UC Merced Connect: Research is cornerstone of university

February 26, 2013 

Researchers at UC Merced are delving into issues of great importance to the San Joaquin Valley, the state, the nation and the world.

You can learn more about their work at the eighth annual UC Merced Research Week, March 4-8, on campus and in downtown Merced.

"Research is part of our everyday culture at UC Merced. It is one of the main reasons why we are here," Vice Chancellor for Research Sam Traina said. "Each year, we like to highlight and reflect on the amazing contributions that our faculty and students make toward the creation of new knowledge. We are extremely proud of their work."

Come out for the kickoff event and breakfast Monday in the Bobcat Lair. Guest speakers include Traina, who will talk about why research is a cornerstone of UC Merced and what the faculty, staff and students are doing to make a difference.

Stay on campus for a symposium held by UC Merced's premier research group, the Sierra Nevada Research Institute.

Some of UC Merced's faculty researchers will explain their latest findings on issues such as the Sierra snowpack, which supplies a large portion of California's water; how to save California's state parks and keep them accessible to the public; and the economics of electricity in California.

After the symposium, take a tour of UC Merced's planned nature reserve and learn about the unique animals and plants on the nearly 6,500 acres of land adjacent to the campus.

On Tuesday, check out what UC Merced's graduate and undergraduate students are up to at some of the week's poster competitions held in The Joseph Gallo Gymnasium.

Then, head downtown to the Sam Pipes Room at the Merced Civic Center for a reception and discussion with faculty, students and community members affiliated with the UC Merced Resource Center for Community Engaged Scholarship.

Enjoy light refreshments, a research-poster gallery and a discussion on the ongoing collaborations between UC Merced and the community, and how the campus's research benefits the community, from The Overcomers Project and dog therapy to the Teen Pregnancy Project.

On March 6, you can learn all about the health-

related work being conducted through UC Merced's Health Sciences Research Institute. The institute's seminar will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. in the conference room known as Half Dome on the second floor of the Social Sciences and Management Building.

On March 7, Sigma Xi, the research-based scholars' group, will hold a symposium that includes a paleoecologist talking about mammals' responses to climate change, a researcher speaking on evolutionary medicine and many others.

First-year chemistry and chemical biology graduate students will present their research project posters March 8 on the third floor of the Science and Engineering Building. They will be available to discuss their work one-on-one with visitors.

For a complete schedule of events, visit http://research.ucmerced.edu.

California naturalist to speak on campus

Laura Cunningham, the author of a book that explores California's natural history, will speak from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday in UC Merced's Summits meeting room.

The event is free and open to the public.

"State of Change: Forgotten Landscapes of California" was selected as UC Merced's 2012-13 Common Read, which means the book is incorporated in several first-year courses. The Common Read program is meant to enhance the campus' sense of community.

Cunningham is an artist-naturalist who has worked in the field of wildlife biology. Through the use of historical ecology, she walks through forgotten landscapes to uncover secrets about the past, explore what our future will hold and experience the ever-changing landscape of California.

The event is sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Education. For more information, contact Bobbi Ventura at (209) 228-4686 or bventura2@ucmerced.edu.

UC Merced Connect is a collection of news items written by the university's communications staff. To contact them, email communications@ucmerced.edu.

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