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Evidence-Based Solutions for Central California

Lorena Anderson

Emergence, Extinction of Massive Ancient Shark to be Explored with NSF Grant

Forty million years after dinosaurs went extinct, one of the largest predators that ever prowled Earth’s oceans emerged, feeding the imaginations of modern scientists and the nightmares of modern movie audiences.

Megalodon — the name means ‘giant tooth’ — appeared some 23 million years ago and reigned the seas for about 21 million years. In 400 million years of shark evolution, megalodon is the most massive shark species that ever lived, growing to 60 feet long, or three times the size of the largest of today’s great whites.

Shakespeare’s ‘Dream’ Delights Yosemite Visitors for Earth Day Weekend

“April ... hath put a spirit of youth in everything,” Shakespeare wrote in Sonnet 98. He might as well have been writing about this year’s Shakespeare in Yosemite production.

With Friday’s premiere — attended by high school students from Mariposa and several children of park employees and El Portal residents and performed by a troupe of players ranging from those experienced and trained in Shakespeare to brand-new actors — the 420-year-old “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” seemed new again.

Professor’s Fellowship Allows Renewed Focus on Sociology of Race in South Africa

Professor Whitney Pirtle recently became the first researcher to win the prestigious Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship while employed at UC Merced — a grant that will help her finish writing a book and move her closer to gaining tenure.

“It’s a really big honor,” Pirtle said. “It comes at a great time in my career.”

Prestigious University Press Signs Professor as Book Series Editor

Interdisciplinary Humanities Professor Arturo Arias was recently selected to edit a series of indigenous-studies books for the State University of New York (SUNY) Press.

That makes him the first UC Merced professor to be named editor of a book series for a major university press. He said it is an honor and a credit to the university and UC Merced programs that are meriting national recognition.

Young Artist Movement Making Room for More Art on Campus

Three enterprising Global Arts Studies Program (GASP) students saw the empty UC Merced Art Gallery on campus and, worried the space would be reallocated, wondered why they couldn’t volunteer to run it.

So they started the Young Artist Movement (YAM) — a “guerilla” group that expanded through word of mouth to 17, then bloomed to more than 50 members. YAM was a finalist for the Division of Student Affairs’ Best New Club or Organization award.

Drawing Graphic Lessons: Comics Teach, Evaluate Difficult Concepts

Though illustrations have been used to convey ideas and information since before language existed, after Benjamin Franklin published the world’s first editorial cartoon in 1754, comics emerged a distinct avenue for visual storytelling.

Now, comic art has come into classrooms at UC Merced and abroad, as educators are using illustrations in new ways — to teach complex concepts and assess whether students grasp those lessons.

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