University of California, Santa Barbara

UCSB is one of only 61 institutions elected to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities. And the Newsweek guide to America’s best colleges has named UCSB one of the country’s “hottest colleges” twice in the past decade.

In addition to five Nobel Laureates, UCSB’s faculty includes many elected members or fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (25), the National Academy of Sciences (32), the National Academy of Engineering (25), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (60). Three UCSB professors also have been named MacArthur Fellows by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

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Many California wildfires spread from structure to structure, fed by the winds. Cal Fire

How fierce fall and winter winds help fuel California fires

The dry, hot, downslope Santa Ana winds of Southern California fan late fall wildfires that have largely traveled through – and are fueled by – homes and other structures.
What do synchronized vibrations add to the mind/body question? agsandrew/Shutterstock.com

Could consciousness all come down to the way things vibrate?

A resonance theory of consciousness suggests that the way all matter vibrates, and the tendency for those vibrations to sync up, might be a way to answer the so-called 'hard problem' of consciousness.
Cal Fire Division Chief Mark Higgins directs helicopters dropping water in Lakeport, California. AP Photo/Noah Berger

Wildfires are inevitable – increasing home losses, fatalities and costs are not

As California reels from another devastating fire season, environmental resource scholars explain how the state – and other fire-prone areas – can better prepare and coexist with wildfires.
Predatory fish are among the most vulnerable species to human pressures. Rich Carey/Shutterstock

New map shows that only 13% of the oceans are still truly wild

The world has some 500 million square kilometres of ocean. But just 55 million square kilometres remain untouched by intensive human activities such as fishing.
Surgeons in Switzerland use the robot da Vinci to aid a hernia operation. Over a third of US hospitals have at least one surgical robot. AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi

Young doctors struggle to learn robotic surgery – so they are practicing in the shadows

There are more robots than ever in the operating room – but that's led to fewer opportunities for surgical trainees. Now, some new doctors are teaching themselves in secret.
Wind turbines require massive structures that are polluting to produce and can harm ecosystems, but these impacts compare favorably with those of fossil alternatives. www.shutterstock.com

Does ‘green energy’ have hidden health and environmental costs?

No energy source is perfect, but solar and wind have a much lower health and environmental footprint than fossil fuels, a study finds. Biopower, though, is a mixed bag.
Bald eagles are the best-known example of a successful recovery under the Endangered Species Act. Jerry McFarland/Flickr

For endangered species, the road to recovery can be winding and bumpy

Critics say the Endangered Species Act does not work because only about 1 percent of protected species have officially "recovered." Two biologists explain why recovery is so hard to define.
State conservation officials from Florida and Georgia work in 2014 to remove a heavy length of fishing rope from a right whale’s mouth. FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission/Flickr

New US seafood rule shows global trade and conservation can work together

A new US seafood import rule requires supplier countries to control accidental bycatch of whales, seals and other marine mammals – showing that global trade and conservation can reinforce each other.

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