Science Helps Coastal Communities Prepare for Extremes
While the wettest storm season in California’s recorded history crushed roofs and swelled snowbanks in the Sierra Nevada, the state’s coastal communities suffered plenty of their own losses. The casualties included waterside businesses swamped by storm surges, fishing piers smashed by rising seas, and coastal roads collapsed by debris flows.
What’s worse, the extreme weather California experienced during the winter of 2022–23 is likely to become more common due to climate change. This means the hundreds of coastal communities situated along California’s coast will need to grapple with decades of climate-induced woes. These will include erosion from sea level rise, marine heat waves, harmful algal blooms, and declines in water quality due to flooding.
Face to Face With Chancellor May & Rachael Bay
UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May sits down with assistant professor Rachael Bay to talk about the evolutionary adaptations of marine species in response to climate change in this episode of Face to Face with Chancellor May. Rachael was named among "The Brilliant 10" by Popular Science for her work and research looking at reef-building corals and how they've responded to warming oceans.
Congratulations to Mei Blundell, who won a 2023 NSF GRFP!
CMSI Affiliate Mei Blundell is among the winners of the 2023 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) awards. The purpose of the NSF GRFP is to ensure the quality, vitality, and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. GRFP seeks to broaden participation in science and engineering of underrepresented groups, including women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans. The five-year fellowship provides three years of financial support inclusive of an annual stipend of $37,000.
Sea Otters Killed by Unusual Parasite Strain
Four sea otters that stranded in California died from an unusually severe form of toxoplasmosis, according to a study from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the University of California, Davis. The disease is caused by the microscopic parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Scientists warn that this rare strain, never previously reported in aquatic animals, could pose a health threat to other marine wildlife and humans.
Brian Gaylord Receives 2023 Distinguished Teaching Award
Brian Gaylord, a professor in the Department of Evolution and Ecology, part of the College of Biological Sciences, has been awarded a Distinguished Teaching Award for outstanding undergraduate teaching. An enthusiastic and passionate lecturer, Professor Gaylord creates a learning environment that supports students tackling difficult topics, together. He emphasizes critical thinking and understanding processes over memorization, and he engages students in effective and thought-provoking ways.
Climate Trends in the West, Today and 11,000 Years Ago
People often say things like Phoenix has always been dry; Seattle has always been wet; and San Francisco has always been foggy. But “always” is a strong word.
A study from the University of California, Davis, synthesizes climate trends across the Western U.S. during a relatively young period of Earth’s history — the Holocene Era, which stretches from the present day to the past 11,000 years. This look at the really Old West shows that the hallmarks of California’s climate — the foggy coastlines that gave rise to towering redwoods, the ocean upwelling that spawned productive fisheries, the warm summers and mild winters — began around 4,000 years ago.