Coastlines Online, UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association

Departments

Summer 2015

Around Storke Tower

Spill Oil Hits UC Beaches

snowy plover and student surveying oil on the coast

A 21,000-gallon oil spill at Refugio State Beach is impacting UC Santa Barbara’s natural reserve at Coal Oil Point.

According to Cristina Sandoval, Reserve director, the federally protected snowy plover flock is picking up oil on their feet and wings that appears to be coming from the spill.

The spill occurred in late May after a 20-inch oil pipeline corroded through and spilled oil that eventually flowed over a cliff and into the Pacific Ocean. The operator of the pipeline, Plains All American Pipeline, has a number of safety citations from various agencies across the country. The pipeline, Line 901, was installed in 1987 but did not have an automatic shutoff valve.

In the weeks following the May 19 spill tar balls have washed up as far away as Long Beach but state inspectors do not know if they are related to the Refugio spill.

The Coal Oil Point Reserve is considered one of the best nesting areas for the snowy plover and is one of 39 reserves in the University of California Natural Reserve System.

Meanwhile, UC Santa Barbara professor of earth science David Valentine has been tracking the spill as it disperses in the ocean as well as taking samples of the oil. Valentine was one of the lead researchers on the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A number of professors from mechanical engineering, marine science and geography at UCSB are studying various aspects of the spill, from tidal movements to impacts on ocean wildlife.

New Student Affairs VC Appointed

Margaret Klawunn, Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs

Margaret Klawunn, who currently is vice president of campus life at Brown University, has been named the new UC Santa Barbara Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. She fills the position that was held by Michael Young for more than two decades.

A graduate of Colby College, Klawunn received her PhD in English from Rutgers University. She joined Brown University in 1996 and has held a number of positions there, including teaching as an adjunct professor in women’s literature. In her position as vice president of campus life she had responsibility for the Department of Athletics and Physical Education, housing, health and counseling services and the office of student life.

She already has a number of connections to the University of California. Her daughter is a student at UC Santa Cruz and her husband is a graduate of UC Berkeley.

Tech Competitors Invent Blood-Alcohol Sensor

Creators of Milo holding up awards

The annual May competition among budding UC Santa Barbara entrepreneurs produced exciting new products and a fistful of cash for the top inventors.

The runaway winner in the competition was Milo, a partnership of three students and their advisor who have invented a Fitbit-type wearable sensor that measures a person’s blood alcohol content. The group won the People’s Choice Prize of $2,500 and the Technology Management Program’s top prize of $7,500. The group was composed of students Evan Strenk, Daniel Imberman, Bob Lansdorp and advisor and post-doc student Netzahvalcoyotl Arroyo.

Chemoguard Diagnostics came in second in the competition with their product which offers personalized toxicity screening of chemotherapy treatments. The Chemoguard team raked in $8,500 from their second place award and as the winner of the Elings Prize.

The biggest audience response went to the team for Slightly Nutty, which aims to use sustainable “cricket powder” as a protein and flour ingredient.

Large Latino Print Collection Purchased

The UC Santa Barbara Library has purchased two major collections of historical silkscreen posters produced by Chicano/Latino artists over the last four decades. The Mission Grafica and La Raza Graphics collections were collected by the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (MCCLA) in San Francisco. The acquisitions will nearly double the Latino prints in the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives (CEMA) at UC Santa Barbara.

UCSB Again In Top 10 in Leiden Rankings

UC Santa Barbara is ranked No. 7 in the world among research universities in the latest Leiden University rankings. The Leiden rankings are based publications and citations in the scholarly research published by university faculty. It is considered one of the best indicators of the level of a university’s reach in terms of knowledge and research in the sciences.

According to Leiden, UCSB research papers are cited an average of 11.6 times and 20 percent of UCSB publications are in the top 10 percent of the most frequently cited scientific papers.

The Leiden survey does not use reputational data or information provided by the universities themselves.

$5 million Gift for Library and Liberal Arts

Sara McCune

Prominent Santa Barbara philanthropist Sara Miller McCune has made a gift of $5 million to UC Santa Barbara, with half slated for the UCSB Library and half for programs in the social sciences  and humanities. Miller-McCune has made a number of gifts to UCSB, including a major gift for the construction of the Mosher Alumni House at UCSB.

Both Miller-McCune and her husband have made gifts of rare books to the library’s Special Collections section. The latest gift will create the Sara Miller McCune University Library Innovation Fund which will be used to create new programs to meet the demands of students and faculty. The gift comes as the finishing touches are being put on a major expansion of the library, with the next sections of the library slated to open in late 2015.

Among the gifts from Miller McCune is an endowment to support the Sagfe Center for the Study of the Mind; the McCune Conference Room in the Humanities building; the Sage Miller McCune Dean of Social Science; and generous gifts for ongoing support for the campus Arts & Lectures program. Miller McCune served for many years as a trustee of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation and was named an Honorary Alumna in 2005.

Gauchos Go Fast

UC Santa Barbara has been named one of the top 25 public universities in the United States for on-time graduation. The campus was named 11th overall with 68 percent of students graduating in four years. The ranking was done by Money Magazine. It noted that the average four-year graduation rate for private schools in the U.S. was 53 percent while public universities have a 33 percent 4-year graduation rate.

Money Magazine has ranked UC Santa Barbara as 25th in the nation in giving the most value to its students. The magazine took into account the economic background of students, their salaries after graduation, their time to degree and the mix of majors.

UCSB’s Koegel Autism Center Receives National Award from Society for the Advantage of Behavior Analysis

The Koegel Autism Center in UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education was selected as the recipient of the Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis Award by the Society for the Advantage of Behavior Analysis. The annual award is for an agency, department or facility of an organization that contributes to the ongoing and enduring development of behavior analysis.

The Koegel Autism Center is recognized for its influence on interventions for children on the autism spectrum as well as the training and research in applied behavior analysis. The center is recognized by the National Research Council as one of the 10 model programs for autism.

UCSB Physicist Joseph Incandela Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Joe Incandela

UC Santa Barbara has been named one of the top 25 public universities in the United States for on-time graduation. The campus was named 11th overall with 68 percent of students graduating in four years. The ranking was done by Money Magazine. It noted that the average four-year graduation rate for private schools in the U.S. was 53 percent while public universities have a 33 percent 4-year graduation rate.

Money Magazine has ranked UC Santa Barbara as 25th in the nation in giving the most value to its students. The magazine took into account the economic background of students, their salaries after graduation, their time to degree and the mix of majors.

Songi Han

Songi Han Receives Bessel Prize

Songi Han, professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC Santa Barbara has received the Fredrich Wilhelm Bessel Prize from the Humboldt Foundation. Han is internationally known for her pioneering work in developing a novel technique for exploring surface water dynamics at biomolecular surfaces in solution.

The award is for scientists and scholars who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements that will have a seminal influence on their disciplines beyond their immediate fields of work. Each winner receives a stipend of approximately 50,000 dollars.

Javier Read de Alaniz

Javier Read de Alaniz is Named UCSB’s 2015-16 Plous Award Winner

Javier Read de Alaniz, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC Santa Barbara, has received the 2015-16 Harold J. Plous Award. This award is presented by the College of Letters and Science to an assistant professor for exceptional achievement in research, teaching, and service to the university.

Read de Alaniz joined the UCSB faculty in 2009. His current research focuses on developing more efficient chemical reactions for new materials and applications in synthesis. He wants to make these materials in a way that is economically and environmentally efficient. He has also served as the main faculty mentor for UC’s Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degree program from 2009-2014. The program is designed to encourage undergraduates to pursue graduate training in STEM fields.