Postcards: Laura Schoenle arrives in Ontario for field season

April 8, 2015

“Hi! I just arrived at the Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS) in Elgin, Ontario, and while we’re still in the midst of winter up here, the migratory birds are already returning. My personal favorite is the red-winged blackbird, and they are singing right now, even as the snow falls…

My research focuses on the role of hormones in shaping how birds cope with disease.  I have two exciting experiments planned for this summer, and each will become chapters in my Ph.D. dissertation. In ...

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Susan Susan Hassol’s recent Ted Talk is about the need for better science communication skills

We’re stymied in solving the climate change problem because of an underlying challenge – a communication failure – rooted in language and ideology. Aspects of this failure include how scientists communicate, how some people confound the science with the solutions, and an active disinformation campaign designed to cast doubt. Resolution of the communication failure is essential, as it can unleash our ability to solve the climate problem.

Susan Joy Hassol is a climate change communicator, analyst, and ...

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IGC Science Communication Workshop is led by Susan Hassol and Michael Mann

A major part of the mission of the Interfaces of Global Change Ph.D. program (IGC) at Virginia Tech is to help graduate students identify the different positive roles that they can play in society. Effective communication of scientific information to audiences with diverse backgrounds will be central to their success, regardless of what role they pursue. By developing the skills to make accurate science accessible to broader audiences, the students can help citizens make informed decisions that affect their own health, the environment, ...

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Laura Schoenle’s research featured on Virginia Water Radio

From Virginia Water Radio for the week of March 30, 2015.

Transcript:

“This week, we feature a mystery sound mix. Have a listen for about 15 seconds, and see if you can guess what water-related bird disease is the focus of research related to these sounds.

If you guessed avian malaria, you’re right! You heard Red-winged Blackbirds, a mosquito’s buzz, and the buzz of an electric-power station. All relate to aspects of research by Virginia Tech Biological Sciences graduate student Laura ...

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Special IGC/EEB Seminar featuring Dr. Robert Lackey: science in public policy

“Science in Public Policy: Maintaining Relevance, Ensuring Accuracy, and Avoiding Advocacy”

The Interfaces of Global Change IGEP at Virginia Tech is pleased to welcome Dr. Robert Lackey for a special EEB Seminar on Thursday, March 5th, 2015.

SAVE THE DATE!
Thursday, March 5, 2015 | 2:00-3:00 p.m. | Fralin Auditorium | Virginia Tech


Abstract

Has science become irrelevant in informing policy debates?

Scientists in environmental science, natural resources, ecology, conservation biology, and similar disciplines are often not trusted by the public and decision-makers to present policy-neutral ...

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Postcards from the field: traveling with VT graduate student researchers in Soberania National Park

We’re going on a frog hunt!

by Lindsay Key, Fralin Life Science Institute Communications Officer

Hello from the extremely bumpy backseat of a white pick-up truck that is barreling down a washed-out pothole-ridden trail known as Pipeline Road (left, below) in Gamboa, Panama. This is a famous road— known for its wildlife viewing capabilities and accessed by thousands of scientists around the world who come to study and work at the nearby Smithsonian facility in the tiny research town of Gamboa.

It ...

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Distinguished Lecture: Dr. Michael Mann/The Climate Wars

“The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: The Battle Continues”

SAVE THE DATE!
Friday, March 20, 2015 | 4:00-5:00 p.m. | The Lyric Theatre | Blacksburg, Virginia

The Interfaces of Global Change Program at Virginia Tech is proud to host Dr. Michael Mann for a science communication workshop and public lecture on Friday, March 20, 2015. Dr. Mann is an award-winning climate scientist and central figure in the political debate over climate change. His lecture at the Lyric Theatre will ...

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IGC students meet with AAAS Fellows

The fellows in the Interfaces of Global Change IGEP met today with Dr. Jimmy O’Dea, a 2014-15 AAAS Science & Engineering Congressional Fellow for U.S. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, and Dr. Julia Mundy, an AAAS fellow in the U.S. Department of Education.

The group met at Fralin Life Science Institute to discuss how to effectively communicate science in order to impact policy, and how to increase awareness of global change research.

Jennifer ...

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Laura Schoenle wins poster award at the SICB meeting

Laura Schoenle, a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Ignacio Moore‘s lab, recently presented a poster at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) in West Palm Beach, FL.

Laura won the Best Student Poster Award in the Ecoimmunology and Disease Ecology division for the poster, “The relationship between corticosterone and haemosporidian parasites: are stress hormones key to tolerating infection?” See the abstract below.

Congratulations, Laura!

ABSTRACT

The relationship between corticosterone and ...

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Cordie Diggins’ research featured in Nature Conservancy Magazine

In West Virginia, conservationists have set out to revive heavily logged red spruce forests in hopes of saving an endangered flying squirrel from extinction. Cordie Diggins, a Virginia Tech doctoral student and an IGC Fellow, is featured in the following Nature Conservancy Magazine article.

Flying High

“Craig Stihler holds the squirming rodent in his gloved hands. “It’s a biter,” warns the bespectacled biologist as he handles the animal using only calm, deliberate movements. With its ...

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Jon Doubek is a GLEON fellow!

Jon Doubek , a PH.D. student in Biological Sciences and a fellow in the Interfaces of Global Change Program, has been invited to be a Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) Fellow!

The GLEON Fellowship Program trains small cohorts of graduate students from around the world to analyze large and diverse data sets, operate effectively in diverse international teams, and communicate science to researchers, the public, and ...

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Laura Schoenle receives a 2014 EPA STAR Fellowship

Laura Schoenle, a fellow in the Interfaces of Global Change Program, was recently awarded a EPA STAR Fellowship for 2014.  This very competitive graduate fellowship program from the Environmental Protection Agency supports masters and doctoral candidates in environmental studies. Her award will cover tuition, salary, and $10,000 for research/expenses.

Laura will be studying the effects of mercury exposure on how red-winged blackbirds resist and tolerate infection with avian malaria. Laura is co-advised by Ignacio ...

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IGC students attend the installation of President Sands

International students Angie Estrada and Daniel Medina, fellows in the Interfaces of Global Change IGEP, attended the recent installation ceremonies for Virginia Tech’s new president, Dr. Timothy Sands. Burruss Hall was awash in color for this special occasion. The Cranwell International Center displayed their entire international flag collection, which honors the 3,000+ international students at Virginia Tech and represents the 128 nations from which they hail.

In no time at all, Angie and Daniel found the flag of their ...

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Heather Govenor receives the 2014 William R. Walker Award

Heather is a Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Tech in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering and a fellow in the Interfaces of Global Change Program

Heather will be using the funds from this award to support her participation at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in Vancouver, Canada in November. She will be presenting a poster entitled “Sediment as a Surrogate for Multiple Stressors in Freshwater Ecosystems: ...

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Tamara Fetters receives NSF Research Fellowship

From VT News:

tamarafetters_resizeTamara Fetters of Warrenton, Virginia, was recently awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Tamara is a doctoral student in biological sciences in the College of Science. She works with Joel McGlothlin, assistant professor of biological sciences, on the project  “Thermal trait variation in an invasive lizard: adaptation or plasticity?” She is ...

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Keynote: Susan Joy Hassol addresses IGC IGEP

The Climate Change Story

The Interfaces of Global Change IGEP recently held their Spring Retreat at the Skelton Conference Center at Virginia Tech. The day included a special seminar featuring Susan Joy Hassol, Director of Climate Communication, based in Boulder, Colorado and Asheville, North Carolina. In her presentation titled, “The Climate Change Story”, she addressed both the scientific evidence for climate change as well as the need for effective communication strategies when talking about climate change ...

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Passport to Discovery: An IGC IGEP outreach day

Saturday, April 12, 2014:

Interfaces of Global Change Graduate Student Organization hosted a science outreach day at the SEEDS Nature Center* in Blacksburg, VA. The day of outdoor activities was titled “Passport to Discovery: a hands-on journey through the world of biological science and nature for children of all ages.”

Volunteers participating in this event included Interfaces of Global Change fellows, graduate and undergraduate students from the Hopkins and Belden labs, NRV Master Naturalists, and staff members from the SEEDS Nature Center. ...

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New interdisciplinary graduate education program examines the effects of global change

The Interfaces of Global Change graduate program was recently featured in Virginia Tech News

From VT News:

Earth’s biodiversity is like a kaleidoscope made up of distinct plants and animals; however, with each year’s turn, unique and irreplaceable species disappear.

Habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, disease, and climate change are all to blame for the current rate of extinction, which is 1,000 times higher now than before human dominance, according to Bill Hopkins, associate professor of fish and wildlife conservation in the College of ...

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