Competition Aversion' Does Not Keep Women Out of the Running for Top Jobs Using a short-distance race as their data source, Rodney J. Garratt and Catherine Weinberger, economists at UC Santa Barbara, are exploring some of the reasons why women comprise a mere 4 percent of the chief executive officer positions at Fortune 500 companies. Their findings appear in the current issue of the journal Economic Inquiry. Participants in Santa Barbara's State Street Mile self-select their placement in individual categories, and the researchers noted that the men's elite group often included runners who some who did not perform at the suggested elite standard pace. That wasn't the case, however, with the women's elite group. Far fewer women ran in the elite race, and none ran slower than the suggested elite standard time. If their work can be extrapolated from this competitive setting to the real labor market, the researchers say, then it suggests that there are other reasons for the underrepresentation of women in CEO positions. 2/7/13

Professor Among Winners in Competition for Audacious Ideas in Vision Research A research idea by Dennis Clegg, co-director of UC Santa Barbara's Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering, is one of 10 winning submissions from a pool of nearly 500 entries selected by the National Eye Institute for its Audacious Goals challenge. Audacious Goals is a nationwide competition for compelling, one-page ideas to advance vision science. Each winner will receive a $3,000 prize plus travel expenses to attend the NEI Audacious Goals Development Meeting, Feb. 24-26, 2013. The NEI is part of the National Institutes of Health. Clegg's proposal is for Regenerative Therapy for Retinal Disease: to treat degenerative retinal disease with an off-the-shelf tissue graft that could be implanted in the back of the eye to replace cells lost to disease. 2/7/13

Exhibition Commemorates 150th Anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation "Who Freed the Slaves? Emancipation as a Social Movement," a new exhibition in the Department of Special Collections at the UC Santa Barbara Library, highlights the long history behind the Emancipation Proclamation. The exhibition marks the 150th anniversary of this important document, and takes a look at the circumstances under which it was issued, and its impact on those who opposed and supported slavery as an institution. The co-curators are Maria Federova, a doctoral student in American history, and John Majewski, professor of history at UCSB. 2/7/13

UCSB lands in Peace Corps' Top 10 Ascending six spots over last year, UCSB now ranks number 10 among colleges and universities that send the largest number of volunteers to serve in the Peace Corps. The campus has been producing more volunteers every year, moving up in the rankings from number 16 in 2012, number 22 in 2011, and number 28 in 2010. It is the first time in nine years that UCSB has ranked in the top 10, and the 11th straight year that it has appeared in the top 25. The Peace Corps' 2013 Top Colleges rankings were released today. 2/5/13

Professor David Valentine Awarded Leopold Leadership Fellowship UC Santa Barbara geochemist David Valentine has been awarded a Leopold Leadership Fellowship — a prestigious North American program focused on communicating scientific research to a wide audience. Valentine, a professor in the Department of Earth Science, is one of 20 Leopold Leadership fellows for 2013. "I am honored to be chosen as a Leopold Fellow and I look forward to working with the Leopold Program and other fellows to better relay our scientific understanding of complex environmental issues to the public and other interested parties," Valentine said. 1/30/13

Scientists' Research into Friction Provides Insight Into Mechanics of Arthritis A new method for the early detection and monitoring of osteoarthritis may be on its way, thanks to research by UC Santa Barbara scientists from the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Department of Materials. By studying patterns of friction between cartilage pads, the researchers discovered a different type of friction that is more likely to cause wear and damage. Their work suggests ways to detect this friction, and points to new research directions for getting to the root cause of arthritis. The findings are published in the recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The research team is led by Jacob Israelachvili, professor of chemical engineering and materials science. 1/29/13

'An MBA for Engineers' After a years-long push, the 1998-launched Technology Management Program has been granted academic-unit status, and will begin offering graduate degrees as soon as 2014. The one-year master's track — UCSB's first such professional program — is described as "akin to an MBA for engineers." TMP is the entrepreneurial education initiative housed at the College of Engineering, but open to students of any major, that includes the campus's popular New Venture Competition. 1/28/13

Certificate of Excellence Awarded to UCSB Writing Program The Writing Program at UC Santa Barbara has been honored for its commitment to excellence by the Conference on College Composition and Communication. It is one of only three programs to receive the award this year. Certificates of Excellence are awarded annually to up to 20 writing programs that imaginatively address the needs of students while using best practices and effective assessment. UCSB's Writing Program was recognized for its innovative curriculum; strong support for faculty; outstanding research benefitting the field; and attention to assessment practices, both inside and outside of program courses. "It's a tremendous honor to receive the CCCC Certificate of Excellence," said Linda Adler-Kassner, director of UCSB's Writing Program. 1/24/13

New Gene Sequencer Boosts Research at UCSB New equipment at UC Santa Barbara is helping the university to do what it does best — collaborate across disciplines. In this case, biologists are working with computer scientists to understand the human genome and the effort is expected to develop into a full-fledged genomics center. The campus has acquired a new gene sequencer, the first of its kind on a UC campus, which allows university scientists to perform cutting-edge genetic research. Kenneth S. Kosik, M.D., Harriman Chair in Neuroscience Research, and co-director of the Neuroscience Research Institute, said he expects the new sequencer to open many doors. 1/23/13

Undergraduate Applications for Fall 2013 Set a Record at 76,026 UC Santa Barbara has received 76,026 applications for undergraduate admission for fall 2013. The total is 7,708 more than last year, an increase of 11.3 percent. Of the total, 62,402 applications are from prospective first-year students and 13,637 were submitted by applicants seeking to transfer to UCSB. Of particular note, freshman applications have increased significantly in engineering, biology, economics, and physics. UCSB has target enrollments of 4,300 first-year students and 1,550 transfer students for the fall. The UC system received a record 174,767 applications — 139,758 from prospective freshmen and 35,009 from transfer applicants. 1/18/13

Santa Barbara Children Learn About Nature through UCSB Program Kids in Nature is an innovative, award-winning outreach program developed at UCSB that helps underrepresented and underserved fifth-grade children in Santa Barbara connect with the natural world, engaging them in scientific and ecological experiences. The program includes seven area field trips to learn about nature, including a visit to UCSB's REEF (Research Experience and Education Facility) where touch tanks are filled with sea creatures. The UCSB undergraduate and graduate students who get involved in teaching and mentoring the children are often profoundly influenced by the experience and turn to teaching and environmental education as a result, according to Jennifer Thorsch, program director, who is also the Katherine Esau Director of UCSB's Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration. 1/17/13

Financial Aid Office Rolls Out New Edition of Award-Winning FAFSA Online Tutorial The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at UC Santa Barbara is once again offering its online tutorial, "7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA: A Student's Guide to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid." The tutorial, which received a Gold Star award from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, is designed to assist current and prospective students in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The 2013-14 edition can be found at https://www.finaid.ucsb.edu/Media/FAFSASimplification/index.html. 1/15/13

Recalling 'The Knowledge Box on the Hill' Early alumnus Harvey Schechter, class of '47, attended UCSB when it was still located in Santa Barbara's hillside Riviera neighborhood, riding his horse to campus from the Mission Canyon ranch he called home. He first enrolled before the school was incorporated into the University of California, and graduated three years after it became UC Santa Barbara. A lifetime member of the Alumni Association, longtime trustee of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation, and passionate advocate for the campus he fondly recalls as "the knowledge box on the hill," Schechter is also a devoted donor: he and his wife, Hope, will leave 80 percent of their estate to UCSB. 1/15/13

Marine Scientists Receive Multimillion-Dollar NSF Grants to Fund Long-Term Research Two research groups at UC Santa Barbara's Marine Science Institute have received multimillion-dollar, multi-year grants from the National Science Foundation to fund their continuing long-term research into the ecology of kelp forests and coral reefs. The Santa Barbara Coastal Long Term Ecological Research and the Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research programs have each received close to $1 million per year for the next four to six years — money that will fund research opportunities, supplies, and salaries for researchers and interns working at the two UCSB-affiliated ecological research sites that are part of the National Science Foundation's Long Term Ecological Research Network. 1/14/13

Oscar for UCSB Assistant Professor Theodore Kim, an assistant professor in the Media Arts and Technology Program, will receive an 2013 Academy Award for Technical Achievement, making him UCSB's first sitting faculty to earn the accolade. Kim shares the honor for work done at Cornell University with three former collaborators. The quartet designed a special effects technique that has been used in dozens of films since its 2008 introduction, including the blockbusters Avatar, Super 8, and The Amazing Spider-Man. The Academy's Technical Achievement Awards recognize a proven record of contributing significant value to the process of making motion pictures. 1/10/13

Low Extinction Rates Made California a Refuge for Diverse Plant Species The remarkable diversity of California's plant life is largely the result of low extinction rates over the past 45 million years, according to a new study conducted at UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. Although many new species have evolved in California, the rate at which plant lineages gave rise to new species has not been notably higher in California than elsewhere, according to the study, which is published in the journal Evolution. 1/9/13

'Universal' Personality Traits May Not Be Universal After All Focusing on the Tsimane, an isolated indigenous society in central Bolivia, a team of anthropologists at UC Santa Barbara have published a study that calls into question the five-factor model of personality structure that psychologists have for decades argued is a universal feature of human psychology. Their findings appear in the current issue of the American Psychological Association's Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Anthropology professor Michael Gurven and postdoctoral scholar Christopher Von Rueden discovered more evidence of a Tsimane “Big Two,” which combine elements of the traditional five factors, and may represent unique aspects of highly social, subsistence societies. 1/8/13

Four Professors Elected Fellows of Ecological Society of America Four professors at UC Santa Barbara have been elected Fellows of the Ecological Society of America for 2012. They are among a total of 121 ecologists named as Fellows in the society's first cohort of Fellows, and one of two new Fellows programs. The UCSB Fellows are Joseph Connell, emeritus professor in the Department of Ecology Evolution and Marine Biology (EEMB); William Murdoch, emeritus professor of EEMB; Jim Reichman, emeritus professor of EEMB and former director of UCSB's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis; and David Tilman, professor with UCSB's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. 1/8/13

Scientists Perform Pioneering Research on Type 2 Diabetes UCSB scientists have published groundbreaking results of a study of Type 2 diabetes that point to changes in cellular metabolism as the triggering factor for the disease, rather than genetic predisposition. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which blood sugar or glucose levels are high. It affects a large and growing segment of the human population, especially among the obese. The team of scientists expects the discovery to become a basis for efforts to prevent and cure this disease. 1/4/13

Jellyfish Experts Show Blooms Are a Consequence of Periodic Global Oscillations A new international study suggests that there is no robust evidence for proof of a global increase in jellyfish over the past two centuries. The study was conducted at UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis. The results of the study, led by Rob Condon, marine scientist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) in Alabama, appear in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The study's co-authors are experts from the Global Jellyfish Group, a consortium of approximately 30 researchers of gelatinous organisms, climatology, oceanography, time-series analyses, and socioeconomics from around the globe. 1/2/13

UC Santa Barbara Ranked Among Best Values in Public Universities UCSB has moved up three spots in Kiplinger's Personal Finance 2012-13 list of 100 best values in public colleges and universities. The annual ranking cites four-year schools that combine outstanding education with economic value. UCSB is ranked number 14, a jump from number 17 in last year's rankings. Other UC campuses in the top 25 include UCLA at number 6; UC Berkeley at number 8; UC San Diego at number 10; UC Irvine at number 17; and UC Davis at number 23. “We are very pleased to once again receive national recognition — and confirmation — of the exceptional value of a UC Santa Barbara education,” said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. 1/2/13

Faculty Member Bring Relief to Refugees in Chad The Chad Relief Foundation (CRF), a non-profit organization with roots in UC Santa Barbara's Masters in Global and International Studies program, has completed its 15th humanitarian project in south Chad. Since its founding in 2007 by UCSB faculty member Richard Appelbaum and former faculty member William Felstiner, CRF has improved the lives of tens of thousands of refugees who have crossed the borders from the war-torn Central African Republic. 12/20/12

Researcher to Study Cognition in Wild Birds Corina Logan, a junior research fellow at UC Santa Barbara's SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind, has received a National Geographic Society/Waitt Grant to study the cognitive abilities of the great-tailed grackle. The grant will allow her to set up a field site in Santa Barbara, which is home to about 100 or so birds from this particular species. According to Logan, grackles constitute the second-most innovative group of birds, despite their diminutive brain size. "Grackles have many different ways of finding food, more than would be expected for their relatively small brain size," she explained. "I will investigate how they solve their foraging problems by testing their knowledge of their physical and social world." 12/18/12

'UCSB Reads' Picks 'Moonwalking With Einstein' The UC Santa Barbara Library has chosen "Moonwalking With Einstein — The Art and Science of Remembering Everything" by Joshua Foer as this year's selection for UCSB Reads. In the book, Foer recounts his yearlong odyssey preparing for a USA Memory Championship in Manhattan. 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 variety of UCSB Reads events, including faculty panels, book discussions, film screenings, and exhibits, will take place throughout the quarter, both on campus and at local public libraries and partner sites. These will culminate in a free public talk by the author on March 4 in UCSB's Campbell Hall. 12/17/12

UCSB Scientist Involved in Environmental Mapping of Great Lakes A comprehensive map three years in the making is telling the story of humans' impact on the Great Lakes, identifying how "environmental stressors" stretching from Minnesota to Ontario are shaping the future of an ecosystem that contains 20 percent of the world's fresh water. Ben Halpern, a researcher with UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, was a co-principal investigator in the expansive and detailed effort to map and cross-compare environmental stresses and the ecological services provided by the five lakes. 12/17/12

Physicists Make Strides in Understanding Quantum Entanglement Theoretical physicists at UCSB's Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics have made important strides in studying a concept in quantum physics called quantum entanglement, in which electron spins are entangled with each other. Using computers to calculate the extreme version of quantum entanglement — how the spin of every electron in certain electronic materials could be entangled with another electron's spin — the research team found a way to predict this characteristic. Future applications of the research are expected to benefit fields such as information technology. 12/14/12

Communication Course Studies Effects of Chronic Uncertainty on Undocumented Immigrants In a fall quarter senior capstone course taught by communication professor Walid Afifi, a group of 15 UC Santa Barbara students had the rare opportunity to study the impact of chronic uncertainty on the wellbeing of undocumented immigrants in the Santa Barbara area. Through a series of focus groups, the students learned firsthand the ways in which members of this particular community deal with the challenges of daily life while the ever-present threat of deportation looms over them. As part of the course — but separate from the focus groups — the students also participated in events designed to serve the undocumented community in Santa Barbara County. 12/13/12

Students, Alumni Bring Music and Mentorship to Local Schools Just above the happy clamor of children's voices, there rises the lilt of a ukulele. The notes float in fits and starts, bubbles of whimsy breaking the surface. A music lesson is under way. Selena Ross, a second-year student at UC Santa Barbara, is sharing her instrument and her expertise with Jasmine, an Isla Vista Elementary pupil and participant in the afterschool program that brought the pair together. Ross is mentoring Jasmine in music — and tutoring her in math — as a volunteer for a campus-based student organization and nonprofit called The MUSIC Club. More commonly known by its acronym than its full name — Musicians United in Supplemental Instruction for Children — the club, which is run by a UCSB alumnus, sends music-inclined college students into elementary schools, providing homework help and instrument instruction for underprivileged youth. 12/12/12

International Physics Awards Joseph Polchinski, a permanent member of UC Santa Barbara's Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics and professor of physics at UCSB, has been named one of three recipients of the 2013 Physics Frontier Prize from the Milner Foundation. With the award, Polchinski becomes a nominee for the foundation's $3 million Fundamental Physics Prize. Frontier Prize laureates who do not win the Fundamental Physics Prize receive an award of $300,000. Also honored by the Milner Foundation is Joseph Incandela, professor of physics at UCSB and spokesman for the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Europe. He will share a special $3 million Fundamental Physics Prize with six scientists who are being recognized for their leadership role in the scientific endeavor that led to the discovery of the new Higgs-like particle by the CMS and ATLAS collaboration at the LHC. 12/11/12

Book by English Scholar to Receive Prestigious MLA Award Stephanie L. Batiste, associate professor of English and Black Studies at UC Santa Barbara, will receive the Modern Language Association's William Sanders Scarborough Prize for her book, "Darkening Mirrors: Imperial Representation in Depression-Era African American Performance" (Duke University Press, 2011). In its citation, the selection committee described Batiste's work as "richly textured and finely nuanced," adding that it "brings intellectual energy to the well-worked period of the 1930's. She persuades that seemingly nation-focused Depression-era texts reference a wider international world... Batiste has produced a theoretically sophisticated and beautifully-written reading of race in United States literary and cultural production." 12/6/12

Invasive Grass Fuels Fire Activity in the West An invasive grass species may be one reason fires are bigger and more frequent in certain regions of the western United States, according to a team of researchers that includes scientists from UC Santa Barbara. The researchers used satellite imagery to identify cheatgrass, a plant species accidentally introduced by settlers in the west during the 1800's, in a disproportionately high number of fires in the Great Basin, a 600,000-square-kilometer arid area of the west that includes large sections of Nevada, as well as parts of Utah, Colorado, Idaho, California, and Oregon. Carla D'Antonio, Schuyler Professor of Environmental Studies at UCSB, is one of the study's co-authors. 12/5/12

Vice Chancellor Contributes to Report That Calls for Renewed Focus on Basic Research to Sustain Innovation While American ingenuity and commercial vibrancy lead the world, the U.S. position could be eclipsed if the country does not renew its focus on basic research to sustain innovation and create jobs, according to a new report to President Obama by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Michael Witherell, vice chancellor of research at UCSB contributed to the report as a member of the working group charged with creating the report. 12/4/12

Expert in Financial Math Named to Treasury Department Advisory Committee Jean-Pierre Fouque, professor of statistics and applied probability at UC Santa Barbara and director of the campus's Center for Research in Financial Mathematics and Statistics, has been appointed to an advisory committee of the U.S. treasury department's Office of Financial Research. The 30-member committee includes two Nobel laureates in economics; leaders in the business and non-profit sectors; and prominent researchers from major universities and think tanks, including UC Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, London School of Economics, Columbia University, and the Brookings Institution. 12/3/12

Scientists Receive $1.6 Million from DOE to Develop New Hybrid Technology Scientists at UCSB have received $1.6 million from DOE's agency ARPA-E to develop the technology to power an electric hybrid vehicle that charges in only a couple of minutes instead of hours. The energy storage device in this new vehicle would conceivably last longer than the life of the car. This idea started in the lab of Galen Stucky, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and is being developed with UCSB's Institute for Energy Efficiency. David Auston, Institute director, said: "This ARPA-E award will fund research to develop a new electro-chemical energy storage device that combines the best features of batteries and capacitors and thereby can have a transformative impact on hybrid electric vehicles. It will have higher power capacity, faster charging times, and longer lifetime than lithium ion batteries." 11/29/12

Eight Distinguished Faculty Members Named AAAS Fellows Eight UC Santa Barbara faculty members 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 is the third consecutive year that eight UCSB faculty members have been named AAAS Fellows. "I am honored and delighted to join with our campus community in congratulating our eight faculty colleagues on their election this year as AAAS Fellows," said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. 11/29/12

New Foundation Trustees Seven new trustees have been elected to the board of The UC Santa Barbara Foundation, an advisory committee that links the university to the community and supports the campus in efforts to raise its profile — and raise private funds. As they encourage private gifts and identify and cultivate potential donors, trustees build interest and support for the campus and communicate to the public an informed understanding of UC Santa Barbara's mission. 11/29/12

Computer Science, Education Scholars to Develop Curriculum for Elementary School Students Computer science instruction at the K-12 level is ad-hoc, and often focuses on how to use computer software, rather than how to create or adapt it. With a grant of nearly $600,000 from the National Science Foundation, two professors at UC Santa Barbara, Danielle Harlow and Diana Franklin, hope to change that by developing computer science curricula geared toward children in grades two through six. The researchers will be working with students and teachers at Peabody and McKinley Elementary Schools in Santa Barbara, and with schools in the Rio School District in Oxnard. 11/28/12

How Climate Change Can Affect Forest Ecosystems Small forests of Bishop pine trees on Santa Cruz Island are influenced by the "fog drip" that occurs when low stratus clouds, or fog, cover the forests. Mariah S. Carbone, a postdoctoral fellow with UCSB's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, and her colleagues studied the importance of fog in keeping the entire forest ecosystem alive. The study illustrates the importance of clouds in climate change. "When people think about climate change, they're often thinking about temperature and precipitation," said Carbone. "When you think about precipitation, it's rain and snow, depending on where you are. What this study showed is that you can have really important water inputs coming from clouds that influence the carbon cycle." 11/28/12

Evaluating 'Invaluable Trees' Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook, an associate professor of English at UCSB, co-edited and wrote an essay for the new compilation, "Invaluable trees: cultures of nature, 1660–1830," an exploration of how and why trees, forests, and wood mattered in the time period known as "the long eighteenth century." With contributions from historians of literature, art, and science, Cook and her co-editors are aiming to illuminate the relationship between people and trees in an era of "unimaginable dependence" of human beings on wood as a resource. Such examination is reflective of UCSB's Literature & the Environment research cluster, of which Cook is a part. 11/27/12

To Get the Best Look at a Person's Face, Look Just Below the Eyes They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. However, to get a real idea of what a person is up to, according to UC Santa Barbara researchers Miguel Eckstein and Matt Peterson, the best place to check is right below the eyes. Their findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Using an eye tracker and more than 100 photos of faces and participants, Eckstein, professor of psychology in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, and graduate research assistant Peterson followed the gaze of the experiment's participants to determine where they look in the first crucial moment of identifying a person's identity, gender, and emotional state. 11/26/12

Anthropologist Studies Reciprocity Among Chimpanzees and Bonobos When your neighbor asks to borrow a cup of sugar and you readily comply, is your positive response a function of the give and take that characterize your longstanding relationship? Or does it represent payment — or prepayment — for the cup of sugar you borrowed last week, or may need to borrow a month from now? Adrian Jaeggi, a postdoctoral researcher in anthropology at UC Santa Barbara, and a junior research fellow at the campus's SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind, is studying this question of reciprocity, using chimpanzees and bonobos as his test subjects. His findings appear in the current online issue of the journal Evolution & Human Behavior. 11/20/12

Nanotech Device Mimics Dog's Nose to Detect Explosives Portable, accurate, and highly sensitive devices that sniff out vapors from explosives and other substances could become as commonplace as smoke detectors in public places, thanks to researchers at UC Santa Barbara. Led by professors Carl Meinhart of mechanical engineering and Martin Moskovits of chemistry, researchers have designed a detector that uses microfluidic nanotechnology to mimic the biological mechanism behind canine scent receptors. The device is both highly sensitive to trace amounts of certain vapor molecules, and able to tell a specific substance apart from similar molecules. 11/20/12

EPA Partners With UCSB in Pledge to Reduce Food Waste UC Santa Barbara is one of 59 colleges and universities nationwide participating in the EPA's Food Recovery Challenge as part of America Recycles Day 2012. The Food Recovery Challenge is a voluntary program that aims to limit the 34 million tons of food wasted nationwide annually by reducing unnecessary consumption and increasing donations to charity and composting. By participating, UCSB and the other schools pledge to reduce food waste by 5 percent in one year. UCSB already diverts 90 percent of its food waste. 11/15/12

Dark Matter Detector Installed Underground and Submerged An experiment to look for one of nature's most elusive subatomic particles is finally under water, in a stainless steel tank nearly a mile underground, and a UC Santa Barbara physicist is among the scientists participating in the project. The Large Underground Xenon experiment, nicknamed LUX, will be the most sensitive device yet to look for dark matter. Thought to comprise more than 80 percent of the mass of the universe, dark matter has so far eluded direct detection. UCSB's Harry Nelson — who helped design, build, and fill the sophisticated water tank that now holds the experiment — says LUX could help solve a vexing mystery. "The nature of the dark matter is one of the top three open questions in particle physics," Nelson said. 11/15/12

Communication Department Ranks Second in Faculty Citations In a recent study of the combined number of citations to academic articles written by faculty members, UC Santa Barbara's Department of Communication ranked second out of 60 departments in universities across the country that offer doctoral degrees in communication. Taking data from the Web of Knowledge, an online academic citation service provided by Thomson Reuters, the study, titled "Evaluating doctoral programs in communication based on citations," ranks UCSB second only to University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication in the number of citations per publication for each faculty member. 11/14/12

UCSB Brings New Type of Science Education to Local Schools SciTrek, a new type of science education started by Norbert Reich, a professor with UCSB's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is helping to teach local school children the scientific process. The program began with the assistance of MaryAnn Wright, a second grade teacher at La Patera School in Goleta in 2010. Soon Darby Feldwinn, a UCSB lecturer in education and chemistry, began overseeing the program which is now established in 20 area schools. The program is not about teaching children to become scientists, explained Reich, but rather about educating all children in the scientific process. Teams of UCSB students go into the classrooms and help the children with all of the steps involved in creating scientific experiments and developing poster presentations to explain their work. 11/14/12

Private Giving to UCSB Reaches a Record $112 Million in 2011-12 Following its most exceptional year ever in 2011-12, the Campaign for UC Santa Barbara — a long-range fund-raising push with a $1-billion goal — is now nearly three-quarters of the way to its target. Due in part to a single extraordinary $50-million gift, total donations to UCSB reached $112 million in fiscal year 2012. The Campaign for UC Santa Barbara now stands at $745 million, and has attracted close to 60,000 new donors to the university since it first launched. The campaign is led by co-chairs Jeff Henley and Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, with Academy Award-winning alumnus Michael Douglas serving as honorary chair. 11/13/12

Financial Aid Assistance Offered to Students Affected by Hurricane Sandy The UC Santa Barbara Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, in partnership with the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association, is offering special financial aid assistance to students whose families were affected by Hurricane Sandy. Financial Aid Director Michael Miller has written to undergraduate students who live in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, informing them that he will review financial aid eligibility for families who have suffered a loss. If it is determined that their eligibility has changed as a result of the hurricane, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will provide students with assistance from the special financial emergencies scholarship fund established by the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association. 11/9/12

UCSB, Santa Barbara Museum of Art Collaborate on Exhibition From humble beginnings in an undergraduate art history seminar at UC Santa Barbara, a small exhibition of 17th-century Chinese paintings blossomed into a collaboration between UCSB and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art that showcases nearly 60 paintings drawn from private and public collections, including the National Palace Museum in Taiwan. "The Artful Recluse: Paintings, Poetry, and Politics in 17th-Century China" features works from a period that spans the late Ming and the early Qing dynasties — one of the great epic eras for Chinese art, and Chinese painting in particular. It is on display at the museum through January 20, after which it will travel to the Asia Society in New York City. 11/7/12

Intertidal Network Receives National Conservation Award Since 1997, the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network — or MARINe — has been helping scientists and others understand those narrow ecological ribbons where land and sea meet at the coastline. The intertidal shores are home to unique plant and animal communities that have adapted to alternating exposure to water and air. The Department of the Interior has presented a 2012 Partners in Conservation Award to MARINe. Jack Engle, an associate research scientist at UC Santa Barbara's Marine Science Institute and coordinator of the MARINe program, accepted the award during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. 11/7/12

10 UCSB Faculty Members Named Fellows of American Mathematical Society Ten members of UC Santa Barbara's faculty have been named to the inaugural class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society (AMS). According to the AMS, the distinction recognizes members of the society "who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics." There are 1,119 Fellows in the inaugural class from more than 600 institutions. 11/6/12

Feminist Studies Scholar Wins National Book Prize Eileen Boris, Hull Professor and chair of feminist studies at UC Santa Barbara, is the recipient of the 2012 Sara A. Whaley Prize for her book, "Caring for America: Home Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare State." Presented by the National Women's Studies Association, the Whaley Prize recognizes outstanding work that addresses women and labor. It is named for Sara A. Whaley, who, in the 1970's, owned Rush Publishing — one of the first publishing companies to focus on feminist studies — and served as editor of its scholarly journal Women's Studies Abstracts. Co-authored with Jennifer Klein, a professor of history at Yale University, "Caring for America" presents a narrative history of home health care — highlighting issues related to social policy — that covers the period from the Great Depression to present day. 11/6/12

Scientists Report 'New Beginning' in Split-Brain Research UCSB has reported an important discovery in the interdisciplinary study of split-brain research. The findings uncover dynamic changes in brain coordination patterns between left and right hemispheres. The new study shows that healthy test subjects respond less accurately when information is shown only to the right brain. The findings rely on extremely sensitive neuroscience equipment and analysis techniques from network science, a fast-growing field that draws on insights from sociology, mathematics, and physics to understand complex systems composed of many interacting parts. 11/1/12

Scientists Learn How to Unlock the Destiny of a Cell Scientists have discovered that breaking a biological signaling system in an embryo allows them to change the destiny of a cell. The findings could lead to new ways of making replacement organs. The discovery was made in the laboratory of Joel H. Rothman, a professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at UC Santa Barbara. The studies were reported in the interdisciplinary journal Genes and Development, and were carried out by Ph.D student Nareg Djabrayan, in collaboration with Rothman and two other members of the laboratory, Ph.D student Erica Sommermann and postdoctoral fellow Nathaniel Dudley. 10/31/12

NSF Grant to Fund Teacher Credential Candidates in the Physical Sciences A team of researchers at UC Santa Barbara has received a $1.19 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish CalTeach: Physical Sciences and Engineering (CTPSE). CTPSE seeks to encourage UCSB undergraduate students in the physical sciences and engineering to consider teaching as a career path, thereby helping to alleviate the state's anticipated need for more than 30,000 new math and science teachers over the next 10 years. The principal investigators include Julie Bianchini, a professor of education; Sandra Seale, project specialist and education and outreach coordinator for the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation program; Deborah Fygenson, associate professor of physics; Susannah Scott, professor of chemical engineering and of chemistry and biochemistry; and Michael Gordon, assistant professor of chemical engineering. 10/31/12

Examining Ecological Tipping Points A new research effort led by UCSB scientists will study ecological tipping points, such as overfishing and climate change, and their potential trickle-down effects on species and ecosystems. The goal: to devise a set of early warning indicators and management tools that may help to predict, even prevent, threatened systems from falling off the precipice. The NCEAS-based team and research partners have been awarded $3.1 million to pursue the project. 10/30/12

Lady Ridley-Tree Named Honorary Alumna Prominent Santa Barbara philanthropist Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, co-chair of the Campaign for UC Santa Barbara, and a trustee of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation, has been named an honorary alumna of UCSB. She is only the 50th individual to be so lauded since the school's 1944 establishment as a University of California campus. Lady Ridley-Tree's longtime generosity to UCSB includes endowed scholarships, as well as support of Arts & Lectures and the Department of Music. 10/29/12

Stem Cell Research at UCSB Soars with New Lab Space Biomedical research at UC Santa Barbara has catapulted to a position of leadership in the arena of stem cell biology, offering progress toward cures for vision diseases such as macular degeneration. Campus leaders, dignitaries, scientists, and engineers gathered at UCSB to celebrate the completion of a dream: 10,000 square feet of renovated laboratory space devoted to stem cell research. This was the grand opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting in celebration of UCSB's Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering, part of the Neuroscience Research Institute. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine contributed to the renovation with a $3.2 million grant that was matched by $3.2 million from UCSB. The top-flight new laboratories are a magnet for attracting new talent. 10/29/12

Two Faculty Members Receive National Communication Awards Two UCSB faculty members will receive prestigious awards from the National Communication Association at its 98th annual convention to be held in Orlando, Fla., in November. The 2012 Samuel L. Becker Distinguished Service Award, presented to a person who is judged to have made the greatest contribution to the association and the profession during his or her career, goes to Linda L. Putnam, professor and chair of the Department of Communication. The 2012 Gerald M. Phillips Award for Distinguished Applied Communication will be presented to Howard Giles, professor in the Department of Communication, for his theoretically driven and cross-cultural research on communication accommodation, police-citizen interaction, and intergenerational communication. 10/25/12

Researchers to Examine Urban Transitions, Land Change in Ghana Hoping to illuminate the driving force behind rapid land change and urban transition in developing African countries, a research team that includes UC Santa Barbara geographers has launched a study of demographic and agricultural shifts in Ghana. Researchers from San Diego State University, UCSB, George Washington University, and the University of Ghana are part of the collaborative effort with a three-year timeline. The project, "The Urban Transition in Ghana and Its Relation to Land Cover and Land Use Change Through Analysis of Multi-scale and Multi-temporal Satellite Image Data," has netted a $993,000 grant from NASA's Interdisciplinary Research in Earth Science program. 10/24/12

Journalist Hector Tobar to Receive Luis Leal Literature Award Novelist and Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times journalist Hector Tobar is the recipient of UC Santa Barbara's 2012 Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature. The award will be presented at a ceremony at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, October 31, in the McCune Conference Room, 6020 Humanities and Social Sciences Building at UCSB. The event is free and open to the public. Tobar, a reporter, columnist, and book reviewer for the L.A. Times, is the author of two highly acclaimed novels — "The Barbarian Nurseries" and "The Tattooed Soldier." 10/24/12

Scientists Retrieve Ocean Acidification Data from Antarctic Waters A research team led by a scientist from UC Santa Barbara has retrieved data from a sensor in Antarctic waters that survived the harsh polar winter. The information it gathered will provide critical baseline data on the changes in chemistry, or acidification, of those remote seas. A team of graduate and undergraduate students and a postdoctoral fellow — led by Gretchen Hofmann, professor of ecology, evolution, and marine biology — retrieved the sensor intact earlier this month near McMurdo Station, the National Science Foundation's logistics hub in Antarctica. The acidification of the oceans is a global concern to scientists, as increasing amounts of atmospheric carbon find their way into the seas, changing the water chemistry. 10/23/12

UCSB Physicist Receives Prestigious Packard Fellowship Award Without a laboratory — using only a blackboard, computer, and his powerful intellect — a young theoretical physicist at UC Santa Barbara is quickly racking up national and international awards honoring his research in quantum physics. Although Cenke Xu works in an abstract realm, his research may have far-reaching practical applications. An assistant professor in the Department of Physics, Xu has emerged on the national and international stage with his pursuit of new states of matter. This month, he was awarded the coveted Packard Fellowship — one of only 16 scientific researchers from across the country to receive this distinction. He will receive an unrestricted research grant of $875,000 over five years. 10/22/12

Achieve UC, Higher Education Week Encourage Students to Follow Their Dreams UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry T. Yang addressed an audience of more than 700 students who gathered at Dos Pueblos High School for Achieve UC, a University of California initiative designed to show students across the state that higher education is within their reach. While UC Achieve focused attention on the UC, a Higher Education Week event at Santa Barbara High School highlighted the full range of higher education opportunities. Approximately 250 seniors were on hand to meet with representatives from UC, Cal State, and community college systems, as well as from private colleges and universities. 10/18/12

Literary Scholar Receives PEN Center USA Award for Translation Suzanne Jill Levine, professor of Latin American literature and translation studies at UC Santa Barbara, will receive the renowned PEN Center USA 2012 Literary Award for Translation for "The Lizard's Tale: A Novel." The award will be presented on October 22 in a ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Originally written — but not completely finished — by Chilean novelist José Donoso, the novel was published posthumously, in Spanish, in 2007. Last year, Northwestern University Press put out the first English-language edition of the book, which was translated by Levine. 10/18/12

Students Swarm Campus Career Fair Some 1,000 students were expected to attend UC Santa Barbara's Fall Career Fair. For the first time in several years, the annual effort of UCSB Career Services is a two-day affair — a byproduct of the growing number of employers asking to participate. Recruiters from 91 companies, including Facebook, Pepsico, Microsoft, and Intel, came to campus hoping to initiate connections that may lead to job offers down the line. 10/16/12

UCSB Hopes Central Coast Sustainability Summit Will Produce 'Action Plan' After bringing together people from sustainability organizations throughout the Santa Barbara area a year ago, UC Santa Barbara sustainability leaders are raising the bar this year for a second Central Coast Sustainability Summit. The summit, to be held October 25, 2012, at UCSB's Loma Pelona Conference Center, will gather representatives from area governments, community organizations, and schools to create action plans that will focus on renewable energy and product stewardship. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 10/16/12

$5 Million Gift from Amgen Founder Funds New Biomedical Initiatives An elite research team at UCSB aims to advance its novel, bioengineering-based therapies for ocular disease out of the lab and into the clinic, thanks to a $5-million gift from Bill Bowes, philanthropist, venture capitalist, and founder of biotechnology giant Amgen. Bowes' pledge also launches EMBODI, a new effort to unite UCSB's myriad biomedical forces under a common goal: to espouse their collective strides to a wider audience. 10/16/12

New Center Aims to Help Shift Chemical Industry Toward Sustainability Plastic in its myriad forms does not have to be manufactured from petroleum products, according to scientists from UC Santa Barbara and three other universities. The team is working to shift the chemical industry toward sustainability and has created a new center, funded by the National Science foundation. The group will focus on finding renewable chemical "feedstocks" as the basis for producing consumer and industrial goods essential to modern society. The scientists have targeted carbon dioxide, as well as plants and wood, from which to develop these new chemical feedstocks. 10/15/12

Anthropologists Find Access to Contraceptives Doesn't Necessarily Mean Smaller Families Anthropologists at UC Santa Barbara have found that for the Tsimane, an indigenous group of forager-horticulturalists who live in the lowlands of Bolivia's Amazon basin, access to education and contraceptives does not necessarily lead to declines in fertility, even among individuals who claim they want fewer children. Their research appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Human Biology. Co-authors Lisa McAllister, a doctoral student in integrative anthropological sciences, and Michael Gurven, professor of anthropology and director of the campus's Integrative Anthropological Sciences Unit and the Broom Center for Demography's Biodemography and Evolution Unit, suggest the disparity has a basis in human capital theory. 10/11/12

Early Academic Outreach Presents Higher Education Week The Early Academic Outreach Program at UC Santa Barbara will hold its fall Higher Education Week, a four-day event beginning October 16. Representatives from universities, colleges, and other institutions of higher education will visit high school campuses in the Santa Maria, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Oxnard, and Fillmore school districts to meet with high school seniors to discuss post-secondary education opportunities. In all, more than 4,000 high school seniors will engage representatives from the UC, Cal State, and Community College systems, as well as from private colleges and universities. 10/11/12

UCSB to Commemorate Passage of Title IX With Two-Week Celebration In honor of the 40th anniversary of Title IX, UC Santa Barbara is hosting "Thank You, Title IX — Celebrating 40 Years of Gender Equity Progress at UCSB," a two-week celebration designed to highlight the legislation that has proved to be one of the most significant civil rights laws for women in American history. The celebration begins on Monday, October 15, with a panel discussion titled "40 Years and Counting: Where Are We and Title IX Today?" The discussion will take place at 5:15 p.m. in the McCune Conference Room, 6020 Humanities and Social Sciences Building. More information about the celebration, including a complete schedule of events and locations, is available at http://www.diversity.evc.ucsb.edu. 10/9/12

UCSB Ranked No. 35 in World University Rankings UC Santa Barbara has been ranked number 35 on a list of the world's top 200 universities released today by Times Higher Education, a British periodical. Among U.S. universities, UCSB is ranked number 23. In addition, of the top 50 universities offering degrees in engineering and technology, UCSB is ranked number 17. 10/3/12

UCSB Receives Grant to Study Ocean Acidification UC Santa Barbara is part of a West Coast network of researchers that has received a grant of nearly $1.1 million from the National Science Foundation to analyze the ecological and biological response to ocean acidification in the California Current System. With increasing levels of carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere and moving into marine systems, the world's oceans are becoming more acidic. "The big question is whether species will be able to adapt to future levels of ocean acidification," said Gretchen Hofmann, a marine biologist and professor in UCSB's Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology. 9/28/12

Bioengineers Design Rapid Diagnostic Tests Inspired by Nature By mimicking nature's own sensing mechanisms, bioengineers at UCSB and University of Rome Tor Vergata have designed inexpensive medical diagnostic tests that take only a few minutes to perform. Their findings may aid efforts to build point-of-care devices for quick medical diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases, allergies, autoimmune diseases, and a number of other diseases. The new technology could dramatically impact world health, according to the research team. 9/27/12

Scientists Find New Clues to Sustainability of Fish Populations Thanks to studies of a fish that gives birth to live young and is not fished commercially, scientists at UC Santa Barbara have discovered that food availability is a critical limiting factor in the health of fish populations. They discovered that the availability of enough food can drive up to a 10-fold increase in the per capita birthrate of fish. And, with adequate food, the young are up to 10 times more likely to survive than those without it. The scientists based their findings on a remarkable set of black surfperch population data — collected from 1993 to 2008. 9/27/12

Evolutionary Psychologists Study Purpose of Punishment and Reputation For two decades, evolutionary scientists have been locked in a debate over the evolved functions of three distinctive human behaviors: our readiness to cooperate with new people, our interest in tracking others' reputations in terms of how well they treat others, and the occasional interest we have in punishing people for selfishly mistreating others. In an article published today in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers at UC Santa Barbara's Center for Evolutionary Psychology examine two prominent theories, and report new findings that may help settle the debate and provide answers to the behavioral puzzle. 9/26/12

Raising the Bar for Faculty Philanthropy Putting a capstone on the novel endowment initiative they created for UC Santa Barbara, Emeritus Professor Duncan Mellichamp and his wife, Suzanne, have established a third cluster of four faculty chairs at the coastal campus. The clustered Mellichamp Academic Initiative Professorships now number 12, giving UCSB a total of 13 Mellichamp chairs. Starting with establishment of the first cluster in 2003, the couple to date has made contributions totaling $6 million to support the chairs meant for outstanding mid-career faculty. Together these comprise the largest gift ever by a UCSB faculty member. 9/26/12

New Fuel Cell Technology Generates Electricity on Campus UC Santa Barbara is now host to a unique new energy system that is providing electricity as part of the university's commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability. "Developing next-generation materials and technologies that will power our future is a point of pride for UCSB, and the partnership with Southern California Edison and Bloom Energy to install a 200-kilowatt fuel cell on campus provides an opportunity to evaluate an emerging power generation technology," said David McHale, associate director of Utility and Energy Services in Facilities Management. 9/19/12

Using A Laser to 'See' the Smallest World A multi-university team has employed a high-powered laser at UCSB to dramatically improve one of the tools scientists use to study the world at the atomic level. The team used their amped-up electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometer to study the electron spin of free radicals and nitrogen atoms trapped inside a diamond. Mark Sherwin, professor of physics and director of the Institute for Terahertz Science and Technology at UCSB said: "With Free Electron Laser-powered EPR, we have shattered the electromagnetic bottleneck that EPR has faced, enabling electrons to report on faster motions occurring over longer distances than ever before." 9/19/12

Psychologist Studies Effects of Diagram Orientation on Comprehension The orientation of a diagram on the page of a textbook can have a significant impact on a reader's ability to comprehend the information, according to a team of researchers at UC Santa Barbara, Vanderbilt University, and Western Carolina University. Their findings appear in a recent issue of the journal Bioscience. Focusing on variously formatted cladograms — also known as phylogenetic trees — the researchers found that two diagrams may contain the same information, but they aren't necessarily equivalent in terms of how the information is interpreted. "The important point in this research, however, is that how efficiently a student comprehends the information presented in the phylogenetic tree depends on how the tree is angled.," said Andrew T. Stull, a researcher in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at UCSB and an author of the paper. 9/18/12

Physicists Makes Discovery About Temperature in Convection A UC Santa Barbara professor is part of an international team of physicists working to ascertain more about the fundamental physical laws that are at work in a process known as convection, which occurs in a boiling pot of water as well as in the turbulent movement of the liquid outer core of the Earth. The team, led by UCSB's Guenter Ahlers, specified the way that the temperature of a gas or liquid varies with the distance from a heat source during convection. The research is expected to eventually help engineers with applications such as the design of cooling systems, including those in nuclear power plants. 9/17/12

How Fast Can Glaciers Respond to Climate Change? A new Arctic study is helping to unravel an important mystery surrounding climate change: how quickly glaciers can melt and grow in response to shifts in temperature. Dylan Rood, a researcher with UCSB's Earth Research Institute was part of the team that made the discovery. "In the past five years or so, important advances in the ultra-sensitive and high precision measurement of cosmogenic isotopes have revolutionized Earth scientists' ability to image how ice sheets and glaciers have responded to past climate change," said Rood. 9/13/12

UCSB Ranked Among Country's Top 10 Public Universities U.S. News & World Report has ranked UC Santa Barbara number 10 in its annual listing of the "Top 30 Public National Universities" in the country, and number 41 on its list of the "Best National Universities." The undergraduate program in UCSB's College of Engineering is ranked number 39 on the U.S. News & World Report list of "Best Programs at Engineering Schools Whose Highest Degree is a Doctorate." Among engineering schools at public universities, only 18 are ranked higher than UCSB's College of Engineering. Last year, that number was 21. 9/12/12

Two UCSB Professors Receive National Chemistry Awards Peter C. Ford, left, professor in UCSB's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Craig J. Hawker, also a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, professor of materials, and director of the Materials Research Laboratory, have been named among the 64 award winners from across the country of the American Chemical Society's 2013 national awards for professional advancement. Ford is the recipient of the ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry and Hawker is the recipient of the ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry. 9/11/12

UCSB Is a Leader in 2012 Graduates Selected by Teach for America In the annual ranking of colleges and universities contributing the greatest number of graduates to its teaching corps, Teach for America ranked UC Santa Barbara at number 20. Thirty-five UCSB graduates have been selected this year to work as beginning teachers in public schools in low-income communities across the country. Teach for America corps members are top college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools, and become lifelong leaders in the pursuit of educational opportunities for all students. 9/10/12

Fund Supports Interfaith and Cross-Cultural Programs The University Religious Conference (URC) of Santa Barbara dissolved in 2011 after more than 50 years of interfaith service and support to UCSB students. The organization may be gone, but its legacy lives on. The URC's familiar building in Isla Vista was sold to the Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative, which is now renovating the site into an interfaith residence — named Thomas Merton House for the Catholic author and interfaith activist — for 18 students. The unique sale arrangement sees the UCSB Foundation receiving mortgage payments that are in turn being gifted to students and campus interfaith programs through the new URC Interfaith Fund. The co-op also will see some of its money returned, earmarked for educational, cultural, and social programs to explore and promote interfaith understanding and social justice. 9/6/12

UCSB Receives $175,000 Grant for Seminar on Comparative Study of Cultures The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $175,000 grant to UC Santa Barbara in support of a Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures entitled "Sea Change: Integrating the Historical Study of Human Cultures and Marine Environments in Three Pacific Regions." The Sawyer Seminars program supports comparative research on the historical and cultural sources of contemporary developments. The program funds seminars that bring together faculty, visiting scholars, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students from the humanities, social sciences, and related fields. 9/5/12

Washington Monthly Ranks UCSB Among Top U.S. Universities UC Santa Barbara has been ranked number 14 on a list of the Top 30 National Universities, released by Washington Monthly magazine in its September/October issue. While U.S. News & World Report usually awards its highest ratings to private universities, the editors of Washington Monthly prefer to give public universities more credit, and higher rankings. Thirteen of the top 20 universities in the Washington Monthly rankings are taxpayer-funded. Some of U.S. News & World Report's top private universities are not even ranked among Washington Monthly's top 30. The Washington Monthly 2012 College Rankings can be found at http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/toc_2012.php. 8/27/12

New Findings Show Some Type Ia Supernovae Linked to Novae In a new study, astronomers show for the first time that at least some thermonuclear (Type Ia) supernovae come from a recurrent nova. The results of the study, led by Ben Dilday, a postdoctoral researcher in physics at UCSB and at Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, are surprising because previous indirect –– but strong –– evidence had pointed to the merger of two white dwarf stars as the originators of other Type Ia supernovae. The authors conclude that there are multiple ways to make a Type Ia supernova –– a finding that could have implications for understanding the differences seen in these "standard candles," that were used to reveal the presence of dark energy. 8/23/12

UCSB Ranks Among Top Universities in Degrees Awarded to Latinos in STEM Fields The nonprofit organization Excelencia in Education has included UC Santa Barbara on its lists of the top 25 colleges and universities in the country in the number of degrees awarded to Latinos in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Based in Washington, D.C., Excelencia in Education is a national organization that aims to accelerate higher education success for Latino students through promoting education policies and institutional practices that support their academic development. In the category of bachelor degrees awarded in mathematics, UCSB placed 10th. In master's degrees in mathematics, UCSB was ranked number 9; and in doctoral degrees in mathematics, UCSB again came in at number 10. 8/22/12

Scientist Receives National Science Foundation CAREER Award Cenke Xu, an assistant professor of physics at UC Santa Barbara, has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) 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. Xu's award is for $170,000 and is designated for his research "Quantum Critical Points Around Topological Phases." 8/21/12

Scientists Examine Effects of Manufactured Nanoparticles on Soybean Crops Scientists with UCSB's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management have completed the first major study of soybeans grown in soil contaminated by two manufactured nanomaterials (MNMs), zinc oxide and cerium oxide. "Our society has become more environmentally aware in the last few decades, and that results in our government and scientists asking questions about the safety of new types of chemical ingredients," said senior author Patricia Holden, a professor with the Bren School. The findings showed that soybean crop yield and quality are affected by the addition of MNMs to the soil. 8/20/12

Researchers Demonstrate That 15=3x5 About Half of the Time Computing prime factors may sound like an elementary math problem, but try it with a large number, and the task becomes enormously challenging. Now, a group of researchers at UC Santa Barbara has designed and fabricated a quantum processor capable of factoring a composite number — in this case the number 15 — into its constituent prime factors, 3 and 5. The achievement represents a milestone on the road map to building a quantum computer capable of factoring much larger numbers, with significant implications for cryptography and cybersecurity. "After repeating the experiment 150,000 times, we showed that our quantum processor got the right answer just under half the time," said Erik Lucero, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in physics at UCSB at the time of the study. 8/20/12

Nature Study Highlights Many Paths to Ocean Health Using a new comprehensive index designed to assess the benefits to people of healthy oceans, scientists have evaluated the ecological, social, economic, and political conditions for every coastal country in the world. Their findings show that the global ocean scores 60 out of 100 overall on the Ocean Health Index. More than 30 collaborators worked on the project, which was led by UCSB's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and Conservation International. "We recognize the Index is a bit audacious," said Ben Halpern, lead author and an ecologist with UCSB. "With policy-makers and managers needing tools to actually measure ocean health — and with no time to waste — we felt it was audacious by necessity." 8/15/12

Alum Makes Major Gift to Department of English UC Santa Barbara alumnus John Arnhold ('75), with wife Jody, has pledged $1.75 million to the campus's Department of English, providing a generous boost to the discipline he once studied. Their gift will support existing departmental initiatives and establish the Arnhold Endowment for Excellence in English, designed to fund courses, projects, and programs that support the undergraduate research experience, graduate student training, postdoctoral teaching fellows, and curricular advancements. 8/14/12

New UC Santa Barbara-Based Project to Study Contaminants in Urban Water Environment Longtime water industry executive Henry H. Wheeler, Jr. has awarded $1.25 million to the Bren School of Environment Science & Management for Professor Patricia Holden's new initiative, "Urban Water Environment," a research and training program on urban water quality. The dual-thrust endeavor looks to identify and quantify threats to surface waters and groundwater in urban environments — and determine how to mitigate them. Holden will seek answers to questions such as what contaminants lurk in the urban subsurface; whether and how they make their way into storm drains and creeks to reach groundwater, or even oceans; and whether they naturally attenuate as they migrate through soils, somehow allowing them to self-cleanse as they travel. 8/7/12

Seafood, Wild or Farmed? The Answer May Be Both In an article in press with the journal Marine Policy, a working group of UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) suggests that national and international organizations and government agencies use the term "hybrid" to describe fish and shellfish brought to market through a combination of production techniques. The article, currently available online, reveals how the strictly traditional categories of seafood production — fisheries and aquaculture — are insufficient to account for the growth potential and environmental impacts of the seafood sector. 8/6/12

Emergency Manager Accepts Governor's Service Group Award The Santa Barbara County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Committee has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Governor's Volunteering and Service award for Service Group of the Year. Jim Caesar, UCSB emergency preparedness manager and chair of the Santa Barbara County CERT Committee, accepted the Governor's award at a ceremony in Los Angeles. "I am honored to be able to accept this award on behalf of all of us who work hard to make CERT a successful program," said Caesar, who collaborates with emergency managers and first responders throughout Santa Barbara County to increase community emergency preparedness. 8/2/12

New Drug Shows Promise for Kidney Disease Scientists in the laboratory of Thomas Weimbs, associate professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, have demonstrated that a new drug is effective in treating polycystic kidney disease — although it will be a few years before it becomes available for clinical testing. The findings resulted from a collaboration between UC Santa Barbara and Endocyte, Inc., a biotech firm based in Indiana. More than 600,000 people in the U.S.and 12 million worldwide are affected by PKD. 8/2/12

Focusing on Strengths Improves Social Skills of Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders A study conducted by researchers at the Koegel Autism Center at UC Santa Barbara has found that by taking advantage of their strengths — high intelligence and very specific interests — adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are as capable as anyone else of forging friendships with their peers. In addition, the research demonstrates that the area of the brain that controls social behavior is not as damaged in adolescents with ASD as was previously believed. The findings appear in a recent issue of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. 8/1/12

Lars Bildsten Named Director of Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics After an international search for a new director for the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) at UC Santa Barbara, the search committee found the best person for the position was already in Santa Barbara: Lars Bildsten, professor of physics and a KITP permanent member. The baton was passed on July 1 from Professor David Gross, a 2004 Nobel laureate, who will remain at KITP as a permanent member. "I am honored to have been selected,"said Bildsten, who joined KITP and UCSB in 1999. "It is also a deep responsibility to maintain the tradition of excellent leadership at the KITP. David Gross very successfully expanded our activities and funding, increased our international prominence, and placed us in a very strong position." 7/31/12

UCSB Ranks Third in U.S. in Gilman International Scholarship Awards With 25 Education Abroad Program students at UC Santa Barbara receiving Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships for study abroad beginning in fall 2012, the campus ranks third behind UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University in the number of scholarships received by any college or university in the United States for the 2012-13 academic year. 7/26/12

Film & Literary Festival Awards 2012 Loving Prize to G. Reginald Daniel G. Reginald Daniel, a professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara, has received the 2012 Loving Prize from the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival. The award, which recognizes Daniel's scholarship on issues of multiracial identity, was presented in Los Angeles in June. Established in 2008, the Loving Prizes are presented each year to outstanding artists, storytellers, and community leaders who have shown a dedication to celebrating and illuminating the "mixed"experience. Previous recipients include UCSB's Kip Fulbeck and Paul R. Spickard, professors of art and performative studies and of history, respectively. 7/25/12

Beckman Scholars Program Names 2012 Scholarship Recipients One year after the campus was first selected for the prestigious program, UC Santa Barbara has named three additional undergraduates to its inaugural cohort of Beckman Scholars. There are now four UCSB participants in the national initiative meant to aid student researchers in the chemical and biological sciences. Mentored by select faculty, Beckman scholars also partake in career development, including technical writing, publishing, and presenting their research at professional meetings. With an award totaling $115,800, the scholarships will support six undergraduate students over the course of three years. Each scholar receives $19,300 to engage in research and additional career and technical training during one academic year, and over two summers. UCSB's Beckman scholars will present their projects to the campus community on August 9, in a poster colloquium at Elings Hall. 7/25/12

NCEAS'DataONE Streamlines Search and Analysis of Massive Amounts of Ecological Data In response to the growing need for a way to easily access and analyze massive amounts of heterogeneous data in the fields of earth and environmental sciences, UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, a core partner in a joint effort to streamline such research, presents DataONE, the Data Observation Network for Earth. DataONE is capable of providing researchers access to globally distributed, networked data from a single point of discovery. 7/24/12

Researchers Receive $1.2M NIH Grant to Design Preschool Health and Biology Curriculum Studies show that many low-income Latino children begin kindergarten at a significant educational disadvantage as compared to their mainstream American classmates. With a $1.2 million Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institutes of Health, researchers at UC Santa Barbara may help level the playing field, and give those preschoolers important lessons in health and biology. The grant has been awarded to principal investigator Laura Romo, an associate professor in the Department of Education at UCSB and director of the campus's Chicano Studies Institute. Co-principal investigators on the project include Professor Yukari Okamoto, and Associate Professors Julia Bianchini and Jin Sook Lee. 7/24/12

Assistant Professor Receives Presidential Science Award Ania Bleszynski Jayich, an assistant professor in physics at UC Santa Barbara, has been awarded the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The award is the highest honor the nation can bestow on a scientist or engineer at the beginning of his or her career. "This is an amazing honor,"Jayich said. 7/23/12

UC Santa Barbara Ranks Among Top U.S. Universities in STARS Sustainability Ratings For decades, UC Santa Barbara has taken pride in its commitment to sustainability. Now the campus has the numbers to support its claim as one the greenest campuses in the country. UCSB has received a Gold rating in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) program sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. This is the first time UCSB has been rated in the STARS system, which ranks schools on a scale of Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. There are only 35 universities in the U.S. and Canada with a Gold rating. No schools have attained the Platinum, or highest, rating. 7/19/12

Discovery of 'Intrasite Hopping' of Bacterial Enzyme on DNA Gives Insight into Epigenetic Gene Expression The discovery of how an enzyme in E. coli manipulates DNA and allows the bacteria to change its physical characteristics and behaviors could shed insight on human gene expression, and gene-related disorders. The results of a study written by UC Santa Barbara researcher Adam Pollak and Norbert Reich, professor of chemistry, are published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. 7/17/12

Scientists Study How Brain Functions During Visual Searches Despite decades of advancement and increasing ability to perform intricate calculations, the computer is still not as good at performing visual search as humans and other animals. UC Santa Barbara researchers studied a section of the brain involved in these visual searches to find out why, in a study titled paper "Feature-Independent Neural Coding of Target Detection during Search of Natural Scenes,"published in the Journal of Neuroscience. The UCSB research team included Miguel Eckstein, Tim Preston, Koel Das, Barry Giesbrecht, and first author Fei Guo. 7/16/12

Tamarisk Biocontrol Efforts Get Evolutionary Boost UC Santa Barbara scientists trying to control the invasive tamarisk plant have been getting a boost from evolution, in the form of a rapidly evolving beetle that has been changing its life cycle to more efficiently consume the noxious weed. "This is one of the clearest cases of rapid evolution,"said co-author Tom Dudley, who is the principal investigator at UC Santa Barbara's Marine Science Institute Riparian Invasive Research Laboratory. 7/12/12

Police Captain Completes FBI Training, Becomes Campus's Assistant Chief UC Santa Barbara Police Captain Cathy Farley can count herself among a very elite group of law enforcement officers from across the country and around the world. Following 10 weeks of rigorous physical and academic training, Farley graduated last month from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. In addition, Farley has been appointed assistant chief of the UCSB Police Department. The first person in the history of the police department to hold that position, she was sworn in by UCSB Police Chief Dustin Olson in a ceremony on July 2. In May 2008, Farley was diagnosed with high-stage breast cancer. "It was a wake-up call for me,"she said. "But I'm a strong person and I just decided I was going to beat it."Following an aggressive treatment protocol, she has been cancer-free for three years.  7/11/12

Using Universal Love for Soccer, UCSB Students Make a Difference Abroad Everybody loves a game of soccer. That was the idea a couple of UC Santa Barbara students had when they formed the nonprofit Inspire a Child, which uses the virtually universal love for the sport to entice children in poorer parts of the world to choose to go to school, and inspire them to better themselves and their communities. "Soccer is not only a fun and enjoyable pastime, but a developmental tool which can help improve the lives of children, their families, and communities,"said Inspire a Child founder Olivia Wong, who majors in political science and international relations at UCSB. The fledgling organization is currently working on its first project, in a remote village in the Himalayas.  7/11/12

New Grant Benefits Transfer Students in STEM Majors A residential summer program launching later this month at UCSB will bring low-income, potential transfer students to campus for a week's worth of research training and networking with graduate students, faculty, and industry professionals. A new grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation will support the UCSB Cooke Bridges Program, an initiative of the campus's Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships, in collaboration with the Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) program. UCSB will partner with four regional community colleges — Allan Hancock, Oxnard, Santa Barbara, and Ventura — to recruit financially needy students with high potential in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  7/10/12

UCSB Researchers Play Key Role in U.N. Environmental Assessment  Despite the ever-louder drumbeat for sustainability and global efforts to advance environmental initiatives, Earth remains on a collision course with "unprecedented levels of damage and degradation."That's according to a new United Nations assessment that includes UC Santa Barbara researchers among its authors. The U.N. Environment Programme released its fifth Global Environmental Outlook report in June, on the eve of the recent Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil. Produced over three years, in collaboration with some 600 experts worldwide, the document details global progress, or lack thereof, on a host of internationally agreed-upon goals to protect the planet. David López-Carr, professor of geography at UCSB, and director of the Human-Environment Dynamics (HED) lab, was lead author on two of the report's 17 chapters.  7/9/12

'Observation of New Particle'Presented at Historic CERN Seminar The observation of a new particle that appears to be the long sought-after Higgs boson was presented at a seminar at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) on July 4 by UC Santa Barbara physics professor Joe Incandela. "We have observed a new boson,"Incandela said, to the applause of hundreds of scientists and students attending the seminar, which was broadcast live via a webcast around the world. 7/5/12

New Endowed Chair to Further Energy-Efficiency Research UC Santa Barbara's Solid State Lighting & Energy Center, a hub for leading-edge research in energy–efficient lighting, power electronics, and solar energy technology, has received a $500,000 endowment from Seoul Optodevice Company to further its research on gallium nitride (GaN) for use in electronics and solid state lighting. James Speck, a professor of materials at UCSB who is said to be the world's leading expert in GaN materials and crystal growth, has been named the campus's first Seoul Optodevice Chair in Solid State Lighting.  7/3/12

Physicist to Give Update on Higgs Boson Search in CERN Seminar The status of the search for the Higgs boson will be presented at a seminar at CERN on July 4 by Joe Incandela, professor of physics at UC Santa Barbara and spokesperson for the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment. CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, is the location of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest particle accelerator. The CMS experiment is one of two general-purpose experiments, which operate like giant cameras that record images of the particles produced in high-energy proton-proton collisions.  7/2/12

Geographer Charts the 'Next-Generation Digital Earth' The world has gotten smaller and more accessible since applications like Google Earth became mainstream, says UC Santa Barbara Professor of Geography Michael Goodchild. However, there is still a long way to go, and there are important steps to take to get there. His perspective, shared with many co-authors around the world, has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in a paper titled, "Next-generation Digital Earth."  7/2/12