Crowdfunding project aims to send a Hokie to Capitol Hill

From VT News

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Human health disparities in Appalachia. The Dan River coal ash spill in North Carolina. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Air pollution in urban industrialized areas around the world.

The list goes on.

Now more than ever, U.S. laws designed to protect and improve public health and the environment, such as the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Clean Air ...

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Deep cuts for research funding at flagship Midwestern universities will further weaken local economies

From The Atlantic

Four floors above a dull cinder-block lobby in a nondescript building at the Ohio State University, the doors of a slow-moving elevator open on an unexpectedly futuristic 10,000-square-foot laboratory bristling with technology. It’s a reveal reminiscent of a James Bond movie. In fact, the researchers who run this year-old, $750,000 lab at OSU’s Spine Research Institute resort often to Hollywood comparisons.

Thin beams of blue light shoot from 36 of the same kind of infrared motion cameras used ...

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More rain, more pollution in the future

A comment on this article from Dr. Cayelan Carey:

“This study highlights the importance of studying both land use and climate change simultaneously when predicting future water quality: these two stressors will interact, potentially synergistically, to increase phytoplankton blooms that threaten human health and freshwater ecosystem services. One other take-home message that is important to keep in mind is that there will be large geographic variation in lake and reservoir water quality responses to altered climate and land use.”

Our research ...

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The Global Change Center partners with Hollins University to enhance student careers in life science

From VT News

Pursuing graduate school in the sciences requires more than just passion – it also requires knowledge of the nuts and bolts of research, which usually comes through robust mentorship.

Developing strong mentor-mentee relationships is one of the main goals of a new partnership between the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech and Hollins University. The two universities recently signed a memorandum of understanding to offer Hollins undergraduate students summer research experience in Virginia ...

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Postcards from the field: Maya Wilson is on the “Pine Islands” in the Bahamas

From Birds Caribbean

Maya Wilson is a graduate student in Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech and a fellow in the Interfaces of Global Change Program. She is researching the ecology and life history of the Bahama Swallow, an endangered species endemic to the Bahamas. Maya is one of the dedicated young scholars who were awarded the BirdsCaribbean David S. Lee Fund Grant and her work is critical to understanding the Bahama Swallow and informing conservation strategies. Here, she discusses her ...

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Trump urged to remain in Paris Climate Agreement

From National Public Radio

President Trump is expected to face pressure from European Union leaders at the G-7 summit in Italy next week to keep the U.S. in the Paris Climate Treaty.

Trump recently signed an executive order aiming to roll back President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan but did not address the Paris agreement. European Union leaders aren’t the only ones who are imploring Trump to keep the U.S. as ...

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Seminar Announcement: Dr. Kate Langwig- Ecology, Impacts, and Extinction in Emerging Infectious Diseases of Wildlife

Dr. Kate Langwig, is a postdoc at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research address questions on pathogen transmission and dynamics, heterogeneity in host susceptibility and infectiousness, the impacts of pathogens on ecological communities, and the conservation and policy implications of infectious disease.

Dr. Langwig will give a research seminar this Thursday, January 19th at 3:30 pm in Fralin Auditorium. Her talk will be titled, Ecology, Impacts, and Extinction in Emerging Infectious Diseases of Wildlife. 

The seminar will be followed by a reception in the Fralin Atrium, sponsored by ...

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Dr. Tyrone Hayes will give the 6th Annual Martin Luther King Seminar January 20th

In commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr., Virginia Tech has a weeklong schedule to remember and honor the man who drove out hate and darkness through love and light. This year’s celebration theme is “Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere: The Legacy Between Two Movements.”

The schedule of events includes a special research seminar hosted by the Diversity Committee of the Biological Sciences Department featuring Dr. Tyrone Hayes. The lecture may be of particular interest to the Global Change community at Virginia Tech. In ...

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Water is the latest battleground in Syria

From CNN

Nour, a housewife in Damascus, says the latest joke in the Syrian capital is also a prayer of sorts: “May the gold you hold become water.”

It is a half-hearted attempt to make light of a water crisis that is impacting millions in Damascus, a city that has been relatively sheltered from the violence raging elsewhere in the country.

Nour said that her family just got water on Tuesday morning, after four days without access. Her family quickly lined up ...

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Fighting the climate crisis with $150 homes in Africa

From CNN

Deforestation and climate change have triggered a housing crisis in West Africa

Millions of households in the Sahel region of West Africa live under a growing threat. Deforestation and climate change have decimated the available supply of wood that is used for traditional roof construction, forcing many to use imported sheet metal. This is both prohibitively expensive and unsuited to the climate, entrenching poverty and making homes that boil in summer and freeze in winter.

One creative enterprise is reaching ...

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Extreme rains could increase 400% by end of century

From The Guardian

When the skies open up and deluge an area, the results can be catastrophic, with roads washed out and homes destroyed by the resulting flash floods. Such extreme downpours are already occurring more often across the US, but a new study finds that as global temperatures rise, storms could dump considerably more rain and skyrocket in frequency.

The study, in the journal Nature Climate Change, suggests that storms that now occur ...

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Global Change Center Science Policy Fellowships give undergrads experience in Washington, DC

From VT News

The Washington Semester program at Virginia Tech began offering undergraduate students the chance to spend summers learning the ins and outs of policymaking on Capitol Hill 20 years ago.

Today, the university’s School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), which houses the summer program, has partnered with the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech to ensure students are exposed to the role science plays in this process.

As part of the new collaboration, the Global Change Center has established an  Read More →

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Global deal limits the use of hydrofluorocarbons

From The Guardian

A global deal to limit the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the battle to combat climate change is a “monumental step forward”, John Kerry, the US secretary of state, has said.

The agreement, announced on Saturday morning after all-night negotiations in Kigali, Rwanda, caps and reduces the use of HFCs – a key contributor to greenhouse gases – in a gradual process beginning in 2019, with action by developed countries including the US, the world’s ...

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Michelle Stocker and team name a new species of extinct reptile

From VT News

Iconic dinosaur shapes were present in animals for at least 100 million years before dinosaurs themselves actually appeared.

A study published in Thursday’s issue of Current Biology describes how a multi-institutional team of paleontologists, including Virginia Tech College of Science researcher Michelle Stocker, identified and named a new species of extinct reptile estimated to be 230 million years old – predating dinosaurs.

Called Triopticus primus — meaning the “First of Three Eyes” because the large natural pit in ...

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Darwin’s Man in Brazil: Book Launch event in Fralin Sept. 30th

From VT News

The book “Darwin’s Man in Brazil: The Evolving Science of Fritz Müller,” by David A. West, associate professor emeritus of biological sciences (1962-1998) was published by the University Press of Florida in July 2016.

The book will be introduced to the Virginia Tech community from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on  Sept. 30, in the Fralin Life Science Institute auditorium and atrium. The book launch* will include a panel discussion to highlight the book and West’s story of how he ...

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Paul Angermeier co-edits new textbook on ‘reintroductions’

From VT News

Paul Angermeier, professor of fish conservation in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, is co-editor of a new textbook on reintroducing fish and wildlife species into regions where they once thrived but now no longer live.

“The book synthesizes current scientific understanding of reintroduction of animal species,” Angermeier said. “The underlying theme is to meld societal goals, institutional capacity, and scientific knowledge . . . Our goal for ‘Reintroduction of Fish and Wildlife Populations’ was ...

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Bees dead after South Carolina sprays for Zika

From The Washington Post

September 1, 2016: On Sunday morning, the South Carolina honey bees began to die in massive numbers.

Death came suddenly to Dorchester County, S.C. Stressed insects tried to flee their nests, only to surrender in little clumps at hive entrances. The dead worker bees littering the farms suggested that colony collapse disorder was not the culprit — in that odd phenomenon, workers vanish as though raptured, leaving a living queen and young bees behind.

Instead, the dead heaps signaled the killer was less ...

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Ryan McClure receives the Leo Bourassa Award

IGC fellow, Ryan McClure, has received the Leo Bourassa Award from the Virginia Lakes and Watershed Association for his research on the effects of water quality management on water quality and greenhouse gas production in Virginia reservoirs. This award was chosen based on Ryan’s contributions to the field of water resources in the commonwealth of Virginia and goes to the top graduate student doing water research in Virginia.  

Ryan has been monitoring the water quality of several reservoirs in ...

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