News

October 27, 2016

UC Santa Barbara has placed among the top 25 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 Best Global Universities rankings. The rankings, which are based on institutions’ academic research and reputation, evaluate 1,000 universities — up from 750 last year — across 65 countries. UCSB is ranked number 24 overall, and number 7 among public universities in the United States.

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September 15, 2016

With a $10 million gift from Marc and Lynne Benioff, UC Santa Barbara establishes the Benioff Ocean Initiative to study and solve ocean issues

Maybe it’s all the plastic you see on the beach where you take your kids. Or that news story you read about shark-finning and can’t quite get it out of your mind. Are you frustrated trying to identify sustainable options on the menu at your favorite seafood restaurant?

These are common concerns, and they all lead back to one place: the ocean. And with climate change acidifying and heating up the seas, global fisheries being overharvested and more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic working their way into marine food webs, they’re the tip of a massive threat to our oceans.

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September 13, 2016

In its 2017 listing of the “Top 30 Public National Universities” in the country, U.S. News & World Report has ranked UC Santa Barbara number 8.

Among the “Best National Universities” ranking, which includes both public and private institutions, UCSB placed number 37. Within the University of California system, only UC Berkeley and UCLA ranked above UCSB. Other UC campuses in the Top 30 include Irvine, Davis and San Diego.

In addition, UCSB placed number 13 among public universities in the “Least Debt” section of the magazine’s ranking of student debt load at graduation. UCSB’s College of Engineering is ranked number 18 among public universities on the U.S. News & World Report list of “Best Programs at Engineering Schools Whose Highest Degree is a Doctorate.”

The magazine has just released its annual college rankings online at usnews.com/colleges. The print edition of “Best Colleges 2017” guidebook can be purchased online beginning today or in stores Oct. 4.

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May 27, 2016

Being at the top of the food chain is no guarantee of a species survival. Not only are many of these so-called apex predators susceptible to human impacts, they also are slow to recover from them, which makes these animals vulnerable despite their high-ranking ecosystem status.

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April 05, 2016

Pollen grains may be small but they have a big job. Delivering a sperm to an egg is a little more complicated when the parents don’t move around.

For plants, pollen success means reaching a receptive stigma, germinating and growing a pollen tube into the ovary, locating an ovule and only then entering and delivering a sperm to a receptive egg. Despite the importance of these events to plant reproduction, pollen performance is relatively understudied.

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March 30, 2016

Vast and amorphous, the ocean covers more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. It is a key player in the global carbon cycle, producing about half of the world’s output of organic carbon.

Unlike terrestrial ecosystems, which can store carbon for decades, most of the organic carbon produced in the ocean is converted into CO2 within a few days. New work by UC Santa Barbara researchers aims to facilitate a new understanding of ocean carbon transport processes, which affect climates around the world.

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March 10, 2016

Beyond the breakers, the ocean is like the Wild West. While not completely lawless, its vastness and remoteness make it hard to observe and more difficult to manage human activity.

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September 08, 2015

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded an $800,000 Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant to UC Santa Barbara’s Roger Nisbet. He will use the funding to develop a model to better understand biological and ecological consequences of exposure to metals, nanoparticles and certain flame retardants in industrial and consumer products. Such materials could pose a threat to human and environmental health.

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August 20, 2015

A new general consumer-resource model spans the mathematics of a century’s worth of food web models and provides a common foundation for new food webs

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June 05, 2015

Over the last few days, the waters off the Santa Barbara coast have turned a striking shade of turquoise. The mystery behind this unusual color change is a type of chalk-producing phytoplanktonic organism called a coccolithophore.

But what makes these otherwise invisible life forms suddenly visible? It’s their sudden abundance. When coccolithophores are numerous, they turn the ocean surface turquoise-white and can easily be seen via satellite.

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