[Currents header

March 17, 1997


National Public Radio reporter Alan Chadwick devoted a recent "Radio Expeditions" segment to the research of UCSC marine biologist Burney Le Boeuf at Ano Nuevo. Listeners across the country learned about the fascinating and extreme lives of elephant seals, unveiled gradually over the last three decades by Le Boeuf and his students and colleagues.

The editors of the Los Angeles Times made room on the front page for a lengthy profile of anthropologist Adrienne Zihlman. The article covered her 30-year career studying the path of human evolution.

Consecutive issues of Science News spotlighted the expertise of UCSC scientists. The magazine called upon astrophysicist Stan Woosley for comment on the tenth anniversary of Supernova 1987A, which still hides mysteries within its expanding and glowing shell of gas. One week later, Institute of Marine Sciences researcher Kenneth Clifton earned notice for his research, published in the journal Science, on the remarkable sex lives of algae on coral reefs near Panama. Clifton documented a "quick, tightly choreographed exchange at dawn" during which the ocean literally turns pea-soup green with seaweed sex cells.

Love and lust in the apple orchard was the subject of a recent Santa Cruz County Sentinel article about entomologist Sean Swezey's ongoing research with local farmers who do battle every spring with the codling moth. Swezey uses a strategy called "mating disruption" to thwart the moth's reproductive patterns, and it involves dispersing the female moth's sex odor in the orchard to confuse males.

The Economist and Science both picked up on Marc Mangel's new work on the breeding habits of the rich. His study of why the rich have fewer children than the poor, which was presented at the recent annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was covered by both magazines.

The news section of Science asked UCSC paleoclimatologist Jim Zachos for his opinion of a new theory that massive releases of methane from the ocean floor triggered past extinctions of many species. The theory makes sense, Zachos said, based on records seen in seafloor sediments.

An effort by the Career Center to put Branciforte Elementary School students on track for college was recognized with an article and photo in the Sentinel. In a workshop organized by the Career Center, about a dozen UCSC students led the 60 sixth graders in imagining and talking about future careers and college requirements.

Communication and Technology Services's experimentation with wireless modems on campus was noted in a Chronicle of Higher Education article in January. The article discussed a new Federal Communications Commission policy allowing entities such as colleges and universities to set up their own wireless systems over a limited area.

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