James Hansen to give keynote talk at Appalachian Studies Conference

From VT News

Renowned climatologist James Hansen will visit Virginia Tech on March 10, 2017.
He will give a 4 p.m. lecture entitled “A Peaceful Revolution: Global Justice for Young People Requires a New Approach” in the Squires Student Center, followed by a question-and-answer period.
The event is free and open to the public as seating allows.

Hansen, who was among the first scientists to argue that the burning of fossil fuels is warming the planet, is the keynote speaker in the 40th Annual ...

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The End of Expertise: And Why That Is A Giant Problem for the Anthropocene

By Dr. Bruce Hull

Two game-changing coattails that Trump road to the presidency are fake news and distrusted expertise. They also usher into mainstream governance an end to rationality, modernity, enlightened self-interest, and related strategies and hopes that we can think our way out of the challenges we face. These are deeply troubling trends for those of us concerned with the highly technical, enormously complex, wickedly interdependent sustainability challenges of meeting the needs of 2-5 billion new middle class consumers while ...

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New Course: Climate Change and Societal Impacts

Climate Change and Societal Impacts is a new course that will be offered by Dr. Anamaria Bukvic (GEOG) in Fall 2017.

Department of Geography
Course Number: 4984
Course Title: Climate change and societal impacts
Semester:
Fall 2017
Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10-11:15am
Anticipated Student Enrollment: 40

Instructor: Dr. Anamaria Bukvic, Research Assistant Professor, Geography, ana.bukvic@vt.edu

Course Description: Accelerated climate change has been permanently changing the natural, built, and social systems around the globe over the last few decades. Many of these impacts ...

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Indirect effects of invasive Burmese pythons on the Florida Everglades

John D. Willson recently published a paper in the Journal of Applied Ecology titled, “Indirect effects of invasive Burmese pythons on ecosystems in southern Florida”.

Willson’s research paper was highlighted in the online magazine, Anthropocene, published by Future Earth:

Invading pythons and the weird, uncertain future of the Florida Everglades

By Brandon Keim | February 8, 2017

The Florida Everglades are one of Earth’s biological marvels, a vast slow-moving river in whose marshes live—even at this late date, with water diverted, pollution injected and human ...

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Carol Franco: Global Climate Change Policy-Why should we care?

Dr. Carol Franco, a senior research associate in the College of Natural Resources and Environment’s Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation (FREC), will give a seminar on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 11:15 a.m., in Fralin Auditorium. Her seminar will be titled:

Global Climate Change Policy – Why should we care?

Abstract

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international treaty that provides a platform for multilateral efforts to address the impacts of climate change on people and ecosystems. ...

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John Jelesko is Super Poison Ivy Man

From VT News

John Jelesko’s resume runs long with all the hallmarks of a serious scientist:

  • Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Primary author of studious journal publications
  • Winner of prestigious National Science Foundation fellowships
  • Post-doctoral work at University of California, Berkeley

Now the Virginia Tech associate professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science can add one more notch to his storied CV: character in a comic.

While his character doesn’t wear a cape or have super-human powers, Jelesko is being ...

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New position at VT builds social science capacity within the bird conservation community

From VT News

With many bird populations declining, scientists are looking for new ways to help protect and conserve vital species.

Thanks to a partnership with the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, Virginia Tech is now home to a new, high-profile position that aims to build social science capacity within the bird conservation community through research, partnerships, and outreach.

According to Ashley Dayer, assistant professor of human dimensions in the College of Natural Resources and Environment’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, ...

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Special Seminar: Dr. Ben Zaitchik- Causes and Consequences of Climate Variability in the Nile Basin

Please join us  for a special climate change seminar in Fralin Hall on Wednesday, February 1st at 1:00 p.m. This event will be hosted by Dr. Julia Gohlke (PHS) and sponsored by the Global Change Center. Refreshments will be available in the Fralin atrium immediately following the lecture.

Ben Zaitchik, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University
Causes and Consequences of Climate Variability in the Nile Basin

The two headwaters regions of the Nile River—the western Ethiopian Highlands and the Equatorial Lakes of ...

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Meryl Mims joins the faculty in Biological Sciences

From VT News

Meryl C. Mims has joined the Department of Biological Sciences, part of the Virginia Tech College of Science, as an assistant professor.

Mims focuses her research on how species’ traits and the environment interact to influence community and population structure of aquatic organisms. She aims to bridge fundamental work in freshwater population and community ecology with applied conservation and management needs using a range of approaches, from population genetics to community and landscape ecology.

Mims also is an affiliated ...

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NASA and NOAA declare 2016 hottest on record

From The Washington Post

In a powerful testament to the warming of the planet, two leading U.S. science agencies Wednesday jointly declared 2016 the hottest year on record, surpassing the previous record set just last year — which itself had topped a record set in 2014.

Average surface temperatures in 2016, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, were 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 2015 and featured eight successive months (January through August) that were individually the warmest since the agency’s records began ...

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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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Strickland: Scientists zero in on biological diversity in ‘poor man’s rainforest’

From VT News

The soil beneath our feet is not as biologically diverse as scientists previously thought, according to a research team that includes a Virginia Tech soil microbial ecologist.

Leftover DNA from dead organisms — known as “relic DNA” — has historically thrown a wrench into estimates, causing scientists to overestimate microbial diversity by as much as 55 percent. Understanding microbial diversity in soil is crucial for understanding how environmental processes like atmospheric nitrogen fixation and climate change occur.

But a ...

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The extinction crisis is far worse than you think

From CNN

The extinction crisis is far worse than you think. In all of Earth’s history, there have been five mass extinction events. You can see them charted here. Now, we’re on the verge of the sixth extinction. And three-quarters of all species could vanish. Imagine three out of four species that were common are gone. This is the first time humans have caused anything like this.

Experience this interactive report at CNN

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