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Lorena Anderson

Professor Tracey Osborne Taking on Complex, Grand Challenges in Climate and Social Justice

The world is a complex place, and humanity faces major challenges. Climate change mitigation might be the most difficult, in large part because of the interdependency of living things and their ecosystems.

How do people transform economic systems so they are also sustainable for people and the planet?

“If we don’t consider how everything connects from a systems perspective, we’re not going to solve grand challenges such as climate change,” Professor Tracey Osborne said. “Not even close.”

Global Fire Outlook Not Good News, but Mitigation is Possible, Analysis Shows

Wildfire is a natural process necessary to many ecosystems. But wildfires are getting worse and more damaging, and it is our fault, according to new research.

A paper by two UC Merced researchers and their colleagues, published in a new Nature journal called Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, indicates the global economic and environmental damage caused by wildfire will only increase because of human-caused climate change.

However, we are also able to save ourselves, the researchers said.

Ecosystem Engineers Play Crucial Role in Stabilizing Their Environments, Study Shows

When people think of engineering in nature, they tend to think of species such as beavers — the tree-felling, dam-building rodents whose machinations can shape the landscape by creating lakes and changing the path of rivers.

But beavers are far from the only organisms to reshape their environment. A squirrel that inadvertently plants oak trees is also an “ecosystem engineer.” Roughly speaking, any organism whose impact on the environment outlasts its own lifetime is an environmental engineer.

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