Media Watch

Blue-ringed octopus, a master of deception, inspires new technology -
The greater blue-ringed octopus, known for its rapid skin changes, has inspired researchers at the University of California, Irvine to develop a new technological platform that mimics the octopus’s dynamic skin patterns. This innovation has potential applications in various fields, including military, medicine, robotics, and sustainable energy. … Senior co-author Alon Gorodetsky, a UCI professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, [said], “We worked to mimic the octopus’ natural abilities … and the result is an octopus-inspired deception and signaling system that is straightforward to fabricate, functions for a long time when operated continuously, and can even repair itself when damaged.” Read More
U.S. News & World Report

14 Environmentally Friendly College Campuses

U.S. News & World Report -
UC Irvine converted its central plant to a system that uses more recycled water instead of potable water to cool 65 buildings, conserving more than 80 million gallons of drinkable water per year. Additionally, the University of California system adopted a policy for all of its campuses and medical centers to fully decarbonize – meaning a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions – by 2045. Read More

Sneaky color-changing octopus inspires deception tech

Futurity -
Senior coauthor Alon Gorodetsky, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of California, Irvine, [said], “For this project, we worked to mimic the octopus’ natural abilities with devices from unique materials we synthesized in our laboratory, and the result is an octopus-inspired deception and signaling system that is straightforward to fabricate, functions for a long time when operated continuously, and can even repair itself when damaged.” Read More
Los Angeles Times

Heavy surf pounds the Southern California coast, prompting warnings and shutting down piers

Los Angeles Times -
This year, the flood potential along the coast has also increased partly because current El Niño conditions in the Pacific have raised the sea level on the California coast, said Brett Sanders, a UC Irvine professor of civil and environmental engineering who studies flood risks. He said that’s one of several compounding factors, along with beach erosion and long-term sea-level rise driven by climate change, that in the coming years “will contribute to more coastal flooding events like the ones we’ve seen this weekend.” Read More
San Francisco Chronicle

California rain: Map shows areas prone to significant flooding

San Francisco Chronicle -
“The U.S. government has done a poor job mapping flooding at the level that’s needed for the individual homeowner to size up that risk,” said Brett Sanders, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Irvine. … Sanders led a recent study that found far more people in the greater Los Angeles area are at risk of flooding than FEMA maps indicate. The researchers calculated the flood risk due to heavy rains, streamflow and coastal storm tides in unprecedented detail — down to the level of streets and buildings. … “We can pinpoint for every property how much hazard there is,” Sanders said. Read More

San Clemente’s $14 million beach-building project kicks off

The Orange County Register -
San Clemente’s beach building is officially underway. Officials gathered on Monday, Dec. 18, to mark the start of the long-awaited San Clemente Shoreline Sand Replenishment Project, with heavy equipment in the backdrop shifting sand to make way for the dredged sediment pulled from the ocean floor in Oceanside. … UC Irvine civil and environmental engineering professor Brett Sanders said the project is the start of a commitment to help a coastline that has suffered in recent years. “We have such a heightened state of awareness today with sea level rise and coastal impacts that these coastal issues are going to be the priority,” he said. Read More

Who benefits from the 405 Freeway’s new express lanes? More than just the people who use them

The Orange County Register -
“It’s basically a win-win for almost everybody, the express lanes,” said UC Irvine economics professor Jan Brueckner, a member of the university’s Institute of Transportation Studies. … Sarah Catz, a UC Irvine transportation researcher and former OCTA board member, said another benefit of the express lane tolls is they bring in a consistent revenue stream to be used for maintenance. “There isn’t enough money out there for all the maintenance that has to be done on our roads, unfortunately,” Catz said. “To have this constant pot of money to keep it maintained and to improve (the 405 corridor) is very important.” Read More
The San Diego Union-Tribune

Climate change imperils San Diego County’s coastal rail corridor, panelists say

The San Diego Union-Tribune -
Climate change is “wreaking havoc” on the coastal rail corridor from Santa Barbara to San Diego, Sen. Catherine Blakespear said Monday at a Senate Transportation Subcommittee meeting in San Clemente. … “We can’t shut down this corridor,” said Sarah Catz, a researcher at the University of California, Irvine’s Institute of Transportation Studies. “It’s just way too important. It’s critical that we keep ... freight alive, and that we keep passenger service alive.” Read More

Challenges facing key rail line’s future discussed in San Clemente

The Orange County Register -
Ted Link-Oberstar, transportation and housing consultant for the Senate Office of Research …. suggested the state consider an expanded, more formal role to take the lead. Sarah L. Catz,  a researcher for the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Irvine, echoed those thoughts during the hearing, saying a state-led study and oversight is needed so there is a singular point off contact that can coordinate with federal agencies. Read More

San Clemente’s mega sand project gets start date

The Orange County Register -
UC Irvine civil and environmental engineering professor Brett Sanders, whose team is tracking the results of a smaller-scale sand project recently completed further north at Capistrano and Doheny State beaches, said the San Clemente project and a similar replenishment effort that just launched at Surfside-Sunset Beach north of Huntington Beach bring a lot of benefit for the region. … “We know that beaches drive tourism and recreation – the economic activities that produce state and federal taxes and fill the coffers of coastal cities, [Sanders said]. Read More