Environmental Science and Policy

Unprecedented Levels of High-Severity Fire Burn in Sierra Nevada Forests

High-severity wildfire is increasing in Sierra Nevada and Southern Cascade forests and has been burning at unprecedented rates compared to the years before Euro-American settlement, according to a study from the Safford Lab at the University of California, Davis, and its collaborators. Those rates have especially shot up over the past decade. 

To Save California’s Whales, Put Overlooked Threats Into Policy

Whales are threatened by a variety of human activities off the West Coast of the United States, including fishing, ship traffic and pollution. Overlap between these stressors can compound effects on whale populations, but are rarely addressed by current whale-protection policies in California, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. 

UC Davis Researchers Collaborating on Project to Help Farmers Improve Fertilization and Irrigation Practices

UC Davis researchers are collaborating with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources on a project to help farmers in the state improve their fertilization and irrigation practices. CDFA received $2 million from the USDA for a three-year project that includes sending seven UC Cooperative Extension personnel to the San Joaquin Valley to perform education and demonstration projects, provide on-farm consultation and conduct outreach activities to promote locally appropriate best practices.

A Fixed-Effort Fishery More Sustainable for Economy and Environment

Study Considers Food Web, Extinction Cascades and Human Dynamics

For a truly sustainable fishery, more needs to be considered than just the abundance of the harvested species. Harvesting even abundant species can create indirect extinction cascades down the food web that can harm the long-term economic and ecological sustainability of a fishery. 

That is according to a study from the University of California, Davis, published today in the journal Science Advances. 

Natural Capital a Missing Piece in Climate Policy

Accounting for the Unique and Long-Term Impacts of Climate Change

Clean air, clean water and a functioning ecosystem are considered priceless. Yet the economic value of nature remains elusive in cost-benefit analysis of climate policy regulations and greenhouse-gas-reduction efforts.

Social Distancing Varies by Income in U.S.

Poorer Communities Face Double Burden During Pandemic as They Stay Home Less

Wealthier communities went from being the most mobile before the COVID-19 pandemic to the least mobile, while poorer areas have gone from the least mobile to the most mobile, according to a study by the University of California, Davis.

California’s Climate Refugia: Mapping the Stable Places

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

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.