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4.26.2016

From Star Wars to sugarcane—the journey of Keith Kawaoka

David Colgan

Today, Kawaoka is the deputy director of environmental health for Hawaii. His responsibilities include sanitation, air and water protection, food and drug safety, toxic cleanup and vector-borne diseases. There’s a lot at stake for the state’s 1.4 million residents and 8 million annual visitors. It’s a tough job, but you might say that Kawaoka was…


Voices

4.19.2016

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…


Voices

3.29.2016

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…


Story

3.23.2016

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…


Story

2.26.2016

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…