Farouk El-Baz, founding director of BU’s Center for Remote Sensing, will receive the 2018 Inamori Ethics Prize in recognition of contributions to NASA’s Apollo space program and search for desperately needed scarce resources on the Earth to save lives and resolve deadly conflicts. Inamori Center director Shannon French referred to Dr. El-Baz as “an international treasure.”
El-Baz is known for pioneering work in applying space images to groundwater exploration in arid lands. Based on the analysis of space photographs, his recommendations resulted in the discovery of groundwater resources in Egypt, India, China, Sudan, Sultanate of Oman, United Arab Emirates and Chad.
The Center for Remote Sensing was established at BU in 1986 as a facility for scientific research in the fields of archaeology, geography and geology. It use satellite images and other data from airborne and ground sensors to study the Earth and its resources, particularly groundwater. This includes the monitoring of environmental changes due to both natural processes and human activities. In 1997, the Center was selected by NASA as a “Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing.”
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Research Associate Professor Pontus Olofsson has been awarded a three-year research grant from the NASA Land-Cover and Land-Use Change (LCLUC) Program for his proposal “Comprehensive analysis of thirty years of land change in Georgia: patterns, carbon dynamics and drivers.” Olofsson, together with co-investigators Rachael Garrett and Curtis Woodcock, will analyze the land change patterns and terrestrial carbon dynamics of the country of Georgia over the last 30 years. The study has a strong social science component and includes analyses of impacts of shifting policies, globalization, and of the economic and political turmoil of modern Georgia.
Professor Suchi Gopal has just been awarded a Blended Learning Grant from BU’s Center for Teaching & Learning. She received the fellowship grant for GE 365, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Professor Gopal is now a member of the Faculty Steering Committee of the new Global Development Policy Center, which is affiliated with the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies. The center is headed by Kevin Gallagher, Professor of Global Development Policy at the Pardee School.
Congratulations to Professor Sergio Fagherazzi, who will receive the 2017 JJ Mehta Award for outstanding contributions to the study of cohesive sediment dynamics. Professor Fagherazzi will be honored at the upcoming INTERCOH meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay.
INTERCOH offers an international platform where young, experienced and world leading scientists and engineers can meet and discuss the latest progress in the area of cohesive sediment properties, dynamics and modeling.
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The editorial team of Energy Policy have highlighted a small selection of recently published papers that encapsulate the journal’s focus on publishing quality original research addressing the policy implications of energy supply and use from their economic, social, planning and environmental aspects. “The Effect of Climate Change on Electricity Expenditures in Massachusetts” by Robert Kaufmann, Cutler Cleveland, and colleagues was included.
“Climate change affects consumer expenditures by altering the consumption of and price for electricity,” the authors write. “Here we present the first empirical estimates for the effect of climate change on electricity prices.” Click to read the full article.
PhD candidate Chloe Anderson has been awarded an NSF scholarship to attend the 14th Urbino Summer School of Paleoclimatology (USSP) in Urbino, Italy. USSP focuses on dynamics of past climate with an emphasis on long-term carbon cycling and its implications on past and future climate. Lead by 25 senior scientists, USSP aims to provide students with an advanced working knowledge of various proxy data and their use in modeling past climates.
Congratulations to research associate professor Rachel Abercrombie, who has been recognized as one of the American Geophysical Union’s 2016 Outstanding Reviewers. “…Peer review is essential for helping maintain the integrity of science and its efficient advancement (by forcing some quality checks on the official archive of progress),” EOS Earth & Space Science News wrote in announcing the citations. “It also plays a vital role in the granting of awards and has value for society in that the peer-reviewed literature increasingly has official, codified uses in law, regulations, and advisory input.”
Third-year PhD student Radost Stanimirova has been awarded a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship starting in September. Her fellowship application, “Dynamics of Global Rangelands: Modeling Vulnerabilities and Monitoring Impacts from Humans and Climate Change,” will use remote sensing to improve our understanding of how range-land ecosystems are being affected by pressures exerted by humans and climate change. Her fellowship is one of 69 awards that were selected from a pool of 385 applications. This summer, Radost is working at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, where she was awarded a Young Scientist Summer Program Fellowship to work on related questions.
The Great Marsh Resiliency Partnership received the Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Merit Award in a ceremony on May 3rd at Faneuil Hall in Boston for their outstanding contribution to environmental restoration and protection. The team includes Earth & Environment Research Assistant Professor Alyssa Novak.
The “Partnership,” led by the National Wildlife Federation, received a $2.9M Hurricane Sandy Resiliency Grant in 2015 to reduce the vulnerability of communities within the Great Marsh to coastal storms, sea-level rise and other stressors. The project, entitled “Community Risk Reduction through Comprehensive Coastal Resiliency Enhancement for the Upper North Shore, Massachusetts,” takes a holistic approach that includes near-term restoration activities and long-term modeling and planning. Over the past two years the partnerships accomplishments have included: eradicating the invasive pepperweed and common reed from over 400 acres of saltmarsh; establishing 3,000 feet of dunes in front of vulnerable coastal infrastructure; reintroducing eelgrass to the subtidal waters; implementing a monitoring and management program for the invasive green crab; identifying and integrating 100 strategies into a comprehensive Great Marsh Coastal Adaptation Plan; identifying more than 1,200 barriers, including dams, water crossings and culverts for retro fits and upgrades. This project navigated the complex interconnections between natural resource conservation and economic and political priorities, jurisdictional authority, and diverse management values.
This April, academic administrators in CAS and GRS were recognized with a luncheon for all their invaluable work and service to their students, their departments, our College, and our University. A few administrators in particular were recognized for demonstrating truly outstanding service over the past academic year. Specifically, their chairs, faculty members, or peers nominated them for performing responsibilities at an outstanding level, demonstrating exceptional care for students, serving as a role model for others, and promoting exceptional working relationships both within a department and across the University. Our 2017 Outstanding Service Award Winners were Jessica Aither (GRS), Alissa Beideck (CAS Earth & Environment), Wendy Czik (CAS Religion), Chris DeVits (CAS Computer Science), Liz Tingley (CAS Neurosciene), and for her outstanding partnership with our College, Liza Burke Bates (Office of the University Registrar).