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Lab News

MAY 2019


10 | Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez is nominated for Associate Membership in Sigma Xi, the honor society for scientists and engineers founded in 1886 at Cornell University. Other notable members include Barbara McClintock, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, and 200 other winners of the Nobel Prize.

APRIL 2019


29 - 30 | Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez is an invited speaker at the Environmental Aspects of Renewables (EAR) Workshop in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Hernandez spoke on the topic of siting renewables.

March 2019

14 | Congratulations to Jason Whitney who has been accepted into the Geography Graduate Group and receiving a fellowship based on his academic record and promise of productive scholarship. We look forward to the research contributions Jason brings to the lab!

APRIL 2018


1 | Congratulations to Madison K. Hoffacker who secured a Market and Infrastructure Policy Internship for Summer 2018 at the California ISO (Folsom, CA). Madison will be assisting in the development of new policies related to ISO market design and resource adequacy issues and providing analytical research to support policy initiatives. Congratulations Madison! 

2 | Congratulations to Alex Cagle for receiving a fellowship for his Ph.D. from the Energy Graduate Group based on his academic record and promise of productive scholarship. We look forward to your research contributions to the lab!

March 2018


1 - 4 | Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez and Greer Ryan (Renewable Energy and Research Specialist, Center for Biological Diversity) are panelist for the "Social and Environmental Benefits of Integrated Solar Energy (LAW 242)" at the 36th Annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference at the Unviersity of Oregon School of Law. 

February 2018


26-28 | Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez participates in the Data to Motivate Synthesis Workshop held at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (Annapolis, Maryland) focused on building digital tools and a facilitated process to catalyze innovative data-driven research questions focused on the food-energy-water nexus. 

January 2018


26 | Karen Tanner wins the Future Leaders in Coastal Science ($20,000) grant from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Congratulations Karen! 

23 | Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez wins the E.O. Wilson Award from the Center for Biological Diversity for Outstanding Science in Biodiversity Conservation. “I congratulate Dr. Hernandez and thank her for her important work to protect desert lands,” said Dr. E.O. Wilson, the award’s namesake. “Her research on sustainable solar energy development is relevant and urgent in addressing the modern extinction crisis.

3 | Madison K. Hoffacker and Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez are interviewed and featured on KUZZ radio news in Bakersfield, CA about relevant findings in their Central Valley case study.  

2 | Madison K. Hoffacker is accepted into the Food, Agriculture, and Health Entrepreneurship Academy! Congratulations!

December 2017


22 | Madison K. Hoffacker and Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez are featured on CBS TV Channel 13 for thier study, Land sparing opportunities for solar energy development in agricultural landscapes: A case study in the Great Central Valley, CA

19 | Madison K. Hoffacker and Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez are featured on KFBK Sacramento's news radio. 




1 | Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez is invited to participate in the first "Data to Motivate Synthesis" workshop held at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center with 25 other early career scientists from across the United States. The workshop will take place from 26-28 February 2018 in Annapolis, MD. Read more here

8 | Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez is awarded into the inaugural class of John Muir Fellows, identified as those who have made a real-world impact on society and have the potential to help further the Muir's core environmental mission of solutions-based, policy relevant research, education, and outreach. Read more about this award and the re-imagined Muir Institute led by Dr. Ben Houlton here



24 | Karen Tanner (Aridlab Ph.D. Student) wins Best Talk, for her presentation, Effects of renewable energy development on demography of Brassica tournefortii, see abstract here, at the 2017 Cal-IPC Meeting. Great job Karen! 


1 | UC Davis releases official press release on 5 Critical Concepts for Sustainable Solar Energy authored by Dr. Kara Moore-O'Leary, Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez and others and featured in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

MAY 2017

2 | Congratulations Karen! Karen Tanner wins the Marilyn C. Davis Memorial Scholarship ($1,500) for Natural Sciences at UC Santa Cruz.  

APRIL 2017


14 | Our manuscript, Critical ecological concepts for sustainable solar energy and the land-energy-ecology nexus" has been formally accepted in the #2 (out of 180) journal in the Environmental Sciences category (and 4th in Ecology): Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment!

15 | Dr. Steven M. Grodsky gives invited talk, Next-Generation Solar Energy Ecology Research in Deserts, at the 31st Annual Desert Symposium in Zzyzx, CA. 


13 | Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez gives talk at Boston University's Biogeoscience Seminar. 

15 | Esther Robles wins the Latinos in Technology Scholarship, a $10,000 award, from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation


24 | Dr. Grodsky gives invited talk, Exploring the Renewable Energy-Wildlife Nexus: Animal Conservation in Parallel with Next-Generation Energy Development at UC Davis's Institute for Transportation Studies. Click here for Flyer. 


2 | Dr. Hernandez gives an invited talk, "Energy Geographies, Nexus Issues, and the Future Energy Landscape," at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, School of Life Sciences

14 | Congratuations Karen! Karen wins the Southern California Botanists Conservation Grant ($1,000). 


18 | Dr. Hernandez and Madison K. Hoffacker's research is featured on NPR 89.3 KPCC: A new approach to energy: Using old landfill sites to generate solar power, listen here.


13-15 | Dr. Hernandez speaks with Raymond Rodriguez, Mary Lou de Leon Siantz, and Maggie Werner Washburn at SACNAS The National Diversity in STEM Conference (Long Beach, CA) with on "Making the Short List-Crushing the Interview: Securing Your First Academic Position." 


1 | Welcome new Aridlab Scientists: Steven Grodsky (Postdoctoral Scholar) and Louisa Rogers (Ph.D. Student). 

14 | NPR Los Angeles affiliate program KPCC interviews Dr. Hernandez about the unveiling of the DRECP, listen here

28 | Dr. Hernandez presents talk on "Solar energy development impacts on land-cover change, biological soil crust, and protected areas" at BioCrust3 in Moab, Utah. 

August 2016

9 | Dr. Hernandez leads the Organized Oral Session at the Ecological Society of America on Global Aridland Soil Ecology: Synthesis, Discovery, and Novelty in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

23 | The Aridlab has won a $597,852 grant from the California Energy Commission for the proposal: Optimizing solar facility configuration effects on habitat, managed plants, and essential species interactions (2016-2019).

July 2016

15 | The Sacramento Bee interviews Dr. Hernandez about the state of California's solar energy milestone of 8,000 MW here

22 | San Francisco Chronicle article Mojave Desert at stake in far-reaching federal energy plan, features Dr. Hernandez's and Madison K. Hoffacker's work on land-energy interactions. 

24 | Las Vegas Sun featured Dr. Hernandez in article here on Mojave Desert.

JUNE 2016

1 | Esther Robles and Patty Boonlue, Undergraduate Student Researchers in the Aridlab, are awarded the Institute for Transportation Studies Summer Fellowship to work with Dr. Hernandez. 

3 - 5 | Aridlab organizes and hosts UCD Napa Valley Floatovoltaic and Wine Tour 2016

9 | Dr. Hernandez is interviewed by Paul Mulshine, Columnist for The Star-Ledger, for an article on the importance of siting solar energy development in places that make sense for ecosystems and local community values. Read it here.

22-24 | Dr. Hernandez is invited speaker and panelist at the "Great Transformations" Breakthrough Dialogue 2016 - Session: "Energy Sprawl: Can We Have Low-Footprint Decarbonization?"

23 | Madison K. Hoffacker, Aridlab Renewable Energy Specialist, is featured in Chapman Magazine article entitled, A World of Sustainable Impact, and is called, ". . . something of a research rock star." 

MAY 2016

11 | Dr. Hernandez is invited speaker at EPRI's Environmental Vision Conference (ENV-VISION) on impacts of solar installations on land use and species.

20 | Scientific American writes about Dr. Hernandez's article in Bioscience on the nature of natural history today with colleagues, Dr. Barrows and Murphy-Mariscal. See it here

APRIL 2016

13 | New study, At a Crossroads: The nature of natural history in the twenty-first century available here at BioScience, featuring co-author Dr. Hernandez.

13 | Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez gives guest lecture on "Climate Change Mitigation" at Stanford University for the course: Climate Change: Our Global Ecology and What You Can Do.

March 2016

20 | Dr. Hernandez featured here in Carnegie Science, the newsletter of the Carnegie Institution, for her work on solar energy's land-use impact.

19 | Dr. Hernandez and colleagues featured in ScienceDaily here on training needs for scientists in natural history.


13 | Dr. Hernandez interviewed and featured in article here in GroundReport.

24 | Dr. Hernandez is invited speaker at UC Merced's Sustainability Seminar speaking on the land-energy-ecology nexus.

JanUARY 2016

1 | Dr. Hernandez and Madison K. Hoffacker join UC Davis.


12 - 15 | Dr. Hernandez convenes the "Energy and Ecosystems" Organized Poster Session at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.


27 | Dr. Hernandez is an invited speaker at the Energy and Resources Graduate Group Fall Seminar Series at UC Berkeley and discusses the Land-Energy-Environment Nexus. 

30 | Dr. Hernandez is interviewed and featured in National Geographic in an article entitled: Could Solar Energy Be California's Next Cash Crop? Click here to read it.