Rapid Arctic warming and melting ice are increasing frequency of blizzards in the Northeast, study finds

From the Washington Post

Three blockbuster winter storms have bombarded the Northeast this month. Meanwhile, Arctic sea ice fell to record low winter levels. Temperatures, in the dead of winter, rocketed to the melting point at the North Pole, nearly 60 degrees above normal.

All of this wild weather is tied together,  part of a trend, ...

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Paleontological Opportunity for Undergraduates: Petrified Forest National Park, Summer 2018

The Virginia Tech Paleobiology Research Group is looking for 3 undergraduate students to participate in a field expedition in search of early dinosaurs and other reptiles in Upper Triassic strata (~215 million years old) in Petrified Forest National Park (mid- May to early June, 2018). These paid positions include: one summer scholar at Petrified Forest (10 weeks) and two scholars that will be part of a two-week expedition to the park. All three ...

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Dr. Dana Hawley leads research linking bird immunity and pathogen virulence

From VT News

March 1, 2018  |  As annual flu shot patrons know, immune systems are not perfect and must be constantly reinforced to protect against rapidly evolving pathogens.

New research shows that, in the case of a common backyard bird, imperfect immunity to a dangerous pathogen that causes “bird pink eye” actually makes the pathogen stronger and more dangerous for its next victim.  The findings — from a multi-university team led by ...

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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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2018 GCC Science Policy Fellowship awarded to James Maze

The Global Change Center recently awarded an Undergraduate Science Policy Fellowship to James Maze to attend the Washington Semester Program during summer semester 2018.

James is majoring in Water: Resources, Policy, and Management at Virginia Tech. He is interested in integrating engineering-based solutions with government policy to solve problems related to water quality and water scarcity.

During spring semester 2017, James partnered with four graduate students to create an environmental policy addressing climate change. He and his team were finalists in the ...

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Dr. Jeremy Hoffman, Science Museum of Virginia, to speak in Fralin Hall on January 25th

Please join us for a special lecture in Fralin Auditorium on Thursday evening, January 25, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.! The Hahn Horticultural Garden, the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, and the Global Change Center are pleased to welcome Dr. Jeremy Hoffman, a Climate and Earth Scientist from the Science Museum of Virginia. Dr. Hoffman is passionate about communicating science with broad audiences and is a talented speaker. His lecture will be titled: “Birds, Bees, Flowers, Trees: The Phenological Impacts of Climate Change”.

The community is ...

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Brian Romans is on a sea expedition to study ice sheet response to climate change

From VT News

January 3, 2018 | Geosciences Associate Professor Brian Romans is setting sail for the Southern Ocean with a group of scientists who will drill into the ocean floor offshore of West Antarctica to better understand how polar ice sheets respond to climate change.

Romans’ two-month trip, departing Jan. 5 from New Zealand, is part of the International Ocean Discovery Program, Expedition 374. Working alongside 30 geologists and paleoclimatologists from around the world, Romans will drill ...

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Europe’s refuge crisis could be worsened by future warming

From National Geographic

In recent years, a refugee crisis has gripped the European Union, as unrest in Syria and elsewhere has sent hundreds of thousands of migrants to Europe’s shores, seeking safe harbor.

Now, a new study says that if all else were to remain equal—a necessary but major if—the stresses of climate change could drive more migrants into the European Union in future years.

As warming worsens, these ...

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Brian Strahm named Research Fellow and spends 6 months in New Zealand

From VT News

When most Americans think of New Zealand, images of sprawling fantasy landscapes may come to mind; however for Brian Strahm, associate professor of forest soils and biogeochemistry in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, it’s all about trees.

Strahm was named a Research Fellow of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development through its Co-operative Research Program for Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agriculture Systems. The organization is an international body of 35 countries designed ...

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Warning to humanity signed by 16,000 scientists

From CNN

More than 16,000 scientists from 184 countries have published a second warning to humanity advising that we need to change our wicked ways to help the planet.

In 1992, 1,700 independent scientists signed the “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity.” The letter warned that “human beings and the natural world are on a collision course” and if environmental damage was not stopped, our future was at risk.

That letter made headlines 25 years ago, but the world still faces daunting ...

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Carbon emissions are rising again

From National Geographic

For a while it looked as if the world might be turning the corner.

But after a three-year stall in their growth, human-caused carbon-dioxide emissions have not, in fact, peaked, an international team of scientists announced this morning.

In 2017, global emissions of CO2 from fossil fuels and industry will once again rise by 2 percent, the scientists project, to a record 37 billion metric tons. ...

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Now accepting applications for undergraduate science policy fellowships: apply by Dec. 1

The Global Change Center (GCC) offers competitive fellowships to undergraduate students to cover the cost of tuition (in-state, 6 credits), housing and fees to attend the Washington Semester Program during summer semester. This program offers a unique 11-week immersion into work experience within the nation’s capital. Students work on challenging science policy issues that shape communities locally and nationally while obtaining academic credit.

The School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) at Virginia Tech offers the Washington Semester program to all ...

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Hurricanes in 2017 pushed rare island species closer to the brink

From National Geographic

By Justin Nobel

As Hurricane Irma slammed into south Florida in September, Dan Clark, manager of a complex of four national wildlife refuges in the Florida Keys, had evacuated and was at his mother’s house near Tampa. His eye was on the weather and his mind was on the multitude of plants and animals that inhabit the unique refuge system he oversees, which includes the well-known Key Deer National Wildlife ...

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Amy Pruden and Marc Edwards receive NSF RAPID grant to help well owners after recent hurricanes

From VT News:

It all started with a few phone calls to check in on friends at Texas A&M and the University of Florida.

After hurricanes Harvey and Irma battered the southern coastline, Kelsey Pieper called Extension faculty from the two universities — friends she’d met through her work as a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture postdoctoral fellow at Virginia Tech.

“We just reached out and were like, ‘Hey, we’re thinking of you, do you need anything?’ ...

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Kendra Sewall receives NSF CAREER grant

From VT News:

Is overcrowding in cities bad for your brain?  Do children in preschool learn better because of the social enrichment? Are animals at zoos learning and behaving the way they would in the wild even if they aren’t in normal group sizes?

These are the types of questions behind the research of a Virginia Tech neurobiologist who studies the impacts of the social environment on the brain.

Kendra Sewall, an assistant professor of biological sciences in the College of Science and ...

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STUDY ABROAD ECUADOR! Spring 2018

Dr. Ignacio Moore (BIOL) and Dr. William Hopkins (FWC) are offering “Tropical Ecology & Conservation BIOL 3954/FIW 3954 (6 credits)” in Spring and Summer I 2018. The course is open to all majors. The Spring course will be taught on campus.

During Summer I, the class will travel to Ecuador where students will traverse multiple ecosystems, from the Amazonian lowland rainforest to the high altitude Andes. Students will visit one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, and ...

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Cayelan Carey and Madeline Schreiber receive Junior Faculty Awards

Dr. Cayelan Carey and Dr. Madeline Schreiber recently received a Junior Faculty Award from the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science. Their project is titled: Rapid elemental fluxes in freshwater systems.

The Junior Faculty Award program provides seed funds for innovative research led by pre-tenure faculty, which supports early-stage projects with the potential to evolve into groundbreaking research programs. It also encourages the formation of collaborative teams that can leverage a broad range of perspectives to bring a fresh approach ...

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Congratulations, Dr. Timpano!

Interfaces of Global Change Fellow, Tony Timpano, successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation on Tuesday, August 29, 2017, in Fralin Hall Auditorium.

His seminar was titled: “Toward Improved Assessment of Freshwater Salinization as a Benthic Macroinvertebrate Stressor.”

Tony is pictured above with committee members Dr. Stephen Schoenholtz, Dr. Dave Soucek, and Dr. Carl Zipper. (Not pictured: Dr. Bryan Brown)

Congratulations, Dr. Tony Timpano!

Tony's Dissertation Defense

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