UC Riverside Named To Princeton Review Green College List

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Ross French, published in UCR Today, on April 18,2014.)

Survey profiles schools that demonstrate exemplary commitments to sustainability in their academics, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation

The Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition, has recognized the University of California, Riverside as one of the top green colleges in North America. This survey was conducted in collaboration with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and appears in the annual, downloadable book that was released on April 17, 2014.

UC Riverside was one of 332 schools honored by the Princeton Review for its commitment to sustainability. Phot Credit: UCR Today

UC Riverside was one of 332 schools honored by the Princeton Review for its commitment to sustainability. Photo Credit: UCR Today

UCR received a green rating of 93 points out of a possible 99. UCR has appeared in the guide in each of the five years it has been published.  “UCR is proud to have been included once again in Princeton Review Green College Guide – our fifth year in a row to make it,” said Director of Sustainability John Cook. “Next year we will move the needle with 4 MW of on-site solar, 16 LEED Certified Buildings and a 3% reduction in overall potable water use.”

The Princeton Review chose the schools for this guide based on a 50-question survey it conducted in 2013 of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges across the United States and Canada. Survey data included the schools’ course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation to measure their commitment to the environment and to sustainability.

UC Riverside’s green initiative is an outstanding example of  the Seizing Our Destiny Pillar, catalyst for innovation.  By making this admirable list of green colleges all five years it has been published, UCR has established a reputation that many schools aspire to gain in the future.  Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do in Riverside, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.

To see the full article, click here.

UCR Professor Receives Young Scientist Honor

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Sean Nealon, published in UCR Today on April 9, 2014.)

David Kisailus, an associate professor of chemical engineering, is named a Kavli Fellow by members of National Academy of Sciences

David Kisailus, the Winston Chung Endowed Chair of Energy Innovation at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering, has been named aKavli Fellow.  Kavli Fellows are young scientists selected by the advisory board of the Kavli Foundation, members of the National Academy of Sciences and organizers of the Kavli/National Academy of Sciences Frontiers in Science Symposia series. The Kavli Foundation, which is based in Oxnard, supports scientific research, honors scientific achievement, and promotes public understanding of scientists and their work.

 David Kisailus, the Winston Chung Endowed Chair of Energy Innovation at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering, has been named a Kavli Fellow. Kavli Fellows are young scientists selected by the advisory board of the Kavli Foundation, members of the National Academy of Sciences and organizers of the Kavli/National Academy of Sciences Frontiers in Science Symposia series. The Kavli Foundation, which is based in Oxnard, supports scientific research, honors scientific achievement, and promotes public understanding of scientists and their work.  Photo Credit: Carlos Puma

David Kisailus, an associate professor of chemical engineering, Riverside, in his lab. Photo Credit: Carlos Puma

Kisailus, an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering who is also part of the Materials Science and Engineering Program, works in a field called biomimetics.  He studies a number of structures of various invertebrates, primarily marine animals, and replicates that structure on a smaller scale to create lighter, stronger and more durable materials. He has worked with animals including the mantis shrimp, abalone and gumboot chiton to improve everything from solar cells and lithium-ion batteries to aircraft and vehicle frames to body armor and football helmets.

Kisailus presented his work, “From Nature to Engineering: Biomimetic and Bio-inspired Materials,” at the 19th German-American Kavli Frontiers in Science Symposium on April 4th at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Science and Engineering in Irvine.

The German-American Frontiers of Science, under the auspices of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, has become a major instrument in bringing together the best young researchers in the natural sciences and engineering fields from the United States and around the world.

University of California, Riverside promotes intelligent growth through it’s commitment and dedication to providing an outstanding education to their students.   Riverside is working everyday to embrace ‘intelligent growth’ within all facets of the community.

To read the full article, click here.

UC Riverside Hosts Lecture On Hydraulic Fracturing Technology

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Iqbal Pittalwala, published in UCRToday on April 1, 2014.)

Fracking, the hydraulic fracturing technology by which shale rocks are fractured by a pressurized liquid to release oil and natural gas, is controversial with proponents citing an increase in domestic oil production and lower gas prices, and opponents voicing environmental concerns and worries over small tremors that have sometimes followed fracking.

An illustration of hydraulic fracturing and related activities. Photo Credit: US Environmental Protection Agency

An illustration of hydraulic fracturing and related activities.
Photo Credit: US Environmental Protection Agency

On Wednesday, April 9, Susan L. Brantley, a distinguished professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, will give a free public lecture at the University of California, Riverside in which she will discuss fracking’s impact on water.

“In Pennsylvania, shale gas is accessed at depths of thousands of feet while drinking water is extracted from depths of only hundreds of feet. Nowhere in the state have fracking compounds injected at depth been shown to contaminate drinking water,” Brantley and a colleague wrote last year in an opinion piece in the New York Times.  Brantley is the director of Penn State’s Earth and Environmental Systems Institute. She joined the university in 1986, and was named distinguished professor in 2008. She was educated at Princeton University, receiving her B.A. magna cum laude in chemistry in 1980, an M.A. in geological and geophysical sciences in 1983, and a Ph.D. in the same field in 1987.

Susan L. Brantley is a distinguished professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University. Photo Credit: Pennsylvania State University

Susan L. Brantley is a distinguished professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University. Photo Credit: Pennsylvania State University

UC Riverside’s involvement and role in raising awareness of the potential dangers of fracking represents intelligent growth in our community.  The use of fracking has become a highly controversial subject over the past couple of years.  Although the issue isn’t taking place in our beloved city, it is a concern that the whole nation is debating.  UC Riverside is promoting intelligent growth beyond their borders to improve quality of life throughout the nation, to ensure a safe environment for the future.

To read the full article, click here.

 

How Closely Are Water And Energy Linked?

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Iqbal Pittalwala, published in UCR Today on March 31,2014.)

UC Riverside to observe World Water Day on April 3 with symposium focused on water-energy nexus

California is facing its most severe drought in decades. Governor Jerry Brown has asked each state agency to reduce its water consumption by 20 percent over the next year.  Recently, University of California President Janet Napolitano urged each UC campus to take drought response measures aimed at reducing short-term water consumption.

The 2014 World Water Day had water and energy as its theme.  Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The 2014 World Water Day had water and energy as its theme. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

To observe World Water Day, the University of California, Riverside is hosting a symposium on April 3 in Room 240, Orbach Science Library. Extending from noon to 4 p.m., the symposium is free of charge and open to the public.

“World Water Day, a United Nations initiative, is celebrated around the world with one theme chosen each year,” said Ariel Dinar, the director of UC Riverside’s Water Science and Policy Center (WSPC), which is hosting the symposium. “It is apt that the theme this year is water and energy.  A significant amount of energy goes to move and pump water.  Therefore, saving water will save energy and saving energy will save water.  This nexus is very important in semi-arid regions such as California.  UCR has several researchers and graduate students working on the water-energy nexus.  We expect in this symposium to raise awareness of the linkage between water and energy so that both resources can be conserved and used in an optimal way today and in the future.”

A number of experts will give short talks at the symposium. They will cover a wide range of water- and energy-related topics, including renewable energy, using marginal land to produce biodiesel, energy considerations needed when purifying water for potable reuse, and how the Emirate of Dubai makes decisions related to water and energy.

The World Water Day symposium that will take place at UC Riverside exemplifies the seizing our destiny pillar catalyst for innovation.   Creating and redeveloping processes to attain  and retain energy resources is one the most important subjects of our future.  Since most forms of energy require the use of water, the symposium at UCR will focus on  increasing efficiency with our water supply to prepare for energy demand in the future.  UCR’s commitment and efforts to raise awareness of the water and energy initiative illustrates itself to be a catalyst for innovation in our community, as well as the scientific community.

To read the full article, click here.

Bighorn Sheep Went Extinct On Desert Island In Gulf Of California, Study Finds

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Iqbal Pittalwalla, published in UCRToday on March 19, 2014.)

Until discovery by UC Riverside-led team, bighorn sheep were not known to have inhabited Tiburón Island – changing a conservation paradigm.

Using ancient DNA analysis and other techniques, a research team led by conservation biologists at the University of California, Riverside has determined that bighorn sheep, so named for their massive spiral horns, became extinct on Tiburón Island, a large and mostly uninhabited island just off Sonora, Mexico, in the Gulf of California, sometime in the last millennium — specifically between the 6th and 19th centuries.

Photo shows a bighorn sheep skull from Tiburón Island.  Photo Credit: Benjamin Wilder

Photo shows a bighorn sheep skull from Tiburón Island. Photo Credit: Benjamin Wilder

The research got its start when in the spring of 2012 Wilder, along with a lab mate and his Seri collaborators, made an incidental discovery of a 1500-1600-year-old, urine-cemented dung mat on the floor of a small cave in the Sierra Kunkaak, a rugged mountain range of the eastern side of Tiburón Island.

The discovery raises fascinating questions: How should the reintroduction of bighorn sheep on Tiburón Island be regarded? Is it a restoration or a biological invasion?

Benjamin Wilder noting specifics of the bighorn sheep deposit on Tiburón Island. Photo Credit: Andrew Semotiuk

Benjamin Wilder noting specifics of the bighorn sheep deposit on Tiburón Island.
Photo Credit: Andrew Semotiuk

The latter question also applies to most cases of rewilding and de-extinction efforts. Julio Betancourt, a USGS paleoecologist and co-author on the study, thinks that, in the future, “molecular caving, the application of molecular genetics to cave sediments, will become more than an afterthought to answer such questions in aridland paleoecology and conservation.”

Wilder, Betancourt, and Mead were joined in the study by Clinton W. Epps and Rachel S. Crowhurst at Oregon State University; and Exequiel Ezcurra at UCR. Wilder works in Ezcurra’s lab.

This research exploration led by a team of scientists from UC Riverside is a great demonstration of intelligent growth.  The strong work ethic and dedication of our well respected scientists at UCR is what leads to new discoveries and makes strides in preservation and conservation.

To read the full article, click here.

Combining Forces To Stop Hackers

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Sean Nealon, published in UCR Today on March 4, 2014.)

Company co-founded by UC Riverside alumnus is bought by company valued at $1 billion

Anirban Banerjee, co-founder of StopTheHacker

Anirban Banerjee, co-founder of StopTheHacker

StopTheHacker, an anti-malware company created by a graduate of the University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering, has been bought by CloudFlare, the web performance and security company who protects more than 1.5 million web sites and sees five percent of Internet traffic worldwide.

StopTheHacker was co-founded by Anirban Banerjee shortly after he received his Ph.D. from UC Riverside in 2008. CloudFlare, which is based in San Francisco, is valued at $1 billion by venture capital firms,according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal.

Banerjee, now a systems engineer at CloudFlare in charge of integrating the technology developed by StopTheHacker into CloudFlare’s system, said the acquisition is the exact path he wanted StopTheHacker to take.

Banerjee’s achievements  and success have been an excellent example of seizing our destiny‘s catalyst for innovation pillar.  Anirban has not only a bright future, but a set path in an admirable career with an increasing demand.

Over a period of several months CloudFlare talked to about six malware scanning companies, including StopTheHacker, whose malware scanning service has been available for two years in the CloudFlare Apps Marketplace, said Matthew Prince, CEO and co-founder of CloudFlare.

StopTheHacker was based in Riverside until moving to San Francisco in 2011. Banerjee, who came to the United States from India in 2004 to pursue his Ph.D. at UC Riverside, co-founded the company with Michalis Faloutsos, a former computer science and engineering professor at UC Riverside who advised Banerjee. Faloutsos is now a professor and chair of the computer science department at The University of New Mexico.

To read the full article, click here.

Six To Be Recognized At Sixth Annual Women Students Celebration Event

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Ross French, published in UCR Today on February 21st, 2014.)

Six University of California, Riverside students received awards for efforts in leadership and civic engagement, social justice and overcoming adversity at the fourth annual Celebration for A Day of Appreciation and Recognition of Women Students on Thursday, March 6, 2014.

Six UC Riverside students will be honored at the Celebration for a Day of Appreciation and Recognition of Women Students on Thursday, March 6, 2014. Front row, from left - Remi Rehman, Vickie Vertiz, and Divya Sain. Back row from left - Gabriela Bobadilla, Katherine Tsai, and Jacklyn Kozich. Photo Credit: Richard Zapp

Six UC Riverside students were honored at the Celebration for a Day of Appreciation and Recognition of Women Students on Thursday, March 6, 2014. Front row, from left – Remi Rehman, Vickie Vertiz, and Divya Sain. Back row from left – Gabriela Bobadilla, Katherine Tsai, and Jacklyn Kozich. Photo Credit: Richard Zapp

 

The event, which was free and open to the public, was organized by the UCR Women’s Resource Center and sponsored by campus and community partners and was part of the campus’ annual celebration of Women’s History Month.  “This annual celebration forwards the university’s strategic plan for diversity and former Chancellor Tim White’s Proclamation for A Day of Appreciation and Recognition of Women Students,” said Women’s Resource Center Director Adrienne Sims.

All six of the award recipients are shining examples of intelligent growth in our community.  Their strong dedication to education and commitment to making their community a better place is remarkable.  Not only have these successful women represented intelligent growth, they also embody the unified city pillar of seizing our destiny.  They contribute to a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engage with one another for a better life for all.

The keynote speaker was Eloise Gomez Reyes, a long-time Inland Empire resident who is running for the congressional seat in the 31st district.  A native of Colton, she worked in the onion fields at the age of 12 with mother and five siblings to earn money for school clothes. She attended San Bernardino Valley College, then graduated from USC. She later earned her J.D. from Loyola Law School and began her legal career representing injured workers and unions in workers comp cases. She later moved back to Colton and started her own law office, which she has run for more than two decades. She is a founding Board member of the Inland Empire Community Health Center in Bloomington, is on the Executive Board for the Children’s Spine Foundation, and served on the Dean’s Medical School Mission Committee here at UC Riverside.

Leadership and Civic Engagement Award

Katherine Tsai

Katherine Tsai

Undergraduate Student Honoree:  Katherine Tsai, Biology

Katherine is an exemplary academic who is majoring in biology.  In addition to forwarding academic excellence, she devotes countless hours to helping others.  Her drive to improve humankind pushes her to optimize leadership roles in which she can make positive impacts on fellow students and other communities.

Social Justice Award

Gabriela Bobadilla

Gabriela Bobadilla

Undergraduate Student Honoree:  Gabriela Bobadilla, Spanish

Gabriela’s work with the anti-human trafficking task force and her commitment to social justice issues in Riverside’s local community are unparalleled. Her work with Operation SafeHouse and the Child Leaders Project in Riverside show her hard work and dedication to key causes.

Overcoming Adversity Award

Divya Sain

Divya Sain

 Graduate Student Honoree:  Divya Sain, Genetics, Genomics, and Bioinformatics

Despite medical challenges, including limited mobility, Divya is an outstanding student who recently receivied the Guru Gobind Singh Graduate Fellowship, which is only awarded to one UC student per year. She will complete her Ph.D. in December.

For the full article, click here.

Engineer Honored For Pioneering Graphene Research

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Sean Nealon, published in UCR Today on February 20, 2014.) 

Alexander A. Balandin, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering, has been elected a fellow of the Materials Research Society (MRS). He is the first fellow from UC Riverside.

Alexander Balandin is the first UC Riverside professor to be named a Materials Research Society fellow.

Alexander Balandin is the first UC Riverside professor to be named a Materials Research Society fellow.

The Materials Research Society recognizes as fellows outstanding members whose sustained and distinguished contributions to the advancement of materials research are internationally recognized. Fellow is a lifetime appointment. The number of new fellows selected each year is capped at 0.2 percent of Materials Research Society membership.  Balandin is a testament to the intelligent growth of our community and his accomplishments serve as a catalyst for innovation at the University of California, Riverside.

Balandin, who is also the founding chair of the materials science and engineering program at UC Riverside, was recognized “for pioneering contributions on the thermal properties of graphene and low-dimensional materials; seminal contributions to the study of quantum confinement effects in nanostructures; and leadership in materials education.”

He will be honored during the Materials Research Society spring meeting from April 21 to 23 in San Francisco. The recognition comes a year after Balandin was the recipient of the MRS Medal, which recognizes an exceptional achievement in materials research in the past 10 years.

Balandin pioneered the graphene thermal and phonon engineering fields, which resulted in major advances in understanding the thermal properties of low-dimensional materials, physics of phonons, and led to development of practical applications of graphene in heat removal and thermal management.  He is also being recognized for his investigation of spatial confinement effects in quantum dots and nanowires.

To read the full article, click here.

Longtime Supporters Leave $1.3 Million to Botanic Gardens

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Iqbal Pittalwala, published in UCR Today on February, 6, 2014)  

Victor(left) and Marjorie Goodman were longtime supporters of the Botanic Gardens. Photo credit: UCR Libraries.

Victor(left) and Marjorie Goodman were longtime supporters of the Botanic Gardens. Photo credit: UCR Libraries.

The Botanic Gardens of the University of California, Riverside will greatly benefit from a bequest of $1.3 million from Victor Goodman, who helped found the gardens, and his wife, Marjorie — both longtime supporters of the gardens.

The only museum on main campus open on weekends, the Botanic Gardens receive around 40,000 visitors a year.  Nestled in the foothills of the Box Springs Mountains on the east side of the UC Riverside campus, the gardens constitute a natural preserve, displaying plants, animals, birds and insects (especially butterflies) that thrive in inland Southern California.  This is one of many examples of community members who want to nurture Riverside’s beautiful scenery and do so with a financial commitment. The result is a gorgeous garden that helps make Riverside a location of choice.

A man walks through the Botanic Gardens at UCR.

A man walks through the Botanic Gardens at UCR.

“We are thrilled and grateful that the Botanic Gardens were remembered with such a significant gift,” said Jodie Holt, the divisional dean of agriculture and natural resources in UC Riverside’s College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. “With it we will be able to bring some key projects to completion and invest in additional maintenance of important plant collections. Additionally, this generous gift will enable us to make significant progress towards realizing the long range plan and financial security of the UCR Botanic Gardens.”

To read the full article, click here.