Chasing Sudden Oak Death

May 22, 2015

Central Coast residents concerned with protecting the area's coastal live oak trees are joining forces in the coming days to stop the spread of a serious disease. Sudden Oak Death (SOD) has been a problem in California for years, but now scientists have tools to track—and possibly slow—its spread.

Volunteers play a crucial role in this process, according to Lauren Brown, a trainer with the 2015 Spring SOD Blitz, a campaign aimed at mapping the location and status of trees throughout the state.

Baby Sea Stars Offer Hope Amid Mass Die-Off

May 21, 2015
James Tensuan

UC Santa Cruz PhD student Monica Moritsch stands knee deep in the chilly water at Terrace Point in northern Santa Cruz. This is a spot where marine biologists have been counting sea stars closely for more than 15 years.

“Just look high and low. Look in the cracks,” she directs her two interns in the search. “The small ones tend to hide in the crevices.”

In the tide pools carpeted with iridescent black-and-blue mussels, they quickly find what they’re looking for.  “Oh, there’s two right here,” she says.

“Oh, there’s three!” says intern Samantha Chavez.

SPCA for Monterey County

Often when you adopt a dog from an animal shelter it’s a mixed breed.   But in this day of designer dogs and DNA testing, shelter animals are getting re-branded and perhaps increasing their chances of adoption.

Two newly minted designer dogs share a room at the SPCA for Monterey County.  “So this is Tom and he’s with Champ.  Champ a lot of people thought was Chihuahua. It’s was kind of hard to guess what other parts were,” says Beth Brookhouser, Director of Community Outreach at SPCAMC.

Krista Almanzan

Drones have moved from corners in the tech and model aircraft worlds to warranting conferences of their own.  Right now there’s a major one underway in Atlanta.  It comes on the heels of the Drones Data X Conference that wrapped up this weekend with in Santa Cruz. 


The Kaiser Permanente Arena in downtown Santa Cruz is normally home to the D-league basketball team, the Santa Cruz Warriors.  But on Friday it was all about drones.

Krista Almanzan

As President Obama nears the end of his term, land conservationists are lining up with proposals to have their piece of country designated a national monument.   It’s something the President can do by Executive Order.