Tag Archives | UCSC

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Mystery of the Red Tide

I stood with my feet buried in sand, staring at the ocean waves as they touched the beach. It was mid-October. To my untrained eye, the Monterey Bay shoreline looked like a child’s bubble bath. To California Fish and Wildlife scientists, it was a terrible déjà vu. Nine years ago, an algal bloom wreaked havoc—and…

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A new streetlight, powered by solar panels bolted to its spine, sits at the end of the Santa Cruz wharf.

Solar streetlight illuminates innovative solutions

This story starts with poop. Bird poop. A solar panel shouldn’t be caked in white crust. It should be a dark flat shelf open to the sky, soaking up sunlight, resting near the streetlight it’s meant to power perched on the end of a wharf. But imagine you’re a seagull used to roosting on that…

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Mom may look like she's taking a break, but she's not. Photo courtesy of Mike Baird <www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/4301804307/in/photostream/> at flickr.bairdphotos.com via Flickr, Creative Commons License.

Tough life for otter moms

    Parenthood is both a universal and deeply personal experience. With my science background, I’m always contrasting what I understand as a biologist and what I feel as a mother. Sometimes the latest evolutionary/genetic/cognitive behavioral/comparative biology discovery reinforces my experiences (for example positive benefits of co-sleeping.) Other times it jars me out of a…

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Kurz and Allison’s 1891 representation of the Battle of Franklin (November 30, 1864) during the American Civil War. Image credit: U.S. Library of Congress.

Perpetual War

In the American Civil War, the United States fought itself in a bloody struggle that dragged on for four years. A new study out of the University of California, Santa Cruz shines light on an even longer – and seemingly endless – conflict within ourselves. This internal struggle takes place within our genome, between an…

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An Ocean Journey with Brandon Southall

Brandon Southall is adept at inhabiting vastly different worlds—similar to the elephant seals and sea lions he studies. While the marine mammals successfully navigate the opposing environments of land and water, Southall is a marine scientist who moves smoothly among the diverse realms of research, business, consulting, and university affiliations. His expertise in ocean acoustics—…

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When NASA sends spacecraft to asteroids like these, be prepared for some funky, retro craft designs.

How to land on an asteroid

In the future, scientists want to be able to send spacecraft to study asteroids such as the one that will approach the Earth on Friday. A concept for these landers may look familiar to anyone who grew up in the 1970s. Egg-shaped and weighted at the bottom, the landers – prototype designs for a possible future NASA…

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A still frame of Steven Ward's computer simulation of the 2004 Sumatra tsunami. Credit: Steven Ward

From disaster to outreach

Sharing science in the days of YouTube Steven Ward has a pretty good trick. He can drop you right into the heart of a natural disaster and you’ll come out unscathed. Guaranteed. Tsunami? Earthquake? Volcanic explosion? He’ll even take requests. (more…)

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Message on deep sea well equipment

Be Prepared

I am a newbie to the Pacific Coast, but I am no stranger to living on a fault. As a kid in Utah I stuffed emergency kits with my parents and dove under my desk during earthquake drills at school. When you live in earthquake country, it pays to be prepared. An international science team’s…

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mud, mountain lions, and my dad

The SciCom slugs have been out and about recently, perhaps seeking an escape from the swirling pre-graduation chaos? Part 1: Paintings and Pumas Last week, we attended the opening of the Science Illustration Program‘s exhibit at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. Word on the street is that one of the Slugs is putting…

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Photos on my way to class

I realized there were no photos of the UC Santa Cruz campus on this blog, so I thought I’d add a few. These are photos that I snapped on my phone’s camera on my way to class in the morning. I apologize for their quality, my phone can only do so much… I never get…

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