Environmental Science and Policy

UCOP Seed Grants Fund COVID-19 Research Projects

June 17, 2020

Faculty from the UC Davis School of Medicine and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences have received seed funding from the UC Office of the President to launch research projects aimed at mitigating the impact of COVID-19.

California’s Climate Refugia: Mapping the Stable Places

June 08, 2020
Which Lands Stand the Best Chance for Conservation and Wildfire Restoration?

Some landscapes can hold their own against climate change better than others. A study from the University of California, Davis, maps these places, called “climate refugia,” where existing vegetation is most likely to buffer the impacts of climate change through the end of the century.

California COVID-19 Traffic Report Finds Silver Lining

April 16, 2020
Crashes and Traffic Are Down by Half, Saving State $40 Million Per Day During Shelter-In-Place

Traffic accidents and crash-related injuries and deaths were reduced by half during the first three weeks of California’s shelter-in-place order, which began March 20. The reductions save the state an estimated $40 million per day — about $1 billion over the time period — according to an updated special report released this week from the Road Ecology Center at the University of California, Davis.

Concrete Solutions That Lower Both Emissions and Air Pollution

March 23, 2020
Air Quality and Climate Change Intertwine in Unexpected Ways. A Concrete Example.

 

Sometimes, fixing one problem can create another.

Concrete production contributes 8 percent of global greenhouse gases, and demand continues to rise as populations and incomes grow. Yet some commonly discussed strategies to reduce the sector’s global GHG emissions could, under some scenarios, increase local air pollution and related health damages, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.

Bats May Benefit From Wildfire

December 16, 2019
Fire Plays Important Role for Sierra Nevada Bats

Bats face many threats — from habitat loss and climate change to emerging diseases, such as white-nose syndrome. But it appears that wildfire is not among those threats, suggests a study from the University of California, Davis, published today in the journal Scientific Reports. It found that bats in the Sierra Nevada appear to be well-adapted to wildfire.

Calculating the Costs of Ecological Disruption from Climate Change

November 26, 2019

What are the costs if climate change increases the risk of extinction of plants and animals? What value can be placed on reducing the risk of extinction of the white rhinoceros or American pika? And do people consider these things valuable even if they will never see a white rhinoceros or a pika in person?

That value — the “existence value”— is one of the ecological costs being calculated by researchers at UC Davis and Fordham University in order to improve the models currently used to calculate climate change damages, what’s known as the social cost of carbon.

UC Davis Researchers Are Highly Cited

November 19, 2019

Sixteen UC Davis researchers have been named in the annual Highly Cited Researchers 2019 list released by the Web of Science Group, which compiles statistics on scientific publishing. The list identifies scientists and social scientists who have published multiple papers ranking in the top 1 percent by citations in a particular field and year, over a 10-year period. 

Citation counts represent how often a particular paper has been cited in other scientific publications. 

UC Davis researchers included in this year’s list are:

Best of Frenemies: Unexpected Role of Social Networks in Ecology

November 04, 2019

Social networking, even between competing species, plays a much bigger role in ecology than anyone previously thought, according to three biologists at the University of California, Davis. 

“There’s mounting evidence that different species pay attention to each other in the wild, especially if they share predators,” said Mike Gil, postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis. “The theory of ecology has lagged behind.”

Climate Change Could Shrink Oyster Habitat in California

August 05, 2019
Ocean Acidification Just One of Several Climate-Related Threats for Shellfish

Ocean acidification is bad news for shellfish, making it harder for them to form their calcium-based shells. But several other factors related to climate change could also make California bays less hospitable to shelled organisms like oysters, which are a key part of the food web.

It Pays to Explore in Times of Uncertainty

July 29, 2019
To Explore or Exploit? Fishing Vessel Records Show Trade-offs

When making choices, people tend either to go with what they know or try something new. We experience this trade-off every day, whether choosing a route to work or buying breakfast cereal. But does one strategy have an advantage over another? Researchers decided to examine this question by looking at fishing boat captains, who face this choice again and again when deciding where to fish.