Keynote: Susan Joy Hassol addresses IGC IGEP

The Climate Change Story

The Interfaces of Global Change IGEP recently held their Spring Retreat at the Skelton Conference Center at Virginia Tech. The day included a special seminar featuring Susan Joy Hassol, Director of Climate Communication, based in Boulder, Colorado and Asheville, North Carolina. In her presentation titled, “The Climate Change Story”, she addressed both the scientific evidence for climate change as well as the need for effective communication strategies when talking about climate change ...

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Ben Grumbles: Water’s 3 Biggest Threats

Ben Grumbles, U.S. Water Alliance 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014   (2:00-3:00 p.m.)

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) Auditorium 

Ben Grumbles is President of the U.S. Water Alliance–a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to uniting people and policy for “one water” sustainability. Possessing one of the broadest and most diverse memberships in the country, the Alliance has public and private sector leaders focusing on quality and quantity water issues both above and below the surface. The Alliance also focuses on the connections of energy, land, food and ...

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Scott Salom’s invasive species research featured on VT News

From VT NEWS:

Scott Salom, a professor of entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has worked for years to develop ways to combat the woolly adelgid and save hemlock trees.

In 2013, he and his team of researchers released one of the hemlock woolly adelgid’s predators from its native habitat in Japan into the woods in Virginia and West Virginia. If all goes as planned, the beetle will be another tool that resource managers will have to save ...

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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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Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching goes to Dana Hawley

From VT News

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 22, 2014 – Dana M. Hawley, associate professor of biological sciences in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has received the university’s 2014 Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Created in 1982 by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching is presented to two Virginia Tech faculty members each year. Recipients are selected by the university’s Academy of Teaching Excellence from among those faculty members who ...

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Passport to Discovery: An IGC IGEP outreach day

Saturday, April 12, 2014:

Interfaces of Global Change Graduate Student Organization hosted a science outreach day at the SEEDS Nature Center* in Blacksburg, VA. The day of outdoor activities was titled “Passport to Discovery: a hands-on journey through the world of biological science and nature for children of all ages.”

Volunteers participating in this event included Interfaces of Global Change fellows, graduate and undergraduate students from the Hopkins and Belden labs, NRV Master Naturalists, and staff members from the SEEDS Nature Center. ...

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North Carolina Ash Spill: Regulations Meet Politics

Ash Spill Shows How Watchdog Was Defanged

North Carolina regulators say that under Gov. Pat McCrory, a weakened Department of Environment and Natural Resources has abandoned its regulatory role.

Read the complete article in the New York Times (from February 28, 2014):

http://nyti.ms/1fXJJR3

Below, an animated graphic by the Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability at Wake Forest University shows the aftermath of the coal ash pond rupture at Duke Energy’s ...

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If you see something, say something

From The New York Times:

OPINION: If You See Something, Say Something

Should we resist commenting on the implications of our scientific work? In the opinion of Michael Mann, the director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, climate scientists can no longer stay on the sidelines of the global warming debate.

“It is not an uncommon view among scientists that we potentially compromise our objectivity if we choose to wade into policy matters or the societal implications of our work. ...
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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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New Course: Biological Invasions

Fall Semester 2014

Dr. Jacob Barney, will offer BIOLOGICAL INVASIONS, PPWS 4604 and 5604G, during fall semester 2014. The course will explore the historical, conceptual, mechanistic, societal, and political components of invasive species. The course begins with Darwin and ends with the “Homogocene”, covering the invasion process from introduction to ecological or economic impact and all components in between.

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New course: Biodiversity Conservation

Dr. Paul Angermeier and Dr. Amy Vilamagna will be offering a new course in the upcoming spring semester. The course, Biodiversity Conservation and Environmental Sustainability: Interfacing Ecological and Social Sciences, will examinee the history, theories, current status, and future prospects, given ongoing global changes, of biodiversity conservation as a societal enterprise.

The course will emphasize the study, practice, and scientific and socioeconomic contexts of conservation, especially as it relates to emerging goals for sustainability. It will synthesize ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural perspectives as it ...

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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 Graduate Seminar Course in Global Change

A new seminar course has been added to the graduate curriculum at Virginia Tech.  Open to all PhD students from across campus, FIW 5004: Global Change Seminar will be conducted as a brown bag discussion of primary literature on how major threats to global biodiversity interact to affect the environment and how science can inform public policy to influence these interactions. Students will be required to read and discuss primary literature with their peers and the IGC Faculty each week.

This ...

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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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Virginia Tech showcases new aviary to enhance the study of birds

From VT News

September 21, 2015

Today, Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment officially opens its new Research Aviary, one of few such university facilities in the region.

“Virginia Tech has incredible strengths in avian biology, ecology, and conservation in the College of Natural Resources and Environment and in biological sciences in the College of Science,” said William Hopkins, professor of fish and wildlife conservation and an expert in the physiological ecology of amphibians, reptiles, ...

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