Category Archives: UCLA

The bees and the birds at UCLA

Getting emails from central administration is often a joyless part of university life, but today’s email was interesting, informative, and even delightful.

In the Spring and Summer it is common to find young birds away from their nests. Often concerned students or staff will think the birds need rescuing, but it depends. Below is a note from one of our bird researchers on campus and a helpful article from Audubon. A couple photos attached from campus showing nestlings versus fledglings. Please share this information with your departments, and let them know that if they are not sure they can call or text me: []. Our office works with a network of wildlife rehabilitators and can help transport wildlife in need of rescue. In addition, with everything starting to bloom, you may see bees around campus. See below for instructions if you discover a hive or swarm.

Bee Information:
Sometimes bees can swarm or build hives on campus. UCLA recognizes the critical role pollinators like bees play in our food system and ecology. We work with a company to ensure that bees are live captured and relocated and not killed. See photo attached of a swarm removal from on a car. If you discover a hive on campus or swarm that needs removal please call Facilities Management Trouble call at [yyy.yyy.yyyy], they will coordinate the response.

Bird Information:
One of our bird researchers on campus notes: “Knowing when a young bird is “supposed” to be out of the nest vs. when it’s not supposed to is key when dealing with these sorts of situations. It’s important to remember that nests are unsafe places to be; it’s easier for a predator to kill four chicks that are in the same cup of sticks and hair than four chicks that are in four different parts of their parents’ territory. As a result, parents will push their chicks out of the nest before they’re fully able to fly, and take care of itself.

* If you have to chase after the chick to catch it, it’s old enough to let it’s parents take care of it outside the nest. If it’s out in the open, or in a dangerous place try herding it to the nearest shrub or other protected place. Mom and dad know where the fledgling is and will feed it discretely.
* If the bird is sitting upright and is alert, it probably has recently left the nest. Check the wings, if the wings are fully or partially feathered (as opposed to being in gray-looking sheaths), it’s old enough to be outside of the nest. If it’s out in the open, or in a dangerous place, you can move it to a place nearby with greater safety.
* Most “baby” birds you find will fit in above. In both cases, they are where they need to be. Even if it looks like they’re abandoned, they aren’t, the parents are just making sure not to lead predators to their offspring. Trying to rescue it means a lot more work and stress for you and the wildlife rehabber you take it to, when the parents will almost certainly do a better job for free.

So: when should you interfere with nature?

* Very young nestlings (ie mostly naked, no or few feathers, can’t sit up, appears helpless). It might have fallen out of the nest; if so look around to see if you can find the nest. If so, put it back, if not, follow the directions in the article cited below, and then bring the nestling to a licensed rehabber.
* The chick is obviously injured (ie broken wings or legs.) In this case, bring the chick to a licensed rehabber. If you know or suspect the chick was grabbed by a cat, bring it to a rehabber immediately! This is because cat mouths are breeding grounds for all sorts of nasty bacterial that kill birds, and any bird that has been exposed to cat teeth needs to be given antibiotics ASAP.

Some additional information can be found in this helpful article from Audubon, When You Should—and Should Not—Rescue Baby Birds:

Thank you,

Nurit Katz
Chief Sustainability Officer
Executive Officer of Facilities Management

Images are (from top to bottom) junco juvenile, bee removal, junco nestlings, fledgling starlings.

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I support UCLA and the UC Libraries

The University of California Libraries are attempting to negotiate a more acceptable agreement with the giant science publisher Elsevier, as they approach the end of the current contract on 31 December 2018. Elsevier is apparently contacting journal editors at some campuses, attempting to mobilize support for the corporation’s position. I support the UC Libraries and, in particular, will not review papers for any Elsevier journal, as suggested by UCLA’s vice chancellor and provost in a letter to the faculty. The Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE) gives a useful account of the letter and its context. In the CHE article, a member of Elsevier’s library advisory board believes that “faculty members ‘are likely to have a much more nuanced relationship’ with the company” than the deans and librarians who see directly the transfer of money from university to corporation.

I don’t have a nuanced relationship with Elsevier. I have been boycotting Elsevier across the board since about 2000 — no refereeing, no service on editorial boards, no submission of papers — inspired by Rob Kirby’s early analysis of the exorbitant costs of Elsevier journals. Eventually, I signed up to the public Cost of Knowledge boycott. My feelings on this front are as strong as ever.

In particular, I am unenthusiastic about the “publish and read” style of agreement that the UC Libraries are pursuing with Elsevier. My reaction is that they seem to protect the growing wheelbarrow of money that an institution commits to give Elsevier but simply relabel what the money is said to be buying. However, I accept that I likely take a harder line than many fellow faculty members. The UC Libraries serve us all, and they have judged “publish and read” to be the best approach for their many constituencies.

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SoCalAGS @ UCLA, 17 November 2018

11. Sweet Peas and Little black and White cat

The next Southern California Algebraic Geometry Seminar takes place at UCLA on Saturday, 17 November 2018. More information is available at the seminar webpage.

Our excellent slate of speakers is:
Eva Bayer (Lausanne)
Daniel Bragg (Berkeley)
Marc Hoyois (USC)
Junliang Shen (MIT)

Registration is free and very simple. Please register here.

Image of sweetpeas and visiting neighborhood cat from For the Love of Dirt. The 17th of November is sweetpea day (27 Brumaire) in the French Republican Calendar.

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Past DLS Lecturers

Every year, the Distinguished Lecture Series (DLS) brings two to four eminent mathematicians to UCLA for a week or more to give a lecture series on their field, and to meet with faculty and graduate students.

Roman Bezrukavnikov
Igor Rodnianski
Claire Voisin
Geordie Williamson
Donald Goldfarb
Benedict Gross
Akshay Venkatesh
Manjul Bhargava
Andrei Okounkov
Robert Bryant
Peter Markowich
Yuval Peres
Michael Aizenman
Ursula Hamenstädt
László Lovász
Gilles Pisier
Richard Taylor
Jean-Pierre Wintenberger
Paul Seidel
Noga Alon
Michael Brenner
Pierre Colmez
Ehud Hrushovski
Michael Harris
Pierre-Louis Lions
Barry Mazur
Ken Ono
Leonid Polterovich
Horng-Tzer Yau
Gregory Margulis
Mario Bonk
John Coates
Elias Stein
Avi Wigderson
Charles Fefferman
C. David Levermore
Shing-Tung Yau
Shouwu Zhang
Peter Sarnak
Peter Schneider
Jean Bellissard
Etienne Ghys
Goro Shimura
Andrei Suslin
Zhengan Weng
Pierre Deligne
Michael Harris
Alexander Lubotzky
Hillel Furstenberg
Robert Langlands
Peter Lax
Nikolai Reshetikhin
Clifford Taubes
Shing-Tung Yau
Raoul Bott
L.H. Eliasson
Dennis Gaitsgory
Jesper Lutzen
Louis Nirenberg
Oded Schramm
I.M. Singer
Michael Atiyah
Jean-Michel Bismut
Alain Connes
Jöran Friberg
David Mumford
Gilles Pisier
Jean-Pierre Serre
Freydoon Shahidi
Gregg Zuckerman
Christophe Deninger
Nessim Sibony
Gang Tian

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