[Currents headergraphic]

June 21, 1999

Making the News

Professor of biology Burney Le Boeuf was featured prominently in the cover story for the June issue of Discover magazine. The article focused on the feeding habits of great white sharks and a research project in which Le Boeuf, an expert on elephant seals and other pinnipeds, is teaming up with shark expert Peter Klimley of UC Davis to study shark predation on elephant seals at Año Nuevo Island. Their research is also the subject of a National Geographic TV special scheduled to air in September.

When the San Jose Business Journal did a story on a new collaborative effort designed to foster teacher training programs in the region, they cited the success of UCSC's New Teacher Center. . . . And the San Francisco Chronicle quoted center codirector Gary Bloom in a story about how few teachers have sufficient computer expertise to take advantage of the new high-tech learning tools.

"Mozart may have met his match," claimed a story in USA Today. Mozart's match comes in the form of Experiments in Musical Intelligence, composer David Cope's computer program. The lengthy feature discussed Cope's program and its implications.

Anthropologist Nancy Chen's expertise in Chinese practices came to the attention of reporter Don Lattin of the San Francisco Chronicle, who wrote a story about the worldwide surge in popularity of Falun Gong, an eclectic blend of meditation, martial arts, and visualization techniques.

Astronomer Sandra Faber was the subject of a lengthy profile in the Los Gatos Weekly Times. Faber was also featured in the PBS documentary Voyage to the Milky Way, which aired in May. Los Angeles Times reviewer Joel Greenberg described the program as a two-hour potpourri of various plans--some rather far-fetched--to tour the galaxy and colonize space. "Fortunately," writes Greenberg, "real scientists inject real science into the picture." Faber, for example, provides a counterpoint to the would-be colonists of the Mars Society, saying "People don't belong on the moon or Mars. I'd rather see a robot go than anyone I know."

Psychology's Elliot Aronson graced the pages of West magazine in the San Jose Mercury News. He was featured in the "Leading Question" column, fielding queries about classroom dynamics and intergroup relations in the wake of the Littleton tragedy. The portrait of Aronson that anchored the piece was taken by Jon Kersey of the Social Sciences Media Lab. . . . Aronson was one of several UCSC faculty members in psychology and education who enhanced the content of a package of Santa Cruz County Sentinel stories about high school cliques. Others included Margarita Azmitia, Greta Gibson, and Anthony Pratkanis.

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle described the rescue of four peregrine falcon chicks from a nest on the Antioch Bridge by Brian Latta and other biologists with the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group. The operation in May was the second time the group has successfully removed peregrine chicks from the bridge, where they are in danger of falling into the water below and drowning.

Economist David Kaun has been picking up his pen of late, writing letters about taxes and lotteries to the editors of the New York Times and the San Jose Mercury News, and also penning an op-ed response in the Santa Cruz County Sentinel to a recent column about UCSC written by Joe Bunnett.

The dedication of the Jack Baskin School of Engineering was covered by the Santa Cruz County Sentinel, the San Jose and Silicon Valley Business Journal, and NBC affiliate KSBW (Channel 8). Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood and dean Patrick Mantey were among those quoted in the articles.

Poet Peter Gizzi was the subject of a feature story in the Santa Cruz County Sentinel. The story traced Gizzi's life and work.

Sociologist Craig Reinarman was the featured guest on KUSP Radio's Talk of the Bay show last week, discussing U.S. drug policy.

The Art Department's 14 Irwin Scholars were lauded in the Sentinel. A colorful photo of the beaming students ran along with the announcement of their scholarships and an exhibition of their work.

With the spring count of sea otters under way, the Monterey County Herald interviewed adjunct professor of biology Jim Estes and other wildlife biologists for an article about declining sea otter populations.

The Monterey County Herald also ran an article about business development in Marina that included a section on UCSC's Monterey Bay Education, Science and Technology (MBEST) center. MBEST's director of physical planning and development J. Graham Bice was quoted in the story.

The Honolulu Advertiser ran an article about earth sciences researcher Erik Asphaug's presentation at a tsunami conference in Hawaii. Asphaug and geophysicist Steven Ward assessed the risk of an asteroid crashing into the ocean and generating a destructive tsunami. It's not a big threat, but it is worth considering because an asteroid is much more likely to hit the ocean than land, Asphaug said.

The Mid County Post ran a long article about the Arboretum, with extensive quotes from director Ron Enomoto.

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