Making a Big Impact in Sustainability Science with Big Data
Thursday, September 21, 2017 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM EDT
Issues in sustainability science are increasingly being addressed using “big data” and data analytics. Data rich modeling techniques can assist in improving systems thinking to integrate business operations, people, ecosystems and climate.
Join in a free webinar demonstrating the application of computational modelling of natural and social processes to identify patterns, trends, and associations that can inform sustainability decision making.
The presentations will be appropriate for a non-technical audience and include five case studies:
- Behavioral Correlations: Are hybrid or electric car drivers more likely to solarize their roofs? This project explores behavior and attitudinal data of some consumers in Massachusetts.
- Analyzing Flood Risk: Flood insurance is increasingly important for residential and commercial property owners. Flood risk is still mapped using USGS 100 year flood maps. These maps have to be completely updated and revised using new satellite data that can be analyzed to provide better risk probability profiles based on International panel on Climate Change (IPCC) models. This example reports on work for a commercial insurance company.
- Forensic Environmental Investigations Using Neural Networks: Urban sustainability includes protecting urban trees and forests. Panelists applied unsupervised neural networks to examine the impact of natural gas leaks caused by aging infrastructure that resulted in tree mortality in Boston
- Predicting Malaria Hot Spots: Increasing temperatures in the highland regions of East Shoa in Ethiopia have led to increased incidence of malaria. Spatial statistical analysis, shown in this example, predicted the clusters or hot spots of malaria.
- Municipal Resilience Snapshots: Designing and implementing sustainability metrics for a neighborhood or town can provide a quick snapshot of its current or future social and natural resiliency, as illustrated in this example.
Associate Profess Rachael Garrett recently participated in two workshops. INFEWS, the Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems group of the The National Science Foundation held a principal investigators workshop in Arlington, Virginia at the end of March.
The Global Land Project workshop on middle-range theories in land system science met in Weggis, Switzerland.
Wednesday, April 12, 7-9pm, Emerson College
Boston University Environmental Student Organization (ESO) is partnering up with a non-profit called #PutAPriceOnIt that is attempting to get carbon pricing in a few major cities, including Boston. The event will consist of a screening of an episode from the documentary series called Years of Living Dangerously and a panel/Q&A about carbon pricing in Boston.
Click to download the flyer.
Lecturer on Environmental Law and Policy Rick Reibstein organized a session called “A Public Conversation on Lead” at the April 6 Fair Housing and Civil Rights conference hosted by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination in Springfield, MA. Reibstein has recently created a website to promote awareness of the issue and what we can do about it. The session was an experiment in democratic engagement to see if people who have never met each other before could come together and craft a joint statement. In a short time the group was able to write a letter to Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Inspired by this, the Silver Valley Coalition of Idaho, site of one of the worst lead-contaminated areas in the U.S., wrote letters to Carson and to Administrator Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency. See the statements at www.leadconversation.net, under Events.
Every week a handful of grad students bring their research projects to life and talk about their passions with elementary school girls. Click on the magical phrase below to see how EE PhD students Sarabeth Buckley, Angela Rigden, and Radost Stanimirova, lead officer of BU’s Graduate Women in Science & Engineering, spend their Thursday evenings. Check out the group’s blog here.
The Scientista Symposium is a three-day conference that aims to empower pre-professional women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by introducing them to inspirational role models and by providing them with opportunities to hone valuable skills. The Symposium will bring together approximately 300 undergraduate and graduate women from across the country. The symposium will be held April 8-9, 2017, at the Microsoft building in Times Square in NYC
Our programming, themed “Scientistas Stand Up! Becoming a Leader in STEM,” will cover a range of topics from research to business to social good. It will include inspirational talks and panels, a poster fair, and ample opportunities for students and professionals to network.
CALL FOR POSTERS
What makes the Scientista Symposium truly unique is our platform for women in STEM to present their original research to a national audience of peers and judges. The process of presenting one’s work in a national forum is an invaluable opportunity that can help instill confidence in young women. We encourage students, particularly college seniors, currently involved in research to submit an abstract for the symposium’s poster fair. Students may submit abstracts here.
CALL FOR JUDGES
The symposium is also seeking postdocs, research associates, professors, and other experts to judge the poster fair.
Symposium registration is also open.
Raoul Liévanos, associate professor of sociology at the University of Oregon, kicks off Earth & Environment’s Seminar Series on Race, Justice, and Environment.
Producing Air-Toxic Clusters: Risk Containment and Environmental Inequality Formation
Racial, economic, and immigrant disadvantage predominate in air-toxic cancer risk clusters in the United States. This talk features ongoing research that advances our understanding of the general mechanisms that contribute to this context of environmental inequality in a historical case study of the Stockton, California metropolitan area from 1850 to 2005. The analysis highlights how industrialization, mortgage redlining, urban renewal, freeway development, and political conflict over court-ordered school district desegregation contributed to the concentration of low-income, nonwhite, and immigrant individuals in Stockton’s air-toxic cancer risk clusters. The talk concludes with a discussion of its future research and policy implications.
Wednesday, February 1, 2:30pm, CAS 132
Anthony Janetos, director of BU’s Pardee Center for the Study of Longer-Range Future, joined the Space Physics Seminar Series.
The Risks of Multiple Breadbasket Failure
We are headed into a world where the risks from climate change of failure of agricultural productivity in the world’s major breadbaskets cannot be ignored. I discuss both a modeling study to illustrate how those risks may occur, and their consequences, and a broader research strategy of modeling and observation that can provide practical examples for moving forward in a rapidly changing world.
Thursday, January 26, 4:00pm, CAS 502.
Refreshments will be served at 3:45pm in CAS 500.
Associate Professor Lucy Hutyra and PhD candidate Andrew Trlica will join other members of the sciences faculty to discuss “Urban Earth Science: Understanding the Potential Growing Field.” The panel will meet Wednesday, November 30, 12:00-1:30pm, at The Initiative on Cities, 75 Bay State Road. For more information and to register, visit the Boston University Initiative on Cities.
In conjunction with his new textbook Developing Sustainable Environmental Responsibility, Lecturer Rick Reibstein will host webinars over the next month. The free series will elaborate on the concept of the book: the goal of developing the sense of responsibilities that would result in sustainability, and which could be sustained. Click here to register for free.