- Author: Pam Kan-Rice
Reprinted from the UCANR food blog
Native Americans suffer from the highest rates of food insecurity, poverty and diet-related disease in the United States. A new study finds that Native American communities could improve their food security with a greater ability to hunt, fish, gather and preserve their own food.
“How food security is framed, and by whom, shapes the interventions or solutions that are proposed,” said Jennifer Sowerwine, UC Cooperative Extension specialist at UC Berkeley, who led the study in partnership with the Karuk, Yurok, Hoopa, and Klamath Tribes. “Our research suggests that current measures of and solutions to food insecurity in the United States need to be more culturally relevant to effectively assess and address chronic food insecurity in Native American communities.”
The study conducted by researchers at UC Berkeley and four Native American tribes shows that 92% of Native American households in the Klamath Basin suffer from food insecurity.
Native American tribes in the Klamath Basin seasonally harvest, consume and store diverse aquatic and terrestrial native foods including salmon, acorns and deer. In survey responses, 86% of the participants said they consumed native foods at least once in the previous year. Yet significant barriers, including restrictive laws and wildlife habitat degradation, limit availability and quality of these foods.
While 64% of Native American households in the Klamath Basin rely on food assistance (compared to the national average of 12%), 84% of the Native Americans using food assistance worried about running out of food or had run out of food. This suggests the need to consider more effective solutions rooted in eco-cultural restoration and food sovereignty to address food insecurity in Native American communities.
Study participants strongly expressed the desire for strengthened tribal governance of Native lands and stewardship of cultural resources to increase access to native foods, as well as strengthening skills for self-reliance including support for home food production. Community members suggested solutions including tribe-led workshops on native foods gathering, preparation and preservation; removing legal barriers to hunt, fish and gather; restoring traditional rights to hunt, fish and gather on tribal ancestral lands; providing culturally relevant education and employment opportunities to tribal members; and increased funding for native foods programs.
While growing evidence suggests that native foods are the most nutritious and culturally appropriate foods for Native American people – and over 99% of people surveyed in the region said they want more of these foods – nearly 70% said they never or rarely get access to the native foods they want.
“We know our efforts to revitalize and care for our food system through traditional land management are critical to the physical and cultural survival of the humans who are part of it,” said Leaf Hillman, program manager for the Karuk Tribe's Píkyav Field Institute. “This study will support our ability to bring that message to the decisionmakers who need to hear it.”
With the study results indicating that increased access to native foods and support for cultural institutions such as traditional knowledge and food sharing are key to solving food insecurity in Native American communities, Sowerwine and the research team propose including access to native foods as a measure for evaluating food security for Native people.
The assessment is based on 711 surveys completed by households from the Karuk, Yurok, Hoopa and Klamath Tribes, 115 interviews with cultural practitioners and food system stakeholders, and 20 focus groups with tribal members or descendants.
In addition to Sowerwine and Hillman, the study was conducted by post-doctoral researchers Megan Mucioki and Dan Sarna-Wojcicki, and research partners from the Yurok, Karuk and Klamath Tribes.
“Partnering with tribal community members in the research makes the research stronger, and that is especially true in this unique food security assessment,” said Sowerwine. “With the study design grounded in nearly a decade of relationship-building and respectful engagement with our tribal partners, we are confident that our results reflect their priority questions and concerns while contributing valuable new information to the field of indigenous food systems.”
“Reframing food security by and for Native American communities: a case study among tribes in the Klamath River basin of Oregon and California” is published in the journal Food Security.
This research was part of a $4 million, five-year Tribal Food Security Project funded by USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture-Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Food Security Grant #2012-68004-20018. For full results and recommendations from the project team, visit https://nature.berkeley.edu/karuk-collaborative/?page_id=1088.
- Author: Susie Kocher
Reprinted from ESPM news
Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies, also known as negative emissions technologies, appear critical to achieving California's ambitious climate change mitigation goals. Reducing the state's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions cannot be achieved by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions alone. Instead, both emissions reductions and pathways to extracting CO2 emissions from our atmosphere are needed to help achieve California's climate goals. Yet Carbon dioxide removal technologies lack both technical and commercial maturity—and are not yet deployed at the industrial scales that could help make large-scale impacts across California possible. In response, numerous state government and nongovernmental organizations in California have taken early steps to support research, development and demonstration of carbon removal.
There are two general approaches to carbon dioxide removal—biological and engineered. Biological approaches enhance or manipulate natural sinks for CO2 to store more carbon, typically on land. Engineered approaches apply chemical and physical processes to capture and reliably convert or store CO2. Biological and engineered approaches to CO2 removal can be deployed alongside other climate change responses to reduce emissions, avoid climate impacts, and promote economic development within California. In this way, carbon dioxide removal offers an array of useful co-benefits for the economy, people and the planet.
Sanchez and Silver, along with UC Davis colleague Benjamin Z. Houlton, also outline the goals and structure of the newly-formed Working Lands Innovation Center, a collaboration across several University of California and California State University campuses, which will continue to study and publish research about carbon dioxide removal technologies.
Read the full California Agriculture article on UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' website.
- Author: Jeanette Warnert
Reprinted from the UCANR News
As California grappled with a record-breaking heatwave last week and 236 wildfires, officials are bracing for the worst, reported Maanvi Singh in the Guardian.
The fires have been mostly fueled by grass and brush that came up during the state's especially wet winter and mild spring, according to a CAL FIRE official. UC Cooperative Extension fire advisor Lenya Quinn-Davidson said California's annual wildfire season is growing longer – beginning earlier in the spring and stretching later in the fall.
“It's not unusual for us to see this many small fires in June,” she said. “But 50 years ago, so many fires this early on – plus these extreme, high temperatures in June – would have been abnormal.”
It is difficult to predict how bad the rest of this fire season will be based on the number of fires so far, said UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain.
"Our worst fire years aren't necessarily the years that we've had the highest number of fires,” he noted. “All it takes is one – one huge, destructive fire to ruin the whole year."
- Author: Kara Manke
Reposted from UCB CNR news
Last month, Dean David Ackerly represented UC Berkeley in Beijing at the meeting of the executive committee and academic committee of the Global Alliance of Universities on Climate (GAUC). Ashok Gadgil, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, represented UC Berkeley at the concurrent meeting of the academic committee of the GAUC.
University leaders and academic pioneers in the field of climate change from twelve universities on six continents gathered in Tsinghua University to attend the meeting. During the meeting, the GAUC charter was discussed and approved, formally establishing the Alliance.
The founding member universities of the Alliance include Australian National University, UC Berkeley, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, the London School of Economics and Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Tokyo, Tsinghua University, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, the Indian Institute of Science, Sciences Po, and Stellenbosch University.
GAUC's mission will focus on joint research projects, talent cultivation, student exchanges, green and carbon-neutral campus implementation, and public engagement. These research and exchange activities will also include strengthening bilateral or multilateral cooperative research programs, studying technological and economic policy issues related to climate change, and the promotion of student exchange programs.
“Leading universities should play a leading role in tackling the most challenging issues confronted by humankind,” said Qiu Yong president of Tsinghua University. “This initiative is very timely and meaningful for global climate governance and for coping with the challenges of climate change worldwide.”
- Author: jeannette warnert
Reposted from the UCANR news
Historically, fire fighting was a male-dominated field. With broader diversity needed, women are seizing the opportunity, reported The Nature Conservancy.
TNC ran a feature on its website about a prescribed fire on its Disney Wildness Preserve in Florida staffed and managed by an all-women crew.
"Everybody was here to work, and communication went well," said Jana Mott, the day's burn boss and TNC's northern Florida stewardship project coordinator. "It was like a well-oiled machine. There was a high level of professionalism all around. It felt like just another day of doing business on the fireline."
The article also quoted UC Cooperative Extension fire scienctist Lenya Quinn-Davidson. She is director of the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council. Quinn-Davidson helped plan and lead the Women-in-Fire Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (WTREX) in Tallahassee, as well as two previous WTREX.
The field of wildland fire has for too long been “so conventional, so static—not only operationally, but also culturally,” Quinn Davidson said. “We see now that it's time for that to change. We need more perspectives, more ideas, more innovation—more creative discomfort. And we need to create space for women and men of different backgrounds to have a voice and contribute to this evolution.”
Read more about WTREX in the article Lighting up a new path: the Women-in-Fire Rx Fire Training Exchange (WTREX) by Quinn-Davidson on the UC ANR Forest Research and Outreach Blog.