Climate-induced warming alters walrus behavior

USGS Science Feature: October 1, 2014

“Once again, an extreme retreat of Alaska’s summer sea ice has led large numbers of Pacific walruses to haul out on land to rest instead of resting on offshore ice. The walruses are hauling out on land in a spectacle that has become all too common in six of the last eight years as a consequence of climate-induced warming. Summer sea ice is retreating far north of the shallow continental shelf waters of the Chukchi ...

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Vertebrate species populations have declined

Message from the World Wildlife Fund International Director General

livingplanet“The latest edition of the Living Planet Report is not for the faint-hearted.  One key point that jumps out and captures the overall picture is that the Living Planet Index (LPI), which measures more than 10,000 representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, has declined by 52 percent since 1970. Put another way, in ...

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A Special Supplement from PNAS: The Science of Science Communication

A special supplement to this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) is dedicated to science communication.

“Better communication to the public and policy makers can help scientists send clearer signals regarding the accomplishments, promises, and uncertainties of their work. Better communication from the public and policy makers can provide scientists with clearer signals regarding the public’s concerns and science’s role in addressing them. The result would be a more productive dialogue about the science and the political, social, ...

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Madeline Schreiber’s research will trace the long-term effects of coal ash spills

Monday, July 21, 2014 
By Tonia Moxley, at The Roanoke Times 

DANVILLE — Virginia Tech researchers hope a $25,000 National Science Foundation grant will help them find better ways to trace the long-term effects of coal ash spills like the one in February that fouled 70 miles of the Dan River from Eden, North Carolina, to Kerr Lake in Virginia.

The NSF RAPID grant will “help us get a snapshot of what’s going on,” said Madeline Schreiber, ...

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Leandro Castello studies the impacts of extreme weather events on Amazonian floodplains

Dr. Leandro Castello and his colleagues at Woods Hole Research Center and University of California Santa Barbara recently received a grant from NASA to study the impacts of extreme weather events (floods and droughts) on aquatic plants, forests, and fisheries of the central Amazonian river floodplain. This study was recently featured in VT News. A Public Radio interview on WVTF also highlighted this project.

Read the full VT News article here.

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Ignacio Moore’s research is featured in ScienceShots

A recent study by Dr. Fran Bonier (Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada and Virginia Tech, Virginia, USA), Dr. Cas Eikenaar (Institute of Avian Research, Wilhelmshaven, Germany), Dr. Paul Martin (Queen’s University), and Dr. Ignacio Moore (Virginia Tech) explores promiscuity trends across sparrows. Lower promiscuity rates among sparrows were observed at higher elevations. This is a pattern that had not previously been demonstrated across species.

Dr. Moore’s paper, “Extra-pair paternity rates vary with latitude and elevation in Emberizid sparrows”, was recently ...

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New interdisciplinary graduate education program examines the effects of global change

The Interfaces of Global Change graduate program was recently featured in Virginia Tech News

From VT News:

Earth’s biodiversity is like a kaleidoscope made up of distinct plants and animals; however, with each year’s turn, unique and irreplaceable species disappear.

Habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, disease, and climate change are all to blame for the current rate of extinction, which is 1,000 times higher now than before human dominance, according to Bill Hopkins, associate professor of fish and wildlife conservation in the College of ...

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Probiotics for Your Pipes

The research of Dr. Amy Pruden, a core faculty member in both the Interfaces of Global Change IGEP and the Water Interfaces IGEP, was recently featured in VT News:

“A team of Virginia Tech researchers is investigating the challenges presented by four often deadly pathogens that have been documented in household or hospital tap water. They propose fighting these opportunistic pathogens with harmless microbes – a probiotic approach for cleaning up plumbing.

Writing in ...

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Moose Die-Off Alarms Scientists

Moose populations across North America are experiencing a sharp decline, and the exact cause is a mystery. 

“What exactly has changed remains a mystery. Several factors are clearly at work. But a common thread in most hypotheses is climate change.

Winters have grown substantially shorter across much of the moose’s range. In New Hampshire, a longer fall with less snow has greatly increased the number of winter ticks, a devastating parasite. “You can get 100,000 ticks on a moose,” said ...

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First Call for Applicants

Are you a PhD student interested in exploring interdisciplinary graduate education in Global Change?

Applicants for the Interfaces of Global Change IGEP should submit the following materials to Gloria Schoenholtz, IGC Program Coordinator (schoeng@vt.edu):

1. A CV that includes your GPA and GRE scores (and TOEFL scores for international applicants).

2. Contact information for three letters of reference

3. A brief letter of support from the prospective Ph.D. mentor(s) explaining a) how the applicant’s training will benefit from the IGC IGEP, ...

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A New IGEP: Interfaces of Global Change

Sixteen affiliated faculty members from Virginia Tech, representing 6 colleges and 10 departments, recently received Graduate School funding to support an interdisciplinary graduate education program (IGEP) in global change. The new Interfaces of Global Change (IGC IGEP) will address the multidimensional aspects of global change and provide the next generation of scientists with a unique perspective and skill set to address the most challenging environmental issues facing society today.


Image credit: U.S. Global Change Research Program (www.globalchange.gov)
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