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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New Course for Fall 2017: The Science and Policy of Invasions

A new team-taught course will be offered this fall at Virginia Tech!

COURSE TITLE:
The Science and Policy of Invasions (GRAD 6984; Special Topics; 3 credits)

TIME:
The class will meet once per week during Fall Semester 2017; Time TBD

INSTRUCTORS:
Jacob Barney (jnbarney@vt.edu), Bryan Brown (brown51@vt.edu), David Haak (dhaak@vt.edu), Erin Hotchkiss (ehotchkiss@vt.edu), and Scott Salom (salom@vt.edu)

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
Invasive species are one of the five elements of global change that shape ecosystem structure and function worldwide. This course will take a “deep ...

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Second annual IGC Graduate Research Symposium was a great success

The second annual Interfaces of Global Change (IGC) Graduate Research Symposium was held on April 21, 2017 in Fralin Hall. The symposium provided a forum for students and faculty to interact and explore connections between labs across campus. The day included 9 oral presentations, a poster session, and a keynote address by former U.S. Congressman, Bob Inglis.

The symposium highlighted the latest research from the program’s graduate student fellows, whose collective work addresses critical global changes impacting the environment and society. ...

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Tony Timpano receives the 2017 Karen P. DePauw Outstanding Presentation Award

As an Interfaces of Global Change (IGC) Fellow, and a doctoral student in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Tony Timpano studies how increased salinization in freshwater streams can impact macroinvertebrate communities.

Timpano, along with other IGC fellows, presented his research findings at a recent IGC Graduate Research Symposium in Fralin Hall. This annual event highlights the latest research from the program’s graduate student fellows, who come from various disciplines, including biological sciences, entomology, fish and wildlife, biological systems engineering, horticulture, plant pathology, and ...

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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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