uc merced

CDC Technology Advances Promise Better Valley Fever Detection

Nov 21, 2016
THE CENTER FOR HEALTH JOURNALISM COLLABORATIVE

New technology could reveal the microscopic, sometimes deadly spores that cause valley fever that currently float in the air undetected.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is developing  a sensor that can detect levels of the cocci fungus in the air and soil, said Christopher Braden, deputy director of the CDC’s National Center for Emerging Zoonotic Infectious Diseases branch. The agency has been working on the technology for three years, and Braden is hopeful the sensors could be moved into wider use over the next few years.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Have you ever called your doctor or hospital seeking an appointment and been told the wait will be weeks or maybe months? You have been affected by the Central Valley’s doctor shortage.

Now more than one group is pushing a potential solution, locally sourced doctors from a new medical school.

Being in a waiting room at the doctor’s office isn’t the most pleasant place to be.

But waiting to get into that waiting room can be even worse.

That is what health care experts call a ‘doctor shortage’ and in the valley it’s bad.

Plenary Properties Merced / UC Merced

The community is getting its first look today at the newly unveiled plans for a $1.1 billion expansion of UC Merced. The campus has selected the partnership of Plenary Properties Merced to design, build and operate the facility, which will allow the campus to expand to 10,000 students by the year 2020.

The proposal includes a private investment of $386 million, which is in addition to $600 million in revenue bonds already approved by UC Regents.

The FBI says that the student who carried out a knife attack on the UC Merced campus in November was, in fact, a ‘self-radicalized’ Muslim. 

According to the FBI, 18-year old Faisal Mohammad had visited websites associated with the self-described Islamic State and viewed other extremist propaganda in the weeks leading up to the attack.

State Approves UC Merced Expansion

Feb 17, 2016
University of California, Merced

The University of California has received the go-ahead from the Brown administration for a billion dollar expansion of its Merced campus. The Department of Finance approved the project today. Ben Bradford reports from Sacramento.

The University of California plans to add 10,000 undergraduates to its campuses in the next three years. As a key part of that, the UC Merced campus would double in size and expand from its current 6,700 students to an even 10,000. To pay for it, UC system chief financial officer Nathan Brostrom says the university is turning to a new funding model.

Police: UC Merced Stabbings Not Terrorism

Nov 5, 2015

UPDATE: 6:22 PM - Authorities say they now know what prompted UC Merced student Faisal Mohammad to go on a stabbing rampage Wednesday, leaving four others injured. 

According to Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke, a manifesto found on Mohammad's body during the autopsy indicates he was upset at fellow students after being kicked out of a campus study group. The manifesto contained the names of intended victims and a detailed, minute-by-minute account of his planned attack. 

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Authorities are continuing their investigation this morning into yesterday’s stabbing of four people at UC Merced. While law enforcement agencies including the FBI are trying to piece together exactly what happened, FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports the event has rocked the campus.

Ever since UC Merced opened its doors in 2005 it’s been known as a quiet, tight knit campus community. But that all changed early Wednesday.

Freshman Norma Ambriz was in her morning chemistry class when the chaos started.

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

UPDATED: 5:56 PM - FM89's Diana Aguilera reports on what law enforcement officials know about the suspect.

Jennie Ivins VIA FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

The Central Valley has some of the highest rates of obesity in California, especially among Latinos. Health officials say this puts Latinas at a greater risk of developing and dying from breast cancer. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports on a new project hoping to tackle this issue.

The UC Merced project hopes to learn how to better communicate healthy eating messages to young Latinas with the goal of reducing their risk of breast cancer.

Lance Johnson / Licensed under Creative Commons from Flickr user LanceJohnson http://www.flickr.com/photos/lancejohnson/5703722259/

When UC Merced first opened its doors in 2005, campus enrollment was just 875 students. Now a decade later, over 6,000 students attend the newest University of California campus, and thousands more are being turned away. As the only UC campus in the San Joaquin Valley, campus leaders hope to expand the number of available slots to over 10,000 by the year 2020 to meet growing demand.  

Lance Johnson / Licensed under Creative Commons from Flickr user LanceJohnson http://www.flickr.com/photos/lancejohnson/5703722259/

Talk to most education leaders about the biggest challenges and opportunities in America’s public schools and the issue of so called STEM courses is sure to come up. It’s a fancy acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. According to the US Department of Education, job growth in STEM fields is projected to outpace the rest of the economy, in some areas like software and biomedicine, by more than double.

President Obama says STEM is a big education priority, in a speech to education leaders in 2010:

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Forest managers throughout California say that thinning forests to a more natural state is a good way to reduce the severity of wildfires. Now scientists suggest that it also could offer help in saving water in the drought. 

Researchers at UC Merced think that thinning overgrown forests throughout the Sierra could result in as much as a million acre feet of extra water each year for the state. That’s enough water to fill Pine Flat Lake on the Kings River east of Fresno.

University of California, Merced

UC Merced is running out of space to keep up with growing enrollment.  Now, the university is asking the UC Board of Regents to expand campus offices to downtown Merced. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports.

The regents will vote Wednesday whether to approve $1.3 million dollars for construction of a campus administrative center in downtown Merced. 

Daniel Feitelberg, vice chancellor of planning and budget at UC Merced, says bringing offices to the downtown area is vital not only for the university but also for the city.

University of California, Merced

With physicians in short supply throughout the Central Valley, two legislators are hoping to recruit more doctors and start the process of creating a medical school in the region.

Assembly Bill 174 would put $1.85 million into a partnership between UC Merced, UC Davis and UCSF- Fresno. Assembly Member Adam Gray, D-Merced, recently proposed the bill, which was co-authored by Senator Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres.

Gray says if the bill becomes law, it would expand enrollment in UC Merced’s medical school partnership bringing future doctors to the Central Valley.

Napolitano Confirmed as Next UC President

Jul 18, 2013
Janet Napolitano / DHS

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will be the first female president of the University of California system. But it’s her experience with the federal government that had students talking at her confirmation hearing. Katie Orr reports from San Francisco.

The afternoon started with a few UC students and staff protesting outside of the Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco. They were concerned Napolitano’s experience running the Homeland Security Department would lead to the deportation of undocumented students.

Praise, Skepticism for UC's Choice of Napolitano

Jul 15, 2013
University of California

She’s a political veteran who’s run large bureaucracies.  But Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano hasn’t worked in academia – and now she’s about to become the next president of the University of California.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the choice is drawing both praise and skepticism.

Janet Napolitano gets strong praise for her personal and political skills.

Lance Johnson / Licensed under Creative Commons from Flickr user LanceJohnson http://www.flickr.com/photos/lancejohnson/5703722259/

UC Merced may be less than a decade old, but the struggling economy and environmental concerns are already leading campus officials to explore the possibility of directing some of the university's future growth to off-campus locations. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition, we talk with the UC Merced scientist behind a new study of the Valley's environment, and find out where we're making progress and where we're still falling behind in cleaning up our air and water. We also examine the fiasco involving the State of California's Department of Parks and Recreation, which last week discovered over $50 million in an account that had gone unreported for a decade, all happening at the same time that many parks have been threatened by closure.

UC Merced Study Rates Valley's Progress on Environment

Jul 18, 2012

Researchers say the Central Valley has made environmental improvements, just not as much as they'd like. That's according to a new study released today by UC Merced and The Great Valley Center.

The results of the study indicate that watersheds are reaching normal levels, wetland habitat restoration is on the rise, urbanization is slowing, and key air quality indicators are improving. Director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, Roger Bales, says these are important indicators in the quality of land, water, and air in the region.

This week on Valley Edition, we talk about whether the Valley is the worst place in the US to find a job, as US News and World Report claims in a new article. We talk with UC Merced's new chancellor about the efforts at the campus to boost the region's economy. And we close the program with a report about a theater project in Sanger that aims to bring people together over the topic of hunger, in a land of agricultural abundance.

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