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UC's 'viral' sock drive appears on the Bee's front page

Who would have thought old socks could drive a media storm? A call from participants in UC's Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project for donations of gently used socks for Pacific fisher research generated a flurry of response, and now the overwhelming public response resulted in a front-page story in the Sacramento Bee. The article also ran on the front page of the Fresno Bee.

Bee writer Matt Weiser reported that bulging padding envelopes and duct-taped boxes filled with socks trickled in at first. In time, boxes of socks from Girl Scout troops and elementary schools forced the researchers to wheel their mail from the post office in carts.

"We basically generated several truckloads," said UC Berkeley associate adjunct professor Rick Sweitzer. "It was incredible."

Sweitzer said Weiser had called him last week to ask about porcupines in California. Weiser said he and his wife had sent socks themselves last December. When he heard about the unexpected outpouring of socks, he turned his immediate attention to telling that story.

UC program representative Ann Lombardo, left, and UC researcher Rick Sweitzer with their bounty of socks. A stuffed Pacific fisher is in the foreground.
Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 9:16 AM

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