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Research Week Offers Opportunities to Learn More about Intriguing Subjects

California’s drought is a major topic, including on the UC Merced campus.  

It will be among the subjects explored during this year’s Research Week, from March 10 through 14. The annual event includes a brunch kickoff, a poster competition, live research demonstrations, a smoking symposium presented by the Health Sciences Research Institute, a psychology symposium, a geospatial summit, lectures and a symposium on the drought presented by the Sierra Nevada Research Institute.

Professor Discovers How to Rein in Power of Tiny Particles with Potentially Big Effect

The heat generated by smartphones and other electronic devices could be harnessed to also power them, according to compelling research out of the University of California, Merced.

Physics Professor Michael Scheibner’s latest work in the emerging field of phononics – the study of quasi-particles that produce heat – indicates phonons can be harnessed to produce energy.

“Usually, phonons dissipate, but using an electric field, we can keep them in place where they are generated, and make them useful,” he said.

New Study Connects Smoke-Free Laws, Dentists’ Advice to Quit

Smoke-free laws may help encourage dentists to recommend that their patients kick the smoking habit, according to new research co-authored by UC Merced Professor Mariaelena Gonzalez.

The paper, published in the American Journal of Public Health, suggests the societal change manifested by smoke-free laws can contribute to an atmosphere in which dentists pay more attention to patients’ smoking habits.

Commencement Speakers Bring Varied Experience to Campus’s Largest Commencement

The University of California, Merced, has selected CEO of Enduring Hydro LLC and former U.S. Undersecretary for Energy Kristina Johnson and Merced County Superior Court Judge Paul C. Lo to deliver keynote addresses at its ninth commencement, May 17 and 18.

With more than 1,400 students eligible to graduate, UC Merced marks another milestone with its largest graduating class in history, surpassing the 898-member graduating class a year ago.

The campus will again hold two school-based ceremonies to accommodate students and their families.

UC Merced Heating Up Mongolia’s Harsh Winter

One of the world’s oldest civilizations – with the worst air pollution and the coldest capital city – will employ cutting-edge technology from the newest UC campus starting in February.

Professor Roland Winston, who leads the UC Merced-based UC Solar Institute, just returned from a trip to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital. He met with the owner of Mongolia National University, a 15-year-old institution with about 9,000 students, to discuss installing a solar-thermal unit on one of the campus buildings to generate 3 kilowatts of steam heat for a portion of the campus.

Natural Reserve Earns Regents’ Approval

The protected land adjoining the northeast corner of campus is officially part of the UC Natural Reserve System now that the UC Board of Regents gave the proposed reserve final approval today at its January meeting.  

The Merced Vernal Pools and Grasslands Reserve is the 39th reserve in the statewide system, adding more than 6,500 acres to the more than 750,000 acres already being conserved and studied. UC Merced’s reserve, though, is the first one in the San Joaquin Valley, and the first one in the heart of the greater Central Valley.

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