Introducing the new minor in food systems

Students in discussion at the student organic garden

New this fall in ESPM is a minor in food systems, which will offer undergraduates the opportunity to critically examine issues of contemporary food and agriculture from a whole-systems perspective. “The study of food systems is a relatively new field,” ESPM's Kathryn De Master told KQED blogger … [Read more...]

Drought may be killing California’s giant sequoias


California’s giant sequoias are showing signs of stress — some have leaves that are drier and sparser than usual — and UC Berkeley tree biologist Anthony Ambrose thinks the drought is to blame. Ambrose is leading a project, along with Koren Nydick, an ecologist with the National Park Service, to … [Read more...]

Clearing habitat surrounding farm fields fails to reduce pathogens


By Sarah Yang, UC Berkeley Media Relations The effort to improve food safety by clearing wild vegetation surrounding crops is not helping, and in some cases may even backfire, according to a new study led by researchers at UC Berkeley. The findings, reported today in the journal … [Read more...]

Claire Kremen talks pollinators and crops with Mark Bittman


During his semester-long residency last spring at the Berkeley Food Institute, best-selling cooking writer and New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman visited nearby farms, enjoyed California farmer’s markets, and met with many Berkeley faculty and students. This summer, in collaboration with the … [Read more...]

Free Trade for Green Trade


To Support Clean Power, Open Up Trade In Green Technology By Jonas Meckling and Llewelyn Hughes (excerpted from Foreign Affairs Magazine) In the run-up to the Paris talks at the end of the year, governments are preparing their strategies to negotiate national emissions reduction targets. But … [Read more...]

Targeting microbes could help fight coffee pest

coffee borer

By Dan Krotz, Lawrence Berkeley Lab In this video, Berkeley Lab’s Javier Ceja-Navarro discusses how researchers are learning how to utilize microbes that live inside the digestive tracts of insects for pest control, improved agriculture, and biofuel production.   The coffee berry … [Read more...]

Documenting small-scale gold mining in Indonesia


Professor Nancy Lee Peluso has been researching natural resources politics in Indonesia since 1979. In this photo essay and article, published on the Australian National University's College of Asia and the Pacific website, Peluso documents the searching for gold in unlicensed mines in West … [Read more...]

Small salmon, big threat

Stephanie Carlson with a juvenile fish.

By Carol Ness, Berkeley News Coho salmon and steelhead trout breed in the streams of Central California that summer turns into trickles and pools. Two- to four-inch juveniles, hatched in early spring, remain for a year or two before heading out to sea. By the end of summer, their survival is … [Read more...]

ESPM Alumna Glenda Humiston chosen to head Agriculture and Natural Resources

Image of Glenda Humiston

University of California President Janet Napolitano announced earlier this month that she will propose to the UC Board of Regents that they approve a veteran administrator with decades of experience in agriculture, natural resources, and sustainability as the next leader of the Division of … [Read more...]

Environment takes big hit from water-intensive marijuana cultivation

Discarded fertilizer boxes near a covert marijuana field.

By Sarah Yang, UC Berkeley Media Relations The debate over the legalization of marijuana has focused primarily on questions of law, policy and health. But a new paper co-authored by UC Berkeley researchers shines a spotlight on the environment as an underappreciated victim of the plant’s … [Read more...]