Meagan O’Rourke’s SURF student works on bee-friendly flower garden project

From VT News

Local farmers and gardeners who want to attract native pollinators to their plants may be interested in the summer research project of Laura Stange, a rising senior majoring in horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Funded by the Fralin Life Science Institute’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Stange observes and analyzes the behavior patterns of pollinators around plots of native wildflowers at Kentland Farm in Blacksburg, Virginia. Her goal is to determine which pollinator species prefer which ...

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Geological Society of America honors Sterling Nesbitt with Young Scientist Award

From VT News

Sterling Nesbitt of Virginia Tech’s Department of Geosciences is being honored by the Geological Society of America with its Young Scientist Award, the 2017 Donath Medal.

Nesbitt, an assistant professor of geosciences in the College of Science and a faculty member with the Global Change Center, will receive the award at the Geological Society of America’s (GSA) annual conference in Seattle in October. The Young Scientist Award was established in 1988 to ...

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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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Hotchkiss awarded NSF funding to examine the consequences of warming in streams

Congratulations to Dr. Erin Hotchkiss in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech.  Dr. Hotchkiss and her colleagues recently received research funding from the National Science Foundation. Their project will examine the consequences of warming for organic matter cycling in streams.

Title: “Headwater stream networks in a warming world: Predicting heterotrophic ecosystem function using theory, multi-scale temperature manipulations, and modeling”

Principal Investigators: J.P. Benstead (Alabama), V. Gulis (Coastal Carolina), A.M. Helton (University of Connecticut), A.D. Rosemond (UGA), E.R. Hotchkiss (Virginia Tech).

Summary: This project will ...

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Jessica Hernandez awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Congratulations to IGC Fellow, Jessica Hernandez, who was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) in 2017!

Jessica is a doctoral student in biological sciences in the College of Science. She works in the lab of Dr. Ignacio Moore, where research focuses on better understanding how animals respond, both behaviorally and physiologically, to their constantly changing social and physical environments.

For her dissertation, Jessica will study a free-living population of polyandrous female tree swallows (Tachcineta bicolor) ...

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Six GCC faculty earn tenure and promotion in 2017

Congratulations to six Global Change Center affiliated faculty members who have earned tenure and promotion in June 2017 as a result of their outstanding achievements in teaching, research, and service. Tenure and promotion marks an important milestone in their academic careers, so please join us in congratulating our colleagues.

The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved the following promotions and tenure:
Promotion to associate professor with tenure:

Bryan Brown, Biological Sciences

Julia Gohlke, Population Health Sciences

Leigh-Anne Krometis, Biological Systems Engineering

Brian ...

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Barrow receives Diggs Teaching Scholars Award

From VT News:

Mark Barrow, professor and chair of the Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and a faculty affiliate in the Global Change Center, has received the university’s 2017 Diggs Teaching Scholars Award.

Sponsored by the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research, the Diggs Teaching Scholars Award was established in 1992 and is presented annually to up to three Virginia Tech faculty ...

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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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Postcards from the field: Gifty is collecting data on Nile tilapia from the Pra River in Ghana

By Gifty Anane-Taabeah

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

“I am currently lodging in Half-Assini, a border town between Ghana and our western neighboring country, Ivory Coast. I spent most of my day at Elubo, another border town about 45 minutes-drive from Half-Assini, in search of O. niloticus samples. Wednesdays are market days in Elubo and an opportune time to scout for wild-caught O. niloticus. This is especially important because Ghana shares the Tano River with Ivory Coast and the data generated will be useful for conserving ...

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Sydney Hope receives NSF GROW travel award

Sydney Hope, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation and a Fellow in the Interfaces of Global Change IGEP, recently received a travel award from the National Science Foundation’s GROW Program (Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide). The GROW Program expands opportunities for graduate students to engage in international research collaboration.

During Spring and Summer 2018, Sydney will travel to the town of Villiers-en-Bois in western France to work with a sponsoring scientist, Dr. Frédéric Angelier, at the Centre d’Etudes ...

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Reintroduction of Critically Endangered Frogs in Panama: first release marks important milestone

Smithsonian Scientists Release Frogs Wearing Mini Radio Transmitters Into Panamanian Wilderness

Lisa Belden, Angie Estrada, and Daniel Medina are Global Change Center affiliates in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech. Their amphibian research was recently featured in the following video and online article at The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology InstituteThe article originally appeared as a blog post on the website of the Amphibian Rescue & Conservation Project.

“Ninety Limosa harlequin frogs (Atelopus limosus) bred in human care are braving the elements of ...

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David Haak awarded grant from the Jeffress Memorial Trust

David Haak, Assistant Professor of Plant Genomics in the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science (PPWS), and a Global Change Center Affiliate, recently received a grant from the Thomas F. and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust, which provides $100,000 awards to conduct innovative interdisciplinary pilot studies in fields such as biosciences, chemistry, engineering, and environmental sciences. The Co-Principal Investigator on the grant is Dr. Xiaofeng Wang, PPWS.

The project is entitled, “Do RNA Viruses Hijack Alternative Splicing Machinery for Infections? A Bioinformatician’s View”. ...

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Alternative facts in science are the norm

From NPR News

Story by Andrew Shtulman

In an interview on Meet the Press in January, Kellyanne Conway introduced a new phrase into popular discourse: “alternative facts.”

Conway, a senior adviser to President Trump, was asked to defend the claim that Trump’s inauguration drew “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration.” She denied that it was a falsehood (despite photographic evidence to the contrary), claiming instead that the White House had based its conclusion on “alternative facts.”

The notion of alternative facts was roundly mocked on ...

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William Hopkins receives Graduate School’s outstanding mentor award

From VT News

William Hopkins, professor of wildlife in the College of Natural Resources and Environment and director of the Global Change Center, has received the Graduate School’s 2017 Faculty Outstanding Mentor Award.

Sponsored by the Graduate School, the new award, to be presented annually, recognizes excellence in mentoring graduate students. Recipients are nominated by graduate students, and one professor from each college receives an award.

Hopkins’ research focuses on physiological ecology and wildlife ecotoxicology, addressing pressing questions in both basic and ...

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PhD defense: Laura Schoenle- The role of glucocorticoid hormones in coping with chronic infection

We are excited to announce:

IGC Fellow, Laura Schoenle, gave her Ph.D. defense seminar on Friday, May 26, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. in 4069 Derring Hall. Laura, who was advised by Dr. Ignacio Moore and Dr. Fran Bonier, is now Dr. Laura Schoenle! She will be starting a Post-doctoral position in New York in August.

Coping with chronic infection: The role of glucocorticoid hormones in mediating resistance and tolerance to parasites

ABSTRACT:
Parasite infections are ubiquitous, but the consequences to hosts can ...
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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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Course Announcement: Systems Ecology and Conservation

FIW 5984/19850 SS: Systems Ecology and Conservation 

Fall 2017 Course description

Systems Ecology and Conservation adopts an integrative approach to understanding problems of sustainable management and conservation of natural environments.  The course is founded on the idea that effective environmental conservation can only be achieved through consideration and management of broader, multifaceted factors related to natural ecosystems and human societies.  It seeks to help students conceptualize and articulate their own problems of study within an interdisciplinary framework.  The course introduces students to approaches ...

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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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Explaining the techniques of science denial makes people resistant to their effects

From The Guardian:

Study: to beat science denial, inoculate against misinformers’ tricks

After receiving misinformation from the anti-vaccine movement, including its founder Andrew Wakefield, immunization rates plummeted in a community of Somali immigrants in Minnesota, causing a measles outbreak among their children. It’s a disturbing trend on the rise in America that shows the importance of immunization and the dangerous power of misinformation.

A new paper published in PLOS One by John Cook, Stephan ...

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