Why some protests are effective and others aren’t

From The Atlantic

On April 22, scientists and science enthusiasts will gather in Washington, D.C. and 480 other cities to march for science. Their numbers will likely be large and their signs will undoubtedly be nerdy. Much has been written about the march—whether it’s a good idea or a terrible one, whether it will rally people or distance them, whether it’s goals are acceptably varied or too diffuse, whether it cares ...

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A Day in the Field: Notes from Panamá

By Lisa Belden, with IGC Fellows Daniel Medina and Angie Estrada

Sunday, 7:46am

I am chugging café con leche and downing a whole plate of fresh papaya and pineapple while I wait for Dani to pick me up at the hotel.  It was a late night, with a delayed flight from Atlanta to Panama City, but I am anxious to get out to the field with Dani and Angie today.  Dani arrives and we weave our way through crazy ...

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March for Science is already successful

From The Guardian

Science teacher Jackie Scott will be in the streets this Saturday in Little Rock, Arkansas. “I march because my middle school students deserve to have a better world,” she wrote. “They deserve to see what real research looks like and sounds like when it is communicated.”

From Oklahoma to Greenland, scientists and their champions will gather on April 22 for the much anticipated March for Science. And in many ways, the event is already a success: because thousands of scientists are speaking up, millions of ...

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What Will You Do After Marching for Science?

By R. Bruce Hull

I explained why I’m not marching for science even though I’m “all-in” and support science with my heart, mind, and labor. Marching won’t change minds. Worse, because of Identity Protective Reasoning, marching will strengthen our critics’ resolve and weaken science’s influence. Every time we mention science or truth or climate or genes or funding or facts all we end up doing is triggering the critic’s internal dialog that blames loss of jobs, opportunity, and identity ...

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Top 10 most endangered rivers in the US

From National Geographic

Water is life, yet climate change and certain public policies may be endangering its future in America, a nonprofit group warns in a new report. The stakes are high, with the current presidential administration having proposed budget cuts that may eliminate some safeguards for clean drinking water and rivers nationwide.

That’s according to American Rivers, a Washington, D.C.-based conservation group, which released its annual list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers ...

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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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Why I Won’t March for Science

By Dr. Bruce Hull

I marched in DC at the Women’s March, but I’m not marching for science.  I don’t see the end game.  Yes, we need more science, more respect for science, and better science, but more so, we need to win the political battles, and that means fighting for hearts and minds.

Scientists using their science are ill equipped to win hearts and minds.  Sadly, as I argued previously, the tendency of scientists to rely on facts and ...

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Sterling Nesbit finds early dinosaur cousin had a surprising croc-like look

From VT News

For decades, scientists have wondered what the earliest dinosaur relatives looked like. Most assumed that they would look like miniature dinosaurs, be about the size of a chicken, and walk on two legs.

A Virginia Tech paleobiologist’s latest discovery of Teleocrater rhadinus, however, has overturned popular predictions. This carnivorous creature, unearthed in southern Tanzania, was approximately seven to 10 feet long, with a long neck and tail, and instead of walking on two legs, it walked on four ...

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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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Carl Wepking receives COS Roundtable Scholarship for Graduate Study

Carl Wepking, a member of the Strickland Lab, is this year’s recipient of the COS Roundtable Make-a-Difference Scholarship for Graduate Study.

The Scholarship, established by the College of Science’s Roundtable alumni advisory board, recognizes graduate students who stand to make a significant difference to the college and the world outside of the university, and comes with a $7000 award. Previous recipients include Kwang-Hyung Kim (2008, Lawrence lab), Sharmistha Mitra (2012, Capelluto lab), and Ariel Leon (2016, Hawley lab).

Congratulations on this ...

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Jon Doubek, GLEON Fellow, publishes in PNAS

Jon Doubek, a PH.D. candidate in Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech, is a fellow in the Interfaces of Global Change Program and the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON).

Jon’s 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 managers. In addition to taking part in three international workshops, Jon ...

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Andrew Light: The Road from the Paris Climate Agreement; April 12th @4:00

The Program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) presents:

Andrew Light, Professor and Director
Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy
George Mason University

“The Road From the Paris Climate Agreement”

Andrew Light from George Mason University will give a talk on the topic “The Road From the Paris Climate Agreement” at Virginia Tech. The talk takes place on April 12, 2017, from 4-6 PM in Surge 117a. The talk is tailored to appeal to both students and faculty, with plenty of ...

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EEB Seminar: Dr. Ray Huey, UW organismal biologist, to speak on climate warming impacts April 6th in Fralin

Dr. Ray Huey will give a seminar at Virginia Tech on Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. in Fralin Hall. His lecture will be titled, “Thermal sensitivity of ectotherms in a warming world”.

Dr. Huey is an organismal biologist specializing in evolutionary physiology. He earned his Ph.D. in biology at Harvard University under E.E. Williams and later joined the faculty at the University of Washington (UW). His research focuses on evolutionary issues involving the physiology, behavior, and ecology of ...

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Global water expert, Brian Richter to give GCC Distinguished Lecture April 7th

From VT News:

Brian Richter, the chief scientist for the Global Water Program of The Nature Conservancy, will visit Virginia Tech on April 7. He will give a 4 p.m. distinguished lecture entitled “Chasing Water in a Rapidly Changing World” at the Lyric Theatre, followed by a question and answer period and book signing.

The event, coordinated by the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech and the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, is free and open to the public.

Richter has been a global ...

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Strickland and Wepking: Agricultural antibiotics impact soil ecosystems

From VT News

Manure from cattle administered antibiotics drastically changes the bacterial and fungal make-up of surrounding soil, leading to ecosystem dysfunction, according to a Virginia Tech research team.

The team analyzed soil samples from 11 dairy farms in the United States and found that the amount of antibiotic resistant genes was 200 times greater in soil near manure piles compared with soil that wasn’t.

Furthermore, microbes with greater antibiotic resistance showed higher stress levels. Their findings were published March 29 in ...

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“Between Earth and Sky: Climate Change on the Last Frontier” screened April 12 at the Lyric

From VT News

The documentary film “Between Earth and Sky: Climate Change on the Last Frontier” will be screened at 7 p.m. on April 12 at The Lyric Theatre in downtown Blacksburg. David Weindorf, the film’s executive producer, will be on hand to introduce the movie to a Blacksburg audience.

Sponsored by the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech and the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech, the event is free and open to the public. Among ...

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Global Change Researchers help Water Authority maintain water quality

From VT NEWS

Pumping oxygen into the bottom waters of Southwest Virginia’s drinking water reservoirs can reduce treatment costs and help fish and other aquatic life, according to an interdisciplinary research team with the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech.

The team has installed oxygenation systems in three reservoirs that serve Roanoke and surrounding county residents — Carvins Cove, Falling Creek, and Spring Hollow — and are monitoring them to see how increased oxygen levels ...

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Kids vs. Climate Change

From National Geographic

“Biggest Case on the Planet” Pits Kids vs. Climate Change

By Laura Parker

Levi Draheim is a nine-year-old science geek. He founded an environmental club as a fourth grader and gives talks about climate change to audiences of grown-ups. His home is on a slender barrier island on Florida’s Atlantic coast, 21 miles south of Cape Canaveral and a five-minute walk from the beach. By mid-century, his sandy childhood playground could be submerged by rising ...

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