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Sustainability News

The team, led by USC Dornsife’s Josh West, left, and Sarah Feakins, sampled water for later analysis at their labs. Here, Feakins and West haul water from the turbulent rivers of the Andes. Photo courtesy of Sarah Feakins.

Climate Change in the Amazon

December 10, 2014

USC Dornsife scientists headed to Peru’s cloud forests to study the roles of forests and rivers in carbon cycling. Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is a key greenhouse gas and scientists are eager to understand how carbon…

What will happen when the world population expands to 9.6 billion by 2050 and twice as much food is needed? Researchers are studying ways to feed the world. Illustrations by The Heads of State for <em>USC Dornsife Magazine</em>.

Appetite for Change

November 19, 2014

Walking into the supermarket, browsing the seemingly endless rows of fresh produce and canned goods, it’s hard to fathom a food shortage. But with the current world population of 7.2 billion expected to explode to 9.6…

Sunset at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina. Included in the blog, the photo is by Megan Hall, a Wrigley Institute 2014 Summer Fellow and Ph.D. student in the lab of Andrew Gracey of biological sciences.

In Their Own Words

October 8, 2014

Student researchers are contributing to a new blog that the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, housed in USC Dornsife, launched in June to feature graduate and undergraduate environmental…

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…

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…

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…

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…

"Sustainability means something different within each discipline, but there's a common understanding of the bigger issues we face," says Provost Professor of Psychology and Business Wendy Wood, who is among those leading the USC Dornsife Sustainability Task Force.

The Task at Land (and Sea and Air)

February 7, 2014

It’s 5 p.m. so you grab your keys and cell phone and head home. As you hear the click of your office door lock shut, you realize you’ve neglected to turn off the light and your computer. But there’s no…

USC Dornsife senior and budding entrepreneur Sanjay Rajpoot is launching a company devoted to taking hydroponics mainstream with the goal of helping to end world hunger. Photo by Matt Stone.

Hydroponics Grows Up

December 19, 2013

Six years ago, then-16-year-old high school student Sanjay Rajpoot was channel surfing at his parents’ Santa Barbara, Calif., home when a documentary caught his attention. It was about hydroponics — the practice of…

Geraldine Knatz

Raising the Anchor

November 13, 2013

Growing up in Wayne, N.J., Geraldine Knatz loved nothing more than going crabbing with her family on the Jersey Shore. Until, heading home one summer evening, she was overcome by remorse. Insisting her father turn around, she…