A Special Supplement from PNAS: The Science of Science Communication

A special supplement to this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) is dedicated to science communication.

“Better communication to the public and policy makers can help scientists send clearer signals regarding the accomplishments, promises, and uncertainties of their work. Better communication from the public and policy makers can provide scientists with clearer signals regarding the public’s concerns and science’s role in addressing them. The result would be a more productive dialogue about the science and the political, social, ...

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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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Madeline Schreiber’s research will trace the long-term effects of coal ash spills

Monday, July 21, 2014 
By Tonia Moxley, at The Roanoke Times 

DANVILLE — Virginia Tech researchers hope a $25,000 National Science Foundation grant will help them find better ways to trace the long-term effects of coal ash spills like the one in February that fouled 70 miles of the Dan River from Eden, North Carolina, to Kerr Lake in Virginia.

The NSF RAPID grant will “help us get a snapshot of what’s going on,” said Madeline Schreiber, ...

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Bees and Colony Collapse

Our Bees, Ourselves

From the New York Times Opinion Pages: July 14, 2014

AROUND the world, honeybee colonies are dying in huge numbers: About one-third of hives collapse each year, a pattern going back a decade. For bees and the plants they pollinate — as well as for beekeepers, farmers, honey lovers and everyone else who appreciates this marvelous social insect — this is a catastrophe.

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Rhododendrons, nitrogen cycling, and global change

From VT News:

Global change research in Jeb Barrett’s lab is featured this week in VT News :

“How important is the soil beneath our feet to what grows above it? 

The short answer is very, according to Virginia Tech’s Mahtaab Bagherzadeh of Annandale, Virginia, a senior majoring in biological sciences in the College of Science and a 2014 Fralin Life Science InstituteSummer Undergraduate Research Fellow.

Bagherzadeh recently participated in a study that discovered invading ...

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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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Madeline Schreiber discusses arsenic and groundwater/rock interactions

Dr. Schreiber’s research program at Virginia Tech focuses on chemical hydrogeology. She and her students study the hydrologic and biogeochemical processes that influence the cycling of naturally-occurring and anthropogenic sources of contaminants.

In this video, Dr. Schreiber discusses the relationship between groundwater chemistry and arsenic release. Arsenic can be found in many minerals contained in aquifers but this harmful element does not always contaminate groundwater within the aquifer.

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The 2014 National Climate Assessment is released!

A public letter from:

Dr. John P. Holdren
Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy
The White House

climateassessment“Today, we released the third National Climate Assessment report, by far the most comprehensive look ever at climate change impacts in the United States.

Based on four years of work by hundreds of experts from government, academia, corporations, and public-interest organizations, the Assessment confirms abundant ...

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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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Ben Grumbles: Water’s 3 Biggest Threats

Ben Grumbles, U.S. Water Alliance 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014   (2:00-3:00 p.m.)

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) Auditorium 

Ben Grumbles is President of the U.S. Water Alliance–a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to uniting people and policy for “one water” sustainability. Possessing one of the broadest and most diverse memberships in the country, the Alliance has public and private sector leaders focusing on quality and quantity water issues both above and below the surface. The Alliance also focuses on the connections of energy, land, food and ...

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Scott Salom’s invasive species research featured on VT News

From VT NEWS:

Scott Salom, a professor of entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has worked for years to develop ways to combat the woolly adelgid and save hemlock trees.

In 2013, he and his team of researchers released one of the hemlock woolly adelgid’s predators from its native habitat in Japan into the woods in Virginia and West Virginia. If all goes as planned, the beetle will be another tool that resource managers will have to save ...

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Leandro Castello studies the impacts of extreme weather events on Amazonian floodplains

Dr. Leandro Castello and his colleagues at Woods Hole Research Center and University of California Santa Barbara recently received a grant from NASA to study the impacts of extreme weather events (floods and droughts) on aquatic plants, forests, and fisheries of the central Amazonian river floodplain. This study was recently featured in VT News. A Public Radio interview on WVTF also highlighted this project.

Read the full VT News article here.

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Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching goes to Dana Hawley

From VT News

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 22, 2014 – Dana M. Hawley, associate professor of biological sciences in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has received the university’s 2014 Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Created in 1982 by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching is presented to two Virginia Tech faculty members each year. Recipients are selected by the university’s Academy of Teaching Excellence from among those faculty members who ...

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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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North Carolina Ash Spill: Regulations Meet Politics

Ash Spill Shows How Watchdog Was Defanged

North Carolina regulators say that under Gov. Pat McCrory, a weakened Department of Environment and Natural Resources has abandoned its regulatory role.

Read the complete article in the New York Times (from February 28, 2014):

http://nyti.ms/1fXJJR3

Below, an animated graphic by the Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability at Wake Forest University shows the aftermath of the coal ash pond rupture at Duke Energy’s ...

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