UC Press Wins AAP PROSE Awards + Design Recognition from the AAUP

UC Press is proud to announce and congratulate recipients of this week’s Association of American Publishers‘ 2017 PROSE Awards, as well as the honorees of the Association of American University Press‘ 2017 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show.

About the PROSE Awards:

“The PROSE Awards annually recognize the very best in professional and scholarly publishing by bringing attention to distinguished books, journals, and electronic content in 53 categories.

Judged by peer publishers, librarians, and medical professionals since 1976, the PROSE Awards are extraordinary for their breadth and depth.”



Ecosystems of California

Edited by Harold Mooney and Erika Zaveleta






Collabra: Psychology

Editors Simine Vazire, Rolf Zwaan and Don Moore



About the AAUP 2017 Book, Jacket, & Journal Show:

“Judging for the 2017 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show took place January 26-27 at the AAUP Central Office in New York City.  This year, 241 books, 2 Journals and 320 jacket and cover designs were submitted for a total of 563 entries.  The jurors carefully selected 50 books and 50 jackets and covers as the very best examples from this pool of excellent design.

The 2017 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show will premiere at the AAUP Annual Meeting in Austin, June 11-13, 2017. Afterward, the show will be exhibited at member presses around the country from September 2017 through May 2018. Forms to request the show for exhibit at your campus or institution will be available in the summer.”


Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas by Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

Designer: Lia Tjandra

Production Coordinator: Angela Chen

Acquiring Editor: Niels Hooper

Project Editor: Dore Brown



The Principia by Isaac Newton, translated by Bernard Cohen and Anne Whitman

Designer: Lia Tjandra

Production Coordinator: Angela Chen

Art Director: Lia Tjandra



The EPA and the Future of Flint, Michigan


On February 1st, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will vote on sending current Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s (R) nomination to the full Senate. During his hearing two weeks ago for the position of administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Pruitt acknowledged his lack of familiarity with the scientific research on lead poisoning. But it should be noted that the debate still continues amongst scientists on how much is too much, or too little, to consider harmful.

Because of President Donald Trump’s recent media blackout and freeze on EPA grants, the people of Michigan are now asking if Flint will be impacted in the wake of their lead crisis.

Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner, authors of Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America’s Children, have prominently discussed their concerns about lead. Markowtiz and Rosner write about what lead has meant to Flint and other communities like it:

Lead Wars[L]ead poisoning as it has been commonly portrayed does not affect all of us in society evenly but rather is particularly damaging to those who live in the older, rundown, more dilapidated neighborhoods of our fading urban centers, where lead paint is most likely to be exposed. As such, those who make the decisions about what our priorities are as a society and what risks we are willing to take with our children’s lives often feel immune from the consequences of lead. … We can believe that lead poisoning—along with other environmental childhood threats such as asthma linked to mold and cockroaches, for example—will at some future date be all but eradicated as the rebuilding of our urban infrastructure, the gentrification of older neighborhoods, and the movement of peoples out of dilapidated structures eliminates the primary source of lead poisoning: the nation’s leaded housing stock.

But the authors note that we must continue to research lead’s full impact, especially children:

But self-satisfied complacency born of the successes of the past thirty years must be tempered by the growing body of research that shows lead to be a multiheaded hydra whose dangers are constantly being revealed in new forms. Each time we believe we have one lead danger under control, we are forced to confront another set of problems that challenge our science, our epidemiology, our morality, and our sense of social justice. …

Children at risk, 1960s.
Children at risk, 1960s.

Our common-sense assumptions, long held by toxicologists as well as the general public, that the higher the level of a poison, the more damage it causes, may not always be true. New research shows that the most serious damage from lead occurs at some of the lowest levels of exposure, often in utero or in the first years of life, when the neurological structures of the brain are forming. For example, compared to children with virtually no evidence of lead in their blood, the greatest effect of lead on IQ occurs in children with blood lead levels below 5 µg/dl. As blood lead levels climb above 5 µg/dl, IQ continues to decline but at a much slower rate. Similarly, endocrine disruptors such as bisphenol A have their greatest impact on physiological structures at the lowest levels of bioaccumulation, if exposure occurs at critical moments in fetal development. This raises troubling issues for toxicology and for society, because these data imply that other toxins may also defy the traditional dogma that the “dose makes the poison” and that lowering exposures lowers the risk. Unlike toxins whose acute effects disappear with the elimination of the poison, lead’s effect on the child’s brain is immediate and often permanent.

What are your thoughts on how the EPA, along with the Center for Disease Control and other agencies, should move forward with future research on lead?

And to read Lead Wars and save 40%, use code 16W6968 at checkout on our site.

Call for Papers: Human Health and Environmental Change


We invite you to submit your research related to human health and environmental change to Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene.

Published by University of California Press and organized around six knowledge domains—Atmospheric Science, Earth & Environmental Science, Ecology, Ocean Science, Sustainable Engineering, and Sustainability Transitions—Elementa is a not-for-profit, open access scientific journal publishing original research reporting on new knowledge of the Earth’s physical, chemical, and biological systems; interactions between human and natural systems; and steps that can be taken to mitigate and adapt to global change.

Elementa welcomes your research related to human health and environmental change, including article submission related to:

  • Biodiversity loss and human health
  • Connections between happiness, health and GDP
  • Connections between healthy ecosystems and healthy communities
  • Ecosystem approaches to controlling emerging threats from infectious diseases
  • Health impacts of the shift to clean energy
  • Healthy food systems, healthy communities
  • Human health and sustainability
  • Human health consequences of climate change (direct and indirect)
  • Mental health-environment connections

We also welcome your contributions to a related Special Feature, Oceans and human health in a changing environment, guest edited by Erin K. Lipp (University of Georgia).

Start your submission here, or contact Managing Editor Liba Hladik at lhladik@ucpress.edu for more information.

On behalf of Editors-in-Chief Jody W. Deming (Ocean Science) and Anne R. Kapuscinski (Sustainability Transitions), we look forward to your contribution to this timely and important topic!

—the Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene Team
p.s. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene includes a number of innovative features, including a novel mechanism that gives back to the research community by recognizing and sharing the value contributed by editors and peer reviewers; and an article-sharing partnership with Kudos to increase the reach and impact of your work. To learn more please visit elementascience.org.


Germ Wars

by Melanie Armstrong, author of Germ Wars: The Politics of Microbes and America’s Landscape of Fear

9780520292772I teach in an Environmental Management program. When I give my elevator pitch biography, brows often furrow as listeners try to reconcile my research on bioterrorism preparedness with my academic position. In explanation, I challenge them to consider why it is that among the many studies of how people have managed and manipulated “the environment,” we have largely ignored microbial nature.

Human societies have spent vast amounts of time, effort, and money trying to control microbes. The modernized world, with its sewer systems and soap dispensers, looks this way because of our work to manage microbes. Moreover, while government spending on climate change research or species conservation often meets with political strife, few question large-scale allocations for disease control. It is socially ratified environmental management.

Continue reading “Germ Wars”

Editor-in-Chief Joel D. Blum explains the benefits of publishing cross-domain articles


“The Elementa Editors feel that this publication model fits much of the research carried out on the Anthropocene.”

Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene was established with the intent of helping to break down traditional disciplinary barriers within natural science, sustainable engineering, and sustainability transitions. To help accomplish this goal contributions to six Knowledge Domains, each with an editorial staff of experts, form one overarching journal. But we have found that many articles cross between the Knowledge Domains, making their assignment into a single domain somewhat arbitrary.

To accommodate publication of this interdisciplinary research we now accept “cross-domain” articles that can be submitted simultaneously to two domains and if published will be included in both domains. This will provide additional visibility of appropriate articles across disciplines. As an example from my own research, when I publish work on the transformations and cycling of mercury between global reservoirs, I frequently face the difficult question of which disciplinary journal to publish in.

With cross-domain publication in Elementa, projects such as these can now gain visibility in multiple fields such as Ocean Science plus Atmospheric Science, or Ecology plus Earth and Environmental Science. The Elementa Editors feel that this publication model fits much of the research carried out on the Anthropocene, and encourage authors to submit “cross-domain” articles.

Three Knowledge Domains Explore Geoengineering

kd-sustainable-engineering@2x kd-earth-environmental-science@2x kd-ecology@2x

“As a discipline, geoengineering is even younger than the Anthropocene and knowledge is scant.”

Having arrived at the Anthropocene by accident, humans now have conscious and intentional decisions to make that will determine the state and fate of the planet and everything on it. Geoengineering – the coaxing of the earth’s physical and natural systems at very large scales for the purpose of countering climate change – is full of such questions. Should it be done? Who should do it? When is it appropriate? How should it be done? How much will it cost? What are the consequences? As a discipline, geoengineering is even younger than the Anthropocene and knowledge is scant. Just knowing where to begin is a challenge. But begin we must, and three separate Commentaries recently published in Elementa are helping to launch the thousands of science and engineering inquiries that must follow.

Columbia University’s Wally Broecker makes a case for carbon capture and sequestration in ‘Does air capture constitute a viable backstop against a bad CO2 trip?’ Answering his own question in the affirmative, Broecker describes the technology, at global scale, that could meet the anticipated need while also addressing many of the most serious criticisms likely to surface in response.

In ‘Geoengineering Redivivus‘, Brad Allenby from Arizona State University challenges us to think beyond the “reductionist frameworks that pull climate change out of the complex network of systems within which it resides.” Indeed, even thinking of these systems as being reversible may be a mistake. As we begin to consider geoengineering then – and Allenby notes that there are actually many more options that could fall under the geoengineering umbrella than have been considered up to this point – we will have to extend discourse across disciplines and develop a level of analytical sophistication among them that is not currently present within them.

Finally, the University of Alaska – Fairbanks’ Stuart Chapin and Stanford University’s Erica Fernandez urge their colleagues to practice ‘Proactive ecology for the Anthropocene.’ Now in an epoch where others openly discuss geoengineering, Chapin and Fernandez advocate for “a shift in ecology and other disciplines to a more proactive leadership role in defining problems and possibilities in a rapidly changing world rather than being relegated to a reactive role of trying to fix the problems.”

These perspectives offer a valuable contribution to the topic of geonengineering, and help to fuse together discussions between scientists and technologists in their approach to finding new ways to mitigate and adapt to global change.

Joel D. Blum launches the Earth and Environmental Science domain

“These three unique commentaries by leaders in the study of the Anthropocene address very different aspects of earth and environmental science.”

We are pleased to publish inaugural articles of Elementa, including three invited Commentaries that have been handled editorially by the Earth and Environmental Sciences Domain.

The first commentary is from Wally Broecker, who is one of the most influential earth scientists of the past half-century. He has been instrumental in developing an understanding of the earth’s carbon cycle and for exploring the climate interconnections between the oceans, polar ice caps and the atmosphere. In his commentary Broecker makes the case that it is time for the research community to expend the necessary resources to become serious about the capture and sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. He advocates further research and implementation as soon as possible of a large number of relatively small CO2 scrubbers to capture and bury carbon as the only path to preventing a future climate change catastrophe.

The second commentary is by Yves Godderis and Susan Brantley, who are leading researchers in studies of the earth’s critical zone—the interface between the atmosphere and solid earth that is essential for terrestrial life. They make the case that more effort is needed to project critical zone processes into the future using models know as earthcasts. They provide an example by exploring a model for how silicate and carbonate weathering in the mid-continent of the USA will likely affect atmospheric CO2 sequestration in the future. Their example points to important areas for future research including integration of models for human behavior into biogeochemical models.

The third commentary is by a group of authors (Erle Ellis, Dorian Fuller, Jed Kaplan and Wayne Lutters) who were early to embrace the concept of the Anthropocene and who have published important works on the history of human land-use and its effects on the terrestrial biosphere. Ellis and coauthors make the case for developing a geospatial cyberinfrastructure to collate and integrate information on human alterations of the global environment during the Anthopocene. They encourage the research community to collaborate in this effort by sharing information and infrastructure with the goal of more quantitatively assessing the global state of human transformation of the terrestrial biosphere.

These three unique commentaries by leaders in the study of the Anthropocene address very different aspects of earth and environmental science. Each, however, makes a strong case for support of increased research efforts designed to better understand and manage the consequences of past and future influences of humans on the global environment. Collectively these commentaries provide a glimpse into the wide range of scientific thought that can be organized under the umbrella of “The Science of the Anthropocene.”




Earth and Environmental Science Associate Editor John Geissman shares his thoughts on Elementa

John Geissman

“The more that we understand the details of how
we are and will continue to influence natural
processes, the better we will be positioned to make
rational decisions concerning proper courses of action.”

You have been very active in professional societies, can you tell us about some of your roles over the years?

I have had the great fortune to be involved in numerous activities with both the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union, as well as, more recently, the Council of Scientific Society Presidents.  I was President of the Geological Society of America in 2011-2012, and, by implication, very involved in the Society leading up to that time, including being Editor of the Bulletin of the Geological Society of America for seven years and Chair of the Publications Committee for several years.  I was the Editor of Eos, the weekly newsjournal of the American Geophysical Union for almost ten years.  I have been Associate Editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research and Tectonics for a combined length of over ten years and, effective 1 December, 2013, will be Editor in Chief of Tectonics.  One of my most enjoyable and rewarding experiences was chairing the committee to craft AGU’s position statement on creationism and the teaching of evolution and the history of Earth.


Why did you agree to become an Associate Editor for Elementa’s Earth and Environmental Science domain?

I heard Elementa described by a representative from BioOne at the Spring Meeting of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents.  I fell in love with the concept, and learned that Joel Blum and Don Zak, both dear friends of mine, were Editors for the journal and immediately contacted Joel and literally begged to be an Associate Editor.  So, in this case I was overtly proactive!


Why do you believe research surrounding the influence of humans on natural processes within the epoch of the Anthropocene to be of significance?

I have a tendency to be pretty blunt.  The influence of humans on natural processes is a solid, uncontroversial fact.  The more that we understand the details of how we are and will continue to influence natural processes, the better we will be positioned to make rational decisions concerning proper courses of action.  That said, recent history has provided a strong basis for great concern whether individuals in positions of authority, in many countries, are capable of making sound decisions in a timely fashion, and that is clearly what we need, now!


Are you an advocate of open access?

Yes, I am an advocate, but I also understand the many complexities and likely consequences of open access, particularly the potentially huge effects on professional scientific societies.  I hope that reasonable financial models, which ideally will include greater government support for science research, can be developed in the very near future.  When I was the Chair of the Publications Committee for the Geological Society of America, one task that I and the director of Publications undertook was to determine the approximate cost of a paper in Geology (four pages in length) if it went (Gold) open access.  We estimated a cost of $2500 and we were able to convince Council that allowing authors to have their papers go open access in this well-respected Journal was a very good thing.  That was over six years ago.  The number of open access papers in Geology increases yearly.


Do you think it is important that Elementa is a nonprofit publication?

Yes.  I have never been a fan of huge for-profit publishers of science.  Most have taxed the system in a very painful way.  The more opportunities scientists have to publish their contributions in nonprofit journals, the better.  Elementa provides a very important venue for scholars addressing a range of topics that are important to society, right now.


Why do you think researchers should consider publishing in Elementa?

As above, Elementa, by design, is attractive to a broad array of researchers. I believe that it has an exciting future.  I am reviewing my first paper right now, and if this is exemplative  of the contributions to the journal, it should be off to an excellent start!