Changes afoot here

jc-mg-200-names.jpgJon Christensen writes: Changes afoot at UCLA mean changes for this column.

Mark Gold and I have had a good, fun run together for two years here at LA Observed. Mark has recently been appointed associate vice chancellor for environment and sustainability at UCLA, where he is focusing on the grand challenge of creating a sustainable LA. As a result, he won't have time to contribute regularly here, though you can be sure he'll continue to share his insight and wisdom on environmental issues publicly, as he did in a recent op-ed in the LA Times arguing that the LA Department of Water and Power must raise rates dramatically to pay for making our city water system more sustainable. Mark was associate director and acting director at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA, where we worked together for the past three years, and before that, as I suspect every one of our readers knows, he enjoyed a long, successful run at Heal the Bay.

After a global search, Peter Kareiva, chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy for the past decade, is joining UCLA as the new director of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. Peter is a good friend, too. As a journalist, I've watched his transformative work in conservation closely for the past 15 years. Together, we taught a research course at Santa Clara University on urban nature, and we're planning a yearlong research project on urban nature here in Los Angeles with an interdisciplinary team of seniors at UCLA beginning this fall. You can read more about why Peter is coming to UCLA here. It's a great pleasure to welcome him to LA and to see his infectious enthusiasm for his new hometown.

As for this column, stay tuned for a reboot. Coming soon!

I'm scanning the horizon and thinking about where this column could go. If you have any thoughts, let me know.

I can be reached at jonchristensen@ioes.ucla.edu.


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