Ignacio Moore and Bill Hopkins lead a study abroad trip to Ecuador

From VT News

Ten Virginia Tech undergraduate students better hold onto their hats this summer as they plunge down Amazonian river systems into the heart of Ecuador. At the helm of their canoes will be Global Change Center researchers Ignacio Moore and Bill Hopkins.

As part of a university-wide effort to promote study abroad, experiential learning, and undergraduate research, the students will witness the politics, history, culture, biology, and conservation issues in the South American country from May 16 to ...

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Dean Karen DePauw honored at first annual Interfaces of Global Change research symposium

From VT News

If you’re going to develop an interdisciplinary graduate research program at Virginia Tech, it’s good to have a champion of interdisciplinary education. In this case, Karen DePauw, the university’s  vice president and dean of graduate education, serves as that champion.

On April 22, DePauw was honored with an award in her name at the first research symposium held by the Interfaces of Global Change interdisciplinary graduate education program.

During the symposium’s opening remarks, Bill Hopkins, the director of the  Read More →

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Cathy Jachowski defends her dissertation: first IGC graduate!

On Monday, May 9, 2016, Cathy Jachowski successfully defended her dissertaton in Fralin Auditorium. Her public seminar in Fralin Auditorium was titled, “Effects of Land Use and Parasitism on Hellbender Salamanders: A Multilevel Perspective”.

Cathy, a member of the Hopkins Lab, is the first Interfaces of Global Change graduate student to complete a doctoral program at Virginia Tech! Congratulations, Cathy!


cathydefense Read More →

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Red-cockaded woodpecker uses fungus to create tree cavities

From VT News

Home decor has never been so useful.

An endangered woodpecker carries wood-eating fungi into its tree cavity home that ultimately help to expand the home’s size, according to a multi-institutional team led by a Virginia Tech researcher.

The finding, which comes after more than two years of experimental research in a protected area on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, was recently published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Researchers determined that the red-cockaded woodpecker ...

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Virginia Tech’s aviary visited by Congressman Morgan Griffith

From VT News

An international birder who has been trying to get some migratory bird legislation passed, Congressman Morgan Griffith on Wednesday visited Virginia Tech’s new aviary on the Blacksburg campus to learn about its research.

Regarding his interest in avian legislation, Griffith (R-VA)  joined Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL) in introducing the Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act (H.R. 2280) on May 12, 2015. Applying strictly to federal government buildings, the legislation requires new buildings to include bird-safe building materials and design features ...

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VT faculty explore the “Resilient Earth” Destination Area

From VT News

May 5, 2016

When faculty members from different disciplines gather, they learn one another’s language.

So the process continued Wednesday as two groups of about 100 faculty members each joined at the Graduate Life Center to discuss the Adaptive Brain and Behavior Across the Lifespan destination area, and the Resilient Earth Systems destination area.

The sessions are part of a continuing process to identify difficult problems in society — areas that Virginia Tech can tackle with established, cross-disciplinary expertise ...

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Accepting Applications: William R. Walker Graduate Research Fellow Award

Announcement:

The William R. Walker Graduate Research Fellow Award application for 2016 is now available (http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/walker-award/).  It is intended for individuals pursuing graduate work in water resources who have an undergraduate degree that did not have a water resources emphasis, or individuals with work experience returning to graduate school to study water resources.  Applications are due May 20, 2016.


William R. Walker Graduate Research Fellow Award

Announcements and Application

Graduate students from Virginia Tech are ...

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Deniers: Contesting the Science of Smoking

From The Atlantic

A decade after a judge ordered tobacco companies to acknowledge the dangers of low-tar cigarettes, they continue to dispute the scientific consensus.

In a landmark ruling nearly a decade ago, a federal judge ordered tobacco companies to stop lying.

After listening to 84 witnesses and perusing tens of thousands of exhibits, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler of the District of Columbia took a year to write a 1,652-page opinion detailing the companies’ elaborate strategy to deny ...

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Watershed flood-control strategies aided by new mapping approach

From VT News

It should come as no surprise that urban areas, with impenetrable rooftops and parking lots, contribute to flooding. But natural and manmade structures within the watersheds that serve urban and rural areas can influence the path and speed of water, for better or worse.

Landscape features, such as vegetative cover, soil type, and the steepness of hillsides, affect the magnitude and duration of only small floods, according to research by Beatriz “Tiz” Mogollón of Bogota, Colombia, who ...

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New hook designs could reduce bycatch & reel in unsustainable fishing

From The Guardian

Within seconds of being hauled onto the Shen Lain Cheng, a 79-foot tuna fishing boat from China, the crew’s most senior member, whose deeply wrinkled face conveys more than his 58 years, is plunging a T-handled spike between the glistening eyes of a 100-lb yellowfin tuna. The hope is that the swift death has minimized the release of lactic acid, which degrades the flesh meat and reduces the crew’s chances of earning a grade-A for this ...

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Megan O’Rourke is on a $2 million grant to combat agricultural pests in Asia

From VT News

A $2 million grant recently awarded to the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will empower farmers in Asia to grow food in a way that addresses challenges of climate change and uses sustainable farming methods to feed a global population that is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050.

“Investing in agriculture is essential for developing economies to move forward because it allows local populations to increase their incomes through improved agricultural productivity,” said  Read More →

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The first annual Interfaces of Global Change Research Symposium brings campus labs together to solve global problems

The first annual Interfaces of Global Change (IGC) Graduate Research Symposium was a great opportunity for IGC Fellows to share their research with the entire global change community at Virginia Tech. The 2-day symposium began on Thursday evening, April 21st, with a special Distinguished Lecture at the Lyric Theatre featuring Dr. Josh Tewksbury, Future Earth. A full slate of events on Friday, April 22nd, provided a forum for students and faculty to interact and explore connections between labs.

During two platform sessions, nine IGC fellows gave ...

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Dr. Josh Tewksbury to visit Virginia Tech April 21st

From VT News
Ecologist Josh Tewksbury to visit Virginia Tech and Lyric Theatre

Josh Tewksbury, an ecologist and director of the Colorado Global Hub at Future Earth, will visit Virginia Tech next week.

He will give a 4:45 p.m. lecture on April 21 at the Lyric Theatre entitled “Living in the Anthropocene: Science, Sustainability and Society.”

The event, sponsored by the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech, is free and open to the public.

Tewksbury is an ecologist, conservation biologist, and planetary health ...

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Virginia Tech researchers say Flint-like water problems also present in Virginia wells

From the Roanoke Times

Article by Robby Korth

Flint, Michigan, is hardly the only place Virginia Tech researchers are looking for contaminants in drinking water.

In Virginia, one team that’s part of Virginia Tech’s Cooperative Extension has tested private well samples serving 16,000 people across the state since 2008.

Researchers discovered health-based contaminants above federal standards for municipal systems in almost 60 percent of the well samples — including Flint-like elevated lead levels in almost 20 percent of homes and coliform bacteria ...

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Climate change a growing health threat

From GlobalChange.gov
Today, the United States Global Change Research Program released a new assessment of a growing public health threat, The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment. Drawing from decades of advances in the physical science of climate change, the report strengthens our understanding of the growing risks that a changing climate poses to human health and welfare, and highlights factors that make some individuals and communities particularly vulnerable.

“This assessment not only provides ...

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New sea level alarm not to be ignored

From National Geographic

There are days when even a born optimist starts to waver in his conviction. The release of a new study projecting that sea level could rise between five and six feet by 2100—when many children born today will still be alive and have been forced to move inland—made Thursday one of those days.

There have been lots of other studies, you might say. True: The last sea-level alarm (in what ...

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Protecting tiny, blind, and rare wildlife in the Texas Hill Country

From National Geographic

By Randy Lee Loftis

A ritual of nature is happening in the woody hills around Austin and San Antonio. The first golden-cheeked warblers, with brilliant yellow faces streaked with black, have arrived from Mexico and Central America to raise their young.

The Texas Hill Country is the only place on Earth where this little songbird, an endangered species, makes its nest. The region’s canyons, springs, ...

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NYT’s: Perilous climate shift within decades, not centuries

From The New York TImes

The nations of the world agreed years ago to try to limit global warming to a level they hoped would prove somewhat tolerable. But a group of leading climate scientists warned on Tuesday that permitting a warming of that magnitude would actually be highly dangerous.

The likely consequences would include killer storms stronger than any in modern times, the disintegration of large parts of the polar ice sheets, and a rise of the sea sufficient ...

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