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Lorena Anderson

New Precision Ag Project Would Help Farmers Measure Plant Moisture

One of the biggest challenges in managing crops, especially in large fields, is knowing how much water each section of a field needs. Determining that accurately is a cumbersome process that requires people to hand-pluck individual leaves from plants, put them in pressure chambers and apply air pressure to see when water begins to leak from the leaf stems.

That kind of testing is time consuming and means that farmers can only reach so many areas of a field each day and cannot test as frequently as they should.

New Project Focuses on Life in Soil in the Earth’s Critical Zone

Since 2007, UC Merced researchers have been extremely productive in the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory (CZO), delving into investigations of hydrology, climate change, geology, biology and more.

But the National Science Foundation, which funded the CZOs, is decommissioning the sites and has reconfigured the program around themed research clusters in a new program called the Critical Zone Collaborative Network (CZCN).

Professor Tracey Osborne Taking on Complex, Grand Challenges in Climate and Social Justice

The world is a complex place, and humanity faces major challenges. Climate change mitigation might be the most difficult, in large part because of the interdependency of living things and their ecosystems.

How do people transform economic systems so they are also sustainable for people and the planet?

“If we don’t consider how everything connects from a systems perspective, we’re not going to solve grand challenges such as climate change,” Professor Tracey Osborne said. “Not even close.”

Global Fire Outlook Not Good News, but Mitigation is Possible, Analysis Shows

Wildfire is a natural process necessary to many ecosystems. But wildfires are getting worse and more damaging, and it is our fault, according to new research.

A paper by two UC Merced researchers and their colleagues, published in a new Nature journal called Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, indicates the global economic and environmental damage caused by wildfire will only increase because of human-caused climate change.

However, we are also able to save ourselves, the researchers said.

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