New Online Course in Fall 2018: Navigating the Social Complexities of Sustainability

Taught by Dr. Marc Stern, a new online course offered this Fall is designed to provide students with a variety of tools for navigating the social complexities of environmental and other sustainability-related initiatives.

Having successfully completed this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the social dimensions of sustainability challenges.
  • Communicate about social science theories effectively.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply social science theories to real-world problem-solving within the context of environmental sustainability.
  • Articulate both the value and limitations of social science theories for problem ...
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French food waste law is changing how stores handle excess food

From National Public Radio


Every morning at a supermarket called Auchan in central Paris, Magdalena Dos Santos has a rendezvous with Ahmed “Doudou” Djerbrani, a driver from the French food bank.

Dos Santos, who runs the deli section of the store, is in charge of supervising the store’s food donations. She sets aside prepared dishes that are nearing their expiration date.

Opening a giant fridge, Dos Santos shows what else the store ...

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Vikesland and Pruden: Effects of nanoparticles on microbes

From VT News

The environment is teeming with microbes. Soil, water, indoor surfaces, our own bodies — any habitat that hasn’t been rigorously sterilized is populated by thousands of species of interdependent bacteria, viruses, and other microscopic organisms.

These webs of microbiota are the biological foundation for larger-scale ecosystems, and small shifts in the microbial community can provoke seismic shifts in the environment.

Nanoparticles are one of a long list of substances that can perturb them, but teasing out their effects is ...

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Frank Aylward awarded 2018 Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship

From VT News

Frank O. Aylward, an assistant professor with the Department of Biological Sciences in the Virginia Tech College of Science, has been selected as a 2018 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Ocean Sciences.

Recipients of 2018 Sloan Research Fellows will receive an award of $65,000, which Aylward will use to fund personnel in his lab and to purchase a server for computational genomic research. “I’m very excited ...

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