University of California, Berkeley

The University of California was chartered in 1868 and its flagship campus — envisioned as a “City of Learning” — was established at Berkeley, on San Francisco Bay. Today the world’s premier public university and a wellspring of innovation, UC Berkeley occupies a 1,232 acre campus with a sylvan 178-acre central core. From this home its academic community makes key contributions to the economic and social well-being of the Bay Area, California, and the nation.

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The Kulluk, Shell’s Arctic offshore drilling platform, was grounded in 2013 after efforts by the US Coast Guard and tug vessel crews to move the vessel to a safe harbor during a winter storm. Zachary Painter/ US Coast Guard/

US permits Arctic drilling, but questions about safety remain

Shell is going back to the Arctic to explore offshore drilling, but the company and the Department of Interior are not using the best practices for avoiding the risk of a spill.
In the 1920s and 1930s crews surveyed much of California, collecting information about vegetation. This photo was taken in 1936 by Albert Wieslander. Marian Koshland Biosciences Library

California’s majestic trees are declining — a harbinger of future forests

Scientists in my native state of California were handed a gift: a trove of detailed information about the state’s forests taken during the 1920s and 1930s and digitized over the past 15 years. When we…
Here’s what’s on the agenda. POOL New/ Reuters

The State of the Union 2015 – a closer look at the president’s ‘ambitious agenda’

Editor’s note: “The state of the union is good,” and the attitude of President Barack Obama in his annual speech to Congress was upbeat. Good economic news and no more election campaigns were the backdrop…
How much longer will both flags fly over the Acropolis? Reuters

Grexit déjà vu: is Europe really ready to let its Grecians go?

For faithful followers of the European economy, it feels like déjà vu all over again. Turmoil in Greece is raising doubts about the country’s continued membership in the eurozone. The specter of a “Grexit…
The cost of a degree just keeps rising. Is it still worth it? Shutterstock

College grads still earn a premium — if they can find a good job

The early admissions deadlines for universities across the country have come and gone, and acceptance letters are on their way. But with the cost of a four-year college education rising an average of 5…
Closing the thousands of loopholes that riddle the US tax code is a rare area of bipartisan agreement in Congress. So why is it so hard to end them? Shutterstock

Tax loopholes draw bi-party fire but don’t expect them to vanish

The thousands of tax loopholes that litter the corporate tax code in the United States are frequent targets of criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. Outgoing Republican Senator Tom Coburn released…
Eat greener greens, they’re better for the planet. thebittenword.com/flickr

Organic farming techniques are closing gap on conventional yields

The unintended consequences of our agricultural food system – polluted air and water, dead zones in coastal seas, soil erosion – have profound implications for human health and the environment. So more…
The collapse of Lehman Brothers was a pivotal moment in the most recent financial crisis. The next crash may feature another bank failure. Reuters

What will the next financial crisis look like – and are we ready?

The subprime crisis and the subsequent failure of Lehman Brothers came as such a shock – and the repercussions were so severe that when the time came to mount a response, policy makers were as surprised…
One of the perks of becoming an elite flyer is it’s easier to upgrade to better cabins, such as Virgin Atlantic’s upper class cabin. Phillip Capper, CC BY-SA

Frequent flying is getting a lot more rewarding – for those at the very top

Frequent flyer programs are one of the primary ways airlines build customer loyalty. In a nutshell, the more you travel with the same airline (or its partners), the higher the odds you will be able to…
Consumers always hope to get the best deal when they make their travel and holiday plans. But so do the airlines. Shutterstock

So when should you book that flight? The truth on airline prices

How airlines price tickets is a source of many myths and urban legends. These include tips about the best day of the week to buy a ticket, last-minute discounts offered by the airlines, and the conspiracy…
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback was re-elected despite a tight fight over his tax cuts and resulting deficit, which were revealed to be worse than expected just days after the election. Reuters

Brownback’s Kansas tax experiment may prove death knell for corporate reform

Republican gains in this month’s election, which handed the GOP united control of Congress for the first time since 2006, have lifted hopes that the government can pass corporate tax reform next year…
Is California ready for prison reform? Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

California’s Proposition 47: softer on crime

On November 4, 2014, Californians will vote on Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. The measure would change many crimes from felonies, which generally require prison terms, to misdemeanors…
Polls are open. Which campaigns’ ground games will outlast the election? AP

Getting out the vote: not all ground games are alike

In the final Election Day push, more and more focus is being shifted to the “ground game,” or the effort campaigns make to identify and turn out voters. From Massachusetts to Alaska, New Hampshire to Colorado…
Bikesharing has exploded in popularity in recent years, including in New York with the Citi Bike program, but the pricing structures have been a cause for concern. NYCDOT/Flickr via CC BY-SA-ND

Bikeshare pricing could slow trend’s rapid expansion

Bikesharing has boomed in Europe and North America in recent years following decades of slow growth since its introduction on the streets of Amsterdam in 1965. Like any industry undergoing rapid expansion…
Better hurry up if you want a place. Reuters/Adrees Latif

New York mayor’s preschool crusade helps better-off families

Rookie New York mayor Bill de Blasio – poster child for America’s insurgent progressives – has promised to rewrite “a tale of two cities” by seeking to narrow gaps between the haves and the have-nots across…

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