Tony Timpano’s proposal funded by OSM: stream ecosystem responses to surface mining

A project proposal submitted by IGC graduate student, Tony Timpano, to the Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining has been successful! This funding will support one full-time research associate for 12 months and one graduate student for two semesters to continue research on salt pollution (salinization) and selenium in headwater streams affected by coal mining in VA and WVA. Congratulations, Tony!

TITLE:
Stream Ecosystem Response to Mining-Induced Salinization in Appalachia

 

PROJECT GOALS

  • Assess long-term temporal patterns of chemical and biological changes in salinized Appalachian headwater ...
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IGC Fellows Estrada and Medina work on issues that address declining species worldwide

Video: In the rainforests of Central America, a research team studies a skin disease that may be the tipping point for amphibian life on the planet.

From VT News

As the clock ticks, populations of endangered species decline and threaten the functioning of healthy ecosystems.

Pollution, hunting, habitat degradation, climate change, and invasive species have dealt blows to global biodiversity. Climate change alone is putting one in six species on Earth at risk of extinction, according to a meta-analysis of 131 published studies ...

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Ben Vernasco studies the social dynamics and physiology of dancing birds

From Fralin Spotlight

by Cassandra Hockman

Ben Vernasco knew he wanted to pursue a Ph.D. in conservation biology while studying tropical birds in Peru. After his trip, he got in touch with his mentor, Brandt Ryder, a research ecologist at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C.

Ryder and his Virginia Tech colleague Ignacio Moore, an associate professor of biological sciences in the College of Science, had just received a National Science Foundation ...

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IGC Fellows engage students at elementary school science fair

The Interfaces of Global Change Graduate Student Organization participated in a recent science fair at Gilbert Linkous Elementary School in Blacksburg. Some of the IGC Fellows served as judges and evaluated the nearly 70 Gilbert Linkous poster presentations. Other fellows operated a photo booth called “Kids Curiosity”. Equipped with plenty of lab and field gear, our graduate students encouraged kids to dress up as scientists and check out some of the cool tools that were on hand.

See the photo gallery below–looks like everyone was having ...

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Tony Timpano is investigating the impacts of coal mining on Appalachian streams

Tony Timpano is an IGC student and a Ph.D. candidate in Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. His field research is centered in the Appalachian “coal country” of southwestern Virginia and southern West Virginia.

Tony is interested in understanding how coal mining affects stream water quality and aquatic life. Ultimately, he hopes that his research findings will help guide policies on monitoring and managing salt pollution in streams.

“I want to improve the science of water quality management to enhance the capability of regulators to ...

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Cathy Jachowski’s hellbender research is featured on VT Vimeo

Cathy Jachowski is a Ph.D. candidate in Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation and a fellow in the Interfaces of Global Change interdisciplinary graduate education program at Virginia Tech.

“Growing up in Kentucky, I learned the value of maintaining clean and healthy rivers, lakes and streams for both people and wildlife. As humans, we have all contributed to changes in land use patterns, climate and various types of pollution. These changes can affect the quality of ...

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Postcards: Laura Schoenle arrives in Ontario for field season

April 8, 2015

“Hi! I just arrived at the Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS) in Elgin, Ontario, and while we’re still in the midst of winter up here, the migratory birds are already returning. My personal favorite is the red-winged blackbird, and they are singing right now, even as the snow falls…

My research focuses on the role of hormones in shaping how birds cope with disease.  I have two exciting experiments planned for this summer, and each will become chapters in my Ph.D. dissertation. In ...

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Susan Susan Hassol’s recent Ted Talk is about the need for better science communication skills

We’re stymied in solving the climate change problem because of an underlying challenge – a communication failure – rooted in language and ideology. Aspects of this failure include how scientists communicate, how some people confound the science with the solutions, and an active disinformation campaign designed to cast doubt. Resolution of the communication failure is essential, as it can unleash our ability to solve the climate problem.

Susan Joy Hassol is a climate change communicator, analyst, and ...

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IGC Science Communication Workshop is led by Susan Hassol and Michael Mann

A major part of the mission of the Interfaces of Global Change Ph.D. program (IGC) at Virginia Tech is to help graduate students identify the different positive roles that they can play in society. Effective communication of scientific information to audiences with diverse backgrounds will be central to their success, regardless of what role they pursue. By developing the skills to make accurate science accessible to broader audiences, the students can help citizens make informed decisions that affect their own health, the environment, ...

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Laura Schoenle’s research featured on Virginia Water Radio

From Virginia Water Radio for the week of March 30, 2015.

Transcript:

“This week, we feature a mystery sound mix. Have a listen for about 15 seconds, and see if you can guess what water-related bird disease is the focus of research related to these sounds.

If you guessed avian malaria, you’re right! You heard Red-winged Blackbirds, a mosquito’s buzz, and the buzz of an electric-power station. All relate to aspects of research by Virginia Tech Biological Sciences graduate student Laura ...

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Special IGC/EEB Seminar featuring Dr. Robert Lackey: science in public policy

“Science in Public Policy: Maintaining Relevance, Ensuring Accuracy, and Avoiding Advocacy”

The Interfaces of Global Change IGEP at Virginia Tech is pleased to welcome Dr. Robert Lackey for a special EEB Seminar on Thursday, March 5th, 2015.

SAVE THE DATE!
Thursday, March 5, 2015 | 2:00-3:00 p.m. | Fralin Auditorium | Virginia Tech


Abstract

Has science become irrelevant in informing policy debates?

Scientists in environmental science, natural resources, ecology, conservation biology, and similar disciplines are often not trusted by the public and decision-makers to present policy-neutral ...

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Postcards from the field: traveling with VT graduate student researchers in Soberania National Park

We’re going on a frog hunt!

by Lindsay Key, Fralin Life Science Institute Communications Officer

Hello from the extremely bumpy backseat of a white pick-up truck that is barreling down a washed-out pothole-ridden trail known as Pipeline Road (left, below) in Gamboa, Panama. This is a famous road— known for its wildlife viewing capabilities and accessed by thousands of scientists around the world who come to study and work at the nearby Smithsonian facility in the tiny research town of Gamboa.

It ...

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Distinguished Lecture: Dr. Michael Mann/The Climate Wars

“The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: The Battle Continues”

SAVE THE DATE!
Friday, March 20, 2015 | 4:00-5:00 p.m. | The Lyric Theatre | Blacksburg, Virginia

The Interfaces of Global Change Program at Virginia Tech is proud to host Dr. Michael Mann for a science communication workshop and public lecture on Friday, March 20, 2015. Dr. Mann is an award-winning climate scientist and central figure in the political debate over climate change. His lecture at the Lyric Theatre will ...

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IGC students meet with AAAS Fellows

The fellows in the Interfaces of Global Change IGEP met today with Dr. Jimmy O’Dea, a 2014-15 AAAS Science & Engineering Congressional Fellow for U.S. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, and Dr. Julia Mundy, an AAAS fellow in the U.S. Department of Education.

The group met at Fralin Life Science Institute to discuss how to effectively communicate science in order to impact policy, and how to increase awareness of global change research.

Jennifer ...

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Laura Schoenle wins poster award at the SICB meeting

Laura Schoenle, a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Ignacio Moore‘s lab, recently presented a poster at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) in West Palm Beach, FL.

Laura won the Best Student Poster Award in the Ecoimmunology and Disease Ecology division for the poster, “The relationship between corticosterone and haemosporidian parasites: are stress hormones key to tolerating infection?” See the abstract below.

Congratulations, Laura!

ABSTRACT

The relationship between corticosterone and ...

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Cordie Diggins’ research featured in Nature Conservancy Magazine

In West Virginia, conservationists have set out to revive heavily logged red spruce forests in hopes of saving an endangered flying squirrel from extinction. Cordie Diggins, a Virginia Tech doctoral student and an IGC Fellow, is featured in the following Nature Conservancy Magazine article.

Flying High

“Craig Stihler holds the squirming rodent in his gloved hands. “It’s a biter,” warns the bespectacled biologist as he handles the animal using only calm, deliberate movements. With its ...

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Jon Doubek is a GLEON fellow!

Jon Doubek , a PH.D. student in Biological Sciences and a fellow in the Interfaces of Global Change Program, has been invited to be a Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) Fellow!

The 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 ...

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Laura Schoenle receives a 2014 EPA STAR Fellowship

Laura Schoenle, a fellow in the Interfaces of Global Change Program, was recently awarded a EPA STAR Fellowship for 2014.  This very competitive graduate fellowship program from the Environmental Protection Agency supports masters and doctoral candidates in environmental studies. Her award will cover tuition, salary, and $10,000 for research/expenses.

Laura will be studying the effects of mercury exposure on how red-winged blackbirds resist and tolerate infection with avian malaria. Laura is co-advised by Ignacio ...

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IGC students attend the installation of President Sands

International students Angie Estrada and Daniel Medina, fellows in the Interfaces of Global Change IGEP, attended the recent installation ceremonies for Virginia Tech’s new president, Dr. Timothy Sands. Burruss Hall was awash in color for this special occasion. The Cranwell International Center displayed their entire international flag collection, which honors the 3,000+ international students at Virginia Tech and represents the 128 nations from which they hail.

In no time at all, Angie and Daniel found the flag of their ...

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