Anteaters ZOT! Environmental Hazards
Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
UC Irvine and its well-known anteater mascot (inspired by Johnny Hart's long running BC cartoon) just turned 50.
But, there's no time for a midlife crisis. They're too busy saving the world!
UCI is ranked #1 in Sierra magazine's listing of top environmental colleges and universities – the Cool Schools.
UCI leads the nation in promoting earth-friendly policies in life, work and education
SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel learned UCI has been doing this from the start. One of its first hires, chemistry professor F. Sherwood Rowland, discovered in 1973 the dangers of using chloroflurocarbons (CFCs) in aerosols and refrigerants.
Rowland, who earned the Nobel Prize in chemistry, said CFCs were eating away at the ozone layer - the barrier that protects the earth from harmful UV radiation. Thanks to Rowland and his UCI colleagues, CFCs were banned.
UCI has led the way in other environmental breakthroughs from water scarcity and climate change to smart energy and marine ecosystems.
Earth System Science professor Eric Rignot was the first researcher to alert the scientific community that a melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet may have suffered irreversible damage due to global warming.
Along with top researchers in each field, UCI students are given the opportunity to get involved and develop their scientific skills, too.
Incoming students can learn about sustainability - conserving the earth's resources - by participating in UCI's Summer Institute for Sustainability Leadership.
And there are 22 student clubs on campus focused on the environment.
Practicing what it teaches, UCI has more Leadership in Environmental Energy and Design (LEED) certified buildings than any other U.S. campus.
It uses solar energy and has its own 19-megawatt cogeneration power plant.
And, to combat California's drought, UCI is ahead of the curve, slashing its water usage by 1/3 in the past decade and saving some 90 million gallons of water annually.
When it comes to guarding the planet, UCI has proven it's up to the task...and there's no better defense than an anteater's ZOT!
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