UCR and FAU Sign Memorandum of Understanding

On Oct. 5, Chancellor Timothy P. White and Karl-Dieter Grüske, president of Friedrich-Alexander Universität, Erlangen-Nüremberg, signed a memorandum of understanding at UCR’s Alumni and Visitors Center. The memorandum of understanding provides a platform that allows FAU and UCR to work together toward shared academic goals.

A few examples of the kinds of activities that it will help to promote include visits and informal exchanges of faculty, scholars and administrators in specific areas of education, research and outreach; cooperation in postgraduate education and training; joint conferences, symposia, or other scientific meetings on subjects of mutual interest; new avenues for undergraduate student exchange during the academic year or summer terms; and joint research programs and collaborations.

According to Chancellor White, UCR and FAU are exploring the possibility of developing a “3 + 2 program,” whereby FAU students will study for three years at their home institution, then transfer to UCR for their remaining two years. At the end of five years, they will receive a bachelor’s degree in engineering from FAU and a master’s degree from UCR – thus saving a full year.

Allgor Edits Dolly Madison Memoir

In 1850, a year after influential first lady — and savvy politician — Dolley Madison died, her niece Mary Cutts wrote a memoir about her aunt. It was then edited by her family to show Madison in the best possible light to a 19th century audience. Catherine Allgor’s book, “The Queen of America: Mary Cutts’s Life of Dolley Madison,” published in August by University of Virginia Press, is an annotated edition of Cutts’s work.
It reconstructs Cutts’s biography and offers new insights into the lives of public women in the decades after the United States was born.

Allgor is known nationally for her research about the role of women in American political history, particularly first ladies.

Benefits of the Barley Genome

UCR researchers are among those who have developed a high-resolution genomic resource for barley that they say will help produce higher yields, improve pest and disease resistance, and enhance the nutritional value of the grain.

The resource gives new molecular and cellular insight into the biology of barley, one of the world’s most important and earliest domesticated cereal crops. “This resource will serve as an essential reference for genetic research and breeding and help advance gene discovery and genome-assisted crop improvement,” said Timothy Close, a professor of genetics and one of the leaders of the research project.

Study results appear online in the journal Nature.

Oxygen’s Ups and Downs

A team led by UCR geochemists challenges the notion of an up-only trend for early oxygen and provides the first compelling direct evidence for a major drop in oxygen after the first rise.

Timothy Lyons, a professor of biogeochemistry and the principal investigator of the project says this drop in oxygen may have ushered in more than a billion years that were marked by a return to lowoxygen concentrations at Earth’s surface, including the likelihood of an oxygen-free deep ocean. “It is this condition that may have set the environmental stage and ultimately the clock for the advance of eukaryotic organisms and eventually animals,” he said.

Study results appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Evidence Doesn’t Support Three strikes Law as Crime Deterrent

Research by criminologist and sociology professor Robert Nash
Parker has found that California’s three-strikes law, a get-tough-on-criminals policy that voters approved in 1994, has done nothing to reduce the crime rate.

In a rigorous analysis of crime in California and the nation, Parker determined that crime has been decreasing at about the same rate in every state for 20 years, regardless of whether three-strikes policies are in place.

Parker’s findings appear in the paper “Why California’s ‘Three Strikes’ Fails as Crime and Economic Policy, and What to Do,” published recently in the California Journal of Politics and Policy. The online journal publishes cutting-edge research on national, state and local government, electoral politics, and public policy formation and implementation

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