Latest News


Fungi and bacteria are binging on burned soil

UC Riverside researchers have identified tiny organisms that not only survive but thrive during the first year after a wildfire. The findings could help bring land back to life after fires that are increasing in both size and severity. The Holy Fire burned more than 23,000 acres across Orange and Riverside counties in 2018. Wanting...
By Jules Bernstein |

Soil tainted by air pollution expels carbon

New UC Riverside research suggests nitrogen released by gas-powered machines causes dry soil to let go of carbon and release it back into the atmosphere, where it can contribute to climate change. Industrial manufacturing, agricultural practices, and significantly, vehicles, all burn fossil fuels that release nitrogen into the air. As a result, levels of nitrogen...
By Jules Bernstein |

Prof pours cold water on coffee pod controversy

New research from the University of Quebec in Canada has led to recent headlines like this one from the BBC, declaring coffee pods are “better for the planet than filtered brew.” Read More
By Jules Bernstein |

Post-lockdown auto emissions can’t hide in the grass

University of California scientists have a new way to demonstrate which neighborhoods returned to pre-pandemic levels of air pollution after COVID restrictions ended. Vehicle emissions are the biggest source of carbon dioxide in Southern California’s air. As people drove their cars far less in 2020 compared to 2019 due to the pandemic, there was a...
By Jules Bernstein |
Salton Sea Dust

Why the Salton Sea is turning into toxic dust

"The Salton Sea, California’s most polluted inland lake, has lost a third of its water in the last 25 years. New research has determined a decline in Colorado River flow is the reason for that shrinking. As the lake dries up, the concentration of salt and chemicals in the remaining water has increased dramatically, causing...
By Jules Bernstein |

New program aims to increase Latinx students conducting environmental research

"A $342,000 grant will allow more Latinx students at UC Riverside and UC Berkeley to conduct environmental and climate change research. The project, “Latinxs and the Environment: Partnerships to Pave Pathways to the Professoriate,” is funded by the University of California Hispanic Serving Institutions Doctoral Diversity Initiative and will be led by UCR and UC...

How drones can help dairy farms manage methane emissions

"Dairy farms produce large amounts of two things: milk and poop. Milk finds its way into delicacies like hot cocoa and grilled cheese sandwiches but the poop just piles up. Dairy farmers bulldoze the mess into artificial ponds called manure lagoons, where anaerobic microbes break it down into methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Methane traps...

Who’s responsible for roadside rubbish?

New research reveals that items in litter typically originate less than two miles from where they’re found — and unless humans remove them, most of these items will never leave the environment. For the study, researchers from the University of California, Riverside spent a month collecting trash from seven sites across the Inland Empire. They...

Cleaning your car may not protect you from this carcinogen

"It is unlikely that a cancer-causing chemical inside your car can be dusted or wiped way, according to new UC Riverside research. This finding has now been published in the journal Environmental Research. It follows on the heels of a related study showing the longer your commute, the more you’re exposed to this chemical." Read...

UCR experts weigh drought's long-term impacts

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency for the entire state of California this past month. The period from Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021 was the second-driest year on record in California. Almost 90% of the state is in throes of extreme drought. Reservoir storage is 60% of average. Said one state water...

Featured Soil Modeller

Salini Sasidharan has been featured as the 'Featured Soil Modeller' in a recent newsletter for the International Soil Modeling Consortium. "Salini Sasidharan is an emerging young scientist in the critical areas of Environmental Science and Engineering, including groundwater quantity and quality management, sustainable irrigated agriculture, and resilient urban and rural water resources infrastructures." Read More

Learning more than ever, faster than ever, about what we breathe

Nobody is currently taking continuous, routine measurements of the particles suspended in America’s air, called aerosols. That is set to change as a new, nationwide monitoring network launches with a site in Riverside, California. Read More
By Jules Bernstein |

Critical groundwater supplies may never recover from drought

"Along with hurricanes and wildfires, there's another important, but seldom-discussed effect of climate change — toxic water and sinking land made worse by groundwater drought. Water from snow and rain seeps deep into the ground between layers of soil and accumulates in sponge-like underground bathtubs, called aquifers. Farmers rely heavily on this groundwater to irrigate...

2021 ENSC Virtual Graduation Ceremony

Join us on Friday, June 11, 2021 at 4:30 pm to celebrate the success of our students via Zoom

Developing a Collaborative Relationship with Stakeholders

In this workshop, a group of expert panel members discusses common challenges and good practices to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, experience, and best practices to establish a stakeholder relationship that will be of great benefit for future professors and scientists.

Commuters are inhaling unacceptably high levels of carcinogens

A new study finds that California’s commuters are likely inhaling chemicals at levels that increase the risk for cancer and birth defects. As with most chemicals, the poison is in the amount. Under a certain threshold of exposure, even known carcinogens are not likely to cause cancer. Once you cross that threshold, the risk for...
Tractor in the field

UCR wins $10 million to develop AI for sustainable agriculture

The University of California, Riverside, has won a $10 million grant to develop artificial intelligence that will increase the environmental and economic stability of agriculture in the Western U.S. This Sustainable Agricultural Systems grant is one of nine given by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, or NIFA, annually to...
By Jules Bernstein | UCR News |

ENSC 2020 Online Graduation Ceremony

Join us on Sunday June 14th at 11 AM to celebrate the success of our students via Zoom.

Department of Environmental Sciences Plan to Action

The Department of Environmental Sciences joins in solidarity with our Black community of students, staff, and colleagues to strongly condemn racism. View our Plan to Action

Shrub encroachment on grasslands can increase groundwater recharge

Grasslands across the globe, which support the majority of the world’s grazing animals, have been transitioning to shrublands in a process that scientists call “woody plant encroachment.” Managed grazing of drylands is the most extensive form of land use on the planet, which has led to widespread efforts to reverse this trend and restore grass...
By Holly Ober | UCR News |
Let us help you with your search