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Elizabeth Arakelian

Keske Publication Shows Central Valley Ripe for Biochar Studies

Central Valley natives are accustomed to seeing plumes of smoke from burning tree piles after harvest. This is the traditional way farmers dispose of crop waste, such as trees, nut shells and pruned vines. But there may be a better way to get rid of residual orchard waste that is less harmful to the environment according to research conducted by Professor Catherine Keske.

Research Program Offers Students a Moroccan Summer Field Experience

Students will soon be able to apply for a unique opportunity to go to Morocco — when travel is safe again — to study the environmental and socioeconomic aspects of the production of argan oil.

The oil is commonly seen in cosmetics in the United States, but it is also edible and in high demand around the world. Moroccan women are the main producers and they undertake long hours of manual labor to extract the oil from the nuts of the indigenous argan trees that live in a UNESCO-protected biosphere.

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.


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