Environment

Cork Harvest Comes to UC Davis

On May 30, 2024, under the shade of the UC Davis Arboretum’s 80-plus-year-old cork oak grove, a rarely seen exhibition of cork harvesting took place. This traditional practice, unfamiliar to most Americans, involves the careful stripping of a cork oak’s outer bark without harming the tree. Commonly performed by skilled craftspeople in Portugal and Spain, the demonstration was organized for students in the “Technology and Winery Systems” (VEN 135) class, regional wine industry stakeholders, and various campus affiliates.

Wildfire Smoke Reached 99% of U.S. Lakes in 2019-2021

Where there’s smoke, there’s not necessarily fire.

Wildfire smoke, sometimes drifting from hundreds of miles away, touched nearly every lake in North America for at least one day per year from 2019 to 2021, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. 

Student Entomologists Gain Hands-On Skills in Insect Biology

Distinguished Professor of Entomology Jay Rosenheim noticed a trend during his office hours a few years ago: Many of his undergraduate students wanted research lab experience but were unsure how to get started. Alongside colleagues Louis Yang and Joanna Chiu, they collectively decided to try something different in 2011.

“Our basic idea was to get students into the labs really early in their undergraduate programs,” Rosenheim recalled. “There’s a whole new set of skills that are very different from what students are typically working on in their formal coursework.”

Smoke Covered 70% of California During Biggest Wildfire Years

As much as 70% of California was covered by wildfire smoke during parts of 2020 and 2021, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. The study, published today in the journal Communications: Earth & Environment, combined lake-based sensors with satellite imagery to find that maximum smoke cover has increased by about 116,000 square miles since 2006.

Environmental Toxicologist Wins UC Davis Award for Innovation and Creative Vision

 

Environmental toxicologist Christina Pasparakis, who is an assistant professor based at Bodega Marine Laboratory, is the winner of the 2024 UC Davis Award for Innovation and Creative Vision. 

The prize is funded by Susie and alum Riley Bechtel and supports outstanding non-tenured early career faculty. It comes with a $40,000 research award that Pasparakis plans to use to launch a long-term community-based microplastic monitoring program in the Bodega Marine Reserve. 

U.S. Reservoirs Hold Billions of Pounds of Fish

After nearly a century of people building dams on most of the world’s major rivers, artificial reservoirs now represent an immense freshwater footprint across the landscape. Yet, these reservoirs are understudied and overlooked for their fisheries production and management potential, indicates a study from the University of California, Davis.