2017 Summer Adaptation
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 […]
A Life And Career By Design: Qualcomm Exec Paul Jacobs
Engineer and Qualcomm Executive Chairman Paul Jacobs is 2017 Alumnus of the Year. 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 […]
Spirited Away: the Life of the Ghostwriter
The year was 1986, and Barbara Feinman Todd was a writer in disguise. Her mission? To crash a party— the 45th wedding anniversary of the director of the CIA, being held at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. No press was allowed, but it was her job to find out who the guests were. Clad […]
Five Questions for UC Berkeley Librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason
1 How did you become the university librarian? Since the mid-1990s, my research and teaching have been entirely committed to understanding and improving the modern information age: in particular, how people interacted with information, and with each other through information technologies. I was a founding faculty member of the University of Michigan School of Information […]
How Do Ecosystems Adapt to Climate Change?
Steve Beissinger and his colleagues have been spending a lot of time outdoors. For 15 years, the conservation biology professor, who is affiliated with Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, has led researchers tracking wildlife across myriad California habitats, from coastline to desert to mountain range. The scientists are retracing the steps of Joseph Grinnell, the […]
Five Questions for Jack Citrin
Political science professor and outgoing director of the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies 1 California Magazine: You were born in Shanghai to Russian-Jewish refugees who, after WWII, moved to Hong Kong and then Tokyo. You attended college in Canada and eventually settled in Berkeley and became a U.S. citizen. How did your upbringing inform your academic […]
Evolve or Die: A Q&A with Anna Thanukos
Everything you ever wanted to know about evolution (but were too afraid to ask). No issue of a magazine devoted to the theme of Adaptation would be complete without some attention paid to biological evolution, à la Charles Darwin. To learn more about the subject we turned to Anna Thanukos, M.A. ’00, Ph.D. ’02, principal […]
Can We Learn to Grow Color? Butterfly Wings May Hold the Answer
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, humans have been buttering up the natural world for a long time. It’s often called biomimicry. Think Olympic swimmers in sharkskin-inspired suits, bullet trains shaped like kingfisher beaks, or the ubiquitous Velcro, which was famously modeled after plant burrs. Yet all of these examples depend on […]
The Starship or the Canoe: Where Will Our Future Adaptations Be?
Their plan was to bomb themselves to Mars by 1965 and Saturn by 1970.
The Buzz About the Zika Virus
Nearly a year after the Rio Olympics, babies in the city’s favelas are still being born with microcephaly as a consequence of the Zika virus. The mosquito-borne disease has been identified by the World Health Organization as a congenital epidemic of international concern, yet one seldom hears about it in the international media. That’s a […]
Hell or High Water: How Will CA Adapt to the Anthropocene?
On February 12, 2017, nearly 200,000 Californians got the order to flee for their lives. Record winter rains had filled Lake Oroville, the vast reservoir that anchors the California State Water Project, to the brim. To avoid overtopping, project managers had released massive quantities of water down Oroville Dam’s main spillway, but fissures in the […]