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Graduate News

Renowned ecologist William Schlesinger, president of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y., spoke to a packed audience of faculty and students at Joyce J. Cammilleri Hall inside the Dornsife Neuroscience Pavilion. Photo by Erica Christianson.

Averting the Apocalypse

April 21, 2014

In 1944, the United States Coast Guard released a herd of reindeer on St. Matthew Island off the coast of Alaska so top naval personnel could hunt them for recreation. The reindeer population grew exponentially. From the 29…

At the "Plankton Races" science station, students from Foshay Learning Center use pipe cleaners, cork, paper clips and other items to create plankton-like structures to study buoyancy, density and surface area. Their goal is to construct a form that will hover in a small tank of water without sinking or floating to the top to study how phytoplankton and zooplankton function in seawater. Photo by D.J. Kast.

H20 Robo Kids

April 8, 2014

At his playground, fourth grader Leonel Aquino ditched the jungle gym to construct from polyvinyl chloride pipe an underwater remotely operated vehicle — or ROV. “This is like making Legos but bigger,” said…

Students who participated in the Science of Sustainable Food Spring Break Program learned how to make compost out of food waste. In six to eight weeks the melon rinds, egg shells and paper napkins they combined will create a nutrient-rich soil for growing vegetables. Photo by Michelle Boston.

Food Revolution

April 7, 2014

As the sun shone against a clear blue sky on Catalina Island, 17  students gathered around a long, rectangular pit filled with dirt, garden clippings and bits of food — banana peels, lettuce leaves, waffles. Eleven…

USC Dornsife Ph.D. candidate James Askew in the field. He uses wireless microphone networks and drones to record male orangutan calls and listens to them while crouching under trees. Photo courtesy of James Askew.

Welcome to the Jungle

April 1, 2014

A USC Dornsife graduate student today embarks on an 18-month expedition to study orangutans in Southeast Asia, inviting colleagues and classmates to follow along via his blog on the Scientific American website. James Askew,…

Students enrolling in the new master’s program in stem cell biology will study organisms such as these mouse kidney stem cells. Image by Lori O'Brien.

Master’s in Stem Cell Science

March 18, 2014

USC Dornsife students studying biological sciences or other disciplines may be interested in this news: this Fall, the university will offer the first master’s program in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine in…

A patron enjoys the Farmer's Market, held Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at McCarthy Quad, at the University Park campus. Photo by Philip Channing.

Going Green at USC

March 5, 2014

USC’s official colors are cardinal and gold, but the campus also cares about another color: green. The USC Office of Sustainability, academic programs, university departments and student groups are all pulling together…

After studying Renaissance literature, Elizabeth Cantwell who is earning her Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature at USC Dornsife, became a Renaissance student herself by combining science with poetry in her dissertation. Photo by Matt Wyatt.

Physics + Literature = Poetry

March 4, 2014

Many Ph.D. students find the dissertation writing process taxing enough to inspire a break after graduation, but Elizabeth Cantwell hasn’t broken her stride. She’s already on her way to turning hers into a book. A…

Professor of International Relations at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, Iran, USC Dornsife alumnus Mahmood Sariolghalam is a specialist in Middle East politics, and Iranian foreign policy and political culture. Photo courtesy of Mahmood Sariolghalam.

Shaping Foreign Policy

February 21, 2014

A quick lesson in Farsi: Sariolghalam, literally, means “quick pen.” Apt nomenclature for a devoted academic who has written more than 68 articles and 11 books in English, Farsi and Arabic. Mahmood Sariolghalam,…

USC Dornsife's Madison Swayne (left) guides hikers from SC Outfitters near the Hollywood Sign in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains. Also a guide during the recent hike was Noa Ervin (right), a philosophy major at USC Dornsife. Photo courtesy of Madison Swayne.

Embracing the Detours

February 12, 2014

A competitive surfer and avid hiker, Madison Swayne arrived at USC looking to join a community of students who enjoy the outdoors. The San Clemente, Calif., native found what she was looking for in SC Outfitters, USC’s…

In a recent Barbra Streisand Lecture, sociologist Eva Illouz said the interactive format E L James used to write <em>Fifty Shades of Grey</em> allowed her to incorporate readers’ feedback, including their own fantasies and desired plot twists. Photos by Erica Christianson.

Hard Core Self-Help

February 6, 2014

Anyone who claims not to have at least heard of E L James’ erotic trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey is either fibbing or has been living on a remote desert island with no Internet access for the past three years. The…