Category: November-13

Research of former Grad Student Xu Liang and Prof. Ranga Myneni presented in Colloquium to King of Sweden

November 26th, 2013 in 2013, Faculty, Graduate students, News, November-13, Ranga Myneni

Professor Terry Callaghan and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Photo by Ranga Myneni

Professor Terry Callaghan and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Photo by Ranga Myneni

Professor Terry Callaghan of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom presented the findings of former Graduate Student Xu Liang and Department of Earth and Environment Professor Ranga Myneni to the King of Sweden as part of the Royal Colloquium convened roughly every two years by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf.

The topics of the Royal Colloquium usually focus on environmental issues of global importance; this year’s theme was “A Changing World: Redrawing the Map,” and it was held at the Abisko Scientific Research Station in the Swedish sub-Arctic and at the Royal Palace in Stockholm.

Prof. Callaghan presented a talk titled “Arctic climate change: mismatches in expectations among the players and possible consequences” as part of the Colloquium and included examples of climate change impacts from Liang’s 2013 Nature Climate Change paper, “Temperature and vegetation seasonality diminishment over northern lands,” in his talk.

Prof. Callaghan, who was also a coauthor on Liang’s 2013 paper, was presented the prestigious Vega Medal in 2011 by His Majesty.

E&E work on gas leaks featured on local CBS Affiliate

November 25th, 2013 in 2013, Faculty, Graduate students, Nathan Phillips, News, November-13

The Boston gas leak issue first publicized by Department of Earth and Environment Professor Nathan Phillips continues to gain traction in media.

This time, Prof. Phillips and Graduate Students Margaret Hendrick and Bahareh Sanaie were featured on local CBS affiliate WBZ.

This past Sunday, Hendrick and Sanaie went on what Sanaie referred to as a “gas leaks safari” in Jamaica Plains. With CBS reporter and camera in tow, Hendrick and Sanaie, along with Bob Ackley of Gas Safety Inc., traveled around Jamacia Plains collecting data on the severity of gas leaks in the area, expanding on the work Prof. Phillips began over a year ago.

Their work was featured in a short television segment on CBS and in a news article posted online.

To view the article and the television segment, click here.

Anne Short to give lecture at Harvard Forest, live online

November 21st, 2013 in 2013, Anne Short, Faculty, November-13, Talks, Trips

Department of Earth and Environment Assistant Professor Anne Short will be at Harvard Forest tomorrow, Friday November 22nd, 2013, to give a lecture as part of their Weekly Seminar Series.

Prof. Short’s lecture, titled “People, policies, and ecology: Conservation and land management from the urban to the rural,” will take place at 11:00 am.

The lecture will be streamed live via the web at http://harvardforest.adobeconnect.com/short/

Harvard Forest is “Harvard University’s 3500 acre laboratory and classroom” (Harvard Forest). To learn more about Harvard Forest click here.

Erin Wirth of Yale University to give lecture at E&E Solid Earth Seminar

November 21st, 2013 in 2013, Department Seminars, November-13

Erin Wirth of Yale University will be on campus Friday to give a lecture as part of the Department of Earth and Environment’s Solid Earth Seminar Series.

Wirth’s lecture, titled “Interrogating Seismic Anisotropy in Subduction Zones and Continental Interiors,” will take place at 11:00 am in CAS 141C.

Wirth is a Ph.D. candidate at Yale in the Department of Geology &  Geophysics. Wirth’s research interests include the study of seismic anisotropy and the use of “seismological techniques (such as shear wave splitting and receiver function analysis) to interrogate seismic anisotropy in the subduction zone mantle wedge and within continental interiors” (“About Erin Wirth“).

James Baldwin leads GE150 Sustainable Energy Students on Scavenger Hunt

November 20th, 2013 in 2013, Events, Faculty, James Baldwin, November-13, Undergraduate

Prof. Baldwin explains solar collection to his GE150 students. Photo by Aine Russell

For one night a year the Museum of Science opens its doors free of charge to area college students, and, for the second year in a row, Department of Earth and Environment Visiting Assistant Professor James Baldwin took advantage of the museum’s night of free admission to lead his students on a sustainable energy scavenger hunt.

Evan_Volden_MOS2013 2

Prof. Baldwin and his student huddle around one of the many exhibits at the Museum of Science. Photo by Evan Volden.

For the scavenger hunt, Prof. Baldwin challenged the students in his GE150 Sustainable Energy class to search out specific exhibits at the Museum related to sustainable energy: “we looked at and discussed exhibits that demonstrated key scientific principles related to energy, the evolution of society’s use of energy, and also the extensive exhibit on renewable energy,” stated Baldwin.

Baldwin provided clues to the students to lead them to specific exhibits; the students then took pictures of themselves with the exhibits for extra credit. Some of the exhibits that the students had to find this year included a cloud chamber which enables visualizations of subatomic particulars and fission events and a display on solar “power towers.”

Prof. Baldwin and students discussing an exhibit. Photo by Martin Schreurs.

Prof. Baldwin and students discussing an exhibit. Photo by Martin Schreurs.

While students searched for the different exhibits, Baldwin roamed the museum with his students, explaining the science behind sustainable energy: “in total I was talking with students one on one and in small groups for nearly 4 hours,” said Baldwin, “although exhausting for me, all the students who went had an awesome time and so did I. I look forward to doing it again next fall.”

GE150, Sustainable Energy, focuses on the sustainability challenges that exist in our current energy systems. Students in the course learn about the physical principles and environmental aspects of energy systems, both renewable and nonrenewable, and then discuss ways society can become more sustainable from an energy perspective. Topics range from technological questions such as “what is a heat engine” and “how a nuclear reactor works” to global perspectives on things like climate change, energy policy, and conflict over energy.

Alex Wong of GE150 takes a picture of herself with one of the scavenger hunt exhibits for extra credit. Photo by Alex Wong.

Alex Wong of GE150 takes a picture of herself with one of the scavenger hunt exhibits for extra credit. Photo by Alex Wong.

Michael Dietze to participate in newly funded European project

November 20th, 2013 in 2013, Faculty, Grants, Michael Dietze, November-13

E&E Assistant Professor Michael Dietze will be participating in PROFOUND, a project recently funded by the European Cooperative In Science and Technology or COST.

The project, titled “Towards robust PROjections of European FOrests UNDer climate change (PROFOUND),” was proposed for funding by Christopher Reyes of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Potsdam, Germany.

Prof. Dietze will be participating in two of the four working groups: “WG2: Uncertainty of process and scaling issues” and “WG3: Model comparisons and multi-model assessments.” Of the 39 participants, Prof. Dietze is the only member from the United States. Reyes explains his selection of Prof. Deitze in the proposal to COST: “Prof. Dietze has substantial expertise in the area of ecological forecasting, forest ecosystem and community modeling. In particular, he has worked on modeling forests under climate change, environmental heterogeneity and disturbances, as well as on statistical analysis of computer models and Bayesian statistics. This experience will be valuable for PROFOUND. Furthermore, he adds an international perspective beyond the borders of Europe to this Action.”

The project will last four years.

To learn more about COST, click here.

To learn more about Prof. Dietze’s other grants and projects, click here.

Geological Society to host screening of The Fellowship of the Ring this Thursday

November 20th, 2013 in 2013, Events, November-13, Undergraduate

The BU Geological Society will be hosting a screening of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring this Thursday, November 21st, 2013, at 6:30 pm in CAS B12.

In addition to the movie screening, there will be a presentation on the geology of New Zealand, the filming location of the movie, and some Lord of the Rings fun facts.

There will also be a raffle to win “the one ring,” and snacks will also be provided.

View their flyer to learn more about the event.

Noelle Selin to give lecture

November 19th, 2013 in 2013, Department Seminars, November-13

Noelle Selin of MIT will be giving a lecture on the topic of the planet Mercury as part of the Terrestrial Biogeosciences Seminar.

The Seminar will be held from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm this Wednesday, Nov. 20th, 2013,  in STO 442 the Graduate Student Lounge.

Refreshments will be served after the talk.

For more information on the Terrestrial Biogeosciences Seminars, check out their website.

Ranga Myneni announces new coauthored article.

November 18th, 2013 in 2013, 2013, Faculty, November-13, Publications, Ranga Myneni

Professor Ranga Myneni announced today the publication of a new coauthored article in the journal Remote Sensing.

The article, “Recent Changes in Terrestrial Gross Primary Productivity in Asia from 1982 to 2011” was coauthored by Prof. Myneni and eight other authors from Japan, Korea, and China.

Kazuhito Ichii of Fukushima University in Kanayagawa, Fuhushima, Japan is the lead author of the paper.

The article can be read online at this address.

To see more of Prof. Myneni’s publications go to the publications section of our website.

Sergio Fagherazzi and Curtis Woodcock awarded grant

November 18th, 2013 in 2013, Curtis Woodcock, Faculty, Grants, November-13, Sergio Fagherazzi

Department of Earth and Environment Professors Sergio Fagherazzi and Curtis Woodcock announced today that they have been awarded a new grant by the Office of Naval Research.

With this new grant, Dr. Fagherazzi and Dr. Woodcock will focus their attentions on the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. The Mekong Delta is well known for the size of fish, particular catfish, that grow in its waters; however, Dr. Fagherazzi and Dr. Woodcock will be studying the delta’s vegetation. Fagherazzi explains that “the goal of the project is ‘to determine the feedbacks between mangrove vegetation and tidal hydrodynamics in tropical deltas with remote sensing data.’”

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is an executive branch within the Department of Defense. To learn more about ONR visit their website.

To learn more about grants awarded to E&E faculty, click here.