Verbal Warming: Labels in the Climate Debate

From the New York Times:

by Justin Gillis

“The words are hurled around like epithets.

People who reject the findings of climate science are dismissed as “deniers” and “disinformers.” Those who accept the science are attacked as “alarmists” or “warmistas. “ The second term, evoking the Sandinista revolutionaries of Nicaragua, is perhaps meant to suggest that the science is part of some socialist plot.

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Response to climate skeptics

By Bruce Hull

Organizations around the world are adapting to climate change, lending credibility to climate science. These organizations buy, study, and use the best available science to inform their multi-billion dollar decisions and strategies. They not only have access to all the science in the public domain, but have commissioned and kept confidential additional science that gives them competitive advantages. These organizations find climate science convincing enough to change business as usual. ...

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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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The Global Change Center at Virginia Tech is chartered

This year, the Fralin Life Science Institute launched a new center to support research, education, and outreach in the field of global change. Directed by Dr. William (Bill) A. Hopkins, professor in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation (CNRE), the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech was officially chartered in January 2015.

“Five of the most important threats to natural ecosystems are habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, disease, and climate change”, Hopkins said. “We have incredible expertise at Virginia Tech on ...

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New undergraduate water degree is approved by SCHEV

From VT News

Virginia Tech’s new undergraduate degree in water, approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia in early December, is one of the most innovative, interdisciplinary offerings in the country and will position graduates for a wide spectrum of careers in private industry, federal and state agencies, and nongovernmental organizations.

“The timing of this new program could not be better, nor more urgent,” said Brian Richter, director of global freshwater strategies for ...

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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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Jacob Barney receives Outstanding Researcher Award from NWSS

Jacob Barney, Assistant Professor in Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science (PPWS), received the Outstanding Researcher Award at the Northeastern Weed Science Society’s (NEWSS) 69th Annual Meeting in Williamsburg, VA on January 5, 2015.

Dr. Barney and his collaborators have published numerous peer-reviewed papers in journals that include a wide variety of ecology, weed science, bioenergy, and policy/law research. He has been invited to speak around the world and has served as advisor to various industry ...

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New interdisciplinary course: Systems Conservation

NEW GRADUATE COURSE FOR SPRING 2015

FIW 5984 : Systems Conservation of Animal Populations

Instructor: Leandro Castello

Systems Conservation of Animal Populations adopts an integrative approach to understanding problems of sustainable management and conservation of animals in natural landscapes. The course is founded on the idea that effective conservation of animal populations can only be achieved through consideration and management of broader, multifaceted factors related to natural ecosystems and human societies. The course seeks to help students conceptualize and articulate their own ...

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New Course: Theories of Globalization

Economies and Ecologies of Planetary Change

PSCI 6204/ASPT 6014
Spring Semester
Thursdays, 5:00-8:00 p.m.

This 3-credit course will theorize globalization from an inter-disciplinary perspective, with special focus on the relationship between economy and ecology at the planetary scale.  How has the globalization of industrial capitalism over the past two and half centuries impacted our planet and how are we to understand the political, cultural, and social dimensions of this ongoing transformation?  What roles do humans play in shaping non-human life ...

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Protected forests, parks & marine sanctuaries are basic life support systems

From the New York Times

By Thomas Friedman

I PARTICIPATED in the World Parks Congress in Sydney last week and learned a new phrase: “a black elephant.” A black elephant, explained the London-based investor and environmentalist Adam Sweidan, is a cross between “a black swan” (an unlikely, unexpected event with enormous ramifications) and the “elephant in the room” (a problem that is visible to everyone, yet no one still wants to address it) even though we know ...

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McGlothlin research explores the evolution of toxin resistance in snakes

From VT News:

Snakes in evolutionary arms race with poisonous newt

Blacksburg, November 17, 2014: The rough-skinned newt is easily one of the most toxic animals on the planet, yet the common garter snake routinely eats it. How does a newt which produces enough toxin to kill several grown humans manage to become prey in the food chain?

The answer comes in the form of an evolutionary arms race that pits the toxin of the newt, tetrodotoxin or TTX, against the voltage-gated sodium ...

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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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Lisa Belden receives the Innovator Award

From VT News

Lisa Belden, an associate professor of biological sciences and a faculty member in the Interfaces of Global Change IGEP, was recently recognized for her commitment to advancing the university’s research initiatives in engineering and the life sciences.

The Innovator Award, a new initiative jointly sponsored by the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Sciences and the Fralin Life Science Institute, recognizes outstanding faculty members and includes a $25,000 stipend to be used to advance innovative research projects.

Dr. Belden studies ...

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Naomi Oreskes’ new book imagines the future history of climate change

From the New York Times

by Claudia Dreifus

Naomi Oreskes is a historian of science at Harvard, but she is attracting wide notice these days for a work of science fiction.

“The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From the Future,” written with Erik M. Conway, takes the point of view of a historian in 2393 explaining how “the Great Collapse of 2093” occurred.

“Without spoiling the story,” she ...

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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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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issues starkest warning yet

From the New York Times

“The gathering risks of climate change are so profound that they could stall or even reverse generations of progress against poverty and hunger if greenhouse emissions continue at a runaway pace, according to a major new United Nations report.

Despite growing efforts in many countries to tackle the problem, the global situation is becoming more acute as developing countries join the West in burning huge amounts of fossil ...

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Emerging infection could easily spread to U.S. amphibians

From the New York Times

An emerging infection similar to one that has caused the extinction of hundreds of frog and toad species around the world is killing salamanders in Europe and could easily spread to the United States, with disastrous effects, scientists reported Thursday.

Writing in the journal Science, an international team of 27 researchers blamed the spread of the disease on “globalization and a lack of biosecurity” and said the importation ...

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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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Emmanual Frimpong named Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow

From VT News

October 2014:  Emmanuel Frimpong, associate professor of fisheries science and a faculty member in the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech, has been named a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow.

The scholar program, which supports 100 short-term faculty fellowships for African-born academics, is offered by the Institute of International Education and funded by a two-year grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Frimpong, who joined the faculty of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation in 2007, focuses on ...

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