Global deal limits the use of hydrofluorocarbons

From The Guardian

A global deal to limit the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the battle to combat climate change is a “monumental step forward”, John Kerry, the US secretary of state, has said.

The agreement, announced on Saturday morning after all-night negotiations in Kigali, Rwanda, caps and reduces the use of HFCs – a key contributor to greenhouse gases – in a gradual process beginning in 2019, with action by developed countries including the US, the world’s ...

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Michelle Stocker and team name a new species of extinct reptile

From VT News

Iconic dinosaur shapes were present in animals for at least 100 million years before dinosaurs themselves actually appeared.

A study published in Thursday’s issue of Current Biology describes how a multi-institutional team of paleontologists, including Virginia Tech College of Science researcher Michelle Stocker, identified and named a new species of extinct reptile estimated to be 230 million years old – predating dinosaurs.

Called Triopticus primus — meaning the “First of Three Eyes” because the large natural pit in ...

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Darwin’s Man in Brazil: Book Launch event in Fralin Sept. 30th

From VT News

The book “Darwin’s Man in Brazil: The Evolving Science of Fritz Müller,” by David A. West, associate professor emeritus of biological sciences (1962-1998) was published by the University Press of Florida in July 2016.

The book will be introduced to the Virginia Tech community from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on  Sept. 30, in the Fralin Life Science Institute auditorium and atrium. The book launch* will include a panel discussion to highlight the book and West’s story of how he ...

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Paul Angermeier co-edits new textbook on ‘reintroductions’

From VT News

Paul Angermeier, professor of fish conservation in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, is co-editor of a new textbook on reintroducing fish and wildlife species into regions where they once thrived but now no longer live.

“The book synthesizes current scientific understanding of reintroduction of animal species,” Angermeier said. “The underlying theme is to meld societal goals, institutional capacity, and scientific knowledge . . . Our goal for ‘Reintroduction of Fish and Wildlife Populations’ was ...

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Bees dead after South Carolina sprays for Zika

From The Washington Post

September 1, 2016: On Sunday morning, the South Carolina honey bees began to die in massive numbers.

Death came suddenly to Dorchester County, S.C. Stressed insects tried to flee their nests, only to surrender in little clumps at hive entrances. The dead worker bees littering the farms suggested that colony collapse disorder was not the culprit — in that odd phenomenon, workers vanish as though raptured, leaving a living queen and young bees behind.

Instead, the dead heaps signaled the killer was less ...

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Ryan McClure receives the Leo Bourassa Award

IGC fellow, Ryan McClure, has received the Leo Bourassa Award from the Virginia Lakes and Watershed Association for his research on the effects of water quality management on water quality and greenhouse gas production in Virginia reservoirs. This award was chosen based on Ryan’s contributions to the field of water resources in the commonwealth of Virginia and goes to the top graduate student doing water research in Virginia.  

Ryan has been monitoring the water quality of several reservoirs in ...

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Study Abroad in the Dominican Republic: Climate Change Impacts

Climate change impacts and policy in the Dominican Republic

This Wintermester study abroad course uses the Dominican Republic as a case study to introduce students to the impacts of climate change on key ecosystems (e.g., coastal areas) and natural resources (e.g., forests, biodiversity) and related mitigation and adaptation strategies. Students will also learn about ongoing impacts on agricultural production and people’s livelihoods and strategies to decrease GHG emissions and reduce vulnerability to climate change. Students will meet with scientists, environmental NGOs, ...

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Fred Benfield honored for 45 years of service to Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech professor Fred Benfield has spent the better part of the past 45 years pursuing a variety of interests, from freshwater ecology research to performing live music.

Raised in rural North Carolina near the Blue Ridge Mountains, he spent many hours roaming the woods and creeks as a child. As an undergraduate student at Appalachian State University, he took several ecology courses, but said that his interest in freshwater ecology specifically developed as a graduate student in Virginia Tech’s  Read More →

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Two sections of Communicating Science offered this fall on campus

For the first time, two fall sections of GRAD 5144, Communicating Science, are being offered, and currently there is space in both sections (CRN 84376 and CRN 88914). To accommodate the cycle of work in grad students’ lives at the beginning and end of the semester, the course is compressed into ten sessions, beginning the week of September 12 and wrapping up the week of November 14.

This 2-credit participatory course uses theatre improv games and writing exercises to help students ...

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Graduate course of interest to IGC: Modeling Infections Diseases

Dr. Kaja Abbas, an Assistant Professor in Population Health Sciences, is offering this graduate course in fall semester 2016:

Modeling Infectious Diseases

PHS 5354 /3 credits/ Fall 2016

Course description 

Mathematical modeling of infectious diseases in humans and animals. Topics include deterministic susceptibles-infectious-recovered (SIR) and related models, estimation of reproductive number, host heterogeneities, multi-pathogen/multi-host models, spatio-temporal models, stochastic dynamics, and modeling for public health policy.

Learning objectives 

• Gain knowledge and understanding of concepts and methods in

mathematical modeling of infectious diseases.

• Critically select the appropriate modeling methods ...

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