Urban Water Contamination Study

Backed by a $1.25 million contribution from veteran water industry exec- utive Henry Wheeler, Jr., UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science and Management Environmental micro- biology professor Patricia Holden is launching a new project to examine contaminants in urban water sources and develop solutions to identify and remove them. Holden and her team will study local groundwater in order to test for a wide array of potential pollutants, determine their source and formulate methods to better cleanse the water.

Study Calls for New Classification of Seafood

A team at UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analy- sis and Synthesis recently released a study in which they call for a more detailed labeling system of seafood origin to account for the fact that a significant portion of fish comes from hatcheries. The article argues that standard labels, which only dif- ferentiate between wild and farmed fish, are misleading as the classifi- cation system should also include a hybrid label. The working group is an interdisciplinary team including ecologists, conservationists, econo- mists, policy experts and members of the seafood industry.

The Effects of Nanoparticles on Agriculture

Researchers in the Bren School for Environmental Science and Management have found that crop yields and quality of agricultural crops are negatively affected by soil containing nanoparticles.The study examined the environmental implications of chemical products such as lotions and cosmetics containing nanoparticles by analyzing soybean crops contaminated with two types of manufactured nanomaterials, or MNMs . Funded by the National Science Foundation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the $24 million project included efforts by re- searchers at UC Davis, UC Riverside, Columbia University, University of Texas at El Paso and the UC Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology at UCLA, among other institutions.The findings will be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

An Index Measuring Ocean Health

Ben Halpern, a researcher at UCSB’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, acted as the lead author of a study examining the overall health of oceans through a comprehensive index measuring present and future conditions of factors like biodiversity, coastal livelihoods and sustain- ability practices.The Ocean Health Index assesses the relationship between an ocean and its people by looking at the mutual benefits to be gained in this interaction, without necessarily pointing to human presence as negative.The study was led by NCEAS and Conservation International and its findings were published in the international science journal Nature.