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Sustainability News

Comprised of recent alumni, this planet patrol toils diligently to combat forces working against environmental health. Illustration by Niklas Asker.

The Environmentalists

April 21, 2014

These young alumni from USC Dornsife’s dynamic Environmental Studies Program pursue a host of professional paths — from law to medicine, business and conservation — and are united by their shared interest in…

From left: Casey Donovan, professor of biological sciences; post-doctoral scholars and lead authors MaryAnn Bohland-Matveyenko and Anne Jokiaho; and Alan Watts, professor of neurobiology. The research team's work on how the body detects hypoglycemia could have far reaching implications for the development of insulin therapies to treat diabetes. Photo courtesy of Casey Donovan.

The Diabetes Detectives

April 17, 2014

To the casual observer, the 14-year-old kicking a ball around in the park with his friends looked like he had energy to burn. But the boy has Type 1 diabetes, a chronic debilitating autoimmune disorder that commonly manifests…

USC Dornsife’s David Bottjer (right) receives the 2014 Moore Medal for Excellence in Paleontology from Evan Franseen, president of the Society for Sedimentary Geology, during a ceremony in Houston, Texas, April 8. Photo by Gary Barchfeld.

Bottjer Earns Top Paleontology Award

April 15, 2014

Recognized for his outstanding contributions to the fields of paleobiology and paleoecology, USC Dornsife’s David Bottjer has earned a prestigious award from the Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM), an international,…

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…

Mark Thompson, professor of chemistry at USC Dornsife, and a pioneer in researching organic LEDs and organic solar cells, has received the Richard C. Tolman Medal for his outstanding contributions to chemistry. Photo by Max Gerber.

Color Him Smart

April 1, 2014

Chemist Mark Thompson’s innovative research into color technology has resulted in the development of energy efficient displays for smartphones. Thompson’s work in organic LEDs and organic solar cells has earned…

Key members of the new Chickpea Innovation Lab: USC Dornsife's Sergey Nuzhdin (center), professor of biological sciences Doug Cook (left), professor of plant pathology at UC Davis and director of the USAID research project, and Eric von Wettberg, assistant professor in ecology and evolutionary biology at Florida International University. Photo by Susan Bell.

The Small But Mighty Chickpea

March 28, 2014

Bumping along the dirt roads of rural southeastern Turkey in a battered Jeep, Sergey Nuzhdin and his team of collaborators got an occasional glimpse of the plumes of smoke rising across the border in war-torn Syria. Their…

“Wild or Farmed? How to Sustain the Options for Your Dinner Table” was the title of a March 10 discussion in Newport Beach, Calif., highlighting the ways USC Wrigley Institute researchers are investigating the opportunities and challenges of aquaculture.

Wild or Farmed?

March 19, 2014

Since the 1980s, the Earth’s population has ballooned to 7 billion — a nearly 2 billion increase over three decades. Meanwhile, seafood consumption has remained constant with demand outpacing the amount of wild…

From left to right: USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay, Provost Elizabeth Garrett, President and CEO of the Catalina Island Conservancy Ann Muscat (Ph.D., biological sciences, '83), Trojan League of Los Angeles (TLLA) Annual Benefit Co-chair Diane Bleak, TLLA President Mary Rooney and Executive Vice Provost Michael Quick. Photos by Bruce Menke.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

March 18, 2014

“For alumni, the College is a place that we hold dear in our hearts for many reasons,” said Mary Rooney, president of the Trojan League of Los Angeles (TLLA). “I will always smile when I look back on my…

USC’s position as a global university with strong connections to many Pacific Rim countries such as China and Korea enhanced the attraction for a partnership between the New-York-based Institute of New Economic Thinking and USC Dornsife.

New Economic Thinking

March 17, 2014

Based in the Department of Economics, USC Dornsife will launch the USC Dornsife Institute for New Economic Thinking (USC Dornsife INET), which will bolster research in globalization, regulation of financial institutions and…

Surveying the mountains of garbage surrounding her, alumna Julia McGinnis said, “I see energy. I see money.” Photos by John Livzey.

Trash Can

March 5, 2014

Smartly dressed in a sleeveless harlequin green fitted dress accented by jade-stoned, gold jewelry and patent leather high heels, Julia McGinnis gazed at a mound of waste 200-feet wide being smashed down by giant roaming…