Honoring champions of the environment

David Colgan

But taking environmental issues to a global audience requires time, money and personal energy. At its annual gala last Thursday, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability honored individuals who’ve made major contributions to that effort. Former Vice President Al Gore, whose landmark film An Inconvenient Truth shed light on environmental realities, thanked the honorees….



Are we leaving nature behind?

Peter Kareiva

The crisis is taught in classrooms with phrases such as “species are being lost at one hundred times the background rate.” But concepts like background rate—the rate at which species were lost prior to humans—are not easily visualized. Pictures of recently extinct species might prompt a sense of loss, but that raises questions: What photographs…



Recycled water is good for your health

David Colgan

For decades, recycling has been a focal point for environmentalists. And yet California—a state known for its progressive, earth-friendly ethos—has been slow to recycle an important and scarce resource: water. It’s a problem Hilary Godwin and her research team hope to remedy. “We’re stealing water from hundreds of miles away, burning huge amounts of energy…



School’s out for science

David Colgan

Time was of the essence, but they weren’t rushing to a music festival or spring break in Mexico—they just didn’t want to miss low tide. It’s a routine that Denita Toneva, a senior majoring in environmental science, has gotten used to. “I’ve learned to schedule my life around the tides,” Toneva said. The students were…



Powering energy policy with big data

David Colgan

The Los Angeles County Energy Atlas is an interactive map that combines utility data, census information and details about buildings—their age, size and whether they’re used for residential or commercial purposes. Decision makers are increasingly using the atlas to reduce carbon emissions and energy waste. Stephanie Pincetl, a professor with UCLA’s Institute of the Environment…



Antartica could be headed for major meltdown

David Colgan

It was more than 16 million years ago, so times were different. But there was one important similarity with the world we live in today: The air contained about the same amount of carbon dioxide. That parallel raises serious concerns about the stability of ice sheets in Antarctica, according to a study published today in…