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Librarian Christy Hightower receives lifetime achievement award

Economist K. C. Fung investigating Pacific regional trade

Anthropologist Diane Gifford-Gonzalez awarded two grants for interdisciplinary study





July 21, 2003

Awards and Honors

Librarian Christy Hightower receives lifetime achievement award

Christy Hightower accepting her lifetime achievement award from the American Society for Engineering Education
Photo: Harold Colson

Engineering librarian Christy Hightower has received a prestigious lifetime achievement award from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

The Homer I. Bernhardt Distinguished Service Award is presented to leaders in engineering librarianship who have made exceptional contributions to the profession through service, scholarship, mentoring, and innovation. Hightower traveled to Nashville in late June to accept the award at the 2003 ASEE Annual Conference.

Past recipients of the award include Clifford Lynch, former director of library automation at the University of California Office of the President, and now director of the Coalition for Networked Information in Washington, D.C. Lynch developed the MELVYL system for UC libraries.

Hightower was cited for her leadership in developing web usability, her pioneering work in federated searching, and her role as an influential evaluator of electronic resources. ASEE Award Committee chair Greg Raschke noted that one of her best-known achievements is the creation of Database Advisor, a multi-database search engine that takes keywords and executes a search in more than 30 bibliographic databases, providing results ranked by the number of hits. This particular search engine was so successful that the California Digital Library (CDL) eventually used it as the foundation for a UC product called SearchLight.

"This award is especially meaningful because it comes from my peers, which means it comes from an insider's knowledge of that which is recognized--an appreciation of the challenges as well as the successes," Hightower said. "As libraries work to reinvent ourselves in the digital environment, it is very important to have the support to try new things."

The American Society for Engineering Education is a nonprofit member association composed of more than 12,000 deans, professors, instructors, students, and industry representatives. The organization is dedicated to promoting and improving engineering and technology education.
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Economist K. C. Fung investigating Pacific regional trade

K. C. Fung, professor of economics, has received funding for the final year of a three-year, $250,000 research grant from the New York-based Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.

The project, "Japan, the United States and China: Emergent Trilateralism in the Pacific Economy," examines the evolving roles of Japan and the United States in Pacific regional trade in light of China’s emergence as an economic powerhouse.

Fung’s research team is identifying the potential rewards of regional cooperation in an effort to promote a smooth transition to open multilateralism in the region. After completing regional data collection, the team will construct empirical models to assess two things: the effects of emergent trilateral trade relations among Japan, the United States, and China; and how a trilateral free trade agreement and similar "deep" regional trade liberalizations can induce more open trade between the Asia Pacific and other economies that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, particularly the European Union.

Fung, codirector of the Santa Cruz Center for International Economics (SCCIE) at UCSC, began the project in July 2001. Fung, who is currently a visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, helped organize an international conference at UC Berkeley in June and will coedit a book based on papers presented at the meeting. A conference will be held next year in Tokyo. The project is slated for completion next June with a final report expected August 31, 2004.
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Anthropologist Diane Gifford-Gonzalez awarded two grants for interdisciplinary study

Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, professor of anthropology, has been awarded a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation for $158,000 to continue research on prehistoric human ecology and environmental impacts in the Monterey Bay region. The grant follows on collaborative research between Gifford-Gonzalez and Paul Koch, professor of Earth sciences, on the prehistoric disappearance of northern fur seals from regional ecosystems.

Gifford-Gonzalez has also received, with Koch and Daniel Costa, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, a Pacific Rim Workshop and Planning Grant for an international workshop to be held at UCSC in early 2004 on "Northern Fur Seal Ecology, Biogeography, and Management in Historic Perspective."

The interdisciplinary workshop will bring together biological, archaeological, and paleontological researchers from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Russia, and Japan to share data on the Northern Fur Seal in the present and over the last 4,000 years.

Today the Northern Fur Seal breeds on San Miguel Island off southern California, the Pribilof Islands of Alaska, and islands off Russia and Japan, but Gifford-Gonzalez and Koch have gathered archaeological evidence that indicates the species once also bred along the coasts of central-northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Canada.

Understanding the pressures that contributed to changes in breeding patterns over time is valuable information for today’s wildlife managers, who seek to strike a balance between human use and species survival. The identification of human-generated factors that affect seal survival--as distinct from longer-term natural cycles--has implications for policy makers, noted Gifford-Gonzalez.

Organizers hope the workshop will enable participants to integrate detailed modern biological data with paleoecological findings on the species. The workshop will also foster cross-disciplinary collaborations and funding initiatives to further expand knowledge of the foraging patterns, genetics, ecological contexts, and human uses of the Northern Fur Seal in the northern Pacific.
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