On the road with our students

Photo of Kane Cunningham with a sea lion

Graduate student Kane Cunningham talked about his research with marine mammals. Photo credit National Marine Fisheries Service, permit #14535.

Wow, what an impressive turnout we had in Sacramento last week. Our annual reception and dinner for alumni and friends, which we host as part of the systemwide UC Day advocacy effort, drew assemblymembers Mark Stone, Paul Fong, and Luis Alejo, as well as California Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird ('72, Stevenson, politics).

The focus was on marine science, and the program included remarks by Paul Koch, dean of Physical and Biological Sciences. Paul talked about his own work in Antarctica before turning over the podium to graduate students Lisa Ziccarelli and Kane Cunningham. It's not an overstatement to say they brought the house down.

Lisa studies harmful algal blooms and their impacts on marine life, while Kane studies the effects of human-generated noise on marine mammals. These two are impressive! Lisa came to UCSC from the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, where she was a research assistant after college, while Kane earned a BA in philosophy from Vassar, then an MFA in new media from the University of the Danube and an MS in electrical engineering from Boston University. Both said they came to UCSC for our strong programs, and both talked about getting a kick out of working with undergraduates—as teaching assistants, but also as colleagues in the lab.

They were great ambassadors for the campus, speaking from the heart and underscoring the value of this great campus of ours. I'm very pleased that the event attracted a good crowd of lucky folks who got to hear from them.

Comments or questions? Write to chancellor@ucsc.edu and put "Sacramento-Students" in the subject line.