Earth Day: then and now

Peter Kareiva

The first Earth Day was covered for ten hours by The Today Show in 1970—a time when there was no cable television and network coverage meant a lot more than it does now. Nobody counted the exact numbers, but it is estimated there were at least 35,000 teach-ins around the United States. Congress took April…



Video: Students get their feet wet with environmental fieldwork

David Colgan

A few weeks ago, we told you the story of UCLA Senior Practicum students who braved wind, high surf and chilly waters to protect marine life. El Niño tossed them a curveball, but they adjusted their research plans and now hope to shed light on how climate issues affect biodiversity. Using footage provided by the…



The curiosity and controversy of GMOs: a Q&A with Ted Parson

David Colgan

On Tuesday, April 19, four experts will debate the environmental, social and health impacts of GMO foods. Are they a solution to global health and food security crises? Or do they pose risks too great to take? The Oppenheim series event—with audience participation—will be live streamed here at 7:30 p.m. (This is a past event;…



Drought makes life hard for Los Angeles newts

David Colgan

In the southern part of the state, the California newt—Taricha torosa—has been showing up at breeding grounds nearly 20 percent underweight, on average. The drastic change has evolutionary biologist Gary Bucciarelli concerned. “They look really emaciated,” said Bucciarelli, a postdoctoral researcher with UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. “You can see the vertebrae and…



The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge and California’s extreme weather future

David Colgan

Daniel Swain elevates weather talk to the stratosphere. He’s a Ph.D student studying atmospheric patterns and extreme weather at Stanford University. He’s also the creator of the California Weather Blog, an expert source that people are increasingly turning to during these times of El Niño and severe drought. Swain and his fellow researchers spent the…



The curtain draws on climate change

The stories of one famous tree—Methuselah, a 4,847 year-old California bristlecone pine—are the inspiration behind “Memory Rings,” an environmentally-themed play that will be staged next weekend by UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance. “Memory Rings” traces changes in nature and humans over five millennia. Conceived as a meditative but playful work, it combines fairy…