Biocrust Mapping Project Wins Creativity-Innovation Award

Xiaoli Dong is putting biological soil crust on the climate change research map, a project for which she received UC Davis’ single Early Career Faculty Award for Creativity and Innovation for 2023.

The university gives one or two of the $40,000 awards annually, funded by an endowment set up by anonymous donors.

Students Collect Samples at Arboretum to Measure Water Quality

The Arboretum and Public Garden at UC Davis is about to get a fresh set of water quality data after students fanned out earlier this month along the Arboretum Waterway to measure salinity and fecal coliform levels.

The three-hour session began with a lecture, then moved to the Arboretum for sampling and back to a lab to analyze what students collected. The information will be shared with Arboretum management to help provide a glimpse into the health of the creek.

Growing Crops with Less Groundwater

On a warm February afternoon, Kirk Pumphrey walks down his rows of almond trees at Westwind Farms in Yolo County. He notices the buds on the branches have already sprouted pink. It worries him. The earlier the trees bloom, the more likely winter frost will damage the nuts. Early blooms are occurring more often as higher temperatures from climate change stimulate plant growth. 

Sierra Squirrels Find Their Niche Amid a Changing Climate

As the climate changes, many species are expected to adjust where and how they live. Some are expected to seek cooler elevations as it warms, but what happens to species already at the top of a mountain? A study of squirrels living in California’s high-elevation Sierra Nevada indicates that climate is only one factor to consider when trying to predict where an animal will make its home in a changing world.  

How UC Davis Is Growing a Tree Canopy for Tomorrow’s Climate

The cooling shade of UC Davis’ mature, leafy trees impressed Nurjannah Wiryadimejo enough to help the now-graduating senior choose to become an Aggie.

“When I first came to Davis, what struck me was how beautiful the cork oaks are. I’d never seen such beautiful tree-lined streets like the ones by the Memorial Union,” she said. 

“But now I’ve realized that a lot of the trees on campus aren’t well suited for the future climate, when there will be more heat and extreme weather events,” said the environmental science and management major. 

Study offers insights on reducing nitrate contamination from groundwater recharge

With California enduring record-breaking rain and snow and Gov. Gavin Newsom recently easing restrictions on groundwater recharge, interest in “managed aquifer recharge” has never been higher. This process – by which floodwater is routed to sites such as farm fields so that it percolates into the aquifer – holds great promise as a tool to replenish depleted groundwater stores across the state.

UC Davis Students Aim to Bring More Native Plants to Campus

Follow the Davis Rewilding Society on Instagram

When UC Davis student Madison “Madi” Burns joined the Davis Rewilding Society during her freshman year, it helped bring her future into focus. The second-year landscape architecture major said she has developed a much better understanding of the importance of native plants from her involvement with the student-run organization.