On a late morning in July, 17 days after formally beginning work as Berkeley’s 11th chancellor, Carol Tecla Christ sat in her sunlit office in California Hall, reflecting on the meaning of her new job title. “It’s essentially a representational role,” she said. “As the chancellor, you’re the storyteller-in-chief.”
In my first months as chancellor, I’ve been thinking a lot about journeys. I remember vividly the first one I made to California to take up my faculty position here. I was a young, freshly minted Ph.D.; I drove across the country with a friend, and it was the first time I had been west of the Mississippi. Indeed, it was the first time I had been west of Philadelphia.
Halting mid-sentence, UC Berkeley entomologist Gordon Frankie swings a net towards a flowering beardtongue plant. He reaches into the net and pulls out a wool-carder bee. Holding it between three fingers, he offers it to the volunteers of the Sonoma Bee Count. “Do you see the horns on the tip of the abdomen? That’s clearly a male. Who wants to hold it?” All four volunteers bravely step forward to take it (male bees are unable to sting). “We were the first group to record this guy in California about six years ago,” says Frankie.
Posted on August 31, 2017 - 5:25pm
Daniel Kammen, UC Berkeley professor of Energy and Director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab, has publicly resigned his role as State Department science envoy. The U.S. Science Envoy Program, an outreach initiative started by the Obama administration, sends top scientists abroad to promote the country’s commitment to science and technology as tools for diplomacy; envoys typically serve for one year.
Posted on August 23, 2017 - 3:49pm
John Cho Is (Finally) the Leading Man
Star Trek actor John Cho, ‘96, stars in director Kognada’s Sundance hit debut, Columbus, in theaters now. Cho plays a translator who rushes from Seoul, Korea to his hometown of Columbus, Indiana to take care of his father, who is in a coma. Though best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in the recent Star Trek revamps, Cho got his start as a fill-in for an extra in a UC Berkeley play. He went on to travel with the Berkeley Repertory Theater and star in the Harold and Kumar film franchise.
Posted on August 17, 2017 - 10:39am
Last week’s wild fire on Grizzly Peak Boulevard ended up scorching about 20 acres of brush and grass near the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, with no major damage to property and no loss of life.
Posted on August 7, 2017 - 1:58pm
It’s been about two weeks since the media chatter started about student groups’ trying to bring conservative pundit Ben Shapiro to the UC Berkeley campus—and the hullabaloo has an air of déjà vu.
Posted on July 20, 2017 - 4:31pm
This spring, a handful of college kids were in a basement classroom of Barrows Hall gathered round an overhead projector. On the screen, there was a meme: a photo of a half-naked model with super-imposed text that read, “Real women have curves.” One of the students scoffed and said, “She doesn’t.” Everyone laughed. At about 5’7” and weighing in at roughly 110 pounds, she really didn’t. And noticing things like that was the point of why everyone showed up—to talk about body image.
Posted on July 18, 2017 - 3:44pm
When two peregrine fledglings took flight from the UC Berkeley Campanile last week, amateur bird watchers and ornithologists alike predicted a plethora of dangers: hungry crows, a steep fall, even ground predators. But there was little mention of what would ultimately lead to one chick’s foul demise—though it should have been transparent.
The baby bird’s greatest enemy? A campus window.
Posted on July 12, 2017 - 5:19pm
When I started out as a reporter just a few years back, if you’d told me that this week I’d be standing on the UC Berkeley lawn staring up at live raptors (and documenting their every peep for FOUR days), I would never have believed you. Not just because the raptors are seldom-seen peregrine falcons, recently removed from a list of predators going extinct, but mostly because I never gave a flying flip about birds. Ever. And yet there I was this past Monday morning, peering skyward at the top of the campus Campanile, along with a team of concerned citizens on Bird Watch. Their mission?
Posted on July 6, 2017 - 5:05pm
I am a nudist by nature and an exhibitionist by inclination, so when streaking became a thing on college campuses, I was on the front lines. It was 1974, my second quarter at UC Berkeley. An 18-year-old free of parental oversight, I plunged headlong into whatever I felt like plunging into. By day I studied Marxist philosophy en route to a degree in political science, but the night belonged to cheap booze, Afghan hash, and windowpane LSD.
At an age when most boys are learning to throw a curveball and struggling with elementary algebra, Paul Jacobs was writing code. Simple code, to be sure, but code good enough to let him play the video game Adventure with his dad on a clunky, early laptop.
It’s no surprise that Jacobs, who was in sixth or seventh grade when he wrote his first programs, grew up to be an engineer.
1 How did you become the university librarian?
It happened again: California Magazine has been recognized as a top college and university general-interest magazine by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)! Over the past decade, California has been awarded two golds and one silver award in this category, and our writers and illustrators have also been honored numerous times by CASE.
Posted on June 14, 2017 - 5:11pm