Why Groundhog Day Now Elevates Science Over Superstition

For a UCLA Biologist, Celebrating the Lowly Marmot Could Shed Light on Global Warming

I am a scientist who loves Groundhog Day, that least scientific of holidays. Every February, as Punxsutawney Phil shakes the dust off his coat, emerges from his burrow, glances at his shadow (or not) and allegedly prognosticates winter’s end, I gather a group of professors, graduate students, and other assorted science geeks at my UCLA lab to nibble, drink, schmooze, and revel in ground-hoggery in all its magnificent splendor.

I study the behavior, ecology, and evolution of groundhogs and the 14 other species of marmots—large, charismatic ground squirrels that …

More In: Where I Go

When I Say “Dallas” … You Think “Cowboys!”

How Football Helped the “City of Hate” Recover From JFK's Assassination

Watching my Dallas Cowboys fall to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday on the last play of the game in an instant classic of an NFC Divisional Playoff, I couldn’t …

How ‘Close’ Is Your ‘Proximity’?

From The New Yorker to BuzzFeed, the Irksome Phrase Still Thrives After 150 Years of Redundancy

The warning echoes beneath the girdered ceiling of Boston’s South Station, and in the cramped bustle of New York’s Penn Station, on a TSA loop of repeating announcements: “Keep personal …

Staying in School Isn’t Enough

Kids Also Need To Learn How to Get a Job—and How To Keep It

I’m the founder and CEO of the Youth Action Project, a San Bernardino non-profit that aims to help hundreds of youth get their homework done, learn the skills and habits …

I Had to Go to Finland to Imagine How to Fix Fresno

Fresno's Obsession with Self-Reliance Is Not Helping Its Drug Problems, but Its Volunteer Needle Exchange Is

I grew up Fresno, but I fled as fast as I could. With its agriculturalist roots, the local political culture was narrated through the lens of rugged individualist ideals and …