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Elizabeth Arakelian

USDA-funded Internship Program Introduced New Bobcats to Agriculture Research

Shortly before the fall semester kicked off in person, 11 students were wrapping up their first summer on campus as part of the FACTS summer bridge program.

FACTS stands for San Joaquin Valley Food and Agriculture Cyberinformatics Tools and Science. The six-week summer course, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture, introduces students to the world of research in agricultural science and technology.

Campus Wastewater Testing Offers COVID-19 Early Warning System, Establishes Protocols for the Future

COVID-19 upended life as we know it, especially among the science community. While some scientists rushed to develop a vaccine, others sought a better understanding of the virus, hoping to predict where the next outbreak might be in order to better contain it. At UC Merced, this included testing the campus’s wastewater.

UC Merced’s campus has many buildings, but just one pipe through which wastewater leaves the campus. This turned out to be helpful to discern whether there would be forthcoming positive COVID-19 test results.

Professor Hestir Turns NASA Technology Toward Earth’s Biodiversity

Half a world away from California’s Central Valley is a place with similar climate but an unparalleled diversity of plants, marine animals and ecosystems. From deserts to shrubland to montane forests, the diversity of life in South Africa’s Greater Cape Floristic Region (GCFR) is the subject of NASA’s first biodiversity campaign led by UC Merced Professor Erin Hestir.

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