Author Archive | Becky Bach

Credit: Flickr: mlradio

Water pumping elevates Central Valley, increasing earthquake odds

In a dire drought like this one, most people aren’t worried about the connection between groundwater pumping and seismicity. Yet in addition to the slew of other ensuing problems, over pumping the Central Valley’s groundwater basic might lead to more earthquakes, according to Roland Burgmann, a University of California, Berkeley seismologist and co-author of a…

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NASA Clemantine photo of lunar glow in 1994

Lunar glow remains a mystery

Just before sunrise, Apollo 17 astronaut Eugene Cernan spotted a strange glow circling the horizon of the moon. He was expected to see some light from the sun, rays from the outer corona just as in sunrises on earth, but the shape and behavior of the glow—a crescent-shaped illumination with distinct beams—puzzled scientists. Even since…

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Climate Conference Cover Image

Climate change catch-up

Several dozen United States senators started the week without sleep—an all-nighter to draw the nation’s attention to climate change policy. They’re aiming for a bill to minimize its damage. Planning preventative policies is great, a handful of experts said at Climate Science and Policy through the Looking Glass, a conference at the University of California,…

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Nautilus Minerals plans to extract gold, copper and zinc from the sea floor near Papua New Guinea. 

Photo credit: Nautilus Minerals

Deep-sea conservation needed now, researchers say

As pressure mounts to extract minerals from the deep sea, a growing group of scientists is calling attention to the gap between mining momentum and scientific know-how. Dozens of mining projects have been proposed, but the regulatory and scientific framework to evaluate these projects is still preliminary, said Cindy Van Dover, a deep-sea biologist at…

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"Scene at the signing of the Constitution," Howard Chandler Christy, 1940


Ethical Guidelines for Science Journalists

Following the recent sexual harassment scandal at Scientific American, heated ethical debates dominated the science journalism digisphere. We  —the ten budding writers in the UC Santa Cruz Science Communication Program class of 2014, led by our instructor, Nature reporter Erika Check Hayden — decided to weigh in. We started with the nine Principles of Journalism…

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Becky Bach

Tracking happiness with tweets (and arriving in Santa Cruz)

  A beach-baked couple beat me into Togo’s a few weeks ago. The sandwich maker, a 20-something fellow who was gloomily plopping mayonnaise onto bread, muttered hello. “We’re great. We’re in Santa Cruz,” the man chirped. “But I’m not doing as well as you are, I’m sure, you live here.” Sandwich dude looked up, managed…

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