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Environment

UC Solar Working to Meet State’s Renewable Energy Goals

MERCED, Calif. — The solar energy industry is emerging as a key player in the multi-pronged approach California will take in leading the nation in renewable energy, experts say.

And the University of California’s research is leading the way.

The University of California, Merced, home of The University of California Advanced Solar Technologies Institute (UC Solar), is sponsoring a seminar exploring the solar industry present and future, and the many creative initiatives being developed by the University of California.

California Overspends Water Rights by 300 Million Acre Feet

California is deficit-spending its water and has been for a century, according to state data analyzed recently by researchers from the University of California.

UC Merced Professor Joshua Viers and postdoctoral researcher Ted Grantham, with UC Davis at the time, explored the state’s database of water-rights allocations, and found that allocations in California exceed the state's actual water supply by five times the average annual runoff and 100 times the actual surface-water supply for some river basins.

Rare Flower Variant Discovered by Professor Offers Insight into Evolution

The discovery of a new, rare species of monkey flower by Professor Jason Sexton provides clues as to how new species are born.

Sexton, who researches the monkey flowers that grow wild throughout California, and are especially prolific in the Sierra Nevada, conducted this work with researchers Kathleen G. Ferris and John H. Willis, both from Duke University.

Climate Change Influencing Freshwater Mountain Runoff, Research Shows

As the climate warms, sources of the water so critical to life everywhere on Earth are drying up.

By the end of this century, communities dependent on freshwater from mountain-fed rivers could see significantly less water, according to a new climate model recently released by University of California researchers.

For example, people who get freshwater from the Kings River could see a 26 percent decrease in river flow.

Engineering Students Working on Water Issues for Summer Research Project

Spending a summer finding ways to make toilet water reusable and trying to extract urine from wastewater might not sound glamorous.

But the results of the work two UC Merced students are doing though a prestigious research partnership could be very important to a state facing a severe drought, as well as for the future of water security.

Facilities Management Seeks Campus’s Help in Attaining Sustainable Certifications

UC Merced is one of the greenest campuses in the nation, with 100 percent of its new construction having earned LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Those certifications have been earned on the basis of building construction practices, such as integrating recycled materials and diverting tons of waste from landfills for reuse, better mechanical and electrical systems

New Center Seeks Better Ways to Communicate Climate Issues

Climate change is creating two problems. One is understanding and addressing its impact on the world. The other is convincing large swaths of the public that it is, in fact, a reality.

In an effort to spur people to take action to prevent ecological disaster, researchers with the new UC Merced Center for Climate Communications are studying the best ways to spread the message.

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