Warning to humanity signed by 16,000 scientists

From CNN

More than 16,000 scientists from 184 countries have published a second warning to humanity advising that we need to change our wicked ways to help the planet.

In 1992, 1,700 independent scientists signed the “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity.” The letter warned that “human beings and the natural world are on a collision course” and if environmental damage was not stopped, our future was at risk.

That letter made headlines 25 years ago, but the world still faces daunting ...

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Carbon emissions are rising again

From National Geographic

For a while it looked as if the world might be turning the corner.

But after a three-year stall in their growth, human-caused carbon-dioxide emissions have not, in fact, peaked, an international team of scientists announced this morning.

In 2017, global emissions of CO2 from fossil fuels and industry will once again rise by 2 percent, the scientists project, to a record 37 billion metric tons. ...

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Now accepting applications for undergraduate science policy fellowships: apply by Dec. 1

The Global Change Center (GCC) offers competitive fellowships to undergraduate students to cover the cost of tuition (in-state, 6 credits), housing and fees to attend the Washington Semester Program during summer semester. This program offers a unique 11-week immersion into work experience within the nation’s capital. Students work on challenging science policy issues that shape communities locally and nationally while obtaining academic credit.

The School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) at Virginia Tech offers the Washington Semester program to all ...

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Hurricanes in 2017 pushed rare island species closer to the brink

From National Geographic

By Justin Nobel

As Hurricane Irma slammed into south Florida in September, Dan Clark, manager of a complex of four national wildlife refuges in the Florida Keys, had evacuated and was at his mother’s house near Tampa. His eye was on the weather and his mind was on the multitude of plants and animals that inhabit the unique refuge system he oversees, which includes the well-known Key Deer National Wildlife ...

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Amy Pruden and Marc Edwards receive NSF RAPID grant to help well owners after recent hurricanes

From VT News:

It all started with a few phone calls to check in on friends at Texas A&M and the University of Florida.

After hurricanes Harvey and Irma battered the southern coastline, Kelsey Pieper called Extension faculty from the two universities — friends she’d met through her work as a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture postdoctoral fellow at Virginia Tech.

“We just reached out and were like, ‘Hey, we’re thinking of you, do you need anything?’ ...

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Kendra Sewall receives NSF CAREER grant

From VT News:

Is overcrowding in cities bad for your brain?  Do children in preschool learn better because of the social enrichment? Are animals at zoos learning and behaving the way they would in the wild even if they aren’t in normal group sizes?

These are the types of questions behind the research of a Virginia Tech neurobiologist who studies the impacts of the social environment on the brain.

Kendra Sewall, an assistant professor of biological sciences in the College of Science and ...

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STUDY ABROAD ECUADOR! Spring 2018

Dr. Ignacio Moore (BIOL) and Dr. William Hopkins (FWC) are offering “Tropical Ecology & Conservation BIOL 3954/FIW 3954 (6 credits)” in Spring and Summer I 2018. The course is open to all majors. The Spring course will be taught on campus.

During Summer I, the class will travel to Ecuador where students will traverse multiple ecosystems, from the Amazonian lowland rainforest to the high altitude Andes. Students will visit one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, and ...

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Cayelan Carey and Madeline Schreiber receive Junior Faculty Awards

Dr. Cayelan Carey and Dr. Madeline Schreiber recently received a Junior Faculty Award from the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science. Their project is titled: Rapid elemental fluxes in freshwater systems.

The Junior Faculty Award program provides seed funds for innovative research led by pre-tenure faculty, which supports early-stage projects with the potential to evolve into groundbreaking research programs. It also encourages the formation of collaborative teams that can leverage a broad range of perspectives to bring a fresh approach ...

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Congratulations, Dr. Timpano!

Interfaces of Global Change Fellow, Tony Timpano, successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation on Tuesday, August 29, 2017, in Fralin Hall Auditorium.

His seminar was titled: “Toward Improved Assessment of Freshwater Salinization as a Benthic Macroinvertebrate Stressor.”

Tony is pictured above with committee members Dr. Stephen Schoenholtz, Dr. Dave Soucek, and Dr. Carl Zipper. (Not pictured: Dr. Bryan Brown)

Congratulations, Dr. Tony Timpano!

Tony's Dissertation Defense

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Hitching The Sun and Wind: new fall seminar series

The Renewable Energy Facility More Sustainable Siting Project is pleased to announce a new fall seminar series!

The first event of our fall speaker series is this Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 1:25 – 2:15 p.m. in Burruss Hall 120A.

Please see the flyer below. You are welcome to attend and participate in the discussion.

Please note there will be speakers every Wednesday throughout the semester, same time, same place!

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Tony Timpano to give his Ph.D. seminar on Tuesday, August 29th at 9 am

IGC Fellow, Tony Timpano will defend his Ph.D. dissertation on Tuesday morning, August 29, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in Fralin Hall Auditorium.

His seminar title is: “Toward Improved Assessment of Freshwater Salinization as a Benthic Macroinvertebrate Stressor.”

Please join us! Coffee and refreshments will be served beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Related:

Tony Timpano’s work in water quality research is at the intersection of science and policy

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Dinosaur unpacking party: August 31st in Museum of Geosciences

From VT News

The Virginia Tech Paleobiology Research Group had a busy summer in Africa and the western United States, and now they’re inviting the public to a party to unpack their specimens, which include dinosaurs, phytosaurs, and other reptiles.

The unpacking party will be be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Aug. 31, at the Museum of Geosciences in 2062 Derring Hall.  Derring Hall is located at 926 West Campus Drive, Blacksburg.

“This is a unique opportunity to become a citizen-scientist and ...

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Mary Lofton is honored with two awards for her research on water quality in reservoirs

Congratulations to Mary Lofton, who received the Leo Bourassa Award from the Virginia Lakes and Watershed Association for her research on the effects of water quality management on phytoplankton blooms in Virginia reservoirs! This award was chosen based on her contributions to the field of water resources in the commonwealth of Virginia and goes to the top graduate student doing water research in VA!

On top of this honor, Mary also received the $5000 grant from the Virginia Water Resources ...

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Climate change impacts airline schedules

From The Washington Post:

Rising Temperatures could bump you from your flight

Over three days in late June, American Airlines canceled 57 regional flights out of Phoenix due to extreme heat of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. More heat waves in the future could mean flights get canceled, delayed or have to lose some weight. That weight could be you.

In the aviation business, really hot days are called “weight restriction days,” because when it’s hot, fully loaded planes can’t get off the ground. There’s ...

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Zach Easton develops models to help urban areas plan for increased water pollution in the Chesapeake

Dr. Zachary Easton was recently interviewed on NPR about climate change and water quality:

Listen to this interview at NPR
Researcher Develops Models to Help Urban Areas Plan for Increased Pollution of Chesapeake Bay

Virginia Tech researchers say the cost to reduce pollution will increase with climate change, and are working on models to help urban planners develop management practices early enough to make a difference.

Zachary Easton is a lead project investigator for Virginia Tech who says most Americans don’t believe ...

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Second annual IGC Graduate Research Symposium was a great success

The second annual Interfaces of Global Change (IGC) Graduate Research Symposium was held on April 21, 2017 in Fralin Hall. The symposium provided a forum for students and faculty to interact and explore connections between labs across campus. The day included 9 oral presentations, a poster session, and a keynote address by former U.S. Congressman, Bob Inglis.

The symposium highlighted the latest research from the program’s graduate student fellows, whose collective work addresses critical global changes impacting the environment and society. ...

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Climate change is trouble for cutthroat trout in the Rockies

From NPR:

There’s an unplanned experiment going on in the northern Rocky Mountains. What’s happening is that spring is arriving earlier, and it’s generally warmer and drier than usual. And that’s messing with some of the fish that live there.

The fish is the iconic cutthroat trout. It’s a native North American fish that thrives in cold, small streams. Explorer Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark Expedition fame was among the first ...

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Michelle Stocker, Sterling Nesbitt fill in the fossil record of phytosaurs

From VT News

The skeleton of a small, short-snouted reptile found in China was recently identified as the oldest known member of the phytosaurs — an extinct group of large, semi-aquatic reptiles that superficially resembled the distantly-related crocodylians and lived during the Triassic Period, approximately 250 million years ago to 200 million years ago.

Virginia Tech researchers led the team that re-evaluated and re-classified the animal, Diandongosuchus fuyuanensis, which had previously ...

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Stocker & Nesbitt present: World premiere of new reptile fossils from Africa and China

For decades, scientists have wondered what the earliest dinosaur relatives looked like and what other species they are most closely related to. Now, Virginia Tech researchers shed new light on the early history of these relatives, with new discoveries that overturn popular predictions and current knowledge, as well as fill critical gaps in the fossil record.

Leading this work are paleobiologists Sterling Nesbitt and Michelle Stocker, both assistant professors of geosciences in the College of Science and members of the Read More →

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