Editor's Note

In the past three years, Explorations has drastically altered its institutional organization and manuscript processing procedures. At present, we are entirely student-run journal, with graduate students serving as managing editors and undergraduates as editors. All submitted manuscripts are reviewed by UC Davis faculty and/or graduate students and returned to our undergraduate authors for revisions. While this process is often tedious for our undergraduate authors, we feel that exposing UC Davis undergraduates to this model of peer review and revision will aid them in their future academic publishing. Further, allowing our graduate students to run an academic journal and partake in the process of manuscript management and author/reviewer communication enhances their insight into how best to navigate their own publishing process and potential opportunities as reviewers or editors.
Our editorial board continues to be impressed with the quality of undergraduate work submitted to Explorations and the thoughtful responses our authors provide to reviewer requests. This year’s folio spans topics from economics to evolution, with a few emergent themes. Relating to optimization of human health and prosperity, Ng analyzes the medical chart to start a discussion around clinical discourse and patient care, Smith proposes that environmental pollutants epigenetically increase rates of obesity, Rogness illustrates potential causes of age-based wage inequality, and Rahim outlines the neuroevolutionary roots of xenophobia, with some suggestions for how best to move forwards as a species. Switching focus towards animals and the environment, Brande writes about recovery strategies for endangered mammals in California, offering suggestions for policy and funding allocation, Steinberg analyzes differences in play behavior between different species and sexes of Rwandan monkeys, Lim analyzes factors leading to excess soil and atmospheric ammonia, with insights for agriculture and industry, while Yim and Bersin conduct an experiment to test whether changes in turbidity, which are often produced by human activities such as boating, affect predator-prey relationships among species in aquatic environments.

This folio was truly a group effort and would not have been possible without our managing editors: Griselda Jarquin, Jaime Napan, Abbie Popa, and Ashley Roysten, as well as our editors: Marissa Ayala, Amanda Ryan, Joshua Wild, David Williamson. We would also like to thank Annaliese Franz, Tammy Hoyer and Denea Clark of the Undergraduate Research Center who were pivotal in guiding our work and maintaining our website content, as well as Steven Morse for his visual design work and Marianne McClelland for her help with the copyright process.
Though our printed folio only contains abstracts of the accepted articles, the full articles, as well as information on how to publish in Explorations, can all be found online at: explorations.ucdavis.edu.

Lauren Fink

Editor in Chief                                                                               


Cover of the Explorations 2017 Folio with a photo of a human figure exploring along a flooded road alongside a marsh at sunrise

pondering/wandering:  Simon Harris