cal poly

Photo by Dave Keeling

Scientists on the Central Coast are finding just how much birds suffer as a result of noise pollution from human activity.

Clint Francis, an assistant professor in biological sciences at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, joined researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and the Florida Museum of Natural History to take a closer look at how noise from oil and gas operations impacts birds.

The study found that noise hinders the birds’ reproduction, causing the chicks growth to be stunted.

(Cal Poly SLO photo)

A new farm on the Central Coast isn’t growing strawberries, or celery. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s new farm is making electricity.

The new 18 acre farm off of Highway 1 west of the campus can generate more than 11 million kilowatt hours of power a year.  It’s enough electricity to cover about a quarter of Cal Poly’s annual needs.

(Photo courtesy Tom Zasadzinski, Cal Poly Pomona)

A Central Coast university continued its tradition of winning big honors at the Rose Parade in Pasadena, with its 70th anniversary float in the New Year’s Day tradition.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo students once again teamed up with Cal Poly Pomona students to build a parade float.

A brush fire on the Central Coast has led to the evacuation of some residence halls at a college campus.

An estimated 20 acre blaze is burning in the hills above Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. It prompted the precautionary evacuation of two Cal Poly residence halls.

The fire started just after 3 p.m. Firefighters are using air tankers and helicopters to fight the fire. No structures are reported to be threatened.

Strawberries are the biggest cash crop on the Central and South Coasts.

Now, a university in the region has received a major grant to try to identify types of strawberry plants which are more disease resistant.

Photo by Athena Maguire

A Central Coast scientist has found that algae are resilient despite the effect of climate change on the ocean, which is good news for large sea snails known as abalone.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo biologist Dr. Jennifer O’Leary took a closer look at ocean acidification, which is caused by climate change. This happens when carbon dioxide is absorbed by seawater and chemical reactions increase the acidity of the water. She says previous studies have shown that coralline algae – which are critical to abalone’s ability to reproduce -- are sensitive to ocean acidification.

Photo by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

A new study by a Central Coast university finds that mothers can get distracted while feeding their babies.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Kinesiology assistant professor Alison Ventura asked 75 mothers who breast or bottle feed their infants to keep a diary of feeding patterns. She found that nearly half the time, the moms were distracted. And a quarter of the time, they were distracted by electronic devices like their cell phone, tablet or television.

(Photo by Zoe Wood)

Some Central Coast college students had the experience of a lifetime, taking part in an expedition which led to the discovery of a rare World War II era plane in the Mediterranean Ocean.

Sam Freed is a computer engineering student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo who was part of Cal Poly’s International Computer Engineering Experience Program. It’s an effort to give students some real life experiences to use what they’re learning in class. He calls it was an incredible experience.

Photo by Fit Moms

A Central Coast professor helped create an online weight loss program that has led to significant weight loss for low-income mothers following their pregnancies.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Kinesiology professor Suzanne Phelan says it’s especially important to help low-income women lose weight postpartum.

“They lack access to effective empirical-based weight loss programs and low-income women are at high risk for long-term weight gain and associated comorbidities,” she said.

A Central Coast university has announced the lineup for its new performing arts season, and it includes everything from the musicals “Jersey Boys” and “Kinky Boots” to internationally acclaimed violinist Itzhak Pearlman.

The 2017-2018 lineup for Cal Poly Arts includes more than 30 events. Highlights include singer Audra McDonald, the Moscow Festival Ballet, doing “Swan Lake,” and a lecture by New York Times bestselling author George Saunders.

A Central Coast university has some big news in the works.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is going to announce next week that it’s received the largest financial gift in its history. Details of the amount of the gift, and exactly how it will be used will be disclosed next Wednesday.

It’s a sound you don’t want to hear if you’re on a hiking trail, the sound of a rattlesnake’s rattle.

Warmer weather is bringing with it rattlesnake season, and they are common in the foothills and mountains on the Central and South Coasts. Rattlers get a bad rap, and stoke fear. But, a Central Coast researcher says as much as you don’t want to encounter one of the snakes, they don’t want to run into you.

Photo by NASA New Horizons

Fran Bagenal is one of the team leaders for NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto, and she will share her discoveries at Cal Poly this week. 

She says it took nine years for the spacecraft to finally make a flyby and 15 more months to beam images back to Earth. She says the data far exceeded her expectations.

A Central Coast university has joined forces with a District Attorney’s office, and the California National Guard to set up a new center to train people to fight cyber crime.

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office’s will oversee the facility at Camp San Luis Obispo, which includes a forensics lab, classroom space, and an experimental laboratory. The coalition includes Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the DA’s Office, and the California National Guard.

Students are being allowed into a Central Coast college residence hall in small groups to retrieve key possessions, after an unstable hillside forced its evacuation over the weekend.

Cal Poly ordered the evacuation of Fremont Hall Saturday over concerns of a potential mudslide. There were also concerns than two large trees might fall onto the building, but those trees have since been removed. The hillside movement damaged a retaining wall, but crews have done work to reinforce it.

A dean at a Central Coast university is leaving to become a provost at another California college.

Debra Larsen is currently Dean of the College of Engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Larsen will be the new Provost, and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Cal State Chico. Dean has been at Cal Poly since 2011, and before that was at Northern Arizona University for 17 years.

Cal Poly is expected to appoint an interim dean while it searches for a permanent replacement.

SLO HotHouse

There’s renewed effort to encourage innovators and entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses in a particular area on the Central Coast. 

Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship runs the SLO HotHouse, a collaborative effort with the county, city and local business community aimed at building a startup culture in San Luis Obispo County.

For six years, it has helped students start their own businesses. Now, with its new 15,000-square-foot location in downtown San Luis Obispo, the SLO HotHouse will also be a place for members of the community to grow their startups.

With the start of classes a week away at the Central Coast’s largest college, law enforcement officials are taking extra steps to insure back to school parties don’t get out of control.

The City of San Luis Obispo’s Safety Enhancement Zone Ordinance takes effect at midnight tonight. It’s an effort to deal with issues like noise, public alcohol consumption, and large parties linked to the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student community.

Authorities say they’ve found what they are calling some “items of interest” in their search for the remains of a missing college student on the Central Coast.

More than 40 FBI and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office personnel are involved in the excavation of multiple spots for traces of Kristin Smart, who disappeared from the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus in May of 1996.

A Central Coast university has received a major federal grant to help at risk junior, and senior high school students have a better chance of doing well enough to get into college.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo received a $1.2 million dollar U.S. Department of Education grant to support the university’s Educational Talent Search program. The five year grant will support 500 students a year in the program, which helps public school students with everything from preparing for admissions tests to academic and financial counseling.