PhD students Emily Chua and Claudia Mazur have been awarded Warren-McLeod Fellowships for their marine science work. Chua will use her year-long award to help develop an underwater instrument to investigate biogeochemical processes occurring in marine sediments. Mazur will use her summer grant to study nitrogen cycling in coastal marine sediments. The Warren-McLeod Graduate Fellowship in Marine Science was established by Patricia Warren (the granddaughter of BU’s first President, William Fairfield Warren) in 1990 to support graduate students in the BU Marine Program (BUMP). Both Chua and Mazur are advised by Wally Fulweiler.
A new article by PhD candidate Sarah Foster and Associate Professor Wally Fulweiler has been featured in the Research Spotlight of Eos, AGU’s weekly magazine. In “Estuarine Sediments Exhibit Dynamic and Variable Biogeochemical Responses to Hypoxia,” Foster and Fulweiler investigate how estuary sediments interact with oxygen levels in water to affect nutrient levels and greenhouse gases – all in the wake of the confirmation of the world’s largest hypoxic “dead zone.”
Professor Robert Kaufmann has just published “The effect of oil and gas price and price volatility on rig activity in tight formations and OPEC strategy” in Nature Energy. In the article, Professor Kaufmann and his colleague Esmail Ansari show that “the [break-even price] for rigs used to drill oil wells is $20 (~$50 nominal), the effect of price volatility on rig activity declines as the price for crude oil or natural gas moves above or below this BEP, firms use futures prices (not spot prices) to plan exploration and development, and new rig productivity affects both drilling activity and oil prices.” Dr. Kaufmann has also penned a behind-the-scenes account of the research.
Associate Professor Mike Dietze delivered the keynote at the Massachusetts Environmental Education Society annual conference, as he addressed ecological forecasting and its application to citizen science. Professor Dietze spoke of the ways that iterative forecasts can improve and accelerate basic environmental science, while at the same time making that science more directly relevant to society. The Massachusetts Environmental Education Society is dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and improvement of environmental education in the state and region.
Professors Yuri Knyazkhin and Ranga Myneni’s proposed research projects were recently selected for three-year funding by NASA under their DSCOVR program. Knyazikhin proposed “DSCOVR EPIC VESDR Product: Algorithm refinement, validation and scientific exploration,” and Myneni submitted “Vegetation hot spot signatures from synergy of EPIC-DSCOVR and EOS/SUOMI sensors to monitor changes in global forests.” According to National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) maintain the nation’s real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of weather alerts and forecasts.
Professor Suchi Gopal has written the editorial “The Internet of Things (IoT) for GIS in Transportation” for the newsletter published by the U.S. Department of Transportation. GIS for transportation is experiencing technological innovations with an increasing use of wireless communication, which is the cornerstone of smart city and smart transport (IoT). This technology offers significant benefits in terms of traceability, adaptability, real-time monitoring, and efficiencies in transportation. R&D is needed to combine geospatial functionalities with transport modeling while providing an efficient, interactive, visual interface for data exploration, manipulation, analysis, and visualization.
Professor Cutler Cleveland spoke to BU Today about the Green New Deal unveiled by BU alum Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “A 10-year window to eliminate all [greenhouse gas] emissions is unrealistic,” Cleveland told the news site. “The technologies to achieve this already exist to a large extent: electricity from wind and solar, electric vehicles, and net-zero vehicles. But the transformation of the electric grid, the wholesale elimination of the internal combustion engine, and the retrofit of the nation’s building stock is more than a 10-year project.”
Adjunct Assistant Professor John Fegyverisi has joined a West Antarctica ocean drilling expedition as a member of the physical properties team, which takes measurements of sediment to better understand the glacial history of the west Antarctic ice sheet. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation.
On December 12th students in Research for Environmental Agencies & Organizations (GE 532, taught by Rick Reibstein), presented to officials of the city of Boston and the Boston Public Health Commission on actions that can develop green economies and improve public health in areas currently suffering the impact of high levels of pollution and neglect. The students discussed tree retention, urban gardening, electric buses, green roofs, farmers markets, tax credits that can be used for funding green businesses, programs for training a local workforce for green commerce, developing brownfields, new climate change mitigation funds, new air quality monitoring technologies, improvements in programs for residential building energy efficiency and more, including an idea for a new workforce development program that the students originated themselves, and ways to mitigate the effects of “eco-gentrification” (the reduction in affordable housing that can follow neighborhood improvement). The BPHC has requested future students of the class continue the work, especially concentrating on the issue of repairs necessary before weatherization, green roofs and for healthy homes; and the eco-gentrification problem.
PhD candidate Emily Chua has been invited to join the Limnology & Oceanography Research Exchange (LOREX), sponsored by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology & Oceanography. This NSF-funded initiative sponsors up to 30 U.S.-based graduate students per year to conduct collaborative research in aquatic science at an international host institution. Emily will work with several oceanographers at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to deploy a newly-developed porewater sampling system/underwater mass spectrometer (POSSUMS) in a local urban harbour, as well as the Bay of Fundy, to study the biogeochemistry of these environments.
Additionally, Chua was awarded a Short-Term Graduate Research Abroad Fellowship from the BU Graduate School for Arts & Sciences, which provides funds from alumni gifts for doctoral students to conduct research in another country. Emily will be using these funds to support field deployments of an underwater mass spectrometer that she has been helping develop and test.
Emily is advised by Associate Professor Wally Fulweiler.