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Photos courtesy of The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Wonder of the West

June 1, 2015

A sepia Los Angeles carnival image reveals an early 20th-century settlement on the brink of metamorphosis into a cityscape. Country store nostalgia still takes center stage, but encroaching urbanization and ubiquitous utility…

The jet stream over North America. Photo courtesy of

5 Factors Affecting California’s Drought

May 27, 2015

What conditions and factors prompted our drought? Why has it persisted? Why are we running out of water? Five experts — from USC Dornsife, USC Viterbi School of Engineering and USC Price School of Public Policy —…

Richard G. Hovannisian, a UCLA emeritus professor, recently joined USC Shoah Foundation, helping to prepare nearly 400 Armenian genocide testimonies. Photo by Dan Avila.

Life as a ‘Half Immigrant’

February 3, 2015

Although he was born in the San Joaquin Valley, Richard G. Hovannisian considers himself a “half immigrant.” The child of Armenian genocide survivors, he grew up straddling two worlds — “the world of…

Alumnus Rodney Swan owns and operates Swan Farms, comprised of 4,000 acres of agricultural land in the vicinity of Blythe, California. Here, Swan’s daughter, Emma, stands in a field watching the thresher machine. Photo courtesy of Rodney Swan.

From Finance to Farming

October 21, 2014

Rodney Swan is most comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt. Not only did he grow up on a small family farm cultivating cotton near Blythe, California, as a young man he worked in the fields of several local farms. After earning a…

Maria Guzman helped PERE and other organizations collect air-quality data in the Pacoima, Calif., neighborhood, which is surrounded by freeways. Studies show that those living near air pollution sources have a higher risk of asthma, as her children experienced. They also risk cancer and respiratory illnesses. Photos by Damon Casarez.

‘Our Voices Have Been Heard’

November 13, 2013

The early morning hour was taking its toll on Maria Guzman as she stood near a freeway underpass in Pacoima, Calif. As the sun rose and traffic chugged by, she diligently recorded her coordinates with a Global Positioning…

Benjamin Kay, science teacher at Santa Monica High School (center), is surrounded by members of two teams from his school that participated in the 2012 QuikSCience Challenge. Some are members of the team that placed first in the competition this year for their project, "Reducing Carbon Emissions." Photo by DJ Kast.

Students Take on the QuikSCience Challenge

April 17, 2012

USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies staff members are busy escorting several hundred students from middle and high schools to the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island as part of their reward for…

USC Dornsife Online Survey Experiment Results

USC Dornsife Online Survey Experiment Results

April 12, 2012

The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences today announced the results of its new experiment in online political polling, which found that California voters do not blame President Obama for the rising gasoline…

USC Dornsife's Jennifer Do stepped out from behind her laboratory workstation and onto a stage to participate in the 2012 Miss Vietnam of Southern California Pageant. The sophomore majoring in biological sciences decided to enter the world of pageantry after researching the Westminster, Calif., Vietnamese community for a linguistics course. Photo by David L. Pham.

From Classroom to Center Stage

February 22, 2012

When USC Dornsife sophomore Jennifer Do gracefully crossed the stage of the Miss Vietnam of Southern California Pageant, her confidence and natural elegance evidenced a well-seasoned contestant. Yet before the Jan. 27…

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Visits Political Science Class

A Lesson in Leadership from the Mayor

January 30, 2012

The 18 students in “Case Studies in Modern Leadership” sat with rapt attention listening to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as he shared his philosophy for overcoming adversity — a challenge he…

In recent years in southern California, there has been an increase of shellfish including clams pictured here becoming poisoned due to toxin events in the ocean. USC researchers are working on early detection of harmful algal blooms.

Curtailing Poisonous Shellfish

December 8, 2011

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has granted $4 million to a team including USC scientists for a five-year project to investigate early detection of potentially deadly algal blooms — known as…