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Have you always wanted to take a course in the social sciences?

Did you think you would never have the time as a working professional?

Are you an upper-level high school student interested in taking a college course?

Are you a current UC student who needs to fulfill a requirement for your major?

Then, take an official UCLA course online from anywhere in the world.

And, learn from renowned faculty who are experts in their field.

UCLA summer courses are open to BOTH UCLA students and non-UCLA students. All summer 2020 courses will be offered online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can enroll as long as you are 15 years of age or older by the first day of summer, and you do NOT have to be enrolled in an academic institution in order to participate in UCLA Summer Sessions. For more general information, click HERE.

But, DON’T DELAY! Register TODAY HERE!

Payment is due by June 5 at 5pm PDT for visiting non-UC students who enrolled before June 5 and by June 19 at 5pm PDT for UC students AND for visiting non-UC students who enrolled between June 6 to June 19. Check HERE to keep up to date on the deadlines.

Check out the amazing courses being offered by the departments within the Division of Social Sciences. Each department’s course list is found in the following links:

African American Studies (additional video course previews)

Anthropology

Asian American Studies

Chicana & Chicano Studies

Communication

Economics

Gender Studies (additional information)

Geography

History

Political Science

Sociology

UCLA’s Division of Social Sciences is full of amazing faculty, staff, and students who are contributing to academic scholarship in major ways. Dr. Marcus Hunter is certainly one of these people. Dr. Hunter is a dedicated professor of sociology, the chair of the African American studies department, and a respected author.

Most recently, Dr. Hunter was recognized by the UCLA Newsroom for his book he co-authored with Dr. Zandria F. Robinson titled, Chocolate Cities: The Black Map of American Life. This book is filled with the rich history of the Black American experience dating back to the 1900s and focuses on how Black Americans created their own “Chocolate Cities” where black culture is maintained, created, and defended. It touches on diverse topics including race, racism, place, space, knowledge, and liberation as well as the social, cultural, economic, and political influence. Looking through the eyes of Black Americans and highlighting the way they define their American story, it breaks down preconceived notions of American history told by white America.

To learn more, read the interview with Marcus Hunter about his renowned book HERE.

Chocolate Cities map

 

Giant kelp can grow up to 2-3 feet per day, and it creates dense underwater forests like the one pictured here.
Photo credit: Ron McPeak.

By Kyle Cavanaugh

Assistant Professor, UCLA Department of Geography

As efforts to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources intensify, scientists, government organizations, and corporations are eyeing a new source of renewable energy: macroalgae, more commonly known as “kelp.” Giant kelp, the largest species of algae, is incredibly productive – it can grow up to 2-3 feet in a single day – and recent breakthroughs in the conversion of kelp to biofuel now make kelp a potential alternative to land-based biofuels such as corn and sugar cane.

Transitioning to kelp-based biofuels would have a number of environmental benefits, as kelp farms would not compete with food crops for land or require freshwater, pesticides or fertilizer. Furthermore, the United States has the world’s largest “marine exclusive economic zone,” i.e. area over which a nation has special rights regarding the development of marine resources, and the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that these marine resources could be leveraged to produce enough domestic kelp-based biofuel to support approximately 10% of the nation’s annual transportation energy demand. However, the United States has lagged behind many other countries when it comes to developing large-scale kelp farms. Significant increases in farm efficiency and productivity are needed to make a kelp biofuel industry economically feasible.

This is the challenge that is being addressed by the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) through an ambitious new program called Macroalgae Research Inspiring Novel Energy Resources (MARINER). The goal of MARINER is “to develop the tools needed to allow the United States to become a world leader in marine biomass production for multiple important applications, including the production of biofuels.” The MARINER program recently announced that it would provide $22 million in funding to 18 projects that fall into one of 4 categories: (1) farm design, (2) computational modeling of farm hydrodynamics, (3) farm monitoring, and (4) development of advanced breeding and genetic tools.

I am part of a team of scientists from UCLA and University of California – Santa Barbara (UCSB) who have been awarded $2.1 million from this program to develop and test technologies that can be used to monitor large-scale giant kelp farms. This project builds on our previous research using satellite imagery to monitor changes in natural kelp forests along the coast of California. Large-scale kelp farms would need to continuously monitor kelp productivity, biomass, and condition in order to maximize yields by harvesting at optimal times and avoid losses of kelp. We are developing tools to automate this monitoring in order to minimize farm labor costs. Our Scalable Aquaculture Monitoring System (SAMS) uses unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) and aerial drones to monitor kelp biomass, physiological condition and production, along with the environmental factors known to affect kelp growth. Eventually, this system will deliver near-real-time information to farm managers through all stages of the farming process, from planting to harvest.

This summer, a team of students and faculty from UCLA and UCSB will start testing UUVs and drones in natural kelp forests off the coast of Santa Barbara. Within a few years, the team hopes to be working with new kelp farms off the coast of California to produce a more environmentally friendly biofuel.

Giant kelp deposited on a beach near Santa Barbara after a large wave disturbance event.
Photo credit: SBC LTER

 

Dr. Kyle Cavanaugh is an Assistant Professor with research interests in coastal ecology, biogeography, spatial ecology, and remote sensing.