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Sustainable 2nd Century

Sustainable 2nd Century

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The Sustainable 2nd Century celebrates UC Davis’ long-term commitment to environmental, economic and social sustainability. We use our strengths in teaching, research and public service to address society’s most pressing problems. Ideas that start on our campus — powered by faculty, students and staff — transform the world. Learn more...

Recent news

  • 4.17.14 — UC Davis takes action: California Drought website, UC Drought Summit April 25, and new campus plan

    Even before the worst drought in California’s recorded history pushed the issue of dwindling water resources sharply to attention this year, UC Davis was already taking aggressive measures to reduce its water use. Methods such as drought-tolerant landscaping, low-flow fixtures in student housing, and a reverse osmosis system for campus boilers has kept campus water use nearly constant since the 1970s.

  • 4.16.14 — Scientists solve the case of the red abalone die-off using new tool: forensic genomics

    In August 2011, thousands of dead red abalone washed up on the beaches of Sonoma County in Northern California. At the time, the cause was unknown, but scientists, including a biologist from UC Davis, learned that a harmful algal bloom was to blame: the causative agent Yessotoxin.

  • 4.9.14 — Reef fish arrived in two waves

    The world's reefs are hotbeds of biological diversity, including over 4,500 species of fish. A new study shows that the ancestors of these fish colonized reefs in two distinct waves, before and after the mass extinction event about 66 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaurs.

  • 4.7.14 — Scientists find missing piece of air particle equation hiding in the walls

    Laboratory chamber walls have been stealing vapors, causing researchers to underestimate the formation of secondary organic aerosol in the atmosphere. A study published April 7 in PNAS Online Early Edition describes how a team of scientists, including researchers from UC Davis showed that vapor losses to the walls of laboratory chambers can suppress the formation of secondary organic aerosol, which in turn has contributed to the underprediction of SOA in climate and air quality models.

  • 4.7.14 — Field study shows why food quality will suffer with rising CO2

    For the first time, a field test has demonstrated that elevated levels of carbon dioxide inhibit plants’ assimilation of nitrate into proteins, indicating that the nutritional quality of food crops is at risk as climate change intensifies.

  • 3.25.14 — Honda Smart Home at UC Davis West Village offers vision for zero carbon living

    Honda and UC Davis today marked the opening of Honda Smart Home US, showcasing technologies that enable zero net energy living and transportation. The home in UC Davis West Village is capable of producing more energy on-site from renewable sources than it consumes annually, including enough energy to power a Honda Fit EV for daily commuting.

  • 3.20.14 — Plankton make scents for seabirds and a cooler planet

    The top predators of the Southern Ocean, far-ranging seabirds, are tied both to the health of the ocean ecosystem and to global climate regulation through a mutual relationship with phytoplankton, according to newly published work from UC Davis.

  • 3.10.14 — Sweet smell of sustainability: renewable sources for artificial scents

    Fresh banana, a waft of flowers, blueberry: the scents in Shota Atsumi's laboratory in the UC Davis Department of Chemistry are a little sweeter than most. That's because Atsumi and his team are engineering bacteria to make esters — molecules widely used as scents and flavorings, and also as basic feedstock for chemical processes from paints to fuels.

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