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

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

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

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

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

Jacob Barney (, Bryan Brown (, David Haak (, Erin Hotchkiss (, and Scott Salom (

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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