- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Beneath your home, below lawns, under asphalt streets, farms and natural areas there is a complex blend of minerals and organic matter that varies widely in texture, color and structure. Producing food, maintaining landscapes and building structures all depend on this little understood, but critical outermost layer of the Earth’s crust - the soil.
Anyone can learn about the United States’ diversity of soils using SoilWeb, a nationwide database of soil variability first developed in 2004. SoilWeb reached a new milestone this year when it was integrated with Google Maps and designed to scale across any Web-enabled device – desktop computer, tablet...
- Author: Suanne Klahorst
The first thing I had to learn as writing staff at the John Muir Institute for the Environment, UC Davis, was the difference between "climate" and "weather." I compare it to reading a stock chart, there are jagged peaks and valleys daily, but it takes stock performance over years to reveal an unmistakable trend. The small ticks are similar to weather but the trend over decades is closer to climate. Nearly every stock chart has a huge valley at the year 2008, this is thought to be a once in a century event. That event is analogous to climate change, except climate trends are measured over millions of years, and climate is thought to be much slower to recover.
American opinions about global warming are as uncertain as the...
- Author: Brook Gamble
Have you heard of the UC ANR California Naturalist Program? This new UC ANR program fosters a diverse community of naturalists and promotes stewardship of California's natural resources through education and service. Designed to introduce Californians to the wonders of our unique ecology and engage volunteers in stewardship and study of California’s natural communities, California Naturalist provides hands-on instruction and exposure to real world environmental projects designed to inspire adults to become active citizen scientists and enhance their personal.../span>
- Author: Bradley Hooker
With the world population reaching 9 billion by 2050, creative solutions are needed for global food security. The 2013 Thought for Food Challenge has put the call out and two UC Davis teams have responded. One group, Team UC Davis, proposes a social networking game that spreads awareness through crowd sourcing and draws donations through virtual purchases.
“The team is using a game platform like Farmville, which they call Global Village,” said Patrick Brown, professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, the team’s mentor, in comparing the proposal to...
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
The troubled tobacco industry may be getting some good news for a change. UC scientists are engineering the tobacco plant to produce oils that, when extracted, can serve as drop-in biofuels to power airplanes, cars and other machines.
Research success would allow farmers who have been growing tobacco for generations to continue the tradition for a different purpose, while taking advantage of an infrastructure established to serve the diminishing cigarette, cigar and snuff markets.