serving the uc davis campus and community since 1915
volume 130, number 108
wednesday, november 2, 2011
Forum to look for input on new Athletic Director tonight Student opinions strongly encouraged By CHARLOTTE YOUNG Aggie Staff Writer
Tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) Ballroom, students are asked to gather for a forum regarding the hiring of the new athletic direc-
tor and give their opinions and thoughts. “We are eager to hear from people what sort of traits or experiences they think would be helpful in our next athletic director,” Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Fred Wood said. This is the third forum to be held for
ASUCD to hand out scholarships for students
the public regarding the hiring. ASUCD President Adam Thongsavat and Wood agree that it is crucial for students to be involved in the direction this decision will take the athletic program in. “Adam and I were concerned that students weren’t involved enough, so we
wanted to make this forum more studentfocused,” Wood said. Those involved hope that this meeting will break the attendance of the other two meetings, most importantly bringing in
See FORUM, page 2
BEEP comes to UC Davis
New bike program saves money, increases enforcement
$5,000 to be handed out, deadline tonight By RICHARD CHANG Aggie News Writer
Attention students: ASUCD wants to pay for your books and tuition; maybe some new clothes, too. With the weak economy and tuition hikes on the horizon, students are struggling to make ends meet. In an effort to help students financially, ASUCD Vice President Bree Rombi, along with ASUCD Senator Andre Lee, uncovered a scholarship fund that has not been given out in years.
“If you go outside and ask someone what their issue is, it’s always about money. Tuition is going up,” Rombi said. In order to encourage more people to apply, ASUCD engineered a holistic approach to the screening process, noted Annemarie Stone, chair of the ASUCD Academic Affairs Commission. Applicants will be judged based on a variety of factors, including
See ASUCD, page 2
News iN Brief
Councilmember Souza to announce re-election bid Davis City Councilmember Stephen Souza plans to officially announce his candidacy for the June 2012 council election Saturday morning. The announcement will be made at 10 a.m. at the Davis Bicycle Hall of Fame at Third and B Streets in downtown. Following the speech, Souza will conduct a “Rolling Announcement,” in which he will bike throughout
Madison Dunitz / Aggie
The BEEProgram was created in order to make the UC Davis campus a more bike-safe school.
Davis, stopping at places in town that represent “Promises Made and Promises Kept” in Souza’s past seven years on city council. He encourages and invites everyone to come on the bike ride with him. Stops along the route will also highlight his vision of accomplishments he still wants to fulfill. –– Angela Swartz
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 comes to SciLec tonight Breaking news from the Daily Prophet: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 will be shown in Science Lecture Hall 123 tonight. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show
starts at 8:30 p.m. Entertainment Council is hosting the event, and tickets will cost $2 at the door. Muggles and wizards alike are encouraged to attend.
By DANIELLE HUDDLESTUN Aggie News Writer
As a result of complaints, injuries and decreased overall campus safety, Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS), the UC Davis Police Department and the superior court in Woodland, have decided to start the Bicycle Education and Enforcement Program at UC Davis. Officially launched on Oct. 10, the program strives to increase education, enforcement and infrastructure. Citations were first issued Oct. 17. “There is an education and enforcement emphasis. The Bike Education and Enforcement Program was developed to help the students and the police,” said UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza. In an effort to decrease the monetary burden of tickets for students, which can cost $200 to $225, and to allow the police to properly enforce bike laws, TAPS and the UC Davis Police Department have created an agreement with the Yolo County Superior court. If a bicyclist receives a citation, they will be
California revenues fall $301.6 million below projections Aggie News Writer
State Controller John Chiang released his monthly report on Oct. 10, showing revenues came in
$301.6 million below projections from the recently passed state budget, stated a press release from the controller’s office. The total year-to-date general fund revenues are now be-
The state is currently $301.6 million behind the revenue target from the recently passed state budget, which could cause more UC tuition increases.
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hind the budget’s estimates by $705.5 million after accounting for September, stated the press release. If 2011-12 revenues are to reach their expected level, it is anticipated that the bulk of these revenues would be reflected in higher personal income tax, corporation-estimated tax payments and final return payments, which will be made from December 2011 through June 2012, stated the October California Department of Finance bulletin. “At this point, we are developing our forecast of revenues for the current fiscal year and for the subsequent fiscal year, and this will be released in mid-November,” said Senior Fiscal and Policy Analyst for the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) Caroline Godkin in an e-mail. The LAO and Finance Office will produce new revenue forecasts for 2011-12 based on economic and cash data in November and December. It is
Forecast Welcome back, freshman stripe! For those of you who enjoy the rain, you will appreciate Thursday’s weather. For those of you who don’t, I’m sorry. Tyson Tilmont, atmospheric science major Aggie Forecasting Team
See BIKE, page 3
Possible trigger cuts could affect UC tuition By EINAT GILBOA
expected to watch a 22-minute video, complete an estimated 20-minute, 50 question quiz and pay $70. After, the student will be dismissed, with their citation waived. “We anticipate success. All of the money will stay on campus to support the program, rather than going to the court,” said Director of TAPS Cliff Contreras. Previously, the police department felt guilty about giving a college student an expensive bicycling citation. The new program will allow the laws to be properly enforced, without burdening the students. “As a bike officer, and seeing violations occur, it is a safety issue. I have seen head-on collisions, concussions, front teeth knocked out, cuts on heads and faces, broken ankles and dislocated shoulders. Being able to enforce the laws and not feel bad about fines means more enforcement and education,” said UC Davis police officer, Ralph Nuno. The most common bicycling violations are not stopping at stop signs, failing to yield to pedestrians and riding with two ear buds in.
See REVENUE, page 2
What were your preconceptions about UC Davis, and how has that changed since you got here? When I was first considering the job of chancellor, I spoke with many colleagues around the country who told me that UC Davis was a university with a great past and an even greater future. Of course, I knew it was a premier institution. And Linda Katehi when I arrived here in Chancellor August of 2009, I anticipated the strength and the quality of this university, as well as its potential. As I begin my third academic year here, I believe that the potential for UC Davis is even greater than I thought it was in the beginning. Our outstanding faculty, students and staff thrive in a uniquely collaborative environment that encourages a spirit of innovation. That has not only been a pleasant surprise, but also a source of great excitement. When I first arrived, I was concerned about a number of acts of intolerance that occurred on a campus historically known for its civility. But we responded quickly and the
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community has enthusiastically embraced our hate-free campus initiative and our efforts to encourage a more inclusive campus. Last week’s very successful Civility Project is a good example of that. Another source of deep satisfaction is the tremendous amount of support our university receives from the city of Davis and other neighboring communities. Developing and maintaining strong relationships with the community is essential for any institution to be able to progress and move forward. At UC Davis, we are a close-knit community and we have a shared vision of where we want to go. I am delighted to see that these relationships are in place here and I look forward to achieving excellence as we continue to work together. I am enjoying the job of chancellor; serving this campus and this community provides a great deal of satisfaction – more so than I’d ever imagined. Do you have a question for the chancellor? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The wind was so ridiculous yesterday that I gave serious thought to just riding my horse to class. I’m not sure what university policy is on equine parking though. If you have any idea, let me know at email@example.com! :) Kim Carr
2 wednesday, november 2, 2011
daily calendar firstname.lastname@example.org
Beverly Wesner-Hoehn and the Celestia Harp Quartet.
ASUCD Blood and Marrow Drive 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Freeborn Hall All participants will receive a free t-shirt, free chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A Arden Fair in Sacramento (while supplies last) and will be entered into drawings to win an iPod Touch, IKEA gift cards and more. The campus organization with the most participation will have the best chance to win a drawing of $500 for its group. Eat and drink plenty of fluids before donating and bring a photo ID.
Men’s Soccer vs. Cal State Fullerton 3 p.m. Aggie Soccer Field The first 1,000 fans will get free foam fingers.
Undergraduate Research Center Info Session 4:10 p.m. 409 Surge IV Learn about research funding opportunities for undergraduates through the President’s Undergraduate Fellowship. The fellowship provides funds for undergraduates to pursue research projects or other creative activities under faculty supervision.
Circle K International Meeting 6 p.m. 206 Olson Interested in community service? Want to make new friends? Then join Circle K!
Relay For Life Team Meeting 8 to 9 p.m 212 Wellman Formerly known as Team Captain’s meetings, Team Meetings are open to everyone. There will also be a meeting at the same time and location on Thursday. Learn about Relay For Life and how to get involved.
THURSDAY Shinkoskey Noon Concert 12:05 p.m. Yocha Dehe Grand Lobby, Mondavi Center Listen to a free concert by harpist
Biomedical Engineering Department Seminar Series 4 p.m. 1005 Genome and Biomedical Sciences Building Dr. Atul Parikh, professor of the department of biomedical engineering and department of chemical engineering & materials science at UC Davis, will present his talk “Lipocentric View of Biological Membranes: Reconstituting Selected Lipidmediated Processes.”
Student Nutrition Association Meeting 5 to 6 p.m. 6 Olson SNA is holding its second meeting of the year.
Botany and Environmental Horticulture Club Meeting 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. 3090 Science Laboratory Building Jena Grossenbacher will discuss Yosemite alpine plant diversity. Free pizza and plant raffle.
Careers with Animals 7 p.m. 180 Med Sci C Join the Internship and Career Center and the Vet Aide Club for this special panel to learn about exciting animalrelated careers in zoo animal clinical medicine and health technician services.
Poetry Night Reading Series 8 p.m. John Natsoulas Gallery, 521 First St. Poet and UC Davis professor Joshua Clover is an award-winning poet, film and music critic and theorist who has published multiple books. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to secure a seat and a spot on the Open Mic list. To receive placement in the AGGIE DAILY CALENDAR, e-mail dailycal@ theaggie.org or stop by 25 Lower Freeborn by noon the day prior to your event. Due to space constraints, all event descriptions are subject to editing, and priority will be given to events that are free of charge and geared toward the campus community.
million. “I can tell you right now that if, in fact, the trigger does go into effect and the state withholds an additional $100 million from UC’s budget, we will not institute a midyear tuition increase,” said Dianne Klein, media specialist for the UC in an e-mail. “If the cut goes into effect — a contingency we have planned for — UC will absorb it as it has the others in the past, through increased systemwide efficiencies, efforts to raise outside revenue and continued internal cost cutting.” Klein also said, “We can’t absorb more cuts this way. We are down to the bone. Should the state disinvestment in the University of California continue, further tuition increases may occur.” Klein said that at the last Board of Regents meeting, a multi-year budget strategy was discussed. “If the state increased its funding to the UC by 8 percent next year, we would still need to raise tuition by 8 percent,” Klein said. “If the state gives us no new funds, we would need a 16 percent rise in tuition.” No decision was made on the multi-year budget strategy at the meeting.
Cont. from front page these forecasts that will determine whether the “trigger” budget reductions will be implemented, stated the bulletin. “Trigger” cuts are a mechanism for reducing expenditures in 2011-12 if General Fund revenues are estimated to fall short of the amount contained in the 2011-12 budget act, stated the California Department of Finance Spending plan for 201112. “For better or worse, the potential for revenue shortfalls is precisely why the Governor and Legislature included trigger cuts in this year’s State spending plan,” said Chiang in a press release. “September’s revenues alone do not guarantee that triggers will be pulled. But as the largest revenue month before December, these numbers do not paint a hopeful picture.” The spending plan stated these cuts would occur in two tiers; the first, if revenues are forecast to be $1 billion below the budget level, and the second, if the revenue is forecast to be $2 billion below. If tier 1 cuts were to go into effect, the University of California (UC) budget EINAT GILBOA can be reached city@ would be slashed by $100 theaggie.org.
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we will use our knowledge to unlock future opportunities, then successes and steady salaries. The purpose of school is, indirectly, money. The ulZenita timate purpose of life is Singh money — to make money, to have money, to spend money. I’ve recently resented being pulled into the vortex of this imprisoning, dreamdevastating system. Yet it is so deeply entrenched in my mind that I find myself unable to wrench it out. nce upon a delightful Perhaps my biggest hytime, when Borders pocrisy is my hatred of hystill existed and life pocrisy. I have always adwas thus full of sunshine and mired individuals who had rainbows, I was geeking out the courage not only to in the sci-fi section when a dream, but to pursue their book suctioned my attention dreams. Unfortunately, I faster than a vacuum eats cannot honestly say I am one hair clips. of them. As always, I skimmed the I came to Davis with back, then flipped the book plans to major in neurobiopen to examine the barcode ology, physiology and beon the upper havior. I left corner of then dethe inside flap. In today’s world, money equates cided to $24.99. success and success equates be “wise” The shadand happiness ows of depresswitch to sion descendbiomedied upon me, leaving me in cal engineering. the mood for careful cogniBut the truth is, I want tion. What does $24.99 really nothing more than to be mean? an English major — and no My mind reeled. I love to matter how much I pretend, read, but I also have an unno matter how well I act, I fortunate obsession with will never be able to comsmoothies, and a 32-ounce pletely fool myself. Juice It Up Big Berry Combo I have mildly enjoyed, tolis worth $5.25. I pulled out erated and suffered through my cell phone for a quick enough nerve-grating, haircalculation. Shoot! I could whitening classes with the get 4.76, I mean four … or promise of success guiding almost five smoothies for me, serving as the light at the that much! Wait, is it that end of this dark, disorienting good? tunnel of college. Rather than my book, I But why should I set myjust got a headache and gen- self up for a career I’ll hate? eral displeasure with the Would I really prefer that to ways of our world, which a lower-paying job that actuonly worsened as I pondered ally incites my interest and the value of $24.99. passion? What is the true value of I now understand the money, anyway? Can it even power of the American dolbe determined? Is a dollar lar. Money has not only purreally just worth a dollar for chasing power, but also the everybody? Is a poor man’s power to enhance or distort dollar analogous to a pensentimental values through ny in the eyes of a wealthier illusions of worth. It has the man? And most importantpower to drive some to haply, is money merely tangible piness and others to depieces of paper and metal? spair; to incite peace or war; No, I decided, a few hours to save lives or end them; to and aspirins later. Money is build or destroy; to shape both concrete and abstract. viewpoints and futures for Physically, a dollar is a rar- better or worse. ified piece of paper. Its worth The dollar may be a flimsy comes from people, since it piece of paper, but it truly is is the people who assign and potent. accept its “value.” So what really is money? Conceptually, it is a Is it a goal, a sign of success, means by which we get what happiness, power, or lack we want. After all, before the thereof? Is it, or does it lead development of standardto, good or bad? ized currencies, humans Individual sentiments toward traded certain goods to get money may differ based on others. Now we do the same, many factors such as culture, only we trade commonreligion, social status and ethly-recognized bills for the nic background, but the fact items we desire. is that money is a multifac In today’s world, moneted pain in the behind that ey equates success and suc- is not always worth all of the cess equates happiness. So worry it costs. according to the transitive Sometimes it’s okay to inproperty, money is happidulge and get the book and ness. We were raised with the smoothie. I think I will! this logic. Our parents sent us to schools not solely to Tell ZENITA SINGH what you think about learn, but also to ensure that money at email@example.com.
Money = success?
forum Cont. from front page more of the student body. “It’s going to be audience members who ask the questions and give their opinions, and I hope a lot of students show up and give their opinions and thoughts,” Thongsavat said. The first meeting brought in approximately 70 people, and the second about 100, but not large numbers of students. According to the 2011 UC Davis Athletics Strategic Audit, a “challenge exists to reestablish the ICA program to the competitive level of excellence of its past and to a level that is consis-
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The California Aggie is entered as first-class mail with the United States Post Office, Davis, Calif., 95616. Printed Monday through Thursday during the academic year and once a week during Summer Session II at The Davis Enterprise, Davis, Calif., 95616. Accounting services are provided by ASUCD. The Aggie is distributed free on the UC Davis campus and in the Davis community. Mail subscriptions are $100 per academic year, $35 per quarter and $25 for the summer. Views or opinions expressed in The Aggie by editors or columnists regarding legislation or candidates for political office or other matters are those of the editors or columnist alone. They are not those of the University of California or any department of UC. Advertisements appearing in The Aggie reflect the views of advertisers only; they are not an expression of editorial opinion by The Aggie. The Aggie shall not be liable for any error in published advertising unless an advertising proof is clearly marked for corrections by the advertiser. If the error is not corrected by The Aggie, its liability, if any, shall not exceed the value of the space occupied by the error. Further, The Aggie shall not be liable for any omission of an advertisement ordered published. All claims for adjustment must be made within 30 days of the date of publication. In no case shall The Aggie be liable for any general, special or consequential damages. © 2009 by The California Aggie. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form whatsoever is forbidden without the expressed written permission of the copyright owner.
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Cont. from front page academic achievement, extracurricular activities, leadership potential and financial need. The online application is available at asucd.ucdavis.edu/ scholarship and will be due on today at 11:59 p.m. Four $500 awards and three $1,000 awards will be given out. The scholarship will be disbursed to the recipient’s
Cont. from page 6 team had to calculate the exact ratios of each chemical that would make the car stop at the right time. Although the main competition was an accuracy contest for proximity to the finish line, there were also various sub-competitions such as best poster and and the safety award. The team from Texas Tech University won the safety award for designing the safest battery. Its battery was designed to safely contain and disperse all of the heat generat-
Our last summer
tent with the Vision of Excellence for the campus as a whole.” In an Oct. 5 letter Chancellor Linda Katehi sent to the members of the advisory committee, the chancellor reiterated the importance of this decision. “[The new athletic director] will be a critically-important hire for UC Davis, not only for our Intercollegiate Athletics program but also for the campus as a whole as we aspire to meet our collective vision of excellence,” Katehi said. The search for a new Athletic Director is something that the university as whole has not taken lightly, as it is a long, complicated process. The university hopes to choose a new athletic director by the
student account to cover any outstanding charges. But in the event that there are no charges, the money will be deposited into the student’s bank account, where ASUCD will have no control over how the funds are spent. Although Rombi concedes there is no way for ASUCD to regulate how recipients spend their scholarship dollars, she is nevertheless hopeful that this will make a significant difference in someone’s life.
penses and how the item will incorporate into our taxes. Responsibilities will number by the dozen each day. If you are one of those Michelle people who can barely Nguyen wake up for your classes or cook for yourself now, the thought of one day buying a house and feeding your family is too intimidating to entertain. It’s no wonder, then, that the percentage of students attending graduate school is increasing despite the augmentation in tuition. hen I was 16, I Being a student is choosing wanted to be a safe and worry-free life. 18. Then when I The school environment is turned 18, I couldn’t wait to be 21. After that, there’s familiar and comforting. It’s easier to learn about not another age which world problems in class anyone looks forward to. and write equations to mitEvery age gained after 21 igate high inflation rather will just be another passthan face it ourselves. ing of a year. That’s why the thought Besides, becoming an adult is frightening. There of one day becoming an adult is so are so nerve-rackmany uncertainties Waking up to a midterm is better ing. We’re that lurk than waking up to find that we not prepared. For beyond the must fend for ourselves ... the last threshold 20 or so of youth, and venturing out into the years, all we have known is how to be students. We adult world — where we must take an active part in know how to take notes, memorize and raise our our lives — is foreign. hands. But do we know For the first couple decades of our existence, ev- how to apply for a mortgage loan? Can we pay for erything is pretty much our bills and do our taxes mapped out for us by properly? our parents. Each day is Unfortunately, there’s the same quotidian routine of waking up, going to no book or class called How to be a Grownup 101. school, extracurriculars, With our student mentalihomework, sleep and rety, we are expecting adultpeat. The next day is predictable and, likewise, the hood to be similar to an next decade is foreseeable. exam, but I’ve been told there’s no better way to And though this humprepare for being an adult drum, and perhaps methan to actually be one. chanical, way of life The truth is we most seems boring now, it likely won’t even know won’t be in the near fuwhen we’ve become fullture. Once we gradutime adults. There’s no apate, we’ll find ourselves pointed date and time yearning for those lazy when we shed our immaschool days when we can ture ways and suddenly just shuffle from class to turn into all-knowing beclass and be greeted with ings. There’s no ceremony the old familiar faces of or rite of passage for enfriends and teachers. Waking up to a midterm tering into adulthood –– is better than waking up to no orientation, no tutorial. find that we must fend for There’s really no tranourselves, nudging and el- sition period. It just happens out of the blue. The bowing our way through sad part is, in the midst life to get to the top. And of getting used to being when bad things happen, adults, we won’t even rewe can’t turn to our paralize that our summers ents to make it better. are gone forever. Long gone will be the Unless we become days when we get sick and school teachers, we all we had to do was sit in the car while Mom drove us will no longer get three months off at the end of to the doctor. All of a sudthe school year to lounge den, we’ll find ourselves around and do absolutely comparing health insurance plans and making our nothing. As adults, every season own calls to the hospital. will blend together into a Furthermore, when we long, continuous ribbon want to buy something, of work and family. And we won’t casually pull out while it will technically our allowance to get it. As look like summer outside adults, before we buy anything, we will ask ourselves your office window, the season will essentially be first whether the item was meaningless. ethically produced, what percentage of profits will go to the corporation or to the Want to be a kid forever? Tell MICHELLE field workers, what the cost NGUYEN at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will make it happen. will do to our monthly exend of Winter quarter or beginning of Spring quarter. “From the moment that Greg Warzecka announced his retirement, we started to get a few people nominating others for the position of athletic director at UC Davis, or even individuals who were sending in their applications and resumes,” Wood said. Because 75 percent of athletics is funded by undergraduate students, those involved in the new hiring wish for the students to have an opinion on who will be leading the program and, in turn, spending their money. CHARLOTTE YOUNG can be reached at campus@theaggie. org.
“$1,000 is a lot of money,” Rombi said. One of the conditions for receiving the scholarship is that it must be reported to the UC Davis Financial Aid Office. Despite negotiations with the department, ASUCD was unable to reach any agreement to mitigate the scholarship’s potential impact on existing university financial aid. According to Lee, in some cases, the scholarship may adversely affect a
ed by the chemical reactions in the battery. “The reaction we chose to power our car creates a large amount of hydrogen and heat. The car’s battery was triply contained inside glass containers and then a polyethylene [an acid-resistant plastic] container,” said Thomas Hoover, captain of the Texas Tech team. “Without safety, nothing can be accomplished,” he said. Every car at this competition was unique. Each team had a different chassis, different design and different chemical ratios. Even though many teams used the same chemi-
student’s aid from the university. Lee hopes that students who do not qualify for university aid, but who still need financial help, will apply. However, all eligible undergraduates are encouraged to apply. “There’s not a lot ASUCD can do to address students’ concerns about tuition, but this is one tangible way we can help,” Lee said. RICHARD CHANG can be reached at email@example.com.
cal reactions to stop and start their cars, they were all implemented differently. The competition provided a perfect medium to learn not just about chemical engineering, but about cooperation, teamwork and working under strict time constraints. “We learned that there are a ton of ways to achieve the same goal,” Rossow said. “There is more than one right way to do something.” The competition was sponsored by Chevron and ConocoPhillips. HUDSON LOFCHIE can be reached at science@theaggie. org.XXX
wednesday, november 2, 2011 3
The california aggie
MEN’S SOCCER PREVIEW
wide-spread audience that they are contenders. UC Davis women’s soccer — Cincinnati Bengals On the women’s side, UC Trevor Davis looks a lot like the Cramer Cincinnati Bengals. Both squads entered the season with low expectations. The Aggies were picked to finish eighth out of nine teams in the Big West Conference preseason poll, while the Bengals were predicted by many to finish last in the AFC North. ith the World Series Both teams have surnow over (congrats prised this year, howevto UC Davis alum- er, as UC Davis is currently on its way to the Big West nus and Cardinals’ shortTournament and Cincinnati stop Daniel Descalso on is contending for a playoff becoming a world chamspot. pion) the attention of the In addition, while both American sports public is pointed directly at the NFL. teams have been sparked by strong offensive perfor Every NFL team has a mances, the Bengals and distinct reputation, and Aggies are, at their core, with those reputations defensive teams. comes comparisons. Cincinnati is ranked sec So, without further ond in total defense, while ado, here is a rundown UC Davis has relied on the of which NFL teams corveteran defensive prowess respond to squads in UC of seniors center back Aisha Davis athletics. Lott and goalkeeper Maria Magana. UC Davis football — St. Louis Rams UC Davis volleyball — It’s been a frustrating season for both UC Davis foot- Buffalo Bills ball and the St. Louis Rams. The Aggies surprised Both teams started a first many with an incredible start to the 2011 season, year quarterback last season — Randy Wright for UC just as the Bills shocked Davis and Sam Bradford for the sporting world by the Rams — and both rook- coming out of the blocks ie signal-callers progressed fast in the NFL season. While both teams have as the season went along. been up and down on the With an extra year of experience at the sport’s most road over the past few weeks, the UC Davis and crucial position, UC Davis and St. Louis were both ex- Buffalo both boast undefeated home records this pected to contend in their wide open division (the Big season. And like the Bills traveled West Conference and the across the border to play a NFC West, respectively). home game in Toronto on Neither side has come Sunday, the Aggies have close to reaching those journeyed across campus expectations. to play home contests in The Aggies are currently Hickey Gym at times this 2-6 on the year with an year. embarrassing loss to Humboldt State marring UC Davis field hockey — their resume, while Carolina Panthers the Rams have started It’s a team lacking in traditheir season with an tion, which has been down unimpressive 1-6 record. over the past few years but is now beginning to grow in UC Davis men’s soccer — power. San Francisco 49ers Aggie men’s soccer has pro- The sentence described both the UC Davis field vided a remarkable turnhockey team and the around this season, much Carolina Panthers. in the same way as the one These two teams presseen by the San Francisco ent a difficult challenge for 49ers over the last 12 any team they face, but neimonths. Both teams have far out- ther has been able to finish many close games. performed expectations, UC Davis played Stanford and both are currently close in September, and holding the second seed in took California to over time their conference’s playoff just over a week ago, while bracket. Carolina came close to In addition, the 49ers beating Green Bay early this and the Aggies have each year. tallied impressive wins While both the Aggies over top opposition — with San Francisco defeat- and the Panthers have proven they can proing the then 5-0 Detroit Lions, and UC Davis beat- vide formidable opposition against quality oppoing top-10 nationalnents, both sides need to ly ranked UCLA and UC start winning big games if Irvine this season. they plan to garner the re Despite their strong seaspect of fans and experts sons so far, however, both alike. the 49ers and the Aggies will need to prove themselves in the postseason be- TREVOR CRAMER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. fore they can convince a
Ready for football
Teams: UC Davis vs. Cal State Fullerton; vs. UC Riverside Records: Aggies 7-7-2 (5-3-0); Titans 7-6-4(1-5-2); Highlanders 9-5-3(4-32) Where: Aggie Soccer Field; UCR Soccer Stadium — Riverside, Calif. When: Wednesday at 3 p.m.; Saturday at 6 p.m. Who to watch: Mustafa Chopan has logged the third highest amount of playing time of all position players on the UC Davis team. He has managed three shots and an assist over the course of the season. Yet, defensive prowess is what Chopan can be better associated. The junior from Citrus Heights, Calif. is a strong component in the Aggies’ wall-like defense and can be found patrolling the backfield for the majority of every game. Did you know? Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer has pointed out that every soccer stadium is different, from the dimensions to the distractions. The Aggies have had a slight home field advantage, as 10 of UC Davis’s 18 regular season games (including today’s against Cal State Fullerton) have been at Aggie Soccer Field. UC Davis will face a unique challenge on Saturday, however, as UC
phone Cont. from page 6 study, which means researchers follow a group of people over time and study the incidence of cancer between different populations (in this case, one population has cell phones and the other does not). Fortunately, scientists do not rely upon a single study. In order to consider findings valid, there has to be multiple studies from many independent researchers looking at large groups of people. A single study doesn’t tell researchers much; until the findings are replicated and expanded, researchers consider the question open. The question of the health effects of cell phones has actually been researched a lot in the past couple of decades. The majority of large studies have found no risk at all because the electromagnetic radiation has too low of a frequency to damage DNA, which is what is required
bike Cont. from front page These result in decreased safety on the UC Davis campus. Bike accidents and injuries are the direct consequence of violating bike laws, according to Nuno. Nuno, the single bike patrol officer on campus, issued 400 warnings during the first six months of 2011. These were the result of any violations, with the exception of biking under the influence, texting and riding with no hands on the handlebars. “Through the education
Riverside Soccer Stadium is the only has proven to be way better than us stadium in Big West Conference at all and we’re still improving every day.” with an artificial-turf field. Preview: Often hailed as one of the UC Davis is coming off its sectoughest college soccer conferenc- ond loss of the season to a strong es in the nation, the Big West is in a UC Santa Barbara team that finds tight race. The top four teams go to itself in fourth place in the Big the Big West tournament, a playoff West, despite being nationally ranked. whose reward is a berth in In a season where UC the NCAA tournament and Davis has had victories a chance to battle for a nasnatched from them by tional title. chance and bad luck, the UC Davis finds itself as Aggies finally control their one of the front-runners, own fate. These final two holding a second place games can put UC Davis standing behind UC Irvine. in the Big West tournaThe Aggies can lock up a ment, as well as determine conference postseason apa home field advantage for pearance with a victory in the competition. either one of the games this Mustafa Chopan junior Still, a postseason apweek. pearance is far from a “We don’t concern ourguarantee at this point, selves with standings. We aren’t focused on anything oth- and the Aggies are going to come er than playing well and staying out full steam ahead until the season is done. healthy,” Shaffer said. When asked whether he expected “[CSU Fullerton] is a very good his team to be in this position at this team and we haven’t played them point of the season, Shaffer replied yet,” Shaffer said. “But they have to come to our home field so it’s “Absolutely.” “They have a tremendous amount looking good for us. We will be of experience now and we’re as good ready.” — Matthew Yuen as anyone we play,” he said. “Nobody
to increase rates of cancer. Sometimes, one study will find a slightly increased risk of brain cancer in a certain population, such as children who began using cell phones before the age of 20. Later studies then disprove that link. Why the inconsistency? It’s called statistical error: sometimes, by chance, researchers collect data that is different from the actual value. Using a larger sample decreases the possibility of this kind of error, but it can still happen. That’s why researchers will often repeat studies that they or their colleagues already did, so that they can decrease the possibility of error as much as possible. So far, the research says that you have nothing to fear from your cell phone. Just make sure that if you’re in class, turn it off or keep it on silent; the real risk is that if it vibrates during class, the professor may snap out of frustration. AMY STEWART can be reached at email@example.com, or you can call her on her cell phone.
program, bicyclists will pay more attention to rules. As human beings, when we see someone being more courteous, we will follow suit,” Nuno said. Though a mere two weeks old, the BEEProgram has already been put to the test. “As of last week, three tickets were issued. Two of them immediately went online, passed the test and were all done. They have a full two weeks to take the test, pay $70 and have the citation waived,” Spicuzza said. The Yolo Country Superior court was so supportive of the BEEProgram
than it previously was, Meier views it optimistically. “The good news is that many more states have ratcheted up their energy efficiency programs and are reducing consumers’ energy bills,” Meier said. He said that it is difficult to ascertain the reason for the change in ranking for California, but that California cannot be stagnant. “The ACEEE scorecard is a signal to California — from the governor to the legislature to the utilities to the regulators — that they cannot be complacent,” Meier said. “Saving energy requires constant updates to policies, technical innovations and information to consumers.” According to the report from ACEEE, total national budgets for electricity efficiency increased from $3.4 billion dollars in 2009 to $4.5 billion in 2010, showing that energy efficiency is taking an ever greater importance.
Cont. from page 6 this year, meaning it will expire at the end of 2011. “Not continuing that [PGC], or some form of continued investment in both Research and Development, and incentive rebates arguably puts us at a disadvantage,” Finkelor said. Finkelor said that there is no reason to suggest that the state could not implement a similar program through regulation instead of law, and Gov. Jerry Brown has even asked that some sort of PGC be instituted in any way possible. Alan Meier, associate director and senior scientist at the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center, believes that too much emphasis should not be placed in the report from the ACEEE. “The choice of programs taken into account, and the weighting assigned to each of them, is to some extent subjective,” Meier said. Even though the report ERIC C. LIPSKY can be reached at has California ranked lower firstname.lastname@example.org.
proposal that they wanted to implement the program county wide, according to Contreras. However, it was decided that it would be more effective and courteous to slowly launch this new program, and test it on campus, before branching out. Currently, 47 percent of the UC Davis student population has chosen to bike as their primary mode of transportation. With so many bicyclists, it is necessary to maintain a bicycling safety. “The BEEProgram will create a safer environment to ride bikes in a safer way. We hope to encourage and
incentivize people to bike instead of drive,” Contreras said. Bicyclists are encouraged to follow the speed limit, use hand signals and be visible at night, while also abiding by laws of bicycling. Directors of the BEEProgram are looking to a reduced carbon footprint, lowered emission level and a decreased cost of parking for students. The hope is that the undergraduates, and the 5,000 incoming first-year students will learn to be safer on bikes. DANIELLE HUDDLESTUN can be reached at email@example.com.
OCD far more severe than proverbial ‘neat freak’ By Joe Polito
The Oracle (University of South Florida)
Betty Ray knew that her son Nathaniel preferred to have his Lego block creations in a precise formation on his bookshelf. When she entered her 7-yearold son’s room to clean, she took a mental photograph of where he had placed them in relation to one another. She dusted off the ledge and put his blocks back the way he had arranged them — or so she thought. When Nathaniel re-entered his room, he knew immediately that something was wrong. His mother watched as he meticulously adjusted the Legos to restore them to their original positions, recalling precise angles and distances. Though they didn’t know at the time, Nathaniel suffers from obsessivecompulsive disorder (OCD). His condition rendered him unable to ignore the disposition of his toys, despite his mother’s efforts to arrange them correctly. Many college students have probably uttered the phrase “so OCD” when it comes to cleaning their dorm rooms or using proper punctuation in emails. Yet, the term isn’t meant to describe laughable quirks. Rather, it refers to stress-induced thoughts and actions that hinder those diagnosed with it from living full and productive lives. OCD is a neurobiological anxiety disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. OCD causes overwhelming fears and doubts that continually occupy the forefront of the mind. This results in unwanted thoughts, as well as coping rituals that interfere with everyday life. What separated young Nathaniel from someone who simply “likes things a
certain way” was the amount of stress such minute details caused him. In his mind, he didn’t just want his Legos a certain way; he needed them a certain way. The fourth most common psychiatric disorder, OCD affects one in 100 children and one in 40 adults, meaning more than 1,000 USF students could suffer from this anxiety disorder. Nathaniel’s physician, Dr. Eric Storch of U. South Florida Health, said there is a clear difference between “neat freaks” and those diagnosed with OCD. “When someone (with OCD) comes through my door, typically their concerns are so prominent that they want to do something about it,” he said. Experts say 98 percent of people with OCD experience two distinct sets of phenomena: obsessions in the form of intrusive thoughts that dominate the mind and compulsions manifested in performed, repetitive rituals. What causes OCD is subject to extensive debate and research. Some studies have linked the disorder to a chemical imbalance in the brain, specifically of serotonin. A 2007 study published in Nature magazine showed how mice lacking a vital brain-circuitry protein exhibited “increased anxiety and compulsive grooming behavior.” Other possible causes include genetic inheritance, as seen in studies that compare OCD twins separated at birth, and traumatic events such as childhood bouts of sickness. Storch said no two cases are the same. “One example I give is a boy who counted shapes with a 90-degree angle,” he said. “In his case, he was in a classroom that had a brick wall. Every time he’d lose count, he’d have to start anew.”
Storch said engaging in OCD-induced rituals can often lead to a misdiagnosis of other conditions, such as attention deficit disorder. The boy’s teacher mistook his ritual as another case of an inattentive student, even though he had no choice but to count every brick in the classroom. Storch said cases such as this exemplify the obvious difference between someone with OCD and someone simply labeled “obsessed.” “With kids, you’ll see a lot of video game playing, and the parent will say, ‘My kid’s obsessed with video games,’” he said. “That’s not OCD to the extent that there’s not something that’s distressing the child in the form of an intrusive thought, and certainly no compulsion related to it.” Three years after his mother noticed him adjusting his Legos, Nathaniel sat with his parents watching television. Even though he hadn’t done anything wrong, Nathaniel began apologizing to his mother. “In a 30-minute time span, he apologized over 60 times. I finally quit counting,” Betty said. “And I said, ‘OK, this is not normal.’” Diagnosing OCD isn’t done with lab equipment or brain scans, but rather by conducting a clinical interview. Storch said the two indicators he looks for are obsessions that slow down patients’ days and the degree of stress caused by their inability to perform a ritual. Nathaniel and his mother compiled a list of obsessions and compulsions severe enough to cause him anxiety. Nathaniel then began cognitive behavioral therapy, which targeted his specific compulsions. After he and his mother ranked them in terms of severity, Storch began exposing him to his obsessions, starting with
things that caused him the least anxiety. Forced to see his Legos out of place time after time, Nathaniel slowly began to build up a mental immunity to the circumstance that had before made him overly anxious. These weekly therapy sessions slowly allowed him to manage his OCD. Storch researches treatment options for OCD through USF. Though some drugs are available for OCD, Storch said the therapy has proved most effective. “Whenever I hear someone say, ‘OCD is a biological disorder or a brain disorder,’ I take pretty strong offense to that because it neglects the most robust data that we have, which is that exposure-based psychotherapy is the most profound treatment,” he said. Storch’s research, recently featured in the St. Petersburg Times, has shown that a drug, currently FDA approved for tuberculosis, has enhanced the cognitive therapy treatment in a number of children. The next step toward approving the drug for OCD involves more than 100 child patients, some given the drug and others given a placebo. Today, Nathaniel is 15 years old and plays wide receiver for the junior varsity football team at Timber Creek High School. Though it takes him longer to finish his school work than it does for his peers, Nathaniel maintains a 4.0 grade point average. Therapy sessions over the past five years have given him the tools needed to stop OCD from running his life. He occasionally visits Storch for booster sessions. “Because of the (cognitive behavioral) therapy, I have become a stronger person,” Nathaniel said. “I’ve learned to manage my OCD, rather than my OCD managing me.”
4 wednesday, november 2, 2011
The california Aggie
When the weather outside is frightful... Winter activities are delightful By MICHELLE STAUFFER Aggie Features Writer
The weather is changing, and that means the weekends at the pool are over. Picnics are hard to manage in wintry weather, and romantic strolls around the Arboretum are never as fun in the rain. Just because the sun has gone into hiding doesn’t mean there is no more fun to be had. Thanks to the convenient location of Davis, there are a number of winter activities nearby, some of which students can easily come across right here on campus. The Ski or Snowboard Club (SOS) is responsible for heading up a number of trips during the fall and winter months. SOS publicity officer Brian Yang said paying the $30 membership is nothing compared to the perks members earn. “During winter quarter we have cabin trips to Lake Tahoe every other week starting from Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. The prices vary from $45 to $65 for members depending on if it's a long weekend. Non-members pay up to $85 for the same trips. So going on just two trips would pay for membership itself,” Yang said. Included in the $30 membership fee is a shirt, access to events, discounts on trips and discounts on corporate companies and business gear and services. According to Yang, there is also one event in particular this year that is one to not be missed.
Courtesy of Stephanie Woods
Evelyn Able, owner of Abel’s Apple Acres, and her staff show off her baked goods and caramel apples.
“Our biggest event is the All-Cal Ski & Snowboard Fest. It's a UC takeover of a world-class resort we have every year. Our destination this year is the renowned Steamboat Resort in Colorado. All the UC schools take part in this trip during the first part of winter break, from Dec. 10 to 17,” Yang said. Going on this sort of trip individually would cost students well over $1,000. However, Yang said the large number of UC students in attendance at the event allows participants a hefty discount. “The cost is just $649 which includes transportation, lodging, lift tickets and a bunch of events,” Yang said. Maybe students would love to go play in the snow, but skiing and snowboarding just isn’t their thing. With a short drive up to Boreal ski resort in Lake Tahoe, students and their friends can hop on some inner-tubes and enjoy the slopes, as well. Playland at Boreal, located off the Boreal/Castle Peak exit on Interstate 80, offers a moving carpet and groomed tubing lanes and tubes. The tubing season officially opens Thanksgiving weekend, and for a twohour tubing session students can expect to pay $25. Boreal also offers a college season pass for $129, which allows college students to hit the slopes anytime Monday through Friday. Perhaps snow just isn’t your thing at all. Maybe you’d rather take a look at a rather large corn maze instead. Located just nine miles from Davis, Cool Patch Pumpkins in Dixon is home to the world’s largest corn maze, and is currently in the middle of its season. The maze, located on Milk Farm Road off Interstate 80, will be open through Sunday this year from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Tickets are $10. Due to the large size of the corn maze, owners advise that it’s wise to give yourself a lot of time to find your way from beginning to end. Wear old shoes since there are still small muddy spots from row irrigation. Mark Cooley, owner of Cool Patch Pumpkins, said he isn’t the only one who believes their maze is one in a million. “I’m always being told that our maze is the maze that you have to visit,” Cooley said. “We have a lot of other fun things, too, though. The pumpkins, of course, and even a scarecrow contest.” For the small town shopper, Apple Hill is located in at 2345 Carson Road in Placerville, an hour outside of Davis. Fall and winter are apple season, and the farmers are officially open for business. There are many local growers located at Apple Hill, many offering organic
Boreal Ski Resort offers skiing and tubing for all snow enthusiasts.
Melody Tan / Aggie
At farms like Cool Patch Pumpkins, visitors can choose their own pumpkins. apples, homemade apple cider, arts and crafts and even apple wine. Able’s Apple Acres, which is located at the top of the hill, is open until Christmas Eve this year and its hours vary by the time of year. From opening day, which was Sept. 3, until Sunday, the farm will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. From Monday to Dec. 23 it will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to homemade baked goods and backyard-style barbecue,
Able’s Apple Acres also offers pony rides and hay mazes every weekend. Evelyn Able, owner of Able’s Apple Acres, is proud to boast the strong family ties involved with her ranch. “We have four generations that all come together to work at the ranch during the season. It brings a great sense of family,” Able said. MICHELLE STAUFFER can be reached at features@theaggie. org.
Study finds law schools look at social networking sites when evaluating applicants more often than other graduate schools By Taylor Evanko
Daily Bruin (University of California-Los Angeles)
Law schools may be looking at applicants’ Facebook pages more often than other admissions offices, according to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2011 survey of college admissions officers. The study, released Oct. 24, surveyed undergraduate, business school and law school admissions officers from 359 different schools by phone during the summer. Twenty percent of undergraduate admissions officers and 27 percent of business school admissions officers who responded said they have previously utilized social networking sites, such as Facebook, to learn more about an applicant. The number was much higher — 37 percent — for law school officers. “The data makes sense when you think about what law admissions officers do,” said Jeff Thomas, director
of Pre-Law Programs for Kaplan. “And that is to determine who would be best fit to eventually become attorneys.” One possible explanation for why law school officers are more likely to look at an applicant’s social media page is because of the nature of the profession, Thomas said. People studying to become attorneys must pass tests to measure their character and compatibility with the field prior to becoming certified as a lawyer. Even after certification, attorneys practice law under the threat of disbarment due to unethical behavior. Thomas said strict codes of conduct for lawyers may be why law schools are inclined to carefully determine which applicants would be able to conform to such expectations. “The legal profession is self-regulating and holds attorneys to higher ethical standards than most other professions,” Thomas said. “Students can’t earn admission to the bar by simply going to law school.”
Of the law admissions officers who said they have used Facebook or other social websites to screen applicants, 32 percent said they have found something online that harmed an applicant’s chances of admission. Only 12 percent of undergraduate admissions officers and 14 percent of business school officers responded the same way. In a separate poll released earlier this month, Kaplan reported 77 percent of students who took the October LSAT said they objected to admissions officers using their virtual life as part of the admissions process. Martin Asmuss, a third-year law student at UCLA, said he is not worried about admissions officers finding anything negative on his Facebook page, and would do the same if he were in their position. The poll also reported 15 percent of students who took the October LSAT said there was something online that could hurt their chances of being admitted into law school.
Robert Schwartz, dean of admissions at the UCLA School of Law, said that checking applicants’ social networking pages is not part of their standard admissions process. Due to the large number of students applying, the task would be impractical, Thomas said. He said he is surprised by the differences in data between law schools and other schools. “One’s character is extremely important in the legal profession, (but) it does surprise me that the numbers for law schools are higher,” Schwartz said. “I would think business schools would be just as concerned with ethical standards.” He said the best way for students to protect themselves to make sure anything they post online doesn’t harm them professionally or academically is to use good judgment. “(The results are) sort of surprising, but not terribly surprising,” said Dominic Rossetti, a UCLA third-year law student. “A lot of potential employers look at Facebook.”
Economy causing birth rate to decline By Michelle A. Weiss Arizona Daily Wildcat (University of Arizona)
As the economy continues to weigh down on the job market and cause insurance losses, it has also led to a decline in childbirths. A study by the Pew Research Center indicated that in 2007 there were 4,316,233 births in the United States, a record high. In 2009, the number of births dropped to 4,131,018. The Pew Research Center analysis also reported that there was a correlation between households that were hit hard by the economy and the fertility decline. “When the economy struggles, we see a significant increase in the number of people trying to limit their family size or postpone having another child,” Karen Ford Manza wrote in an email. Ford Manza is the chief executive officer of the Arizona Family
Health Partnership. “I do think that’s kind of been a trend for quite some time,” said Carol Bafaloukos, the associate medical director at Planned Parenthood Arizona. “People are establishing their careers before they’re childbearing.” Since the economy is down, more people are going to school, said Niam Hameed, a physiology senior at U. Arizona. She said people still wait to have children when they are ready but the economy probably plays a big role in that decision. Hameed said she thinks students are not seeking another responsibility because they want to finish school first. “I think they’re here to go to school,” Hameed said. “I think people are becoming more educated now.” Chris Huey, a UA marketing senior, said he thinks students aren’t ready to start families in addition to their heavy class loads.
“Students don’t really have enough time to do both,” he said. In Pima County alone, there were 13,798 births in 2007, which dropped to 12,840 in 2009, according to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services. Ford Manza said there is an increased demand for long-term contraception methods during an economic downturn. Based on family size and income, women may receive a sliding scale on their birth control, Bafaloukos said. Planned Parenthood also has a program that allows patients to receive their birth control without an exam. “We are seeing patients that are just trying to get their birth control no matter how they can get it,” she said. The Pew Research Center results also showed that the Hispanic population had the greatest decrease in childbirth rates compared to other racial
and ethnic groups due to economic hardship. From 2008 to 2009, the birth rate dropped almost 6 percent, according to the data. Bafaloukos said people can get subsidized family planning. Planned Parenthood has shown a decline in family planning services over the past couple of years. “Many families just can’t afford to grow now, particularly those men and women who have lost jobs and lost insurance coverage,” Ford Manza wrote. “Longer-acting methods of contraception can be expensive and we’re seeing more and more people in our network who never thought they would end up looking for subsidized care.” Bafaloukos said she knows Planned Parenthood has a lot of patients who have lost insurance coverage and “they don’t necessarily want to come in for a complete exam if they
can’t afford it.” “Women are just delaying their fertility,” she said. “They’re delaying their first children until they’re a little bit older, until they’re a little more established.” Bafaloukos added that the economy probably contributes to this. She said she doesn’t think abortion availability has affected the birth decline, but that the lack of availability has probably caused abortion numbers to drop. According to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services, there were 10,721 abortions performed in Arizona in 2007, and in 2009, there were 10,271. Bafaloukos said she hopes more women are using birth control and emergency contraception. “We hope the fact that emergency contraception went over-the-counter has decreased the unplanned pregnancies,” she added.
wednesday, november 2, 2011 5
The california aggie
Using microscopic algae to solve big fuel problems By Mark Herring
Technician (North Carolina State University)
Heike Winter-Sederoff has an eye for recognizing the potential in some of the smallest and mostly commonly overlooked things. This summer Sederoff, assistant professor of plant biology at North Carolina State U., sent experiments on a common garden weed to the International Space Station. Now she’s looking to make biofuels out of an algae commonly used in fish feed to make salmon orange. She’s also investigating the oily properties of the camelina seed, a mustard plant that thrives in poor conditions. Unlike biodiesel and ethanol, Sederoff is using the Dunaliella salina algae to produce lipids and fatty acids that burn similarly to petroleum. “The oils this algae produces will be converted into a fuel that can be substituted for petroleum based fuels,” Sederoff said. Unlike ethanol, which is only a supplement, algae biofuels can replace petroleum fuels 100 percent. “Ethanol is only an additive,” Sederoff said. “If you’re driving a car you can only use 15 percent of your fuel as ethanol. The biofuels we are making will be ‘drop in
replacements,’ or complete substitutes.” Sederoff said algae fuels will be the most viable solution to finding a replacement to oil. After starting in 2009, the multidiscipline research team has invested their efforts in to converting natural algae into small fuel factories. “The algae can control how its genes serve its needs, like any organism. This includes lipid production and control. We want to override that,” Sederoff said. “We want to keep that oil production switch on.” Amy Gruden, associate professor of microbiology, is working to isolate genes in extremophile archaeabacteria — the living relics of simple prokaryotic bacteria that thrive in extreme conditions. High salinity environments interest Gruden and Sederoff most. “I work with halophilic bacteria, which are extremely salt tolerant,” Gruden said. “The algae we are using is a halophile itself, so it grows in sea water. The reason why we went with this is so we don’t have to worry about freshwater usage, which is a commodity we want to save on in the biofuels process.” Gruden is working to transform extremophile genes into the genetic material of the algae, but the team hasn’t been successful in finding the exact locus,
or location on a chromosome, to place the bacteria genes. “So far the algae has been spitting the genes back at us, but all we need is some time to find where it will fit,” Sederoff said. “Give us time, we just got started.” The research team just sequenced the genetic blueprint of the Dunaliella algae through an institution in China, according to Sederoff. Although Sederoff’s lab on the top floor of Gardner Hall is one of only a handful of labs looking into the potential of algae, the biofuel business is becoming a topic serious international examination. “Biofuels, just like petroleum, is an international business and it’s only going to grow. It’s got to.” Sederoff said. “In Southeast Asia there is a big business in palm oil, another biofuel option.” According to Gruden and Sederoff, the military is looking to turn to biofuels in the near future. Sederoff said any garage can produce a battery that can power a truck, but aircraft rely on hydrocarbon fuels for combustion. The Air Force plans to operate on 50 percent biofuels by 2016. “The military has made a huge commitment to biofuels,” Sederoff said. “And if the military can become independent on oil, then we can forget about those wars.”
In addition to algae-based biofuels, Sederoff is researching the camelina seed, which has a high oil content of 40 percent according to the USDA. This robust plant grows in poor soils and dry climates and requires little fertilizer. The Native American Resource Council for Energy is keen to build camerlina farms and processing plants reservations — which are historically infamous for being on marginal lands. Unlike sugarcane or corn-derived ethanol, algae and camelina biofuels won’t compete with the food supply, according to Sederoff. “Producing ethanol requires incredible amounts of fertilizer and fresh water, so it’s unsustainable,” Sederoff said. “We can culture our algae in salt water. We can grow camelina blindfolded. So we really thing this could be our solution.” According to Sederoff, biofuels have come a long way since the beginning, but she thinks this new generation of biofuels will be the answer to the post-petroleum energy market. “It’s exciting to be on the cutting edge, but it still requires a lot of work,” Sederoff said. “But it’s been an honor working with the whole spectrum — biologists, engineers, economists, biochemists, microbiologists — to try to solve our current issues.”
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The california aggie
wednesDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2011 6
California slips in energy efficiency ranking
meant. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a part of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified cell phones as part of Group 2B, Amy which is “possibly carcinoStewart genic to humans.” According to the IARC information sheet, Group 2B “is used for agents for which there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. It may also be used when there is inadeo you know anyone quate evidence of carcinowho doesn’t have a cell phone? Chances genicity in humans but sufficient evidence of carciare that, if you’re in lecnogenicity in experimental ture while you’re reading animals.” this, most students are ei This flood of jargon bather on their cell phones sically means that if a couor have them out on their ple of studies found even a desks. Despite some protiny risk of cancer for peofessors’ rules to keep cell ple or animals exposed to phones turned off and in a certain substance or debackpacks, students still vice, they are classified into use them. UC Davis stuGroup 2B. This group indents are not alone; statiscludes asphalt and diesel tics from June 2011 show fuel. that nearly The most everyone in The Danish study does have recent of a the United large numStates has a weaknesses, the way every ber of cell phone. study does health stud Such ies on cell wide use of phones cell phones has been a Danish study is why it was hard to escape the headline “WORLD that looked at 420,000 cell phone subscribers and HEALTH ORGANIZATION found no correlation with SAYS CELL PHONES cell phone subscription CAUSE CANCER!!!” last and incidence of brain canMay and June. I saw the cers, even for those who story posted on Twitter, had been subscribers for Reddit and Facebook mulover 10 years. tiple times. CNN, BBC The problem with the and countless other netmedia focusing on only one works all featured the story on their sites and in their science story at a time is broadcasts. Their headlines that it gives the impression that this one study is all sounded slightly less hysthat separates doctors from terical but stated the same thinking that cell phones thing. Now, a second question: actually cause cancer. It also makes people think do you know anyone who that any weakness in this got rid of their cell phone one study means that there as a result? Either no one may actually be a cancer cares whether they get risk. brain cancer, or everyone knew the story was a ridic- The Danish study does have weaknesses, the way ulous exaggeration. It looks like it was the lat- every study does. The Danish study is a cohort ter. Most media reports left out the details of what See PHONES, page 3 exactly this declaration
Phones are safe
“It’s a wake-up call, it makes us try harder”
United States’ rankings in energy efficiency
By ERIC C. LIPSKY Aggie Science Writer
The most recent report from the American Council for an EnergyEfficient Economy (ACEEE) states that California is no longer the most energy-efficient state in the United States. According to the report from the private research group, Massachusetts is now the country’s most efficient state followed by California, New York, Oregon and Washington, respectively. California held the top spot for the last four years, so what does this decrease in rank say about the state’s energy efficiency? “Personally, I prefer us [California] being number two. It’s a wake-up call, it makes us try harder,” said Benjamin Finkelor, executive director at the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center.
Finkelor said that California has a reputation for being a leader when it comes to energy efficiency and outspends many other states. According to Finkelor, there are three contributing factors to California’s high status in energy efficiency: codes and standards, energy efficiency programs — such as rebate programs — and nice weather. “The codes and standards California has are the most aggressive in the country,” Finkelor said. “The energy efficiency bill started in California, some will even say it started in Davis.” Finkelor said that the state’s combination of prescriptive and performance-based rebate programs encourages manufacturers and retailers to be energy efficient. When it comes to the aggressive codes and standards California has, he said it started decades ago.
“It started in the 1970s when refrigeration was required to become more efficient,” Finkelor said. He pointed out that appliance standards are crucial because they force the manufacturer to care about the ultimate price the consumer pays, which is especially important, since in the end consumers are the ones paying the bills. Finkelor said that a great help to California’s energy efficiency has come through the Public Goods Charge (PGC) — the small fee that California residents see in their monthly utility bills. “Eighty percent of money collected from the PGC is spent on rebates and programs that help energy efficiency,” Finkelor said. Unfortunately, California legislature did not renew the PGC earlier
See ENERGY, page 3
UC Davis places second at national chemical Engineering competition Chemically-powered car brings team within two inches of finish line
Avoid awkward conversations on the bus. Read the Aggie.
By HUDSON LOFCHIE Aggie Science Writer
Every year, chemical engineering students from across the country meet for a competition of accuracy and precision. The competition, which was hosted by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) from Oct. 14 to 16, is a challenge to design a chemically-powered car that will travel a specified distance. The car that stops closest to the finish line is the winner. This year, the cars had to travel 68 feet under their own power while carrying a 350-gram load. Out of 32 teams in the national competition, UC Davis placed second. The UC Davis team has about 20 students who are broken into four subgroups: the chassis team, the battery team, the stopping mechanism team and the programming team. “The car was built completely from scratch,” said Nick Rossow, a junior
chemical engineering major and member of the UC Davis team. “It is a little bigger than a shoebox.” Building the car took about three months, and after it was completed in April, the team kept refining the design until the competition in October. The team built its own battery from aluminium plates and copper plates, and built the chassis out of Plexiglas and roller skate wheels. The six-cell battery used bleach as an oxidizer and got up to 12 volts. The reaction inside the battery is highly corrosive and renders the battery unusable after a few hours. The copper and aluminium plates have to be cleaned with acid before they can be used again. In addition to making a chemical reaction to make the car go, the teams also had to make a chemical reaction that would cause the car to stop after a specified time. This reaction is called the stopping mecha-
nism. The difficulty behind the stopping mechanism is figuring out when it is supposed to start. The teams each know how fast their cars move, so based on how far the cars have to travel, the team can calculate when to make the stopping mechanism kick in. “This is an accuracy competition,” said Audrey Magnusen, a senior chemical engineering major and captain of the UC Davis team. “We didn’t know until an hour before the competition how far our car had to travel.” The Davis team’s stopping mechanism is called an Iodine Clock Reaction. This is a mixture of potassium iodide, sodium thiosulfate, hydrogen peroxide and sulfuric acid all combined in a starch solution. When these ingredients mix, the mixture changes from clear to dark blue, signalling the car to stop. The
See ENGINEER, page 2
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