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University of California, Merced

UC Merced opened Sept. 5, 2005, as the 10th campus in the University of California system and the first American research university of the 21st century. Situated near Yosemite National Park, the campus significantly expands access to the UC system for students throughout the state, with a special mission to increase college-going rates among students in the San Joaquin Valley. It also serves as a major base of advanced research, a model of sustainable design and construction, and a stimulus to economic growth and diversification throughout the region.

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Building solar panels over water sources is one way to both provide power and reduce evaporation in drought-troubled regions. Robin Raj, Citizen Group & Solar Aquagrid

These energy innovations could transform how we mitigate climate change, and save money in the process – 5 essential reads

From pulling carbon dioxide out of the air to turning water into fuel, innovators are developing new technologies and pairing existing ones to help slow global warming.
Banana plantation workers in Panama find shade under a vehicle during a break. Jan Sochor/Latincontent/Getty Images

Heat waves hit the poor hardest – a new study calculates the rising impact on those least able to adapt to the warming climate

The risk from heat waves is about more than intensity – being able to cool off is essential, and that’s hard to find in many low-income areas of the world.
Heat and dryness are leaving high mountain areas more vulnerable to forest fires. David McNew/Getty Images

Western fires are burning higher in the mountains and at unprecedented rates as the climate warms

As the risk of fires rises in areas once considered too wet to burn, it creates hazards for mountain communities and for downstream water supplies.
Heat and dryness are leaving high mountain areas more vulnerable to forest fires. David McNew/Getty Images

Western fires are burning higher in the mountains at unprecedented rates – it’s a clear sign of climate change

As the risk of fires rises in areas once considered too wet to burn, it creates hazards for mountain communities and for downstream water supplies.
Dry conditions across the West follow a hot, dry year of record-setting wildfires in 2020. Communities were left with scenes like this, from California’s Creek Fire. Amir Aghakouchak/University of California Irvine

Another dangerous fire season is looming in the Western U.S., and the drought-stricken region is headed for a water crisis

Drought conditions are so bad, fish hatcheries are trucking their salmon to the ocean and ranchers are worried about having enough water for their livestock.
The California Aqueduct, which carries water more than 400 miles south from the Sierra Nevada, splits as it enters Southern California at the border of Kern and Los Angeles counties. California DWR

Installing solar panels over California’s canals could yield water, land, air and climate payoffs

Installing solar panels over California’s 4,000 miles of canals could generate less expensive, renewable energy, save water, fight climate change – and offer a solution for the thirsty American West.
A mixed-conifer forest in the central Sierra Nevada after restoration, with unthinned forest in the background. Roger Bales

Restoring California’s forests to reduce wildfire risks will take time, billions of dollars and a broad commitment

Restoring western forests – thinning out small trees and dead wood – is an important strategy for reducing the risk of massive wildfires. But these projects aren’t fast, easy or cheap.
A mast year can be a squirrel’s dream come true. Editor77/Shutterstock.com

Tons of acorns? It must be a mast year

Masting is what biologists call the pattern of trees for miles around synchronizing to all produce lots of seeds – or very few. Why and how do they get on schedule?
Is a bottle of morning milk at night the equivalent of turning on all the lights at bedtime? comzeal images/Shutterstock.com

Human breast milk may help babies tell time via circadian signals from mom

Breast milk contains ingredients in concentrations that change over the course of the day. Researchers think milk is chrononutrition, carrying molecular messages to help set a baby’s internal clock.

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