Category: News

Research assistant professor Alyssa Novak and colleagues receive EPA award

May 11th, 2017 in 2017, Alyssa Novak, Awards, Faculty, Grants, May-17, News, Researchers

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.

Congratulations to graduate coordinator Alissa Beideck!

May 10th, 2017 in 2017, Awards, Graduate students, May-17, News, Staff

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).

PhD grad Kira Sullivan-Wiley and assistant professor Anne Short Gianotti coauthor paper in World Development

May 5th, 2017 in 2017, Alumni, Anne Short, Faculty, Graduate students, May-17, News, Pub-17, Publications

Recent Earth & Environment PhD graduate Kira Sullivan-Wiley and Assistant Professor Anne Short Gianotti have co-authored a paper in World Development.

The paper, “Risk Perception in a Multi-Hazard Environment,” investigates how small-holder farmers’ in eastern Uganda perceive the risk of multiple, overlapping hazards. Though it is widely recognized that many communities are at risk from multiple, overlapping threats, little is known about how individuals perceive and prioritize multiple hazards in the developing world. This study shows that risk perception is shaped both by the characteristics of the individual and the hazard itself.

Dr. Sullivan-Wiley completed her PhD last year and is now NatureNet Science Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University and The Nature Conservancy. Learn about Assistant Professor Short Gianotti’s work here.

Senior Yaofeng Gu tests new urban climate models

May 5th, 2017 in 2017, Dan Li, Faculty, May-17, News, Undergraduate

Working through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, Yaofeng Gu (CAS’17) and assistant professor Dan Li are testing a new climate model that incorporates urban areas. Click here to read more about their work.

Lecturer Rick Reibstein named to EPA advisory committee

April 27th, 2017 in 2017, Apr-17, Faculty, News, Rick Reibstein

Rick Reibstein, lecturer in Environmental Law and Policy, has been named to the federal advisory committee established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to examine policy related to the Chemical Data Reporting rule of the Toxic Substances Control Act. The committee is for a negotiated rulemaking concerning Section 8(a) of TSCA, which requires chemical companies to report on where their chemicals are used. Negotiated rulemaking is a process in which representatives of stakeholder groups try to reach consensus on a proposed rule. Reibstein was proposed for the committee by the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, where he serves as an at-large board member.

PhD student Yaxiong Ma wins BU Initiative on Cities Urban Research Award

April 14th, 2017 in 2017, Apr-17, Awards, Graduate students, Grants, News

Congratulations to Earth & Environment PhD student Yaxiong Ma, recipient of BU’s 2017 Initiative on Cities Urban Research Award! Ma is building a VR simulation of urban green and gray infrastructure.

Former postdoc Alberto Canestrelli heads to University of Florida

April 11th, 2017 in 2017, Apr-17, Faculty, News, Researchers, Sergio Fagherazzi

Alberto Canestrelli, a former a postdoc at BU, has joined the faculty at the University of Florida, Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering, as assistant professor. During his PhD Alberto worked at BU on sediment transport processes with professor Sergio Fagherazzi’s research group. During his first postdoc at BU, funded by the NSF MARGINS program in collaboration with the University of Washington and the University of Colorado at Boulder, he worked on the morphodynamics of the Fly River Delta, Papua New Guinea, with Professor Fagherazzi. He is currently postdoc at the Pennsylvania State University.

Associate professor Rachael Garrett joins workshops in Virginia and Switzerland

April 10th, 2017 in 2017, Apr-17, Events, Faculty, News, Rachael Garrett, Trips

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.

Boston Students Unite for Climate Action on Wednesday April 12

April 10th, 2017 in 2017, Apr-17, Events, Faculty, Meeting, Nathan Phillips, News, Talks

Wednesday, April 12, 7-9pm, Emerson College

Bright Screening Room, Paramount Center, 559 Washington St.

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.

Currently, the panel consists of one of Senator Mike Barrett‘s staff members, a member from the Climate Action Business Association, and Professor Nathan Phillips.

Click to download the flyer.

BU professor conducts first public conversation on lead

April 7th, 2017 in 2017, Apr-17, Events, Faculty, News, Rick Reibstein

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, under Events.