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6.16.2016

A degree of determination

David Colgan

Both literally and figuratively, that’s how it was for Valerie Carranza, one of 76 UCLA students who graduated with bachelor’s degrees in environmental science on Sunday. Carranza grew up in a close-knit family in the northeast San Fernando Valley. She excelled in school as a child, but in middle school, the social environment changed and…


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5.31.2016

L.A. students get an environmental filmmaking debut

David Colgan

It might be time for an update. In 2016, two-thirds of Americans wield video-equipped smartphones capable of telling vivid stories, from street protests to Snapchat. And 15 minutes may be more attention than people can spare, as an explosion of digital information fills our social media feeds each day. Enter GreenShorts, an environmental film contest…


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5.12.2016

Bringing cities together for a greener future

David Colgan

Luckily, they also have Yoram Cohen in common. Cohen is a UCLA professor of chemical engineering who takes a global approach to sustainability. Last year, while participating in a conference on Jerusalem, he was reminded of the two locations’ similarities. “One of the topics we covered was the city’s sustainability challenges,” Cohen said. It made…


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5.4.2016

California’s urban residents have been left behind by 2006 parks measure

David Colgan

Ten years later, most of that money has been spent. But although the measure prioritized funding for urban, disadvantaged and park-poor communities, residents in those places have seen less than their fair share of the benefits. A policy report published today by UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability finds that Prop 84 failed to…


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5.2.2016

Buildings loom large in street-level air quality

David Colgan

L.A. has made progress over the years. The notorious smog that led filmmaker John Waters to remark, “Only in L.A. will you glimpse a green sun or a brown moon,” has all but vanished. Cars are more efficient and gasoline burns cleaner—thanks to state regulations and research from chemistry experts like UCLA’s Paulson. “We changed…


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4.13.2016

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…