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Reviving the L.A. River

July 8, 2013

Category: A Closer Look

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Looking downstream at the Glendale Narrows. Unlike most of the river, this stretch has an earthen bottom.

The Los Angeles River recently became a summer haven for fishers and kayakers. In June, a 2.5 mile stretch called the Glendale Narrows opened up for public recreation–the first time in 80 years that the public could legally access any part of the river.

In an effort to combat devastating floods in L.A.’s low-lying neighborhoods, the entire river system was channelized in the 1930’s. Since then, the river has primarily served as a flood control channel—not a river.

Although efforts to revitalize the river have existed for decades, the new recreational activities are bringing them to life in a different way.

Cal Poly Pomona urban and regional planning professor Meredith McKenzie says the LA River Revitalization Project is not only about restoring the river, but restoring the public perception that there is a river—and it’s part of our natural ecosystem. Read more »

Competition Highlights Student Research

May 14, 2013

Category: A Closer Look

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CSU student research Rose-Matthew Rose of Cal Poly Pomona talks with judges about his research, "Obstacle Avoidance for a Quadrotor Using Light Weight and Inexpensive Sensors," as part of the 27th Annual California State University Student Research Competition at Cal Poly Pomona May 10, 2013.

A Humboldt State student found that stem cells have the potential to help the bones of older individuals heal faster after breaking.

A team of Cal State L.A. engineering students developed new experimental designs for supersonic rockets.

A Cal Poly Pomona student is testing a new vaccine for the flu.

These are just a few of the nearly 200 student researchers who presented projects at the CSU’s 27th annual Student Research Competition at Cal Poly Pomona May 10-11.

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SCMI Pursuing a Mission of Research and Education

April 23, 2013

Category: A Closer Look

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Students participating in lab and field research during the CSU Marine Biology Semester

Students participating in lab and field research during the CSU Marine Biology Semester

The Southern California Marine Institute (SCMI) —a consortium of 11 Southern California universities, including eight CSU campuses—has been providing marine research and education support to the CSU for over 15 years. Committed to offering marine expertise and hands-on field experience to students, the SCMI develops science education programs, facilitates research in marine science, and works with university and community members to execute environment monitoring projects.
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Going Global at the World Ag Expo

February 27, 2013

Category: A Closer Look

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Every February, 100,000 visitors from more than 70 countries flock to a small town in California’s Central Valley for the largest farm equipment and technology show in the world. Though its location may seem remote, the World Ag Expo takes place in one of our nation’s most important agricultural regions.

The CSU students and researchers that headed to the International Agri-Center in Tulare for this year’s expo Feb. 12-14 showcased some of what they do to help California maintain its status as an agricultural powerhouse.

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Fusing Biology and Technology

January 11, 2013

Category: A Closer Look

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The 25th Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium brought together students, faculty, alumni, administrators and partners from across the 23 campus university system to advance an intricate and cutting edge understanding of life.  More than 700 current and future biotechnology researchers and professionals participated in this silver anniversary symposium held in Anaheim from January 3-5, 2013.  The symposium was a showcase for the year-round work incubated by the CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB). Read more »

Creating a winning playing field

January 20, 2012

Category: A Closer Look

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Creating a winning playing field

The success of some of the world’s biggest sporting events like the Super Bowl, the PGA Championship and the World Series—and that of your favorite athlete or team – is dependent on sports turf managers. Professional sports which require a grass surface require a team of these skilled experts.

For them, watching grass grow can be exciting—a sign they are creating a level playing field for athletes. However, getting the perfect turf is a science in itself, and more complex than you’d imagine.

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A New Space Race Launches CSU Endeavors

October 19, 2011

Category: A Closer Look

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Last week, a Los Angeles ceremony celebrated NASA space shuttle Endeavour’s new home. Beginning in 2012, the aircraft will be housed at the California Science Center. Although Endeavour is California-bound, it will no longer live up to its name or original purpose.

After its 135th flight, NASA’s shuttle program ended this year. Endeavour and sister ships Atlantis and Discovery—American icons for human innovation and space domination—will be museum pieces, resting next to models of Sputnik and Explorer 1, among other artifacts. Reminders that everything, even NASA’s shuttle program, must come to an end.

NASA Chief Charles Bolden says the shuttles will now inspire a new generation of explorers. Hopefully inspire them to go into aeronautical engineering—because right now, America doesn’t have a way to send our astronauts into space.

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Zzyzx: The CSU’s Scientific Oasis

August 15, 2011

Category: A Closer Look

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If you’ve made the journey from Southern California to Las Vegas, you’ve probably seen the sign for Zzyzx, the I-15 exit somewhere in between Barstow and Baker, California—about 175 miles from Los Angeles. Curious motorists pass by it, wondering what actually exists beyond it and who would dwell in this inhospitable and desolate place. 

The answer would be desert researchers, of course. Zzyzx -pronounced “zy-zicks”- is an ideal location for these folks because it’s home to the CSU Desert Studies Center, a rich research resource in the Mojave.

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Carmageddon: Apocalypse … later?

July 20, 2011

Category: A Closer Look

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This past weekend’s closure of the 405 freeway in Los Angeles dubbed “Carmageddon” turned out to be a prophecy that thankfully didn’t live up to its apocalyptic expectations. The fears of citywide gridlock in response to a two-day closure of nearly 10 miles of the 405 never materialized. Commuters and travelers with the courage to brave the predicted chaos were pleasantly surprised with nearly nonexistent traffic. So, what happened?

Dr. Xudong Jia, a civil engineering professor at Cal Poly Pomona, shed some light on the anomaly. As an expert in a field that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and natural environment, including highways, his research focuses on a fact of life and a source of enduring frustration for LA commuters—traffic.
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Duh-rrrripp. Duh-rrrripp. Grow. Grow.

June 28, 2011

Category: A Closer Look

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Drip irrigation on peanut plants (USDA)

Irrigation innovations conserve water, but need infrastructure, delivery systems to evolve

Stuart Styles knows drips better than just about anyone. He heads the Irrigation Training and ResearchITRC Director Stuart Styles Center at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he is a professor of agricultural engineering.

In this podcast, Professor Styles, a member of the CSU’s Water Resources and Policy Initiatives, talks about drip irrigation and what transformations are needed to broaden its use – and conserve more water.

Styles, with more than 25 years’ of field experience in irrigation as a consultant and engineer, was honored in 2004 as the Irrigation Association’s Person of the Year.

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Sean Kearns (l) and Stuart Styles (r) in CSU studio(Podcast transcript follows at bottom of article.)
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