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News in Brief, Week Ten

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UCI Receives Funding for Research on Coastal Changes

A UC Irvine research team, led by Professor Brett Sanders, received $1.15 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Nov. 21 to investigate sea level rise and storm surge effects along the California coast.

The UC Irvine team will work with the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project to study sediment management and examine various climate change situations to predict the best course of action to take to protect coastal regions.

UCI Researchers named AAAS Fellows

Nine UC Irvine researchers were named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in an announcement in the AAAS News and Notes section of the journal Science on Nov. 25.

The AAAS is a non-profit organization, and the largest general scientific society that aims to encourage scientists in their research and support scientific education. This year, 391 scientists are being honored for their work. Recipients will receive their certificates at the organization’s annual meeting on February 18, 2017.

The nine UC Irvine honorees include Professor of Anthropology Tom Boellstorff, Professor of Physics Jonathan Feng, Professors of Biology David Fruman and Sheryl Tsai, Professors of Computer Science Ramesh Jain and Gene Tsudik, Professor of Psychology Elizabeth Loftus, School of Social Sciences Dean William Maurer and Dean of the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science Hal Stern.

UCI Researchers Find Concrete Reabsorbs Carbon

A UC Irvine team of scientists recently discovered that cement reabsorbs a large amount of the carbon dioxide produced at the time it was manufactured.

Stephen Davis is an associate professor of Earth systems science and a researcher on the team.

“The cement poured around the world since 1930 has taken up a substantial portion of the CO2 released when it was initially produced,” he said in a press release.

Between 1930 and 2013, approximately 76 billion tons of cement have been produced worldwide. Scientists have found that during that period, 38.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide were released into the atmosphere, and 4.5 gigatons have been reabsorbed.

In cement manufacturing, carbon is emitted when limestone is converted to lime and when natural gas and fossil fuels are burned to generate heat. UC Irvine researchers examined how much gas has been extracted from the environment by cement buildings and other infrastructure. The findings contribute to the idea that the burning of fossil fuels is the leading cause of climate change.

Fidel Castro Dies at 90

Former Cuban Prime Minister and President Fidel Castro died on the night of Nov. 25 at 90 years old. Castro’s brother Raúl Castro announced his passing on Cuban state television.

Castro was best known as the orchestrator of the Cuban Revolution against the authoritarian government of President Fulgencio Batista. The Revolution ended in victory for the rebels, and Batista was overthrown. Tensions between the United States and Cuba rose when Castro came to power. The two countries cut ties in 1951 and it was not until July 2015 that diplomatic relations were reestablished.

An official cause of death has not been released, but Castro has had health issues in recent years.

Reactions to his death worldwide have been mixed. Some in Cuba are mourning the loss of the man who led their country for years. However, in Little Havana in Miami, Cuban exiles took to the streets in celebration of the death of a figure who forced thousands of Cuban refugees to America in the mid-20th century.

Castro’s body was cremated and a funeral was held at the Santa Ifegenia cemetery on Sunday morning.