Climate change puts ecosystems on the run

To keep up with global warming, the average ecosystem will need to shift about a quarter mile each year, says a new study by scientists at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Center announces most livable buildings for 2009

A Seaside, Calif., school that incorporates an ambitious sustainability goal of net-zero electricity usage is the winner of the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment 2009 top Livable Building Award. Honorable mentions go to the design teams of the Cohos Evamy Toronto Studio on the 10th floor of a Toronto high-rise and of the renovated William P. Robinson Building at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Va.

Study shows loss of 15-42 percent of mammals in North America

Many biologists warn that the planet's plants and animals are headed toward a mass extinction as a result of human-caused environmental damage, including global warming. A UC Berkeley/Penn State team has now analyzed the status of North American mammals, estimating that they may be one-fifth to one-half the way toward a mass extinction event like the "Big Five" the Earth has seen in the last 450 million years.

CPUC taps Vial Center to study state's green jobs needs

The California Public Utilities Commission has chosen UC Berkeley’s Donald Vial Center on Employment in the Green Economy to lead a $1.1 million study to assess California’s workforce development needs as part of the state’s long-term strategic plan for energy efficiency.

Climate change could boost incidence of civil war in Africa, study finds

Climate change could increase the likelihood of civil war in sub-Saharan Africa by over 50 percent within the next two decades, according to a new study led by a team of researchers at University of California, Berkeley, and published in the online issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Scholar of native textiles to head anthropology museum

Anthropologist Mari Lyn Salvador, a scholar of Panama's native Kuna people and the textiles that they create and an experienced museum professional, has been named director of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the UC Berkeley. Salvador is scheduled to take the new post in late November.

Error in climate treaties could lead to more deforestation

A team of 13 prominent scientists and land-use experts has identified an important but fixable error in legal accounting rules for bioenergy that could, if uncorrected, undermine efforts to reduce greenhouse gases by encouraging deforestation.

NSF authorizes $29 million for world's deepest underground lab

NSF authorizes $29 million for world's deepest underground lab UC Berkeley's proposal to build lab facilities in a South Dakota mine has received an additional $29 million in support from the National Science Foundation. The funds, which are for a preliminary design, set the stage for later construction funds that would create the world's deepest underground laboratory for experiments in physics, geology and biology.

Research restructuring leads to net reduction in jobs

In mid-July, Vice Chancellor for Research Graham R. Fleming announced that the dire budget circumstances facing the campus necessitated taking a hard look, as quickly as possible, at the structure of services and deployment of resources administered from his office.

Berkeley stakes science claim at Homestake gold mine

Berkeley stakes science claim at Homestake gold mine UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab plan to turn South Dakota's Homestake gold mine into a world-class science complex, with underground experiments in astrophysics, physics, biology and earth science. South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds, a big supporter of the effort, visited the campus and lab June 12 to cement the relationship and see what a large research complex looks like.

Microbe that can handle ionic liquids

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), a multi-institutional partnership led by Berkeley Lab, have identified a tropical rainforest microbe that can endure relatively high concentrations of an ionic liquid used to dissolve cellulosic biomass.

$30 million from DOE for carbon capture, sequestration

Two UC Berkeley faculty members will receive $30 million over the next five years from the U.S. Department of Energy to find better ways to separate carbon dioxide from power plant and natural gas well emissions and stick it permanently underground.

Speaker series on California climate change challenges

A new speaker series at UC Berkeley will explore the state's landmark climate control legislation's critical connections to sustainable development and land-use planning. The series, "Growing Sustainability in a Low-Carbon World," is being sponsored by UC Berkeley's Institute for Urban and Regional Development (IURD). 

Cheaper materials could be key to low-cost solar cells

Unconventional solar cell materials that are as abundant but much less costly than silicon and other semiconductors in use today could substantially reduce the cost of solar photovoltaics, according to a new study from the Energy and Resources Group and the Department of Chemistry at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.